[June 29/11 JST] – The 1000th Day

Today's Report
June 29/11 0800 JST 

Position:  25°15'N, 148°54'E
Remaining to Yokohama:  836 nm (ETA: ? days)

When Minoru Saito was planning his 8th solo circumnavigation he had already long developed an international reputation for dogged determination. He had competed in three of the most strenuous, continuous competitions in ANY sport – the solo, around-the-world BOC Challenge, later held under different names – and did it with such grace, good cheer, and spirit that he was awarded the one-time award "Spirit of Around Alone" by his fellow competitors.

He competed but never won. Never even came close. To him, "never giving up" was the most important thing.

When he planned this voyage, now in its incredible 1000th day, he had hoped to make his best-ever circumnavigation in just 187 days from start to finish.

But what has stopped other sailors in much newer, sleeker, better-outfitted boats, was a simple fact: The spin of the Earth. Saito-san went the "wrong" way, the contrary way, against that spin. Every aspect was made harder by a multiplying factor as he has fought the prevailing waves, winds and weather in a hard-pounding slog that would be extreme for any person half his age. Ask any sailor whether they'd be game to try it and watch their face and eyes. Ask yourself, for that matter.

When we pointed out this morning that today was the 1000th day since he left Yokohama on October 2, 2008, he first couldn't understand. Finally he could grasp that amazing number and laughed hard and long. "What?" he exclaimed. "Really!?"

Clearly, that even impressed him.

A fair day of progress as he moved 87 nm closer to Ogasawara, now 417 nm due west. At a daily average of 93 nm, that should take him another 4 days.

Winds were largely favorable blowing out of the NNE at 12 – 15 kts, for a boat speed of 4 kts. Weather was mostly overcast, with occasional sun breaking through. Sea swells were with him, at 1.5 m.

No new issues were reported.

A new route has been plotted to take him under the island of Haha Jima, 18 nm directly south of the island of Chichi Jima where the port is located in Ogasawara Village. Saito-san feels this will give him a better sailing angle as he makes his way to the west side of Chichi Jima. The revised route added 35 nm to the total.

Waypoints on route taking him south of Haha Jima


Distance in last 24 hours: 87 nm DOG / 87 nm DMG
Total distance completed: 27,603 nm
To Yokohama: 835 nm (measured)
To Ogasawara: 417 nm (measured)

Average daily DMG over last 4 days of sailing: 93 nm (measured) 
ETA, Ogasawara: 4 days
ETA, Yokohama: ? days

Heading: 290°
Reported boat speed: 4.0 kts
Average boat speed: 3.6 kts
Weather: Overcast, some sun; warm
Temperature: 29.0° C
Barometer: 1013 hPa 
Wind (from): 12-15 kts ENE
Waves: 1.5 m
Sails: Genoa 90%, staysail 0%, mainsail 3pt reef
Engine: 0 hrs
Generator: 0 hrs

[Weather and wind forecasts are from ClearPoint Weather, a Saito 8 Supporting Sponsor.]