Day 988 [June 17/11 JST] – He Barely Misses A Rare Red Moon

Today's Report
June 17/11 0800 JST 

Position:  19°42'N, 168°55'E
Remaining to Yokohama finish:  2,048 nm / 7.2% (ETA: 23 - 26 days)

We had hoped Saito-san would be able to catch what was one of those rare full lunar eclipses that occurred the night before last. 

Considering his previous two days of gorgeous moon-watching skies and his view all the way down to the curved horizon, we alerted him to the possibility that he might be able to see the moon turn blood red just before moon-set with sunup coming only a few minutes later.

Alas, it was not to be. The characteristically red tinge that paints an eclipsed moon must have started a few minutes after it dropped below the Earth's watery edge.  "I watched for it, but could see nothing," he said, obviously disappointed.  He was just at the furthest part of the viewing area. If he were in the waters off Madagascar, he would have had the perfect seat.

Saito-san would have been at far right edge of viewing area for the full lunar eclipse
[Click to enlarge]

We got up at 3 am ourselves, looked out the window, saw no moon – and no red omochi-making rabbit – in our rainy-season sky. We then went straight back to bed.

A seam has opened on the mainsail, Saito-san reported last night. He said he doesn't think it will get bigger as it has run the entire panel (as we understood him to say), so there is blocking stitching at both the start and end points. He said he will try to work on it during daylight hours using his hand-stitcher, but thinks a good fix will be "difficult." This morning he reported it was "the same" – no worse.

As he gets closer to Yokohama, the jibes he makes to the south (roughly 320 heading) are reducing his forward progress. Yesterday was mostly a southwardly day and as a result his DMG was just 68 nm, compared to DOG of 100 nm. Converting that to his ETA (something we only reluctantly do), we have to add back a day or two. For now it appears to be 25 days (2,048 nm / 3.4 kts / 24 hrs = 25 days).

[Click to enlarge]

Distance in last 24 hours: 100 nm DOG / 68 nm DMG
Total distance completed: 26,369 nm
To Yokohama: 2,048 nm (measured)

Average daily DMG over last 2 days of sailing: 82 nm (measured) 
ETA: 25 days

Heading: 215°, changed to 300° about 0700 today
Reported boat speed: 4.0-4.5 kts
Average boat speed: 4.2 kts
Weather: Broken clouds; occasional rain; warm
Temperature: 27.0° C
Barometer: 1016  hPa 
Wind (from): 9-11 kts E & 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 Supporting Sponsor.]