Day 543 [March 29/10] -- Another 'best' sailing day, but close shaves on 3 seaquakes

Today's Report
0800 March 29, 2010 JST

32°33'S, 76°05'W (Pacific Ocean, 463 nm from Valdivia)

Another great day under sail, this time boosting his voyage record DMGUSO* :) to 156 nm. Winds were constant and fair, at 18 - 24 kts from the south, on seas of 2 - 3 meters.

*DMGUSO: Distance Made Good (Under Sail Only)

We've been watching an advisory service on earthquakes and see that no less than three large seaquakes have occurred (see position map) in the past 9 hours. Had he been a day or so behind, he would have been within 30 - 45 nm of their epicenters. However, thanks to his excellent progress he was well away -- about 200 nm northwest at the time the worst of the three, at 5.9 magnitude, occurred.

The smartphone app-based advisory service, Epicenter, gives the lat / long and time of quakes anywhere in the world on a near real-time basis. It uses the data supplied from the USGS here.

Yesterday we sent out an urgent request on behalf of the family of another Japanese sailor, Mr. Keiichi Chinami, who has gone missing near Cape Horn since March 11.

We want to thank Linda Kruk of Clearpoint Weather for forwarding our message on to Bill Sturridge, who sent us the following response. I am repeating it here for anyone interested, as well as to alert other sailors to the emergency service by this worldwide network of radio operators, the Maritime Mobile Service Network.

I am a net control with MMSN and do not wish to raise hope without facts, but two stations have reported hearing a Japanese call on frequency (14.300usb used for emergency traffic when other means not available) in last three days. Too weak to copy pointing south from Florida. I have been able to communicate with vessels in this area on occasion.

It would be helpful to have more information for the Net control stations. A description and or photo of the vessel. The MMSI#. A description of the type and size of life raft. Also the Sat phone # as we have a contact with a Marine radio station that can put out calls to both the MMSI DSC and the Sat phone. Also his heading and average speed at last contact if known. Weather conditions in the area at that time would also help if reported by Mr. Keiichi Chinami. We all wish the best for him and will listen and put out calls to his station.

William F. Sturridge KI4MMZ

We had already told Saito-san about the emergency, and confirmed this morning that he had not been trying to raise Mr. Chinami, thus was not the "Japanese call" the two MMSN stations reported.

We were informed by Saito-san that his own radio has been out of commission for some time. He expressed his own concern for the missing sailor.

A 24-hour stream of MMSN radio transmissions is available here.

Distance in last 24 hours: 156 nm (best DMG of voyage under sail only)
Distance completed: 17,954 nm
To Yokohama: 10,316 nm (distance remaining: 37.0%)
Heading: 331
Reported boat speed: 6.5 kt (day's average: 6.5 kt)
Weather: Overcast 
Temperature: 16.0° C
Barometer: 1012 hPa (slightly down)
Wind (from): Favorable 15-24 kt S -- expected to be 22 kt S next 19 hrs
Waves: 2.0 - 3.0 m
Current (from): 0.25 kt S
Engine rpms: 0 hrs 
Generator: 10.5 hrs
Sails: Genoa 30% open, mainsail 1-pt reef (sailing only)

Position Map (click to enlarge)