My friend, the well known solo sailor Minoru Saito, tells me that he had to abandon his yacht Shuten Dohji II in the north-west Pacific on July 1st, after mechanical failure. He was three days out of Cebu, bound for Japan. Minoru is safe & well and has now returned to Japan.
He would like mariners to be aware of the hazard the drifting vessel presents. I’m copying his message below - it’s a bit emotional, in line with the experience of abandoning a yacht that carried you safely through the last two (one in each direction) of your total of 8 solo circumnavigations.
“I’ve very big problem, now I’m in Yokohama fly back from West Australia. Dampia via. Perth, after getting off Rescue ship and Shuten Dohji II now drifting between Philippine- Guam, I used EPIRB and US Coast Guard contact to Japan LNG tanker rescued me, 1st.July… Yachts position N15.36 /E 128.28 wheel steering wire come off, wheel no working, little sea water comes in stern cabin, maybe sheave? Anyway other some, etc. I want to take and towing to Guam, if possible. So I want to try “Challenge 9 non stop Around Alone” this year. I need Shutedohji II” that’s very good lucky yacht. I think."
Minoru would love to hear from anyone sailing those waters who sights his boat.