May 26/10 0800 JST / 1600 local
07°24'N, 114°47'W (North Pacific Ocean)
"So it looks like you can sleep tonight," we commiserated with Saito-san as he discussed the snail's pace of his struggle through the Doldrums, eking out just 67 nm in the last 24 hours. He even drifted a bit east due to the .6-kt counter-current, although thanks to his northerly heading he actually moved 32 nm closer to his Hawaii waypoint.
It will get worse, though. The winds will drop to under 3 kts soon and he may find those 67 miles look good by this time tomorrow. If the winds don't completely fail, he could be at the bottom edge of the East Trades as early as his midnight tomorrow, in about 30 hours. After that he'll have choice winds out of the NNE blowing a steady 16 - 20 kts.
The counter current as well will move around to half a knot out of the east at about the same time. That will be good for another 12 nm a day toward Hawaii.
Lest you are wondering why he just doesn't turn on the engine and motor out of the Doldrums, it's suddenly not that simple. When he tried to start it yesterday, he found that the raw water pump was not working. A frequent fix is to replace the pump's impeller, and he has a spare. So as soon as the sun comes up, dismantling and inspecting the pump will be on the agenda. If it turns out to be something he can't fix, he plans to sail the entire way back to Japan. (In 2004-5, on Shuten-dohji II he sailed almost the entire circumnavigation sans engine, after it failed to start inside the first month of the non-stop voyage.)
Distance in last 24 hours: 67 nm
Total distance completed: 21,769 nm
To Yokohama: 6,431 nm (distance remaining: 23.0%)
To Hawaii WP: 2,522 nm
Reported boat speed: 2.0 kts
Average boat speed: 2.8 kts
Average daily DMG over last 7 days: 134 nm (32 nm DMG toward Hawaii WP)
Weather: Overcast with occasional rain
Temperature: 24.0° C
Barometer: 1008 hPa (steady)
Wind (from): 7-10 kts, WNW expected to be 6 kts W reducing to 2.5 kts NNW over next 13 hrs, then rising to 5 kts NNE in 19 hrs