Day 986 [June 15/11 JST] – Visit from a Nocturnal, Seagoing Rabbit

Today's Report
June 15/11 0800 JST 

Position:  20°04'N, 171°49'E
Remaining to Yokohama finish:  2,184 nm / 7.7% (ETA: 22 - 26 days)

Yesterday it was what was going on under the boat, and tonight it's what is going on over Saito-san's head that will be scenically remarkable, as the moon hits its peak carrying a likewise busy "crew."

He's remarked on the moon for the last two nights as it waxed toward full gibbous-ness at his position, framed by broken clouds as the NBSDIII's swirling wake recedes into the darkness. Fingers are crossed that the weather will continue to cooperate tonight and give him a good view. We asked him to take a few snapshots as the orb peeks up over the horizon. For now, here's what he will see (as depicted in the iPad app Deluxe MoonHD).

Oh, about that lunar crew:
Japanese don't see a man in the moon. Instead, there' a rabbit industriously making omochi (a gooey Japanese rice cake particularly savored at New Year's).
Sometime in the next 24 hours he'll cross a "halfway" point, of sorts. It will be just 1,000 nm to go to the 150th longitude and his turn up north. Judging from his average speed of 3.5 kts DMG, he'll reach there in slightly under 12 days. After that, it's another 1,000 nm up to Yokohama. It's hard to say what his average speed will be from that point on, due to the passing fronts and weak wind area. Likely he'll see a mix of wind strengths and directions.

He's now 1,700 nm from Honolulu, having departed 22 days ago.

Good, constant sailing again prevailed yesterday. He jibed in mid-afternoon to keep near the 20° latitude, on a new heading of 215°. That had moved slightly southward to 210° by this morning.

Boatspeed dropped slightly during the period so distance over ground (DOG) was less, but his sustained heading put him 87 nm closer to Yokohama for the best distance made good (DMG) since the engine went on hiatus 14 days ago.

He told us the winds dropped during the night but rose "just a few minutes ago" back to 10-12 kts from the ENE, enough to put 4 – 4.5 kts on NBSDIII's speed gauge.

[Click to enlarge]
Distance in last 24 hours: 89 nm DOG
Total distance completed: 26,161 nm
To Yokohama: 2,184 nm (measured)

Average daily DMG over last 2 days of sailing: 85 nm (measured) 
ETA: 24 days

Heading: 210
Reported boat speed: 4.0-4.5 kts
Average boat speed: 3.7 kts
Weather: Broken clouds; no rain; warm
Temperature: 26.5° C
Barometer: 1017 hPa 
Wind (from): 10-12 kt ENE
Waves: 1.5 m
Sails: Genoa 90%, staysail 0%, mainsail 3pt reef
Engine: 0 hrs
Generator: 12 hrs

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