Nelson, in reply to what you asked / said (here inside>>>> <<<<);
>>>>For currentsman Kevin: It would appear from the accounts provided that Augustina remained afloat for a (relatively) long time, and of course the longer the time afloat the greater the potential drifting distance. But is it possible from the current pattern in the Java Sea that Augustina underwent retrograde movement? Which is to ask, could she have floated distance S in one direction, then been shifted in the opposite direction—more or less back toward the point of intercept—finally sinking at, say, distance 0.6 S from the point where the crew abandoned and the seacocks were opened? Which MAY mean she lies closer to that point of intercept than her time afloat would imply (and, yeah, the time afloat is utterly unknown). Would such be possible, given the current pattern in that area?<<<<<
The kind of movement you ‘describe’ generally happens more when tidal currents (high to low, low back to high, etc) are at play, and generally, more so closer to land and certainly near the straits leading in to / out of the JS, and the narrower they are the stronger the tidal movement. IIRC even when retrieving parts off the downed Air Asia plane they experienced 4 to 5 knot currents – which of course halted diving till they subsided. And as I said in a previous, wind direction (and / or a change there-of) and wind strength also plays a part in surface currents.
However, there are some ‘studies’ that say the central JS is not affected by tidal currents, but I am not so sure about that! We at times (though not regularly) when diving in ‘central’ JS (even on windless days) experienced currents going one way in the morning and another in the afternoon. And also one way at surface and another on the bottom on same dive!
So my answer to your question would have to be yes, it ‘could’ be ‘possible’.
>>>>>Because the location of Augustina is now certainly or likely known, the manner of her drifting is probably not really important<<<<<<
Just to be clear, the location of the wreck is 100% CERTAINLY known. We discovered the wreck in (can’t recall what year) while looking for USS Pope and could initially only ID her as a small tanker. We didn’t give a thought she might be Augustina initially (probably weren't even aware of an a ship called ‘Augustina’ at that time) because of where she lays (see map in my previous post). However on a return visit the next year, which unfortunately I was not on, the skipper found and retrieved the ships bell which had engraved on it ‘SS Augustina’. Can’t get a much better ID than that (besides her layout matching Augustina also).
And, personally, with all due respect, I think the manner of her drifting (and the time she stayed afloat) may have EVERYTHING to do with solving part of her mystery, or the part I am trying to come to terms with at least.