The High is Back

Jan 09 2011

The unique challenge of the 5Gyres expeditions is that we need to deliberately SAIL a boat into an area with virtually no wind- the gyres. The gyre center is our constant target. The reason is collects debris is that it is the center of a circulation zone. While we are talking about water circulation…this area is closely coordinated with air flow. In this case we are talking about the dominant high pressure cells that occur in these sub-tropical latitudes. While crossing from Brazil, Sea Dragon and her crew battled to find this true high center. They spent the first two weeks bashing through high winds and seas. Finally hitting the high about 1,000 miles from Cape Town, they settled down to quiet water, good trawling…and the sound of the engine!

Now, a bit later into the austral summer, the high is back. It is large and much farther north. This has got Sea Dragon sailing in very light air and calm conditions. They left Walvis Bay just a few days ago and are now about half-way to St. Helena Island. This tiny speck of UK territory is about 1,400 nm from Namibia. From here the team will carve a 3400nm swath right across the south Atlantic High to Montevideo.

You can see the high very clearly in this 48 hour weather forecast from Passage Weather. For now…its quiet, clear sailing.