Day 968 [May 28/11 JST] -- 'Stuck on the Ocean?" Not Saito-san!

Today's Report
May 28/11 0800 JST 

Position:  19°40'N, 164°05'W
Remaining distance to Yokohama finish:  11.3%

Other than a momentary pause to sort through an engine fuel-flow issue, Saito-san & NBSDIII saw another good day of motoring before a gradually weakening tail wind. The DOG was 165 nm as he moved 136 nm closer to the mid-ocean waypoint (in 1,187 nm) where he plans to turn up north toward Yokohama.

With some advice from Dave and Tokyo, Saito-san tracked down the problem and got started back up again, losing about an hour's steaming time. We all also now have a better understanding of the fuel "burn rate" at constant, higher rpms and Saito-san has eased back a bit to reduce fuel use.

The reduced boat speed is just 1 kt less at the easier 6.8 kts, so daily distances can be expected to fall by about 25 nm. (Less than that, actually. At noon's beacon position we saw that he had averaged 7.2 kts since 0800 this morning.)

All this should become moot when he turns north and can use the sails without damaging them or the rigging.

Conditions stayed fair during the period, with slightly higher sea swells at almost 3 meters, and gradually reducing winds.

Distance in last 24 hours: 165 nm over ground / 136 nm DMG
Total distance completed: 24,564 nm

To Yokohama: 3,136 nm

To Mid WP: 1,187 nm (turn to north after avoiding tsunami debris field)
Heading: 270°
Reported boat speed: 6.5 - 6.8 kts
Average boat speed: 6.9 kts
Average daily DMG over last 2 days: 180 nm 
Weather: Partly cloudy, warm
Temperature: 25.5° C
Barometer: 1018 hPa 
Wind (from): 14-15 kts ENE, expected to be 15-17 kts E over next 19 hrs
Waves: 2.5-3.0 m
Sails: Genoa 0%, staysail 0%, mainsail down

We enjoyed seeing this last-minute interview with Saito-san that was conducted by the Honolulu ABC affiliate TV station, KHON-ABC Ch. 2. Click to view it here.

The trials & tribulations Saito-san has experienced on the circumnavigation were a bit pumped up for the viewing audience, of course, but they even missed some of the other amazing drama as we know it. No complaints, as we all love a good story, and there is more than enough adventure in this three-year epic story.

One thing, though: He'd never complain about being "stuck in the ocean." The subtitle technician thought he said that, when the skipper was actually saying "Southern Ocean. You know, Southern Ocean." Watch and you'll understand what we mean.

The only grousing you'll ever hear Saito-san make is being stuck on the land!

[Click to enlarge]