Day 382 [Oct. 20/09] -- Waiting it out

Impatient skipper opts for a weather-delayed start


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

Today's Report [1345 JST]

Word from Punta Arenas is that Saito-san has decided on the side of caution and will wait out the two back-to-back fronts that have punched Cape Horn this week.
He called last night and said he was still thinking of leaving Tuesday, but later talked with Safety Officer Mike Seymour and changed his mind. He said it now looks like he will wait until this weekend. The snow that began falling yesterday morning on the harbor no doubt reinforced that decision.
This morning, almost 50-kt winds were projected for Cape Horn tomorrow.
The tricky part is putting NBSDIII at the cape just after a front has passed, rather than waiting too late to depart Punta Arenas. It will take 5 days to go from there to the cape. But another option is that he can also sail into the relatively quieter waters of the South Atlantic, wait around for acceptable conditions, then make a fast transit of the Horn before the next storm system arrives.
All this is going through Saito-san's head as he weighs the risks.

Additional Update
Saito-san called this morning to confirm again he will hold his departure until the weather clears. This coming weekend at the earliest, but most likely one week to 10 days.
We will continue to monitor the weather for him and send fax or email updates to Hanaoka-san's office.
He also asked us to send him one month's worth of medication urgently by courier express.
  • He is still waiting to receive some sail repair tape from a local (Chile) supplier.
  • The problem with the starter on the main engine has been resolved: a broken ground wire to the solenoid. Hanaoka-san's people have made the repair.
  • He will continue to search for the source of the hydraulic leak which has not yet been found.
  • Fuel has been topped off and provisions loaded. He is ready to leave on short notice.
-- Mike Seymour, Saito 8 Safety Officer

Today's Weather Report [0700 JST] -- Courtesy of ClearPoint Weather

For Punta Arenas
Winds at 24 kts out of the W. Warm front approaching from the west. Light snow showers on Friday and Saturday.

Forecast (Punta Arenas)

Forecast (Cape Horn)
Barometric chart [click to enlarge]
Winds (Cape Horn)

Waves (Strait of Magellan)
Waves (S. Atlantic Ocean)

Waves (Cape Horn)