We seem to be doing too well. Having gotten a little ahead of our drive metric in the last couple of days, the science team decides it's time to stop and take a breather. A little IDD work's just the thing, apparently. Never mind that winter's coming on, and if we don't get our shiny metal ass to McCool Hill we'll die. We're just going to divert for a few days ....
The amusing bit is, we're going back up onto Home Plate. Not in the same place we went up before, of course; that's tens of meters behind us now. But they've spotted some interesting rocks up there, and, well, here we go. Back up onto Home Plate.
At least we talk them into a closer rock than the first one they wanted. The first one would have been two drive sols -- one to get close, then another for a fine approach -- before we could even start IDDing. The second one might work out that way, but at least we have a shot at getting there in one sol so that we can start the IDD work tomorrow. This helps because it means we'll be able to drive away over the weekend, which will cut this diversion a little shorter, anyway.
The logic of this decision implies that we'll need visodom, though: we've got to drive about 12m to this thing. We're driving forward past some unclimbable rocks, then arcing up a short but steepish slope, and actually driving past the rock, turning, and scooting backward until it's in front of us. (This sounds strange but avoids large turns, which minimizes the number of time-consuming visodom updates we'll need.) And the oncoming winter is squeezing our drive time. When we put it all together, we realize we're going to need more time than we thought, a bunch more. Saina and Al graciously add in the time, but it means we'll nap less today and have less energy tomorrow.
What I hope that doesn't mean is that it limits our IDD time and forces us to spend another sol here, in which case we'd just end up spending what we were trying to save.
Because we can't afford that. Not with winter coming.