Day 651 [July 15/10 JST] -- Pumping is difficult, but he's been there before

Today's Report
July 15/10 0800 JST 

Position:  22°14'N, 164°43'W

Remaining distance to Yokohama finish:  11.9%

Though serious from several standpoints, the seawater leak requiring Saito-san to frequently hand-pump the bilge dry is something he has seen before. 

In fact, twice before -- back in 1994-5 in the Fourth BOC single-handed race when he was forced to divert to a port in Brazil to keep his boat from sinking (this morning recalling that "that was the worst, requiring me to pump 24 hours a day") and then again during the last month of his 7th circumnavigation in 2004-5, when the leak from his daggerboard casing could be heard squirting with every passing swell. That time he was forced to pump every 30 minutes, in between hand-steering under sails only.  

Those experiences were in his previous all-aluminum boat Shuten-dohji II.

In the present situation he said yesterday that he must pump about every 2 hours, requiring  roughly 200 strokes and "about 20 minutes, including a short rest break" before the bilge is clear. His biggest complaint is that when the engine is running, "it's really hot in the engine room." He's also complaining of a sore back.

He said the electric pump* for the aft bilge became inoperable yesterday, but that the several manual spares and a small electric unit are working. Although more difficult and strenuous, he can also use a bucket to empty water from the bilge.

*There are separate electric pumps installed for the fore and aft bilges.

For the third day in a row winds continued to be weak mainly out of the E. He was able to use the engine for 5 hours and so, aided by a slightly more favorable current, he made 106 nm DOG (101 nm DMG) toward the next waypoint. Later today the current will swing around in his favor at about half a knot mainly going west.

Winds were shown on ClearPoint to be improving today, to as much as 12 kts within 19 hours, from the E. At the time of his morning call he was seeing a very weak easterly breeze of just 4-6 kts, while ClearPoint showed a 0.4 kt SSE current.

Distance in last 24 hours: 106 nm over ground /101 nm DMG
Total distance completed: 24,897 nm
To Yokohama: 3,395 nm
To Mid WP1: 1,298 nm (halfway point from Hawaii to Yokohama)
Heading: 270°
Reported boat speed: 6.7 kts (motoring at 1900 rpm)
Average boat speed: 4.4 kts
Engine: 5 hrs at 1800 rpm
Generator: 8.25 hrs
Average daily DMG over last 4 days: 101 nm 
Weather: Partly cloudy, warm
Temperature: 25.5° C
Barometer: 1016 hPa
Wind (from): 4-6 kts E, expected to be 10-12 kts E over next 19 hrs
Waves: 1.0 m
Current (from): 0.4 kts (somewhat favorable from SSE)
Sails: Genoa 0%, staysail 0%, mainsail 3-pt reef

Position Map