Day 980 [June 9/11 JST] -- Starting to Catch the Easterlies

Today's Report
June 9/11 0800 JST 

Position:  22°22'N, 179°50'E
Remaining to Yokohama finish:  2,222 nm / 8.2% (ETA: 26 - 30 days)

Although NBSDIII lost 2 nm DMG toward Yokohama since yesterday, the news was actually good this morning. For the first time in 7 days of sailing he had winds as high as 8 kts out of the ESE -- a reasonably good wind on a favorable point of sail -- and ClearPoint predicts there will be more of the same as he moves down to 20° N latitude.

This is the result of having finally reached the upper edge of the easterlies, where a steady stream of westward-pointing wind arrows can be seen on both ClearPoint and his mariner's chart. When the engine stopped it put him too high to the north by 100 nm, where ClearPoint has frustratingly shown this past week a waving barometric succession of highs that produced mostly clear skies but weak and erratic wind. He's been working his way down south since, achieving over the past 5 days 167 nm DOG (distance made good) toward Yokohama, as he "southed" those precious 100 nm to gain better winds.

Saito-san complains that the highs have been his main problem, and that rain, which has been occurring with increasing frequency, has consistently heralded the approach of good wind. "When it rains, the winds come. When the skies clear, the wind goes away," he said. He said that a countercurrent, which he described as "strange" at this latitude, was also causing him headaches but had disappeared in the last few hours.

He confirmed he does a twice-daily careful check of the rigging. Other than a chaffed jib sheet, which he changed, he said he has not seen any problems with either the standing or running rigging.

[Click to enlarge]

Distance in last 24 hours: 27 nm DOG
Total distance completed: 25,669 nm
To Yokohama: 2,222 nm (measured)

Average daily DMG over last 4 days of sailing: 26 nm (measured) 
ETA: 28 days (if sailing @ 3.3 kts)

Heading: 205
Reported boat speed: 2 kts
Average boat speed: 1.1 kts
Weather: Overcast; occasional rain; warm
Temperature: 26.5° C
Barometer: 1014 hPa 
Wind (from): 5-8 kt ESE
Waves: 1.0-1.5 m
Sails: Genoa 80-90%, staysail 0%, mainsail 3pt reef
Engine: 0 hrs
Generator: 11 hrs

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