Day 548 [April 3/10] -- More of the same under warming conditions as he crosses into tropics

Today's Report
April 3/10 0800 JST

21°58'S, 76°11'W (South Pacific Ocean, 1,116 nm from Valdivia)

Virtually no change from yesterday, though the temperatures are starting to edge up in the past 2 days up by about 2° C, or 3.6° F. Yesterday he crossed the Tropic of Capricorn, at the 23° 26' parallel, so he has officially entered the tropics. At the present progress he'll reach the Equator in about 20 days. 

We had been under the impression that as he went through the Horse Latitudes he'd be caught in mostly windless conditions. Turns out the winds stayed brisk, and, in fact, this part of the world is not affected.

The Horse Latitudes are the subtropic latitudes between 35 and 30 degrees south (and north). In other oceanic areas this region, under a ridge of high pressure called the subtropical high, receives little precipitation and has variable winds mixed with calm. It got its name from the desperate actions of Spanish sailors who sometimes jettisoned dying horses after weeks on weeks of failed winds under searing, parched skies.

Instead, Saito-san saw winds of 15 - 19 kts, and crossed over the area under sails only, assisted by the engine only a few times when gybing. True to form, it never rained, though skies stayed mostly overcast.

He had a bit of good luck yesterday: after the sun came up he found a fresh squid on deck. It was quickly invited to breakfast.

Distance in last 24 hours: 117 nm
Distance completed: 18,612 nm
To Yokohama: 9,658 nm (distance remaining: 34.2%)
Heading: 356
Reported boat speed: 5.5 kt (day's average: 4.9 kt) under sail only
Weather: Partly cloudy 
Temperature: 20.0° C
Barometer: 1010 hPa (steady)
Wind (from): Favorable 15-18 kt SSE -- expected to be 13-17 kt SSE next 19 hrs
Waves: 2.0 m
Current (from): 0.2 kt NNW
Engine rpms: 0 hrs
Generator: 11.0 hrs
Sails: Genoa 0%, staysail 100%, mainsail 2-pt reef

Position Map (click to enlarge)