Day 592 [May 17/10] -- Back to the point of furthest progress

Today's Report
May 17/10 0800 JST / 1700 local

00°04'S, 98°22'W (traveling parallel to the Equator) 

Other than nursing a nagging chest cold, now in its third day, Saito-san reports that everything is going smoothly. Following his plan to stay below the Equator (and the Doldrums), he had a good day of westward sailing, making 109 nm under sails alone.

He yesterday regained the point of furthest progress realized on April 20, when he was forced by a failing hydraulics steering system to turn around and head back 450 nm to the Galapagos Islands, where replacement parts were sent and repairs could be carried out.

We've reassessed the remaining distance as measured on Google Earth and judge it to be 7,600 nm to Yokohama. He now has 27.1% of the circumnavigation remaining.

Yesterday we passed on Saito-san's congratulations to Jessica Watson, who received a hero's welcome -- a distinction she herself disagrees with -- in Sydney this week.

The outpouring of admiration and national pride was amazing, as shown on this news clip on CNN. A crowd of welcoming vessels, a sea of faces, and the display of great national joy mirrored the old news reel footage in Great Britain from when Robin Knox-Johnston became the first man to complete a non-stop solo circumnavigation in 1969. Sometime later Robin became "Sir Robin" when he was deservedly knighted by the Queen.

Seeing that Australia is still a part of the British Commonwealth, and judging from the absolute class displayed by this remarkable young woman, we wonder if "Lady Jessica" might not be appropriate as well under the circumstances?

Just saying...  

(Thanks much to David Devlin, another proud Australian, for passing the CNN link on to us.)

Distance in last 24 hours: 109 nm
Total distance completed: 20,600 nm
To Yokohama: 7,600 nm (distance remaining: 27.1%)
Heading: 260
Reported boat speed: 5.5 kts
Average boat speed: 4.5 kts
Weather: Clear
Temperature: 25.0° C
Barometer: 1003 hPa (steady)
Wind (from): 6-12 kts, SE and ESE expected to be 11-13 kts SE for next 19 hours
Waves: 1.0 -1.5 meters
Current (from): E at 1.0 - 1.3 kt, turning to from SE (favorable)
Engine: 0 hrs
Generator: 11.0 hrs
Sails: Genoa 90%, staysail 0%, mainsail 1-pt reef

Position Map