Tuesday, January 12, 2010

High waves are slowing us down

Yesterday in the evening a strong low pressure system suddenly developed in our transit track. We are at the polar front zone near 50 degrees south latitude where cold polar air clashes with warm air from the north and this is where these low pressure systems develop. Last night wave heights were increasing rapidly to more than 10 m (30 ft) and the Captain had to steer the ship away from the developing storm. During the night and morning we were staying in the same location with the bow of the ship heading northwestward at about 4 knots. As of 9:30 AM we are back on track and heading south again. The seas are very rough and wave heights are still approaching 10 m (30 ft) and some people are in their cabins feeling sick, whereas others have taken medication. We also had to tie down the equipment in the labs because the waves come in from the side now and make the ship roll sideways. In the wave height map above you can see where we are heading (see the arrow). Red colors are high waves. The storm will move eastward and the forecast for tomorrow is looking good. Let's hope we can make it through the "screaming 50s" before the next storm arrives....

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