Day 544 [March 30/10] -- One more 'best' as the winds stay fair

Today's Report
March 30/10 0800 JST

32°33'S, 76°05'W (Pacific Ocean, 599 nm from Valdivia)

The winds have continued steady and fair, and NBSDIII has apparently loved it as much as Saito-san, achieving another voyage record day -- the third day in a row -- of 160 nm under sail alone. He's now 599 nm out of Valdivia, taking advantage of the perfect wind conditions he had rarely seen when bashing often upwind under a combination of sail and motor. 

Fuel use at the moment is just for the generator, which sips a liter an hour compared to the much larger quantities of the engine at different RPMs, and depending on the condition of the seas and strength of headwinds. 

He had a bit of a surprise yesterday when the auto-pilot suddenly stopped working for no apparent reason. He gave it a rest for a few hours, went through several checks, and it went back to normal operation. He said the batteries look fine so he has no idea what caused the momentary disruption. Otherwise he reports that everything is fine onboard and temperatures are slowly warming up.

No earthquakes were reported today in the area.

No further word has been received on the missing Japanese sailor Mr. Chinami. He went missing March 11 as he approached Cape Horn from the Pacific side. A notice was posted yesterday evening on International Boatwatch Network, thanks to the assistance of Linda Kruk of Clearpoint Weather, and Bill Sturridge of Maritime Mobile Service Network.

The wife of Mr. Chinami has been informed of the alert and expressed her great appreciation through her English-speaking friend Mena Sato in Fukuoka, Japan, where they live. Mena-san was the person who first alerted us to the emergency and the worldwide sailor support network has quickly responded. A photo of Kifu can be seen below.

We also received a message yesterday from Mr. Hanaoka in Punta Arenas, on the Strait of Magellan, that he is alerting local fishermen. Hanaoka-san speaks Spanish, English, and Japanese and is familiar with the area as the owner/operator of a fishing company there. He was also instrumental in assisting Saito-san during his nearly 10 months there.

35-foot Kifu, shortly before leaving Fukuoka, Japan in 2008

Distance in last 24 hours: 160 nm (best DMG of voyage under sail only)
Distance completed: 18,114 nm
To Yokohama: 10,156 nm (distance remaining: 35.9%)
Heading: 332
Reported boat speed: 7.0 kt (day's average: 6.7 kt)
Weather: Clear and sunny 
Temperature: 17.0° C
Barometer: 1012 hPa (steady)
Wind (from): Favorable 15-24 kt S -- expected to be 18 kt S next 13 hrs, then 15 out of SSE
Waves: 2.5  m
Current (from): 0.4 kt S
Engine rpms: 0 hrs 
Generator: 10.0 hrs
Sails: Genoa 30% open, mainsail 1-pt reef (sailing only)

Position Map (click to enlarge)