Day 996 [June 25/11 JST] – Catching a Ride on Kuroshio Current

Today's Report
June 25/11 0800 JST 

Position:  23°32'N, 155°20'E
Remaining to Yokohama:  1,219 nm (ETA: 14-16 days)
Remaining to Hachijo Jima:  1,098 nm (ETA: 10-11 days)

Kuroshio, the northward flowing current that sweeps up past Japan and blesses it with temperate weather and plentiful seafood, is now providing another gift: almost 2 knots of added boat speed to NBSDIII. That's about 20 extra miles a day, a "lift" that helped bring Saito-san that much closer to home yesterday. He made 129 nm DOG, with a southerly jibe that cut that a bit to 107 DMG.

Winds were the best he's seen in three days, as they hit the mid-teens for much of the time. He's now about 3 days from the turn-up north, with another 6 or 7 days after that to reach Hachijo Jima where he will make a brief stopover to attend to engine repairs.

The Tokyo shore crew has arranged a marine engine service company in Hachijo and we found the invoice for when the cooling fresh water pump was replaced back in February of 2010. At 43,711 yen ($542) it is not cheap, but not as much as we had feared. Adding in the exhaust hose and labor, those generous donations Saito Challenge 8 has received via PayPal (much thanks again!) should almost be able to cover it.

Distance in last 24 hours: 129 nm DOG / 107 nm DMG
Total distance completed: 27,227 nm
To Yokohama: 1,219 nm (measured)
To Hachijo Jima: 1,098 nm (measured)
To 150th longitude (turn up to north): 295 nm (measured)

Average daily DMG over last 4 days of sailing: 98 nm (measured) 
ETA Hachijo Jima: 11 days
ETA Yokohama: 15 days

Heading: 295°
Reported boat speed: 5.0 kts
Average boat speed: 5.4 kts
Weather: Overcast; warm
Temperature: 29.0° C
Barometer: 1016 hPa 
Wind (from): 12-14 kts ENE
Waves: 2.0 m
Sails: Genoa 90%, staysail 0%, mainsail 3pt reef
Engine: 0 hrs
Generator: 8 hrs in 2 sessions

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