Health & Medical Self-Improvement

Do You Want to Row Across the Ocean? - Ask MIT the Best Route - It"s Not What You Think!

Well, they say that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but if you are trying to conserve energy or utilize the physics and flows of the environment you are in, you need to have a much closer look before adopting that strategy of straight line'ism.
If you are traveling to Mars in a space capsule you'll want to use gravity for propulsion, sling-shot techniques, and elliptical paths through space - and that's definitely not a straight line.
If you did travel in a straight line, your line would be bent regardless if you realized it or not, or you'd never get there and meet your intended destination, unless you knew the exact point in advance and had enough power to overcome all the other gradients of forces and flows around you.
Okay so, we all realize there is a lot of math involved there, and so, I'd like to bring up another point of contention if I might.
You see, as a long-distance cyclist, I've considered the shortest distance to visit each and every state capital in the USA, which means it takes a lot of thinking, measuring and there are endless choices for routes while on such a nomadic quest.
Another thing which sounds totally fun to me would be to row across the oceans of the world.
Yes, you probably have not considered this, but it sounds to me like the ultimate challenge.
There was one French man who did row across the Pacific, and he's also rowed across the Atlantic too.
Now then, I can remember riding my bicycle from Oregon to Mexico to raise money for charity.
I can remember when I was peddling against the wind, and how difficult it was, and how few miles I was able to go in the same amount of time, and how much more energy it took to get there.
When I was going with the wind, it was quite incredible how much time I could make up.
Okay so, back to the concept of rowing across the ocean.
There is a great YouTube Video on this topic titled; "Optimal paths for automated underwater vehicles (AUVs)," which is apropos to my commentary here today.
Go ahead and go watch that video, and then come back because I would like to finish this thought.
You see, if the current is moving at 3 miles per hour and you were rowing at 3 to 4 miles per hour, then you may not be going forward at all or only one mile per hour if you did, but you are still expending quite a bit of energy, just as if you were swimming in one of those endless swimming pools.
You see the point? What I'm saying, is a straight line across the ocean may be the wrong way to play it if you think you are going to row that far.
Incidentally, when the Frenchman, who did have GPS navigation, and was using also celestial navigation got to his destination; the west coast of California, he was hundreds of miles off course, due to the wind, and currents, which is par for the course if you consider all the comments above.
Someone could row across the Pacific Ocean, and stay within the current flows, and end up doing extremely well, and making up much better time, using less energy - if they simply used the same mathematics involved in determining optimal paths for automated underwater vehicles.
Indeed, I'd like you to sit back and think about this for a moment, and consider how this type of theory and knowledge affects so many aspects of the human endeavor in our daily lives.

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