Day 972 [June 1/11 JST] -- The Typhoon and Tsunami Debris Hazards

Today's Report
June 1/11 0800 JST 

Position:  22°44'N, 174°22'W
Remaining distance to Yokohama finish:  9.6%
ETA:  Approx. 16 days

Songda, the typhoon-turned-tropical-depression that passed over Japan this weekend was more scary for what it might do to those exposed nuclear plants in Tohoku than any threat to Saito-san, but it still deserved watching in this space. It was the second of the season to approach Japan, originating near the Philippines.

This morning what's left of Songda was about 1,500 nm NNW of Saito-san's position, heading east, and ready to fade away according to predictions on ClearPoint.  On May 27 they were calling it a "super typhoon," and some were predicting a major pummeling of the stricken earthquake area.  Fortunately that never happened, but it was good for some new scare headines. 

Typhoons, of course, have now somewhat entered the list of hazards he faces, along with the March 11 tsunami debris field. Last year in the month of June there was just one tropical depression, and no named typhoons. The season got good and active in mid-July and by August there had been 7 typhoons and 5 tropical depressions. Hopefully, Saito-san will miss all that added drama. If all goes well, his homecoming will take place before another major storm develops. 

We will be contacting the Japanese Coast Guard today to see if they can tell us where the debris field is – and where it is going. From the looks of things, Songda ran right through it, if our estimated position of the field is right. What that may mean in terms of even more-scattered roof tops, cargo containers, and other hazards to ship traffic is anyone's guess at this point.

Songda (as of today) and our estimated position of the
debris field from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami

[click to enlarge]
NBSDIII continued motoring during the 24-hour period, progressing another 168 nm toward Yokohama on the more direct route decided yesterday.

While we are reluctant to make predictions on NBSDIII's ETA in Yokohama, at the current rate of DMG we can say 16 days at best, and 18-20 days (more likely). As she gets closer the numbers will become less and less speculative.

Distance in last 24 hours: 168 nm DMG
Total distance completed: 25,200 nm

To Yokohama: 2,614 nm (measured)
Average daily DMG over last 6 days: 163 nm (measured) 
ETA: 16 days

To Mid WP: 590 nm
Heading: 280°
Reported boat speed: 6.5- 7.0 kts (motoring at 2000 rpm)
Average boat speed: 7.0 kts
Weather: Partly cloudy, sunny & warm
Temperature: 26° C
Barometer: 1019 hPa 
Wind (from): 5-8 kts E
Waves: 1.5-2.0 m
Sails: Genoa 0%, staysail 0%, mainsail 3pt reef
Engine: 24 hrs at 2000 rpm
Generator: 0

[Weather and wind forecasts are from ClearPoint Weather, a Saito 8 contributing sponsor.]