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Yacht Fujin
This is a blog of Yacht Fujin's trip from Uraga, Japan to Phuket, Thailand in early 2012.
Hong Kong
28/01/2012, 60NM WSW of Laog City, Philippines

No, Fujin is not in Hong Kong - I am.... just arrived this afternoon from Tokyo and so did not have any contact with Ivan today other than his position check in at midday. And the picture is from the internet: it's very overcast and humid here right now...

It looks like a slightly slower pace of 120 nm in the last 24 hours, for an average of 5 knots. There are roughtly 850 nm to go to Brunei and then another 700 nm to Singapore. If they stick to an average of 5.5 knots, then we're looking at arriving in Brunei in a week and Singapore in 2 weeks.

I expect to talk to Ivan tomorrow and will have a bit more to report thereafter.

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Making good progress...
27/01/2012, 100nm NNW of Loag, Philippines

Fujin has covered around 145 nm in the last 24 hours - a good run with fair winds and with no major mishaps - a welcome change after the last few days!

The course is more or less SSW and the weather is getting warmer by the day - about 25 now and increasing by 1 degree per day for next few days.

Forecast remains benign with winds consistently max 20kts and from the NE - ideal for trying out my new whisker pole perhaps....

I am flying to HK on 28th morning so will not be able to speak to Ivan until Sunday but will update Fujin's position later in the day.

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Back on course
26/01/2012, SW of LanYu

After battling high winds for much of yesterday, Ivan decided to put Fujin into the lee of Lan Yu Island so that the yacht and crew could have a rest and a cooked meal. They hung around there from early evening yesterday until earlier this morning before making way again, in a SSW direction into the South China Sea.

Hence their current position is just around 20 miles from their noon position yesterday.

Current conditions are better and waves lower and this trend should continue over the coming few days as Fujin heads toward her next intended landfall at Muara, Brunei. I was not able to talk to Ivan today but hopefully will do so tomorrow.

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Heavy winds are back again...
25/01/2012, 20nm west if Hsiao Lan Yu

Fujin covered around 120nm in the last 24 hours - a slightly slower pace given the size of the seas.

Fujin is once again experiencing heavy weather, with wind from NE at up to 55 knots earlier this morning - Ivan again had the warps out to slow the boat down. Waves are 5 to 6 metres.

As of a short while ago, winds have settled to low 40s and Fujin is sailing with just a little genoa out. Still high waves and about an hour ago they took another knockdown which flooded the cockpit.

Ivan plans to cross through the Luzon Strait close to the Taiwan (northern) side given the current wave/wind direction - some concern that there could be some overfalls in that area, but it will be good to get through the Strait as soon as possible, and into the slightly less exposed South China Sea.

It is interesting that the weather forecasting services we use all show a consistent picture of max 35 knot winds - well below the actual experience of Fujin. The forecast over the next 24/48 hours is for more moderate winds but still in the 20 to 25 knot range.

For those planning a trip in this area then, assume that the grib based weather services will substantially underestimate the actual winds, and prepared accordingly!

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Genoa behaving well...
24/01/2012, 80 nm SSW of Ishigaki Island

Ivan seems quite happy with progress todate after another 140 nm day. The first 36 hours out of Okinawa were quite rough with 3 to 4 metre short period waves but wave period has now lengthened, giving a more comfortable motion. Winds have settled down to 20 knots from 35 knots ealier.

Sails were well reefed until this morning and they are now sailing with full sail with wind on the starboard quarter - nice sailing!

They should reach the Luzon Strait sometime tomorrow afternoon, all going well.

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Passed the 1,000 NM mark...
23/01/2012, South of Miyakojima Island

At midday on 23rd January, Fujin was just south of Miyakojima Island - this group of islands marks the western extremity of the Japanese archipelago. Fujin covered around 145 miles in the last 24 hours, for an average speed of around 6 knots.

I was not able to speak to Ivan today - he has the satellite phone on for one hour from noon to one. I hope to catch him tomorrow. However, weather looks settled so they should be fine.

The picture above is of the repair to the main sail - basically reinforcing the leach line.

I have received the bill from Ginowan Marina - Y21,000 for sail repair, 223 litres of diesel at Y116/l (relecting a lot of motoring given that the genoa was out of combat for much of the leg) and Y2,100 per night for the marina. The swivel plus installation was Y152,000... Let's hope the next stop is not so expensive!!

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Yacht Fujin
Who: Stuart & Elizabeth Milne
Port: Gibraltar. En route now from Uraga Japan to Phuket Thailand.
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