Day 486 [Jan. 31/10] -- Saito Departs Punta Arenas

Position (1123 JST beacon)
53°51'S, 71°03'W -- about 45 nm southwest of Punta Arenas
[Click to enlarge]

Blue line indicates the route west back to the Pacific Ocean, about 200 nm. Red line is his actual route.

Today's Report
At 3:51 pm local time, Saito-san departed Punta Arenas under overcast skies to resume his circumnavigation. Winds were about 14 kts out of the NW.

As of the day's second beacon report 7 1/2 hours later, he had proceeded 43.5 nm, averaging just under 6 kts of boat speed.

Here's what Rose & Pablo sent in an email, with pictures to follow:

It was about 3:51pm this afternoon Minoru Saito-San set off on his voyage in Nicole BMW and sailed away southwest down the Magallen Strait, winds from the Northwest to finish the Saito 8 Challenge. As soon as the last rope was tied off the neighbouring boat Del Mar III Saito San was truly ready for the last leg. We will miss him and our thoughts will be with him, he is a fiesty little spirit and shows no fear to those risks he may face, we wish him fair winds.

Best wishes,
Rose and Pablo

Even to the very end this wonderful couple were helping Saito-san through the maze of Chilean bureaucracy.

Once it was clear that he was finished and could leave, in a Skype call Rose said he was extremely happy and left at the earliest possible moment. He is being accompanied by "Lucky Dream," a fishing boat that will go with him most or all the way to Desolation Island at the western mouth of the Strait of Magellan, where he will re-enter the Pacific. If the weather is not favorable he may wait a day at Cabo Felix lighthouse, where there is a small cove that is a historic "weather hole" for Cape Horn voyagers.

A news release will be available soon.