Day 993 [June 22/11 JST] – Preparations Begin for Brief Repair Stopover

Today's Report
June 22/11 0800 JST 

Position:  22°39'N, 160°06'E
Remaining to Yokohama:  1,527 nm (ETA: 16-17 days)

A brilliant day weatherwise, windwise, and boatspeedwise … at 124 nm made good. Saito-san's best sailing progress yet was fueled by an extra sense of urgency to attend to engine repairs by making a brief stopover in Hachijo-Jima, an island along his route in 1,400 nm, thereafter 1½ days more to Yokohama.

Hachijo-Jima is one of the first of the seven Izu Islands and, favored with an airport (flights 4 times daily from Tokyo's Haneda Airport) and daily ferry service, is one of the most popular of the islands for weekend sun-seekers.

We want Saito-san to make a brief stop there because Hachijo is the most convenient point along the way to obtain the services of a marine mechanic to put the engine back into working order for those difficult final 140 miles.

While Saito-san has sailed this stretch literally scores of times, it has rarely been without the ability to use his engine, and never with a (permanently) heavily reefed main sail. It is one of the world's heaviest trafficked shipping channels feeding as it does both the massive ports of Yokohama and Tokyo. 

Without emergency engine power he is much less able to dodge the hundreds of tankers, container carriers, U.S. and Japanese naval vessels, and other massive ships passing in both directions and thus runs a real risk of being run down as he makes his way through the shipping channel gauntlet.

The Tokyo shore crew will have a busy few days in an effort headed up by Hide Katada and Safety Officer Mike Seymour. Various aspects must be worked out, including how he can clear disease control and customs, finding a mechanic (or even flying one in with parts), and arranging a tow up to the dock.

Nicely strengthened winds put 124 nm DMG under the hull for another best 24-hr period, now averaging 108 nm for each of the last 4 days as measured on Google Earth. At 0800 this morning NBSDIII was topping 5.0 kts at times in winds of 12 – 15 kts out of ENE and NE (very favorable).

[Click to enlarge] 
Distance in last 24 hours: 124 nm DOG / 124 nm DMG
Total distance completed: 26,925 nm
To Yokohama: 1,527 nm (measured)
To Hachijo Jima: 1,383
To 150th longitude (turn up to north): 538 nm (measured)

Average daily DMG over last 4 days of sailing: 108 nm (measured) 
ETA to Hachijo Jima: 13 days
ETA to Yokohama: 16 days

Heading: 290°
Reported boat speed: 5.0 kts
Average boat speed: 5.2 kts
Weather: Clear; warming
Temperature: 29.0° C
Barometer: 1017 hPa 
Wind (from): 12-15 kts ENE & NE
Waves: 2.0 m
Sails: Genoa 90%, staysail 0%, mainsail 3pt reef
Engine: 0 hrs
Generator: 10 hrs

[Weather and wind forecasts are from ClearPoint Weather, a Saito 8 Supporting Sponsor.]