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.