Day 659 [July 23/10 JST] -- Genoa power makes a huge difference

Today's Report
July 23/10 0800 JST 

Position:  21°15'N, 162°27'W

The genoa has made all the difference, unfurled 80% after Saito-san, following consultation with Dave Cooper in Honolulu and Mike Seymour in Tokyo, determined that the mast was strong enough to support the heavier forces produced by the headsail. The previous period he had sailed cautiously with just the storm jib and a 2pt reef on the main, a combination that gave him almost no ability to point upwind. But that changed significantly when he employed the genoa. No weakness in mast support due to the broken staysail stay was expected under the present wind conditions.

The results were relieving after 2 days of virtually no progress. By this morning's call he had pulled to within 255 nm of Honolulu, a DMG of 40 nm. That compares to 0 nm DMG in the previous 24-hr period that saw frustratingly ineffectual tacks to the north and south.

And he achieved just 3 nm DMG the day before that.

Efforts to replace the ruined impeller were halted yesterday after advice was received from a technician of the engine manufacturer, who decided that there must be some sort of blockage in the seawater intake. Speculation includes a plastic bag, barnacles, or the collapsed inner wall of a portion of the seawater hose.

Unless that obstruction is cleared, the spare impeller -- the second in just 20 hours of engine operation -- would also be destroyed due to friction and heat caused by insufficient water flow. It is also assumed that pieces of rubber from the destroyed impeller are a further obstruction. So repairs will have to wait until the engine can be professionally addressed in Honolulu.

As of today's 0800 JST (1300 local) call he was 255 nm from Hawaii, making 73 nm DOG to the SE and moving 40 nm closer to Hawaii during the 24-hr period. He has already tacked twice this morning after the winds veered out of the NE, putting him back on a good  tack to the SE. Despite the several tacks, 4 hours later he reported that he'd made another 7.5 nm DMG toward Hawaii.

Winds continued to hold at 11-13 kts out of the E and ESE. ClearPoint indicated that by mid afternoon the wind would be 9 kts out of the NE for several hours, then return to E at 12-14 kts. Currents continue to be unfavorable out of the SE at 0.7-0.8 kts. Even with that strong counter-current, he reported a good boat speed of 4 kts.

Seas have dropped to slightly over 1.5 m.

Distance in last 24 hours: 73 nm over ground / 40 nm DMG
Heading: 137°
Reported boat speed: 4.0 kts
Average boat speed: 4.1 kts
Engine: 0 hrs
Generator: 9.25 hrs
Weather: Partly cloudy & overcast
Temperature: 26.4° C
Barometer: 1015 hPa
Wind (from): 11-13 kts E & ESE, expected to be 9-14 kts NE & E over next 19 hrs
Waves: 1.6 m
Current (from): 0.7-0.8 kts SE
Sails: Mainsail 2-pt reef, genoa headsail 80%

Position Map