The current has been the single biggest challenge over the past few days. Original estimates were a 1.5 knots per hour, but to our dismay we have been fighting a 4 knot drift side on. Because of this I have had a course set at 50 Degree angle to it so that this will compensate the drift and that I can hit Madagascar where planned and not Australia. On top of this the swell hits me side on all day and then believe it or not there is also a side on wind pushing me down with the current. The biggest surprise was yesterday when we stopped for a break and something to eat, this is when we found this entire scenario out.
We were all chilling chatting about the first few hours, having something to eat. No one was really looking at the drift and the speed of it until I decided to get out and carry on paddling looking at the GPS we were 14km off course in the wrong direction. At first we did not want to believe it as it was totally different to what any of the shipping charts say. This meant that we had to power back all that distance to my original point. Working all the calculations out, I was loosing about 10 km per day in distance because of these factors.
Then comes the evening, with the ocean floor over 2 km below and no chance to anchor, what now? To counteract the drift at night, the adventure has to steam 20 nautical miles in a northerly direction up against the current so that we drift back to my morning start point. As well as this they have a massive 100 square metre (A drogue) parachute that is dropped overboard, which is weighted and sinks into the ocean, opening up and acting as a massive water brake this is then attached to the front of the adventurer to stop the wind drift. With all of this we still drift back over 20 nautical miles, about 40 km every evening. Once again it means to steam back to the GPS point for me to paddle from. It’s been a permanent struggle for the crew to keep the whole journey 100% accurate, and through all of this they have managed.