We’ve now set a schedule for this season’s cruising. There’s an old saying about boating, which states that ‘cruising schedules are best etched in sand at low tide,’ and I suspect this year’s schedule is no exception.
For what it is worth, our schedule is:
| || 4/26/10 Depart Ashiya |
5/1/10 – 5/7/10 Hiroshima
5/10/10- 5/20/10 Fukuoka
5/22/10- 5/29/10 Nagasaki
5/30/10- 6/4/10 Yakushima
6/11/10 – 6/22/10 Okinawa
6/25/10 – 7/1/10 Ishigaki
7/4/10 – 7/10/10 Tainan, Taiwan
7/12/10 – Arrive in Hong Kong, China
The important date on this list is next Monday, the 26th, when we are slated to depart the marina which has become been home to our boats over the past six months. It will be sad leaving here as we’ve settled in, and become somewhat spoiled. We know the bus routes, have favorite restaurants, know where to shop, know people in the area, etc.
Bellport Marina hosted a party on Sunday where they invited a Shinto priest to bless all of the boats, and offer security for the summer cruising.
The event was taken quite seriously, and we were expected to participate. There was a fair amount of ceremony and I was concerned that I might somehow make a mistake by bowing incorrectly. At first, I fought participation rather than risk offending anyone, but ultimately gave in.
I have assumed that our blessing would cover us all the way to Hong Kong, but received an email indicating that our coverage is limited.
| || “…Good morning. |
On behalf of all of Bellport members I would like to say many thanks for your participation in the blessing of the fleet.
I think you & crews of all the American boats, owners & family were very surprised to experience the Japanese style blessing.
So, four American boats can safety sail within 20 miles from bellport. However, over the 20 miles, no effect & reach to pray to the God of sea.
Pls try to safely sail over 20 miles by own your risk.
We members of Bellport intend to provide any support & help to you.
Pls contact us in anytime when you need help.
Again, we deeply hope you to have safe & joyful sailing until reach to home port….”
As near as I can tell, the 20 nm limitation is plenty for most recreational cruisers in Japan. When Starr (one of our GSSR boats) was clearing into Japan, I spoke with a group of Japan Coast Guard officers who were walking down the dock. I shared with them our plan to cruise to Hiroshima a ‘short’ 150nm away. I was curious if the coast guard might know a couple of good anchorages along the route. It took a bit for them to understand what I was asking, and when they did, the answer was, “Sorry, but we cannot help you. We only cover the local area.”
To be fair, I’m not sure that American recreational cruisers aren’t also somewhat limited in scope. I gave a speech a few weeks ago at the Seattle Yacht Club, and there was an awkward moment when I was talking to the group, and mentioned that one of my goals for the evening was try to convince the group, many of whom cruise to Alaska every summer to go the extra 500 miles across the Gulf of Alaska to Kodiak. It’s an awesome place, and yet undiscovered by most Pacific NW cruisers. My comment elicited some strange looks from the crowd, which caught me by surprise.
And, on a completely different topic…
As many of you know, I like cool new technologies. I always like to have the newest electronic toys, which sometimes is a good thing, and sometimes is a disaster.
Here’s something which turned out better than expected:
I had an Ipad on backorder long before I had any idea why I wanted one. When mine arrived on the first day, Roberta teased me as I eagerly opened the box. Now that we’re on Sans Souci, I haven’t been able to get to my own ipad. Roberta has adopted it! We quickly discovered that it can be used with the wifi system on the boat to connect to our television at home (via a Slingbox) in Seattle. The ipad has become an ultra lightweight television that Roberta carries with her everywhere on the boat. We’re both news-junkies and like staying current. The ipad gives us complete access to our TIVO at home, and we can even watch Netflix through it. Very cool!
And, as to the weather…
I keep hoping for good weather for our departure, but so far, all we’ve seen is grey skies and rain. Argh!
That’s it for today. Roberta and I will be off the boat exploring Osaka for the next three days!
Sans Souci, Nordhavn 68
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