Day 830 [Jan.9/11 HST] -- Pictures from the party & birthday greetings

Today's Report
January 9/11 HST

Position:  21°17'N, 157°53'W (Honolulu) 

Remaining distance to Yokohama finish:  13.4%

Here are the images from the party, with a tip of our yachting cap to Ed Abbot. 

When we called an hour into the party, Dave Cooper said Saito-san had gotten a bit choked up while expressing his gratitude. Dave said a "big bottle of sake" helped bring back smiles, as did the new Henri Lloyd jacket the Saito 8 Committee sent, and Ed had gift-wrapped. "Too hot for Hawaii," he told us when we called, "but it will be just right when I'm coming back!"

We know the emotion from a man who rarely shows it was not just for the party.

The huge beach-themed cake we suspect was made by either Naomi or Kimmy, and we hope to have that clarified soon.

Our thanks again to his Hawaii friends and supporters for the surprise birthday get-together. 

And below are several birthday greetings we've passed on to him over the last few days.

Please forward my Happy Birthday Wishes to Saito-San, who I had the privilege of meeting last time he was here in Cape Town. I have attached a picture I took of Saito-San's yacht with Mike Perham's (single-handed around the world) - so the oldest and the youngest!

Alan Hughes
S/Y Moonshine
Royal Cape Yacht Club
Cape Town

Hello Minoru Saito,
The happiest of birthdays to you and may the wind be at your back all the way home to Japan.

Harvey Berger

Happy Birthday greetings to Minoru Saito from the Wichmanns and the Charleston Sail and Power Squadron!  Looking forward to the completion of this latest odyssey and a return visit to us in Charleston.

Joyce Wichmann
Charleston, SC

Dear Saito-san:
We at Nicole all wish you a very happy birthday and a speedy recovery from your accident. We hope you will recover well and look forward to continuing with you on your adventure in the spring of this year.  

We hope you spend a wonderful day on the warm islands of Hawaii, deserving a great day of rest and reflection on your wonderful achievements so far.

All of us at Nicole are looking very much forward to welcoming you back in May!

Nico Roehreke
Nicole Group

As it is Saito-san’s birthday today I sent a small donation to the challenge PayPal account – please check it out!
I guess he’s feeling fine but would prefer to be at sea – he’s an intrepid ocean sailor and not a “land lubber”.

Kind regards,

Our very best wishes to you from the Saito 8 Committee on your 77th birthday!

It has been an amazing journey and unbelievable that you could do this much, even with a few detours.

Your many supporters throughout the world and in Japan have followed you closely and have been rooting for you the entire way.

We particularly appreciate your wonderful friends and supporters in Hawaii who have worked so hard to get you back safely on the water.

I am sure all your many admirers join us in wishing you the very best on this day and for the final three thousand miles until you finish in Yokohama.

Hunter & Eiko Brumfield
for the Saito Challenge 8 Support Committee

Pass on my Happy Birthday Wishes, and New Year’s Greetings to the old bugger. Saito san, with his extra 21 years on the planet than me, gives me hope that I can still do a lot in the next 21 years!!

Season’s Greetings to yourself and family also.

Best regards,

Brian Petersen
New Zealand

Brian and Saito-san competed against each other in at least one long-distance solo competition, the Auckland to Fukuoka (Japan) Race in 1989, and he is still active in long-distance crewed events including major races in New Zealand and Australia. He was also a big assist to Saito-san in Auckland during the refit of Nicole BMW Shuten-Dohji III. We were delighted to finally meet him and his family for cherry blossom viewing in Tokyo last spring.

Please give my best to Saito-san on his birthday. I still think about our rented motor home trip with him up to Maine when we were looking for the boat he was going to use. That was 8,000 miles right there!

Robert Brumfield
Spring City