Day 379 [Oct. 17/09] -- Final Preparations

Saito sees departure as early as next week

53 11 S, 70 55 W --- Rafted in a harbor in Punta Arenas, Chile

Today's Report [0700 JST]

Saito-san outlined in a call last night his plans to leave Punta Arenas, which were further described in an email this morning from Hanaoka-san.
  • First on the list are their efforts to meet the visa requirements; Saito-san's tourist visa ran out about two months ago and they have worked out a solution that meets the renewal requirements.
  • Next is clearing the boat and skipper through the Coast Guard. This has been done, with special treatment by the Punta Arenas port authorities that Hanaoka-san described as "very kind." So once the captain himself has his visa in hand, he'll be free to leave.
  • Saito-san said they were able to acquire a replacement antenna for the VHS radio, and the engine starter relay problem was expected to be fixed this weekend.
  • Fuel was to be topped off this weekend.
Hanaoka-san and Saito-san described their gratitude to Mr. Imai and Miss Morita of the Japanese Consulate in Santiago for their efforts on his behalf in recent days. Their emails and calls on the visa and related matters have helped a great deal, Hanaoka-san said by email. (They were also a huge assist several months ago in forwarding Saito-san's medications, which had run into problems during an earlier courier attempt. They're just heart pills, but even with a doctor's note were tough to get past the watchful eye of Chilean customs.)
Saito-san said it looks like he may leave as early as this Tuesday, Oct. 20, but will not know for certain until after the weekend.


Today's Featured Photo from Voyage Archive

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[Sunrise at 0935 hours on 1/18/2009 ]
Summary of that day's log entry:

Day 108 [Jan. 18, 0700 JST] -- click to see entire entry & position

The day turns overcast with occasional showers, and the winds ease and remain out of the east for true downwind sailing. This requires either steering as much as 30 degrees off course to keep the wind sufficiently abeam, or running the risk of an uncontrolled jibe if the wind should come around unexpectedly.