Day 493 [Feb. 7/10] -- Back to good progress

Today's Report
45°48'S, 76°59'W (Pacific Ocean, 427 nm from Strait of Magellan)

Great relief was felt on both ends of the world as Saito-san reported that the engine rpm slowdown was no longer evident, clearing up apparently on its own. "The sludge [in the fuel element] is not bad, and the tank-side filters look fine," if just a little dirty, he reported.

Favorable winds in the mid-20s allowed him to crank out his new genoa this morning for the first time and turn the engine off. NBSDIII was sailing along nicely at 5 kt at the time of his call. He said the obliquely opposing waves are "rough" at 3.5 to 4.0 meters, "but not too bad." He sounded upbeat and rested after an uneventful night.

Winds under rainy skies are expected to be favorable for another 19 hours and then will begin to change to out of the WNW. Rains will continue for the next three days and then he will sail into clearer weather as he reaches the calmer 39º latitude or slightly before. Temps will rise into the high teens (19ºC/66ºF) -- something he has seen rarely, if at all, below the 35th parallel.

Hanaoka-san, as he monitors things in Punta Arenas, sent a message last night that noted his own relief that Saito-san had passed Golfo de Penas, the "Gulf of Sorrows," which has been the last resting place of hundreds of ships since the days of Magellan.

I received your last report informing that Saito's engine returned to its normal RPM. In the maps you see big gulf in the east of Saito's position named “Golfo de Penas” which is feared by local navigators or by fishermen for the bad climate it has. West side of Magellan Strait and of course Cape Horn are also dangerous position where many people have died from ship wrecks. Saito had big trouble in these 3 places. He is dramatic!!

Hitoshi Hanaoka

Distance in last 24 hours: 138 nm
Distance completed: 17,098 nm
To Yokohama: 11,172 nm (distance remaining: 39.5%)
Heading: 345
Reported boat speed: 5.0 kt (day's average: 5.8 kt)
Weather: Overcast with rain; stiff winds, bigger seas
Temperature: 15.0° C
Barometer: 993 hPa (rising)
Wind (from): Favorable 20-24 kt WSW -- expected to change to 14 kt from W in 13 hours
Waves: 3.5 - 4.0 m
Current (from): varies
Engine rpms: 2,000 (19 hrs)