Day 391 [Oct. 29/09] -- Slow progress in headwinds

Position (0800 JST)
55°57'S, 69°41'W -- about 80 nm west of Cape Horn
[Click to enlarge]

Distance completed to Yokohama finish: 65%
Heading: 255
Boat speed: 1.5-2.0 kt (7-day average: -- kt)
Weather: Overcast, drizzling, cold, winds quite strong, seas bigger
Barometer: 988 hPa (steady)
Waves: 4.5-5.0 m
Wind (from): 40-45 kt W -- very strong headwinds
Current (from): 1.0 kt SW
Distance in last 24 hours: 57 nm
Engine: 1700 rpm (14 hrs) and 2300 rpm (10 hrs) -- 214 L

Today's Report

Strong headwinds at 40+ kts have slowed progress to about 2 kts boat speed in recent hours as a cold front passes. Except for dirty fuel which is apparently clogging the dual fuel filters and reducing engine rpms, Saito-san reports everything is "OK.... but it's cold!"

A cold front is presently passing, and should be clear of Saito-san in about 4 hrs. After that sea conditions will moderate, dropping to 4 m waves and 14-18 kt winds from the west.

He will await daylight and the easier conditions expected to come in about 6 hours before working again on the engine. (He cleaned the primary filter yesterday, and is being advised by the Yanmar engineer in Auckland, where the engine was installed, to do the same for the secondary filter.)

We thank Scott, with Whiting Power in Auckland NZ, for his helpful advice and continuing assistance.

Iridium reception was weak, with one interruption.

[See our earlier commentary during Saito-san's first Horn passage attempt in April.]


Additional Report (1051 yesterday) [Mike Seymour, Safety Officer]

Reporting on his call with Scott, of Whiting Power:

Scott said if the primary filters don't solve the problem, then check the secondary filter on the engine next. He said the sudden drop in rpm indicates some sort of fuel blockage. He doubted that air in the system would be the problem. He said we need to have Saito-san check the exhaust for smoke, which of course he can't do at night in these conditions. He also said it could be due to a propeller problem - something wrapped in the prop.

Saito-san will call in his next position at 1400 JST today.




Barometric chart + 7 hrs [click to enlarge]
Winds + 7 hrs
Waves + 7 hrs