Friday, February 8, 2013

Riding along on the Big Red Bus

The team has been making excellent progress, over 3 kts right on the great circle route, but now they are taking a break on sea anchor till daylight.  The winds are picking up and they have no moon at all till about Feb 15 (then 30% illumination). It is difficult to steer a good course in the waves when you cannot see them coming.

Even on sea anchor last check showed then drifting W-NW even with strong wind pushing them SW!

In short, they are ideally positioned in the large current eddy at the moment, shown below. They should get help from this for another couple days.

Looking ahead, there is even a much larger eddy down the line (picture below), which we can hope will still be there when the boat gets there. These mesoscale eddies can last a month or more in about the same place. They are rotating clockwise, with current speed in the eddy varying as patches of faster water rotate around the circle.

Note the picture above is a zoomed in corner of the smaller one in the bottom pic, SE corner, just west of Cape Verde. At the moment, 22z on Feb 8, the boat is in the yellow water just entering the red patch.

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