Day 495 [Feb. 9/10] -- Diversion to Valdivia

Today's Report
41°56'S, 75°53'W (Pacific Ocean, 650 nm from Strait of Magellan)

A day of mixed winds, sometimes W, sometimes WNW, sometimes WSW, as a large low sweeps under him. He was able to make another good day of progress, however, climbing 129 nm north and distancing himself from the severe sea conditions to the south.

Saito is reluctantly taking the advice of his support crews in Tokyo and Punta Arenas and will make a short stop-over in Valdivia, a city of 160,000 pop. 149 nm from this morning's position. There he will refuel and be supplied with additional fuel filters, after he went through all his spares on the way from Punta Arenas. 

A few days ago Hanaoka-san sent an email from Punta Arenas commenting on the reputation of the Golfo De Penas, "The Gulf of Sorrows," feared by local fishermen for its severe and changeable weather. When Saito-san slipped past three days ago, the weather was not bad, and he even got a bit of a lift on fair winds from the WSW.

Today, as he climbs out of the "Roaring Forties" and into easier sailing conditions, 300 nm back at Golfo De Penas, winds are roaring in at 50 kts, bringing seas of 8.8 meters.  

Here's what that looks like on ClearPoint [his position marked with arrow]:

Red indicates waves over 8 meters. 

Distance in last 24 hours: 129 nm
Distance completed: 17,334 nm
To Yokohama: 10,936 nm (distance remaining: 38.7%)
Heading: 020
Reported boat speed: 5.0 kt (day's average: 5.4 kt)
Weather: Overcast with occasional rain; slightly reduced seas
Temperature: 15.0° C
Barometer: 1006 hPa (rising)
Wind (from): Unfavorable 16-18 kt NW -- expected to change to 25 kt from SW in 13 hrs
Waves: 2.0 - 2.5 m
Current (from): varies
Engine rpms: 2,000 (20 hrs)
Generator: 4 hrs
Sails: Genoa, 80 - 90% open (4 hours)