Day 654 [July 18/10 JST] -- Leak plugged, engine ok for now at low RPMs

Today's Report
July 18/10 0800 JST 

Position:  20°25'N, 165°17'W

Although he's still heading to Hawaii for repairs, a temporary fix has been successfully carried out on the corroded and leaking heat exchanger. Saito-san reported this morning that with the engine running at low RPMs during a 3-hour stress test, the bonding agent he applied to the hole did its job and the bilge remained completely dry. Previously the worrisome leak intensified when the engine was used.

The bond could only be applied after the corroded area was totally dry. That dry state was finally achieved yesterday and then he waited overnight for the compound to harden and cure. He was relieved to see the leak did not reappear when he started the engine at daybreak and the weakened heat exchanger was apparently unaffected by the flow of the expelled exhaust gas and cooling seawater. 

He sounded more upbeat and rested than in recent calls, since he has not had to use the manual bilge pump since yesterday. He called Dave Cooper of Team Hawaii in the morning their time to discuss arrival in about 5 days.

As of today's 0800 JST call he was 418 nm from Hawaii, making 77 nm DOG and moving 34 nm DMG closer to Hawaii in the 24-hr period. He is facing increasingly strong headwinds of 12-18 kts from the E. This has required him to tack well south as he prepares to do a tack back to the ENE and more directly toward his destination.

He's also been hit by several passing squalls with gusts in the high 20s.

At the time of his report, winds were freshening in a range of 9-15 kts out of the ENE. ClearPoint indicates the wind will continue to rise, staying favorably out of the ENE for the next 7 hrs, then changing back to E at 15-17 kts. At that time he expects to tack.

Distance in last 24 hours: 77 nm over ground/34 nm DMG
Heading: 125°
Reported boat speed: 3.0 kts
Average boat speed: 4.3 kts
Engine: 3 hrs, 1600 rpm
Generator: 9.0 hrs
Weather: Overcast, occasional squalls with wind gusts up to 28 kts
Temperature: 25.5° C
Barometer: 1014 hPa
Wind (from): 9-15 kts ENE, expected to become 12-15 kts ENE, then 15-17 kts E over next 19 hrs
Waves: 1.5 m
Current (from): 0.4 kts ESE, mixed
Sails: Genoa 0%, staysail 100%, mainsail 2-pt reef

Position Map