Sunday, May 18, 2014

Heading and bearing... navigation !

17/05, camp 28
Distance today: 121 km
Total Distance: 2274 km
Position : 79.912 W48.990, alt 1960 m 
Moving time: 9 hours
(kites used today : Beringer 8, Speed10, 33m long lines, and 21 m long lines)

Knud Rasmussen land is gonna be our "long and winding road"

So much snow was drifting wind the wind ! this announced a promising progression today... but the snow was so cold and dry, that it was quiet difficult to glide properly with our heavy pulkas : we realized that every kilometer today would be the fruit of proper effort !

Our bearing is now North-north east, and we were pushed today by south-south west wind : completely into tailwinds. That makes the heading choices a bit tricky, as well as the choice of kites. And none of the solutions we had were really great ; we often either used too big, or too small of a kite...

On top of that, navigating with tailwinds mean basically that we constantly have to change our heading ; we sometimes had to get "off-target bearing" by 30 or 40°.
here is a bit of an explanation :
- the bearing is the angle (in relation to north) that we intend to follow in order to get to a certain point (that we decide in advance and mark on the map).
- the heading is the "real-time" angle of direction that we are following, in relation to the north.
Ideally we try to match heading and bearing as much as possible (we can see both written on our GPS in order to move on as straight of a line as possible (the more straight we go, the shortest the distance is to target).
Basically on a day like today, the real distance skied is about 1,3 times more than it could be from departure to arrival point.

Then we have the kite switching (3 times today), or adjustment of length of the lines (1 change)...
So, even though we travelled a modest distance today, our day was pretty busy. The next 2 days kind of look the same...

We just went pass the Glacier Petermann's outlet, and leave to our north-west Hans island (dear to our friend Emmanuel Hussenet;-))

PS: warm greetings to Ludo and Nico, from the shop "Vertige Gap" !

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