Weather / 気象

We have been watching the weather.   The timing and route of the trip are based on finishing the voyage by May 1 so as to avoid any risk of encountering a typhoon while arriving as late as possible to Japan to avoid the storms and low pressure systems near  Japan in early spring.   We have chosen to use the trade winds route and go southwest out of San Diego, turn west around 18 degree north latitude, pass south of Hawaii and turn northwest to Japan before getting close to the North Marianas (Guam and Saipan).    The advantages of this route are:  more consistent winds, favorable current, less likelyhood of gales, less boat traffic and warmer weather.   Our concern is a possible El Nino event that would weaken the trade winds, although at this point it seems the event, if it occurs, will be mild.  If ti does occur,   this would mean lighter and less predictable winds, slower current  and a slower passage.  A slower passage means the trip will take longer.  Also, a main source of our electricity is the hydrogenerator which produces much more electricity  when going faster.

The ENSO Outlook has been downgraded to El Niño WATCH. An El Niño WATCH means there is around a 50% chance of El Niño developing in the coming season. Recent observations and climate outlooks suggest the risk of El Niño development in the coming months has eased. In addition, the natural seasonal cycle of ENSO does not favour El Niño development at this time of year.However, with ocean temperatures in the central tropical Pacific remaining warmer than average, and with the majority of models indicating this warmth could persist until winter, the risk of El Niño development later in 2019 remains.Further information on the current status of ENSO can be found in the ENSO Wrap-Up




Electricity / 電力

Next to fresh water, electricity is the most important thing as it powers all of our instruments- navigation, satellite, radio, lights…. We have three source of electricity: diesel generator , hydro and wind generator and solar.   The diesel is very reliable, but needs fuel to run which we want to save to use the engine.  The output from solar is not so high and variable: it is high when sun is directly shinning on panels, gets lower as the angle of sun changes or parts of the panel get shaded and produces no electricity at night.  So, the hydrogenerator is the key producer of energy as it produces electricity as long as the boat is moving through the water,  But, the speed through the water is very important.  At 5 knots of boat speed the hydrogenerator might produce 5 amps of electricity, but at 9 knots it might produce almost 20!   









Food / 食料

As the refrigerator uses a lot of electricity, we will not turn it on.  Rather, we will pre-cool it while connected to shore power and freeze gallon jugs of water and put them in the bottom of the fridge to keep it cool.  When the ice eventually melts, the jugs will become backup sources of drinking water.  This means that we will only have fresh food for the first 10 days or so of the voyage.  For the remaining 50 days, we will be relying on freeze-dried and canned food and pasta and rice.  We need to be able to provide 1,800kcal per person for 75 days (60 days plus 15 days backup) and make sure that it is nutritionally balanced.  Meals will be supplemented by energy bars and meal supplement drinks.


やはり味がとてもよく簡単に作れる日本のフリーズドライ食品は素晴らしいです。Japanese freeze-dried foods are tasty and easy to prepare.

Thank you for all your support! / 多くのご声援ありがとうございます!

A group of Hiro’s sailing friends got together for another send-off-party in Tokyo. Most of them have been supporting Hiro since his first challenge in 2013. Some of them have already visited our boat in San Diego, others will come and see us off at the departure, and many of them will come for the arrival in Fukushima.


Overnight Training, Jan. 15-17 / オーバーナイトトレーニング1月15~17日

We had a three-days overnight training, from Jan 15th. We had some cold rain and also some trouble that made us learn a lot.


Article in Sail-World /セイルワールドの記事

The world Largest sailing news network, “Sail-World” has picked up our story.


Gathering in Tokyo to update friends about the Voyage

On December 15 we had a gathering at a local pizza restaurant at which we updated people about the voyage.  Per Knudsen told how Doug’s interest in sailing was, in part, sparked by Doug sailing with him and his wife, Anne, on their boat in Japan.  Per and Anne gave Doug a teru-teru-bozu to take on the teams’s boat, Dream Weaver.  A teru teru bōzu (Japanese: てるてる坊主, literally “shine shine monk”) is a small, traditional handmade doll made of white paper or cloth that Japanese farmers began hanging outside of their window by a string.  This talisman is supposed to have magical powers to bring good weather and to stop or prevent a rainy day. 

12月15日、ダグの行きつけの近所のピザ屋で今回のチャレンジの状況報告を兼ねてダグの東京の友達と集まりました。Per Knudsenは、ダグがヨットに興味を持つようになったきっかけの話をし(日本にある自家用ヨットに彼の奥さんのAnneも一緒で乗せていただいた時の話)、同時に、彼がヒロとダグを結びつけた超本人だと公表しました。最後にPerとAnneからドリームウィーバー号の為に幸運を呼ぶてるてる坊主が贈呈され楽しい夜となりました。