Day 989 [June 18/11 JST] – Good Day of Progress as He Passes Wake Island

Today's Report
June 18/11 0800 JST 

Position:  20°11'N, 167°20'E
Remaining to Yokohama finish:  1,956 nm / 6.9% (ETA: 22 - 25 days)

A day of solid progress as all miles were directly toward home. He made 98 nm both DOG and DMG, something that means a lot to a solo sailor who must jibe to keep the sails both full (to prevent wear) and well to either side of the boat (to prevent mast-damaging accidental jibes).

He's been watching the split in a mainsail seam that developed 2 days ago, and again reports no change for the worse. He said he will wait for slack air before he climbs up on the cockpit roof to make an attempt at hand-stitching it.

Saito-san does not expect to see Wake Island as he passes north about 40 nm, though he may catch beacon lights from the group of three small islands surrounding a lagoon. Keeping his distance is probably for the best, since Wake is a small military outpost as well as provides a 10,000-foot emergency landing strip for aircraft. As a stark reminder of the Cold War, the U.S. Air Force maintains a missile facility there, according to Wikipedia. If you look at this image from Google Earth you can see both the landing strip and what appears to be a line of … well, we'll let you decide.

Google Earth view of Wake Island
 A close-up view [Click to enlarge]

We suspect that if Saito-san ventured too close he might get some unwanted attention.

[Click to enlarge]

Distance in last 24 hours: 98 nm DOG / 98 nm DMG
Total distance completed: 26,467 nm
To Yokohama: 1,956 nm (measured)

Average daily DMG over last 2 days of sailing: 82 nm (measured) 
ETA: 24 days

Heading: 215°, changed from 285° about 0700 today
Reported boat speed: 3.5 kts
Average boat speed: 4.1 kts
Weather: Broken clouds; rain after midnight; warming
Temperature: 27.0° C
Barometer: 1015  hPa 
Wind (from): 8-10 kts ENE
Waves: 1.0 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.]