Day 652 [July 16/10 JST] -- Leak now under control

Today's Report
July 16/10 0800 JST 

Position:  22°22'N, 166°11'W

Remaining distance to Yokohama finish:  11.6%

We were on pins & needles for a time yesterday after Saito-san called to say that the leak had doubled in volume. Saito 8 Safety Officer Mike Seymour advised that he stop using the engine and concentrate on stopping the leak, in addition to the pumping which, even at the earlier flow rate, was requiring Saito-san to hand-pump 200 strokes every 2 hours to clear the bilge.

We waited to hear back from him and as the hours passed it seemed that he was OK but there was also that OTHER possibility.

Tokyo eventually received his 8 pm position call and we quickly asked, "So how's the leak?" Not realizing the concern he'd raised earlier in the day, he sounded a bit surprised at our urgency: "The leak? Oh, not bad. I could close the seacock and now it's very little."

This was the same seacock that had defied efforts to close it 2 days ago, apparently foiled in its job by something blocking full closure. But after Saito-san worked at the balky saltwater shut-off valve some more, the leak is now down to only a slight trickle.

He said that overnight it produced about 5 or 6 buckets of water, requiring 120 strokes to clear at daybreak. "So it's still leaking, but not as bad as before," he asserted.

It is not clear whether the hole, now thought to have been caused by corrosion of the saltwater tubing in the oil cooler unit, is getting bigger or just was leaking more water from the added psi with engine operation. Saito-san hopes to apply some bonding compound to seal the hole. However, the slight continued leak is preventing that since the surface must first be dry.

In the meantime it appears he will sail only, at reduced DMG. Fortunately, the winds are predicted on ClearPoint to freshen over the next several days.

Since this morning the winds improved, in both direction and velocity. They became much more favorable out of the ENE at 7-11 kts, rather than the less than 5 kts out of the E he experienced during the night. In fact, ClearPoint is forecasting that they'll become even more favorable out of the NE at 14 kts within the next 19 hours. This is an ideal wind direction for a reduced tacking angle with the bow directed at the next waypoint, thus achieving optimum DMG. That next waypoint, in 1,217 nm, is exactly half-way between Hawaii and Yokohama.

Due to the weak winds overnight, he made just 83 nm DOG (81 nm DMG) during the period.

At the time of his morning call ClearPoint showed a very weak 0.1 kt ENE current, though it was much overnight at 0.6 kts SSE.

Distance in last 24 hours: 83 nm over ground /81 nm DMG
Total distance completed: 24,980 nm
To Yokohama: 3,312 nm
To Mid WP1: 1,217 nm (halfway point from Hawaii to Yokohama)
Heading: 270°
Reported boat speed: 4.5 kts
Average boat speed: 3.5 kts
Engine: 9.5 hrs at 1900 rpm
Generator: 6.0 hrs
Average daily DMG over last 5 days: 97 nm 
Weather: Sunny, warm
Temperature: 25.5° C
Barometer: 1015 hPa
Wind (from): 7-11 kts ENE, expected to be 12-14 kts ENE and NE over next 19 hrs
Waves: 1.5 m
Current (from): 0.1 kts ENE, mixed
Sails: Genoa 100%, staysail 0%, mainsail 3-pt reef

Position Map