Day 533 [March 18/10] -- A different sort of race

Today's Report
March 18/10 0800 JST
39°49'S, 73°15'W (Valdivia Marina)

While Saito-san says he has not felt them, the aftershocks continue in central Chile on a daily basis. Just today there have been the following strong tremors, as of 8 pm Tokyo time:

5.4 magnitude -- 2 hours ago
5.0 -- 8 hours ago
4.8 -- 12 hours ago
4.7 -- 14 hours ago
4.9 -- 15 hours ago
5.1, 5.1, 5.0, and 5.2 -- all 1 day ago

(Note: These reports are available as constantly refreshed updates on the web in a smartphone application called "Epicentral." For iPhones, it's available for free from the App Store.)

So while we have our fingers confidently crossed (!), there is still a race, of sorts, to get him out of Valdivia and away from these seismically precarious conditions as he sits just 10 miles up a river from a coastline subject to tsunami waves that might come rushing in at any time. Once out to sea and well away from the coast he should be fine.

The delay to leave is now down to a single cause, but one we have grown wearily used to.

Customs, for no reason that we have yet heard, has held up the delivery of the replacement genoa furler swivel.

It was dispatched on March 4 from the manufacturer and we've been watching for its release from Santiago since it landed there on March 10.

In an email today we were told by the manufacturer's rep that "our UPS contact [is] contacting the UPS office in Chile to get more information." So we anticipate that this will be cleared up soon.

In the meantime, the replacement water pump for the aux. generator was received in just 7 days from Tokyo by Express Japan Post (despite the intervening massively destructive earthquake) and installed on Tuesday, and Saito-san reports the generator is now back working well.

The sails were received Wednesday from being repaired in Valparaiso (which was also hit by the earthquake), and Saito-san put the main on in about 4 hours yesterday with the help of marina staff.

We greatly appreciate the many kindnesses that have been shown Saito-san by the marina management, including nearly daily email exchanges through the office of the marina administrator, Mr. Edgardo Ojeda Bucarey.

The newly repaired genoa will have to wait until the swivel arrives and the rigger can come to the boat to complete the installation. A halyard wrap preventer has also been supplied by the manufacturer at no added charge. We thank them very much for that.

After those are installed and the genoa is back in place, Saito-san expects to leave the following day -- weather and earthquakes permitting!