16/01/2012, 21 nm north of Naha
At 1100, Fujin was around 21 miles north of Naha. Winds were in the 55 to 60 knot range all morning (ie Violent Storm/Force 11 on Beaufort Scale) and the crew is running under bare poles and towing lines in order to slow the yacht and gain control.
When I spoke to Ivan at 1100, winds had moderated somewhat to 48 knots. Am now in contact with the yacht via mobile phone as they are close enough to land.
They will try to put into Ginowan Marina provided that they can enter safely. They can then meet Iraha-san to fix the genoa furler problem. Iraha-san is at the marina now awaiting their arrival.
If they cannot enter the Marina, they will carry on down to Naha Port and moor there for the night.
We've spoken to Customs & Immigration and they are happy for Fujin to clear in and out from Ginowan Marina instead of Naha Port, so this would be the easier option, swell permitting.
I will update again later once Fujin is safely moored.
15/01/2012, 140 miles NW of Naha, Okinawa
At noon on 15th January, Fujin was about 140 miles from Naha which is on the southwest end of Okinawa Island - see the map above.
I just spoke to Ivan - all is well and they are continuing to motor sail. There is some current against which is slowing progress and speed over the ground is around 5 knots.
The winds are around 35 knots right now with waves less than 2 metres. Some light rain showers for the last 2 days.
The idea is to pass north of Okinawa and then run down the coast with the wind behind. They probably need to check in first at Naha port before heading over to Ginowan Marina to meet with Iraha-san and fix the genoa furler.
ETA Naha is 1600 tomorrow...
14/01/2012, 230 nautical miles NW of Naha
Noon, day 5 has Fujin around 230 miles NW of Naha, for a 24 hour run of about 135 miles - slowed a little by taking time out to go up the mast and try to fix the furler but reasonably consistent given they are motor sailing with almost no wind right now.
The picture is a file photo of Fujin's Profurl furler top swivel which is causing the crew a problem - Fujin's sailmaker, Taro Tokano of Quantum in Misaki, had this picture in his file!
The crew were able to retrieve the genoa halyard this morning and the problem seems to be that a circlip on the top swivel has come loose and needs to be reattached. I don't have any circlip pliers on board and they have tried unsuccessfully to reattach it using screwdrivers.
So looks like they will need to put into Ginowan Marina near Naha and see Iraha-san who is the rigger there. He has been recommended by Taro-san so hopefully it will be a quick fix.
It's also possible that the circlip is worn and needs to be replaced - we will see if we can get the spare part just in case....
I suspect the crew is looking forward to a nice cold beer or two in Naha right about now!
13/01/2012, 350 miles NW of Naha
At noon on Friday 13th, Fujin was 280 miles south of Shikoku and 350 miles north west of Naha - so about three days to go to Naha.
Winds are still fairly robust - above 20 knots but the forecast suggests that it will die down to below 10 knots over the next 24 hours.
Last night, the swivel at the top of the genoa separated with the result that the genoa came down and the halyard is stuck at the top of the mast with part of the swivel. The sea is still too rough to go up the mast and sort this out, so Fujin is under motor and mainsail right now.
They could of course still hoist the genoa using the spinnaker halyard but they could not furl the sail if they did this given the relatively high winds, this would not be so sensible.
The crew will try to fix the problem as soon as the waves die down a bit and Ivan can order one of the crew to ascend the mast! Having done it myself while at anchor in a calm bay, I know I would not be so keen to do it at sea!
They might need a spare part at Naha so I will be arranging for a rigger to be on standby when they arrive just in case.
Fujin has now completed 3 days at sea - Ivan Alcorn as skipper and crew of his brother George (Joe) plus Morgan Davitt. Stuart sadly stuck in the office! The departed just before noon on 9th January.
Noon Day 1: around 130 miles with noon position at 33.19906N 139.96519E, just to the north east of Hachijojima. Conditions were good with speed up as far as 9 knots.
Noon Day 2: about 140 miles run with winds and seas building. Position 31.61614N 138.39661 E, 120 miles or so to the south west of Hachijojima.
Noon Day 3: about 140 miles run and position at 29.88976N 136.17014E.
Winds all day on 11th Jan above 40 knots with max wind of 51 knots and waves "huge" (probably around 6 metres). During the night of 11th/12th, crew were down to watches of 90 minutes due to exhaustion. They had one knock-down and were boarded from behind by a couple of large waves. Slight damage reported to Fujin's sail bag which skipper says he can fix en route.
I just spoke to the skipper via sat phone - sea and winds have been moderating since 0400 on 12th and now below 20 knots. Forecast is good with winds consistently below 20 knots for the rest of the distance to Naha.
Crew in good spirits despite tough day & night on 11th. ETA Naha is noon Monday which would mean 7 day passage - not bad. They might decide to push on direct for Taiwan (Hualien).
Will post more over the weekend...
Sounds like a lot of fun!
09/01/2012, Velasis City Marina
Skipper Ivan and crew Joe and Morgan leave Velasis, bound for Phuket via Naha, Hualien and Singapore! Stuart hopes to join in Singapore at the start of Feb for the last few days up to Phuket....