Day 380 [Oct. 18/09] -- Visa issue resolved

Tuesday departure seen as visa issue is resolved

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

Today's Report [0800 JST]

Saito-san called this morning to confirm that his visa issue was resolved by a day trip by car to Argentina. By crossing over the border and returning it meant that the necessary paperwork could be completed and he is back on a temporary tourist visa. He is now able to clear Chilean customs.
He said he has been given assurances of Coast Guard / Immigration clearance on Monday, and he will leave either then or early Tuesday morning.
Once under way, he will recommence calling Tokyo once or twice a day to report his status and receive regular weather briefings.
It will take approximately 5 days to reach the start of the tow point, and then approximately 3 to 5 more days to clear Cape Horn and proceed up the west coast of Chile.