Day 610 [June 4/10] -- Forty dolphins and one very grateful albatross

Today's Report
June 4/10 0800 JST / 1400 local

12°17'N, 126°06'W (North Pacific Ocean) 

Yesterday was slower by nearly 20 miles, thanks to the continuing unfavorable current that's getting to be a bit frustrating. Yet Saito-san was unexpectedly cheerful this morning. "I saw about 30 or 40 dolphins," he enthused.

Plus, he said, he might have been rediscovered by his friend the albatross, if looks are not deceiving. "The bird I think I was seeing as I got near the Galapagos has come back, and has been sitting on the aft dinghy davits." He said it was busy preening itself and looking quite pleased to have found a convenient resting spot in mid-ocean.

He said the pod of dolphins was interesting to watch as they cruised pass him, heading in the same direction as NBSDIII. "Not big," he answered, as we tried to get details. "Maybe between two and two-and-a-half meters." He said they were going faster than the yacht but he guessed they traveled with him "about 10 or 15 minutes," enough time to get some pictures. There was no playing, the way dolphins and porpoises are wont to do as they leap in and out of a boat's bow wave, but rather were apparently more intent to get to wherever they were going.

No problems were reported under moderate wind, dropping sometimes to less than 5 kts. He made 96 nm during the period compared to 114 nm the day before. Winds began to pick up again later in the day out of the NNE.

If you can, take a moment to see the Wikipedia article on dolphins. What an amazing animal!

Among other interesting factoids you can see there:

Reports of cooperative human-dolphin fishing date back to the ancient Roman author and natural philosopher Pliny the Elder. A modern human-dolphin partnership currently operates in Laguna, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Here, dolphins drive fish towards fishermen waiting along the shore and signal the men to cast their nets. The dolphins’ reward is the fish that escape the nets.

Distance in last 24 hours: 96 nm over ground / 98 nm DMG
[Note: This is not a mistake. Due to improved angle toward a waypoint, the distance made good (DMG) can sometimes be a bit more than the distance over ground as measured on Google Earth between his reported position and the Hawaii WP.]

Total distance completed: 22,532 nm
To Yokohama: 5,668 nm (distance remaining: 20.3%)
To Hawaii WP: 1,812 nm
Heading: 283°
Reported boat speed: 4.5 kts
Average boat speed: 4.0 kts
Average daily DMG over last 7 days: 103 nm 
Weather: Overcast
Temperature: 27.0° C
Barometer: 1009 hPa (steady)
Wind (from): 9-14 kts, NE expected to be 10-12 kts NE, changing to 14 kts ENE over next 19 hrs
Waves: 2.0 m
Current (from): SW and N at 0.5 kts (unfavorable)
Engine: 0.0 hrs
Generator: 11.5 hrs
Sails: Genoa 80%, staysail 0%, mainsail 2-pt reef

Position Map