Day 573 [April 28/10] -- An easy, on-time arrival in Puerto Ayora

Today's Report
April 28/10 0800 JST / 1700 local

00°44'S, 90°18'W (Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos)

Saito-san arrived at 0830 local time and by 0900 had anchored in 12 meters of water using two anchors in a gentle bay about 200 meters offshore. He was assisted by yacht services manager Ricardo Arenas, who met him on arrival and will help him during his repair stopover. 

This is the second time for Saito-san to visit the Galapagos, although we've not yet clarified with him whether this is the same port. The first time was 20 years ago on another solo circumnavigation. Several days ago he remembered it as much smaller and less developed than the present-day port. That seems to fit the description of another smaller port on an adjacent island further east.

In the next week, as he awaits delivery of repair parts for the hydraulic steering system, he will attend to several tasks, including repairing the broken lazy jack (lines used for sail handling when lowering or raising the mainsail), and fixing a torn batten pocket on the main. He'll have to go up the mast, which is outfitted with folding mast pegs, to make those repairs.

He'll also need to ferry over plastic containers of fuel to replenish the tanks; he expects to buy about 200 gallons of diesel. 

The parts for the hydraulic steering system were purchased yesterday from a distributor in Seattle and will be sent by DHL. It is expected they will take at least a week to get there, including going through customs. Great thanks to Saito 8 Committee Co-Chair Gary Thomas and Safety Officer Mike Seymour for handling these arrangements. Also, our deep appreciation to Yvonne Mortola in Puerto Ayora for liaisoning in Spanish with the mechanics who are doing the repairs.

Over in Australia all eyes are on Jessica Watson, who has found herself in the sort of heavy weather conditions we described yesterday off the southern coast of that continent. The young solo sailor yesterday was near the upper, leading edge of an intense and quite large low pressure system that was generating sustained winds of 30 to 40 knots and waves topping 8 meters.

Thanks to Tokyo sailor and new Saito 8 support member David Devlin for sending along the ClearPoint Weather image that graphically displays what Jessica is facing. Fortunately, she has become a celebrated national hero during her circumnavigation and there is little question that the Australian Coast Guard is posed to come to her assistance at a moment's notice.

[Click to enlarge]

The approximate location of Jessica's 34-foot yacht "Pink Lady" is indicated by the sailboat icon.

By mid-morning Tokyo time the large system was shown to be passing quickly but over the next 4 days there is a succession of at least 2 more nasty lows on the screen. It appears they will mostly pass south of her, but she's clearly in for a rough week.

Position Map (click to enlarge)