Day 1022 [July 21/11 JST] – Typhoon Ma-On Finds the Door

Today's Report
July 21/11 0800 JST 

Position:  27°03'N, 142°11'E (Ogasawara, Chichijima Island, Japan)
Remaining to Yokohama:  502 nm (ETA: ? days)

Finally, Typhoon Ma-On looks ready to move on.

Winds were expected to be in the low 30s both today and tomorrow, with seas topping 5 meters. Fortunately, absent any change of behavior of this malingering typhoon we've been watching for, waiting on, and frustrated by for more than 8 days, the chances look good Saito-san will be able to leave on Saturday morning when winds will be 8 kts and seas at 3 m. By that time Ma-On is expected to be several hundred miles out to sea, downgraded to a tropical storm. This morning she was just 100 nm north of Hachijojima, Saito-san's next planned stop.

By an amazing coincidence, actually the second involving these same sailors, Saito-san was delighted to see entering the harbor yesterday the sailboat Magellan Major, skippered by Hirose-san, who was at the starting line at Kenzaki Lighthouse to see Saito-san off on his circumnavigation nearly 3 years ago.

By another odd coincidence, Kenzaki is not the last time on this trip the two skippers saw each other.

They also briefly crossed paths on May 24 at U.S. Customs in Honolulu while Saito-san was just leaving, and Hirose-san and his one-man crew were just arriving. Saito-san even acted as an interpreter for his fellow Japanese captain over a visa matter.

If their schedules align they will probably sail together – in their respective vessels, of course – the rest of the way to Yokohama.

It would certainly be fitting… as well as add a little margin of safety for them both as Ma-On continues to make her presence felt even as she fades out to the northeast.

View from Magellan Major of Saito-san's October, 2008 departure.