Kirk Patterson Weathering Storm, 700nm To Hakodate


June 5, 2013

Kirk’s current position is 415 nm due east of Hakodate, hand steering while under engine due to an autopilot failure. Silk Purse has slowed considerably, making less than 300nm over for the past three days. Arrival could be as soon as June 9 or 10.

June 1, 2013:

Kirk Patterson, TSPS member and soon-to-be Trans-Pacific sailor, aboard his aluminium vessel Silk Purse, on March 31 reported,

“16hr hell! 30-40 kt winds. 4-5 waves. Boat out of control. OK now! Phew! 128 NM”.

Four to five meter waves on the stern, Force 8 winds on the nose! That doesn’t sound like much fun. Or does it? For Kirk to temporarily lose control of Silk Purse in those conditions is understandable. The fear of broaching (veering to become broadside to the waves and potentially rolling the boat)  must have been foremost in Kirk’s mind.

Over the three preceding days, Kirk logged daily distances of 163 nm, 163nm, and 159nm for a four-day run of 613. Silk Purse has covered about 2600nm since leaving Honolulu and has approximately 700nm to sail before reaching Hakodate, Hokkaido.

The image below is a GRIB file showing wind conditions, with Silk Purse’s position marked by an X. On the right is the storm Kirk is experiencing. The wind is indicated by arrow-like symbols with the ‘feathers’ of the arrow indicating wind strength and the arrow pointing in the direction the wind is going. A short feather means 5 knots and a long one means 10 knots of wind. The scale on the right is the Beaufort scale, with the strongest winds of the storm in yellow equalling Force 8, or up to 35 knots. A different view of the GRIB file (not posted here) showing wave heights and direction indicates the waves are coming from behind Silk Purse. Of course, GRIB files are estimates. The wind and waves Kirk is experiencing most likely exceed estimates.

You can keep track of Kirk’s progress at:

Enter Silk Purse’s callsign VE0KRP (0 = zero) for detailed information

Silk Purse GRIB Jun1


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