In yesterday’s post a very colourful weather map showed likely gale force winds in the Strait of Gibraltar today. Paul predicted UV would have to halt his rapid migration and today’s data confirmed that assessment. The data arrived a few minutes after UV had halted not far from the coast after slowing down on approach. He may be unable to progress for a couple of days.
Here’s Paul’s forecast:- “The strong easterly gales in the Straits will continue through Friday, decreasing very slowly on Saturday. UV might be able to resume his journey on Sunday, as long as the visibility is good.”
This hiatus provides a chance to look back at some of UV’s travel through the desert and over the Atlas Mountains at such a rapid rate. He had a couple of very long days on 17 and 18 April. UV often begins the day with a couple of short flights before heading off in earnest around 10.00 UTC. On 17 April he was still at his roost site on the desert floor but by the next fix at 09.44 he was away to cover 640 km. He was still flying at 22.17 by moonlight and found his roost by 22.58. Very near a desert settlement.
The next morning he was flying away at 06.17 before sunrise. He had a few pauses before flying from 09.07 to 18.54 to reach the Atlas Mountains. He passed a manganese mine on the way – he has spent many an hour perched by various mines but not that day!
He was able to roost in a tree that night.
Yesterday was a shorter day covering a more modest distance of around 260 km. He stopped west of the Barrage El Wahda, the second largest dam in Africa, at 16.57.
He may have bathed after all those desert dust miles. He roosted further north, around 150 km from the coast.
UV has made excellent progress to date. Weather has halted that. The next few days data will show when he feels it is the right time to move on.