Trouble finding anchorages on the way to Osaka

My project for today is to try to find better charts for our run to Osaka.

Our plan is to depart Yokohama, headed to Osaka, around August 30th. It’s a 400 mile run, and we want to break it down to a series of day runs. All three of the GSSR boats are now running with just the owners. Overnight runs are certainly possible, but not preferable.

We’d like to find anchorages, spaced about 80 miles apart. Currently, I’ve identified only one; called Shimoda.



Even Shimoda is messy, in that my Nobeltec charts, and also the paper charts, have no depths. It’s VERY frustrating. I’m sure there are plenty of great places to drop the hook between here and there, but, where? Nowhere promising has any depth information on the charts. I can’t seem to find any crusing guides for Japan, even in Japanese, and the coast pilot doesn’t have good information. Basically, we’re flying blind in shallow water loaded with fishing nets.

Complicating the quest, we need to know where the ports are, so that if a typhoon comes along, we can hide. Allegedly, Septembers average four typhoons a month, in southern Japan, and we’re heading further south. I need to identify all the good places to hole-up should a typhoon hit. Realistically though, if we are half-way through our run when we see a typhoon coming, my guess is that we’ll decide to run around the clock to reach Osaka.

I’m off to a chart store, in a quest for better information than I have now. I’m sure it will all be in Japanese, but if the depths are in English, I’ll be fine…

-Ken Williams
Nordhavn 68, Sans Souci

8 Responses

  1. I’ve just read your ‘Dreamers’ post and your nonchalant comment on the possible typhoon. There’s not a lot to say but I’m sure that if anyone can make sure things are right, you three guys can. Non the less, Ill be thinking of you all. Let us all know you are OK as soon as it’s over please. And if it misses you, even better but it would be still nice to know you guys and the boats are doing fine.

  2. Hi Ken –
    I have not been able to get the SPOT map to work – do you still have it running?
    And did you finally find your sushi? Was it what you expected?
    -Kristina

  3. Sittin’ in the morning sun
    I’ll be sittin’ when the evening comes
    Watching the ships roll in
    Then I watch them roll away again, yeah

    I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
    Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh
    I’m just sittin’ on the dock of the bay
    Wastin’ time

    I left my home in Georgia
    Headed for the Frisco Bay
    Cuz I’ve had nothing to live for
    And look like nothing’s gonna come my way

    So, I’m just gon’ sit on the dock of the bay
    Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh
    I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
    Wastin’ time

    Looks like nothing’s gonna change
    Everything still remains the same
    I can’t do what the typhoon tell me to do
    So I guess I’ll remain the same, listen

    Sittin’ here resting my bones
    And this storm won’t leave me alone, listen
    Two thousand miles I roam
    Don’t want to make this dock my home, now

    I’m just gon’ sit at the dock of a bay
    Watchin’ the typhoon roll away, ooh
    Sittin’ on the dock of the bay
    Wastin’ time

  4. I hope you are moored up some where safe , here comes krovanh, storm #911, I looks to me like its right in your path and will hit your next planned anchorage.
    Well good luck and safe travels, hope your getting some great sake and sushi.

  5. Hey Ken, I’ve just been catching up on all your blogs. Spent the afternoon crusing from Russia to Japan 🙂 I’ve been out of the loop cos I haven’t had a computer for over a month.

    What a cool adventure you guys are on! And you’re going to be in Japan at such an interesting time! I just read a news story that said the general elections are coming up on the 30th, and for the first time in 54 years the ruling party is going to be voted out. There must be quite a buzz over there.

    I have a rather silly and banal question, but I was wondering if you are still able to fly your american flag if you’re now registered as a domestic boat? I’d imagine it would be extremely weird to have to take it down and put a Japanese one up! 🙂

    Keep safe all of you and big ups to Shelby for enduring her incarnceration with grace 🙂

    Shaun

  6. Andy:

    Google Earth is our favorite resource for this kind of trip planning. For instance, on this trip, Roberta scanned the entire shoreline for our run looking for possible places to go. She then sent me google earth bookmarks for each possible anchoring spot, and I research them on Nobletec, the paper charts, and in the British Admiralty Sailing Directions.

    The process failed this time though, because the paper charts and Nobleltec are useless. The Sailing Directions weren’t much better.

    Today was a great day though. We went to a chart shop, which was very difficult to find, in the middle of a residential neighborhood. They had good detailed charts for everywhere Roberta had marked. They also had a “Sailing Directions” book, in english, prepared by the Japan Coast Guard.

    I spent almost $400 at the chart shop!!! Which was somewhat depressing, in that the odds are we’ll get spooked by the potential for typhoons, and blast straight to Osaka in two days.

    Thank you,
    -Ken W

  7. Google Earth shows many sailboats at anchor in the NE corner of Shimoda Bay, just south of the word Kakisaki in your picture. I measured them at up to 60 ft long.

    The square dock west of Kakisaki shows Panoramio pictures (in Google Earth) of what seems to be Coast Guard Cutters. There’s also a paddle wheeler running around.

    Sandy bottom.

    Unfortunately, only parts of that coast are high resolution.

    Andy B.

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