We had a guest last night. A sea bird visited us on the back of the boat where the solar panels are. It stayed the night but left this morning. I said to him as he left, ” Thanks for stopping by! We will make it!”
We spotted some creatures close to our boat when we were still near the coast of America, like dolphins and sea turtles. But since we sailed to the west, we have had no guests. So, we enjoyed the sea bird’s company and felt a joy to have an interaction with another creature.
I felt like my uncle in heaven, came to see me. He is the one who sent me a message to have a positive life, when I was about to commit suicide. You can find this part of my story in my recently published book. (available only in Japanese)
We are having a great sailing in the fair winds of trade. Maybe that bird brought this weather for us.
でもふと思いました。この海には魚がいるんだろうなぁ。マグロ漁船が赤道まで南下すると聞いたことがあります。もしかして、マグロがこの下に…。寿司が食べたくなりました。O さん、 S さん、連れて行ってくださったお寿司屋さんのことを思い出しています。早く日本に行って、美味しいお寿司とギンギンに冷えたビールが飲みたいなぁ。
March 20th, 7 a.m. Japan Time, Day 24, Weather: Clear
15.7 N 159W, East 8 meter wind, Wave hight: 2 meter
Course: 281°, Boat speed: 6 kts.
[ No Sushi in the middle of ocean ]
I did not get enough sleep last night… with 5 meter waves and 30 kts. winds.
We had a little issue with the mainsail system while we were trying to adjust it, but all sorted out now.
The Pacific Ocean is BIG that we never saw any boats past three weeks, but we finally came across a tanker early morning yesterday. Again, the ocean is so big.
Heard about tuna fishing boats go close the equator. Maybe, nice tuna are underneath the boat… I am craving for sushi now! Am thinking about the sushi restaurant I went with my friends. Looking forward to having some delicious sushi and nice cold beer.
[ 4 source of major information for our routing decisions ]
We had a nice consistent winds that our sailing has been great since yesterday.
There are countless numbers of routing for sailing across the Pacific. But, with some considerations of weather forecasts, you will probably end up with two or three choices. We are making decisions from below 4 different source of information / advice.
A US based company called “Commanders’ Weather”, we hired for this voyage.
PredictWind, a weather forecasting product for sailors that came with our satellite package.
Captain Kieth in San Diego who’s been involved in our project from the beginning.
Kirk who lives in Japan, and has an experience across the Pacific.
Doug explains to me all the information we get and we make routing decisions together.
Here is our most recent information from Commanders’ Weather.
Route: San Diego, CA to JapanPosition: 14 49.8n/151 17w at 14utc Sat March 16, 2019, cog 263, 5.7ktPrepared: 1600utc Saturday, March 16, 2019 Summary: 1) A cold front is passing N of Hawaii today and tomorrow, a) some lighter & more moderate wind speeds along your route today and tomorrow b) I have you on starboard much of the first several days
2) Big high pressure is approaching from the NW and will arrive with a front of stronger winds on Monday. a) I still have you on Starboard, but when the right shift comes have you heading up a little more N b) there will be some showers around, but mainly more to north of you / south of Hawaii on Mon
3) With this front Monday, a large NW swell train will be arriving a) long period at 15-18 sec, but quite large at near 14 feet. Big rollers. b) swell period diminishes down to 10 sec as the swell also lays down some into Tues.
4) Tues the high shifts eastward and reinforces the trade winds keeping them in the teens to low 20s a) increasing clouds and may have a few showers around at times as well
5) into Wed and Thurs, trade winds moderate back into teens as the high to the north moves away a) on Thurs I have you gybing to port to get a little further south, b) will be better wind speeds further south, as there will be a high pressure area over western Hawaiian islands c) this could be a short hitch to the S and think you can come back to starboard again once you hit 15 30n -16n.
6) Next update on Thurs, March 21
Wind forecast Time is UTC: Wind directions are TRUE / wind speed in KTS
Sat, Mar 1618: 060-080/11-16Weather…partly cloudy. Seas NE 6-8 ft and decreasing
Sun Mar 1700: 060-080/10-1506: 060-080/8-1312: 040-060/7-12, near 14 45n/ 153 30w18: 030-050/10-15Weather…mostly clear to partly cloudy. Seas NE-E 5-7 ft
Mon Mar 18 – more showers around to the N and less to the S00: 040-060/9-1306: 040-060/11-1612: 060-080/15-22- near 14 50n/ 156w and now heading a little more N 18: 050-070/17-22Weather…becoming partly cloudy with chances for scattered showers. Long period NW swell arriving- increasing up to 13-18 feet, period 16 sec.
Tues Mar 1900: 060-080/17-2206: 060-080/20-2512: 070-090/18-24, near 15 40n/158 30w18: 070-090/17-22Weather…partly to mostly cloudy. Seas N swell 8-12 feet and slowly diminishing 11-16 sec
Wed Mar 2000: 080-100/15-2006: 080-100/13-1812: 080-100/12-17, near 16 40n/161w18: 070-090/12-17Weather…mostly cloudy becoming partly cloudy. Seas N at 9-11 ft
Thur Mar 21 – winds getting lighter further north and will be a little stronger further S00: 070-090/13-18 – I have you gybing to port to stay in better wind speeds a little more to the S06: 070-090/13-1812: 080-100/13-19, near 16 30n/163 30w18: 080-100/14-19Weather…partly cloudy. Seas NW 7-9 feet Fri Mar 22 – now can go back to starboard 00: 070-090/13-1812: 070-090/15-20 – near 16 30n/165 50wWeather…becoming mostly cloudy. Seas N 7-9 ft
Fri Mar 22 – now can go back to starboard 00: 070-090/13-1812: 070-090/15-20 – near 16 30n/165 50wWeather…becoming mostly cloudy. Seas N 7-9 ft
March 18th, 7 a.m. Japan Time, Day 22, Weather: Clear
14.45 N 154.05 W, NE 7 meter wind, Wave hight: 1 meter
Course: 255°, Boat speed 6.5 kts.
[ Passing 540 km off South Tip of Big Island around 9 a.m. Japan Time ]
Finally, we are off the south tip of Big Island. We had been waiting for this moment long time and are so happy. Our original plan was to go 150 km off Hawaii, but we were forced to go further south to catch up with the trade winds under the influence of El Nino. However, I am very thankful to reach this point, so I would like to send big appreciation for all the people supported us.
Our next goal is the International Date Line. Naomi has prepared a Page about the charity donation and expected arrival time quiz.
Please join and guess our arrival time in Fukushima!
March 17th, 7 a.m. Japan Time, Day 21, Weather: Clear
14.44 N 152.2 W North 8 meter wind
Wave hight: 60 cm, Course: 280°, Boat speed 7 kts.
[Big THANK YOU to Furuno that gives our family feel confortable]
When I talked about this second challenge to my wife and daughter, they were supportive, but I could see they were very worried after the accident of my previous challenge. On the morning of our departure, my daughter, Leena, gave me a hug which was longer than usual. From that hug I could sense that she was anxious about my journey.
As you know, Furuno provided us with their tracking system which allows people to see our location in the Pacific. This is open to the public on our web site. When I talked about this tracking system to my family, they were very happy. that made them feel better, and I am very thankful. Furuno provided us with an Irridium satellite phone as well. I call my sister in Kumamoto, Japan everyday and ask her to write down my daily journal. Then she sends the content to Doug’s wife and she uploads blogs everyday. I appreciate their support as well. This can not happen without the satellite phone. (The internet message system does not work with my devices…)
I greatly appreciate Furuno for their support on those two systems.
Today is Day 20 of our voyage which was (is?) expected to last 60 days. In many ways , it feels like we have just begun.
In any event, it was nice to end the day as one of quintessential trade winds sailing: sailing wing-on-wing with gentle following seas. This picture is from the forward berth shot through the hatch looking up at the sails and mast.