Day 657 [July 21/10 JST] -- Rigging trouble slows him even more

Today's Report
July 21/10 0800 JST 

Position:  21°34'N, 163°10'W

A greatly frustrated but determined Saito-san eked out just 3 nm toward Hawaii yesterday after he developed rigging trouble that forced him to douse all sails and drift during the night. A locking pin sheared on an inner side stay, allowing the mast support cable to unscrew, then  momentarily hang free before he lashed ropes to it to keep the mast from possibly breaking.

[Correction: It was clarified later to have been the connecting pin on the staysail furler.]

In the early morning light he was able to secure the stay with additional rope, and used the spare staysail halyard to further support the mast. He said he is satisfied that under the present conditions the mast will be ok. But as an additional precaution, he has brought down the staysail and is now using the storm jib in its place.

He said it took two hours to secure the sails and carry out a rope fix on the rigging. 

The result is that he is continuing to sail under a combination of storm jib and reefed main, making a slow 2 kts in the face of headwinds and opposing seas and current.

The 3 nm gain toward Hawaii was after he had made up about 5 nm lost during the nighttime drift west. 

He was able to return the generator to normal operation, and seems to have solved the problem he had starting it. No progress was made in dealing with yesterday's seawater cooling pump failure on the engine, which remains off.

As of today's 0800 JST (1300 local) call he was 295 nm from Hawaii, making 37 nm DOG and moving just 3 nm DMG closer to Hawaii during the 24-hr period. 

Winds continued to reduce to 14-15 kts out of the E (down about 5 kts). On ClearPoint, the wind is predicted to be 11 kts out of the ESE for the next 7 hrs, then will change to 11-13 kts out of the E. Currents are unfavorable out of the SE at 0.2 to 0.5 kts.

During a mid-day call yesterday he said he had been provided a "natural tack" when a passing squall suddenly changed the wind direction and he was able to effortlessly put the boat on an improved 115° heading, pointed ESE at 3.5 or 4.0 kts of boat speed. Somewhat later the inner mast stay troubles began and NBSDIII drifted for the next several hours.

Distance in last 24 hours: 37 nm over ground/3 nm DMG
Heading: 041°
Reported boat speed: 2.0 kts
Average boat speed: 2.3 kts
Engine: 8.75 hrs, 1800 rpm
Generator: 4.5.0 hrs
Weather: Overcast becoming partially cloudy
Temperature: 26.5° C
Barometer: 1014 hPa
Wind (from): 14-15 kts E, expected to be 11-13 kts E over next 19 hrs
Waves: 2.5 m
Current (from): 0.2 kts SE, mixed, becoming 0.5 SE (unfav.) in 40 nm
Sails: Storm jib, mainsail 2-pt reef

Position Map