July 10/11 1800 JST
Position: 27°03'N, 142°11'E (Ogasawara, Chichijima Island, Japan)
Remaining to Yokohama: 502 nm (ETA: ? days)
Apologies for the suspense, but we've been waiting as well to get details from Saito-san. And waiting. Anyway, here it goes.
He called at 1630 yesterday to say that he had just arrived, towed in through arrangement with the Fishermen's Association, who recruited a very helpful fishing boat captain by the name of Takakura-san.
Takakura-san also had called us several times to report on progress before the two boats met near or at the rendezvous coordinates we supplied to him. "Are you sure?" we were asked at one point. Well, yes -- as best you can be estimating two converging (and different) boat speeds, and winds that might change during the next several hours.
There was never any safety concern as the weather was about as perfect as you can get – moderate winds and a flat sea – but the schedule called for them to be in port by 1600.
So just 30 minutes later for a 1630 arrival in Ogasawara is quite excellent on clocks set by "sailboat time" where minutes can become hours; hours can become days; and days … well, fortunately it never got to that!
Estimated positions throughout the day.
[Click to enlarge]
Then it was time for the Customs clearance for a vessel that has been through 10 different ports in the past 3 years.
Last week while Hide Katada was busily gathering the information for this, our phone chimed. "Can you provide the names of the last 10 ports he was in, including both the entry and exit dates?" Hide-san blithely asked us. Fortunately, every mile and day is plotted on Google Earth, so coming up with that information was relatively easy.
But then Saito-san called from the Customs office to ask about the "registration certificate" for the boat.
While the boat IS registered in Hawaii, where we purchased it, there's no official certificate as such, just the silver registration decals Saito-san dutifully affixed. So unless the Japanese Coast Guard -- who have been quite helpful so far -- can accept that, then we have one more bureaucratic hoop to jump through.
Interestingly, the registration issue never came up when Saito-san single-handed NBSDIII from New Zealand, arriving in Yokohama the summer of 2008.
No calls have come from Saito-san since, so will surmise the following, if we may:
1730 hrs – He clears Customs and Quarantine, hastened along by the detailed paperwork already submitted by Hide-san.
1745 hrs – He locates a beer machine and has his first cold beer in 2 weeks.
1750 hrs – He finds the nearest sashimi restaurant.
1900 hrs – He makes his way to the nearest ofuro hot springs bath.
2100 hrs – He is back on NBSDIII, dead to the world.
And snoring blissfully!
Yesterday so much was going on that we passed over another amazing milestone -- the last of the thousand-milers when he cleared 28. To be exact, 28,074 nm as of yesterday's arrival in Ogasawara.
To be even more exact, this calculation begs at least three refinements:
No. 1. These are nautical miles. In terms of street miles (statute), it's actually 32,306 miles or 51,933 kilometers.
No. 2. These are the miles traveled we actually KNOW.
Between the satellite beacon report (every 6 hours) and Saito-san's called-in positions (every 12 hours) there can be frequent tacking and jibing that we can never know about in our Tokyo-based armchair nav station. (Believe us, though, Saito-san knows!)
Those wind-decided jig-jags in a sailboat are where a considerable difference can sneak in between DMG (distance made good) and DOG (distance over ground). Out of curiosity, we measured the DOG again (covering roughly 5,000 individual plots) and found it to be:
DMG: 28,074 nm DOG: 31,543 nm
Either way you figure it, that's definitely no walk in the park!
No. 3. We STILL have to add up the three separate attempts to round Cape Horn. We'll save that for another time.
Distance in last 12 hours: 37 nm DOG / 37 nm DMG
Total distance completed: 28,074 nm
To Yokohama: 502 nm (measured)
To Ogasawara: 0 nm (measured)
Average daily DMG over last 4 days of sailing: 34.0 nm (measured)
ETA, Ogasawara: in port
ETA, Yokohama: ? days
Heading: 330° changing to 040°
Reported boat speed: 3.5 kt
Average boat speed: 3.0 kt
Weather: Broken clouds, warm
Temperature: 28.0° C
Barometer: 1011 hPa
Wind (from): 7-9 kts E & ESE
Waves: 0.5 m
Sails: Genoa 90%, staysail 0%, mainsail 3pt reef
Engine: 0 hrs
Generator: 0 hrs
[Weather and wind forecasts are from ClearPoint Weather, a Saito 8 Supporting Sponsor.]