Severe Storm Delays Trip to Hota

Lightening Strike in Australia.jpg

 

This past weekend was a wash, and if you could have applied soap to it, it would have been exceedingly clean. Friday, Day One of the three-day cruise I’d planned, dawned clear and bright but by 1100 the sky had darkened to grey-black and by 1130 a deluge had begun. Water flowing past Voyager’s hull as she sat at the dock quickly accelerated into a swift flowing river. Thunder and lightening directly overhead made for an interesting two hours below decks waiting for the storm to pass. I had visions of Voyager’s mast taking a strike, like the Australian boat in the photo above, and was a little concerned about exactly what would happen to me and my boat if it did.

I’d known about the approaching storm the night before and had cancelled my plans, leaving four other people who had signed on as crew with suddenly free weekends. I’m moving the trip back a week and will try again on 8/26. Hota is about 5-7 hours south of Yokohama on the Chiba side of Tokyo Bay. It’s a quaint port with clean water suitable for swimming, and in my case, bottom cleaning. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.

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A Sailing Cruise to Kii Hanto

Somewhere along the coast of the Kii Peninsula

Between April 28th and May 10th of 2011, four sailboats departed for Kii Hanto, an historically prominent peninsula east of Osaka and south of Nagoya. Along the way, sixteen crew members snapped 1800 pictures and shot 140 minutes of video. This material has now been assembled into a video montage and can be viewed on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/user/resarfw

Ogasawara Bound

Departure for the Bonin Islands/Ogasawara is fast approaching. Another month before we cast off and head south some 600 nautical miles to Chichijima, where, a day or three after arriving, we turn round for the return trip. Three boats will be going; Stuart Milne’s Fujin, Per Knudsen’s Bifrost, and David Devlin’s Yarramundi, all members of the Tokyo Sail and Power Squadron, or TSPS. Each boat will have four or five crew, some experienced, others not.

The boats have been equipped to meet Japanese offshore regulations, which require vessels making offshore passages to be equipped with all manner of safety gear like six-man life rafts, and electronics like radar. It’s the law, a prerequisite for voyaging and each owner has laid out a pretty sum to meet the regs.

As for myself, I’m really looking forward to this adventure. I’ve been offshore before, but for a short time only off the Malaysian coast. I’m looking forward to the four to five days of non-stop sailing, to crossing the Kuroshio current, to being out there, and to raising Chichijima off the bow. I’m not sure of the timing, but we may see whales near the islands and dolphins anywhere in between.

It’s a goal common among sailors in Japan, or at least the Kanto region, to sail to Ogasawara. Most talk about it as a trip they’d like to make ‘one day.’ Well, thanks to my membership in the TSPS, and the ambitions of Stuart, Per, and David, all aboard will be able to say, “Been there, done that.”

I’ll be posting updates in the lead up to departure, and then whenever opportunity allows in the Bonins.

Ogasawara