What the spring brings


It has been a while since I have checked in here. There has been no changes in my connection to waterworld. No sailing adventures. I am still working for the “master” in the yard. Doing misc tasks. I pretty much like it. Just given a task then pretty much left alone. With the teaching a class I always have to be aware pf what I am going to say. So doing the yard work is nice. Sometime handling the problems of installation of some instrument is a nice challenge.
 
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So yeah, no sailing, no boat pickup or delivery. Sooner or later I sure I will be needed to pickup or deliver a boat. Any delivery I am ok with , but the pickup, nope, nothing from the ocean side. I am done with that. Maybe I will not be asked again now that the manager is up to speed on all things, well , somewhat. Enough that the master will make use of it.  
 
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The weather has really sucked as of late so I do not miss being out sailing, at all, at ALL!
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However, there are times when working on a boat at the dock or on the dry I get nostalgic about having my own boat, my space.
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Sometimes, sitting there on a rainy day, feeling good and listening to the rain beat on the cabin top. The roll of the boat riding the rise and fall of the water. Sometime missing the gentle sail down the Estuary in Oakland. 
 
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I still want to get out there one day. Perhaps in my 70’s I can have that as my last adventure. Sailing the inland sea. Who knows how thing swill work out. As it turns out my brother-in-law as taken a liking to sailing. He wants to be an instructor in his retirement. I told him we can sail together with the school boats this spring and through the season. He is a good guy. I like single handing, but he is family and a nice guy so I will make some days to help him with his skills. Who knows maybe we will get a boat together one day. Lady LZ and I have a friend who spoke of moving back to Japan and getting a group of friends to go in on boat. However he has changed his mind about the full-time moving back.
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So really things are quiet now in Zen’s WaterWorld. I have not heard anything else from the other boat yard since that one day I worked doing a bottom paint job. I was told A spot would be found for me and called. Maybe it is just slow this time of year for them. They are a small yard. We’ll see, what the spring brings…

Winds of change


Winds of Change

 
A new door opens. In the Christian world it is said when God closes one door, he opens another. At least something like that. There is most likely some Buddhist -Taoist saying of the same thought. Anyway, yeah, I thought this blog was gong to be much pretty ended with the recent betrayal of “the Master”. Distancing myself from him would severely limit my sailing exposure. Hahah, I just had a flash on the name “the master” in the British show called Doctor Who, “the master” is an evil villain… I will say no more on my digression. There is sailing in Kobe, and more foreigners, however there are several issues with that path.
 
So Yeah, I am still working, but under the vibe of weird conditions. I do not know if it is me, or him, but yeah, I am feeling something. I go in and just do my job, but it feels weird. Maybe just my thoughts of knowing he speaks ill of me, of everyone behind their back. This is not how a true Zen master behaves. I guess like in Kyudo one can have the technical skills but not the spirit, the heart. I thought one had to have both to be a master.
 
So LZ was very very upset the other day, about the whole thing that happen, and some other things she has heard. While I was at work one day and she was off, she spent the day on the phone calling other marinas and yards, seeing if they needed someone with my marine skill set. As it turns out no place was looking for help, except one. She told them about my background and the person asked to see my resume. I wrote it up when I got home and she sent it in. She said the company president, Japanese, who she was speaking with, who spoke fluent English , had graduated from a University in England was impressed and wanted to met me.
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The marina was in the area not near as the one I am at, but close enough via a short train ride. Which in one way is good, better to be checking outside of the immediate area so as not to have any conflicts.
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I went in today and met with the owners. We had a nice chat, they seemed like nice people and the place felt comfortable. They only have one other yard person right now as it is slow and they have no sailing instructor but wanted one for their closed school since they did not have an instructor. We talked some about my teaching background, he said he was impressed with my sail experience. I said most of it has been in the States but I did have some serious
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Sailing here in Japan, including with Typhoons. He said what are you doing out in a Typhoon you should be in port. My reply was yeah, I agree , but I was told it was going to be safe and I would rather not go into it any further than that. LZ said she had told him about where I was working now, and there were some issues. He said he understood, apparently there is a reputation out there. Small island, small industry, of course there is talk…
He also expressed that since is a small industry here that it is difficult to find someone with my
skills. How nice to be appreciated! He explained the pay scale, transportation expenses and misc stuff. Anyway we seemed like a good fit and I am to start once work picks up some. They have plans for re-opening the yacht club, which has a bar, also the sailing school, they already have some sailing supplies. LZ was really excited about this place from speaking with the owner, he has an international mind-set. I felt comfortable, this could be a good thing down the road, on several levels, including a spot for me to my band to play, and possibly host other bands…this could be very interesting. They have monthly boat races last Sat of the month, the owner says they get a pretty good turn out. I was invited to come by on this upcoming Sat race but I am already teaching a class that day, then heading back to the States. The owner said he will be in touch then when I return.
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Winds of change… 
another door opens…
in Japan.
 
 

The sail from Hell…respect lost

The sail from Hell…respect lost

 
I had another sail tale to tell before this, but I figured my couple of readers would rather have something more exciting to read about. This is it and maybe my last sailing post…reasons you can see/guess after reading. At least for a long while until I can purchase my own boat again.
 
I was asked by the company Pres aka the “master” to go do a boat pickup in Shizuka. This is near Tokyo, one can see Mt Fuji from this town. I was in that area once before to pickup a boat. There was a somewhat new employee with me, also not a real sailor, he is just learning the ropes. 
 
This trip was just sprung on me, so I was not pleased about it. Partly because I do not like sailing this route from Tokyo to Osaka. There is an area called the cape of Japan were the Black Tide or Black Current is located. Many ships have gone down there I have heard. Because of the strong current all the time in order for ships, especially small ships to get by one has to sail only a few yards from the rocky shore. Twice I have had to do this in the dark. It is very unsettling.
 
Another reason I was not pleased about this trip was I had to back out of a band event after I said I was going to do the show, then the trip was cancelled, I said ok I can do it, then the trip is back on again, I re-cancel. I need the work and I thought I was helping a friend. It makes me seem like a flake to keep waffling. When I give my word I will do something I do it. That is the way of honor. My code as a Zen Lohan Priest is to be honorable an an example, not to be a flake.
 
The other and the main reason, is as of late there have been several Typhoons, one after another happening here in Japan. One was just hitting a few days before #12 and the trip was cancelled, another # 13 was due. The “master” said he had extensively checked the weather and the window between storms was the perfect time to go. There was be fair weather, no worries…
 
However LZ had also checked and did not feel good about me going she felt it was dangerous. She had spoken with and told the “master” what she found about the forecast but was told it was going to be fine. Safe sailing was important, no worries…she was told.
 
The day came, I met the other worker at the train stop. He had been briefed I was told on all aspects of the trip, everything was under control. We took the train to our destination. The trip there was easy, regular trains then the bullet train, then a local train. We arrived at the harbor. It was the kind of place that all the boats where moored out on lines. There was no dock to speak of, at least not for long term staying.
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The boat was brought into the small temp dock where we needed to prepare the boat for the trip. Install sails, clean, get the boat inspected and registered. Some official had to come down to check the boat and give paperwork. Finally all was done.
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Someone at the office gave us a ride to the local convenience store. It was disappointedly small. I made do with what I could find. The surprise for the area was how close we were to Mt Fuji. I had a great view from the store.
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We finished shopping and went back to the boat. I thought we were going to eat then just hangout for the rest of the night, then leave early. Wrong we ate then set out for home. 
 
LZ felt it was good when I told her. She said better to leave early and beat the in-coming storm. She was seeing some huge waves day after tomorrow. She was worried even though the “master” blew it off and said it is all good! She tells me please email her from my phone every three hours the following day. Hugh wave were expected in my path. 
 
It was very very hard to see as we were leaving the port in the dark. I struggled on finding my way out. The new kid gave directions, he had a GPS, and he had also made the sailing route, so directed me. I had to question some of what he said because what I could see was not were we should be going. It did work out finally and we were on our way. I hate hate hate night sailing in strange places!!
We slowly made our way out into open waters.the weather was calm and we made our way.
Once well under way we went into shifts. There were a few light rain spots but nothing serious. However reading the sky I could see some un-pleasantness forming here and there in the night sky…
 
As we moved on, my shift second shift was starting, the sky did not look good at all. Sure enough a storm hit, Thunder, lighting and big rain. Not fun, not good. Not a pleasant place to be out on the open sea, tall mast in a lighting storm. Even my mentor Capt Mary did not like sailing in lighting storms and avoided them she had said. I went over what could happen if struck by lighting. I unplugged my phone and iPad. I did some quiet prayers and sat in the companion way trying not to get so wet. It somewhat helped…somewhat. Just before the end of my shift it, the rain and lighting stops, the new kid takes over under fair conditions, no rain, no lighting, no thunder. I go below and sleep, resting for my next shift. 
 
Once again my shift and yes, once again, I am rained on, the kid sleeps dry. I am not pleased, but it is what it is…I roll with it.
 
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The next morning I am up at 6:00 am for my shift. I awake with a start, feeling something is wrong. I am disoriented. All seems correct, but I am off. I am very warm, hot in fact. I am thinking I am overdressed for the weather? It is warm, but this feels different, more like a fever. About 1 hour into my shift, I feed the fish. Afterward I feel better, but not perfectly normal. On we sail…
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We start the approach to the “cape of Japan” . In the past two times making through this area it has always been in the dark. Unpleasant, unnerving. It has to be done, I have been told close to the shore, which is full of boulders. The whole area is a mess of surf breaking big Arse Rocks! I am always paranoid. More so not being able to see in the blackness of night! This time it is timed we are passing in the day light.

 
However…
 
As we are nearing the area the ocean surge is increasing, from the Typhoon in the south. Big big waves and surge. As we get closer the winds increase and the wave get jumbled. This is not going to be a pleasant passing I am thinking. I am watching the rocks, the waves, the surge, feeling the wind, watching the rocks. The kid is paying more attention to the GPS course than what is in front of us!! Following it steadfastly. I said something about watch where we are going, see the light water and foam those are underwater rocks , dangerous, be careful. He slightly nods, looks and goes back to watching the GPS, and clicking the autopilot for adjustments. I watch closely our headway, and standby ready to take over the helm.
 
Slowly slowly we make headway, whilst I am silently praying and figuring how much further we have to go. We are nearing the end of the section. The surge increases and the seas get major confused.
The auto pilot can not handle the mess and the jumping, the arm comes off the tiller. The kid is trying to steer by hand, in the big surge and making me very un-comfortable with his lack of skill. I take over. We continue onward, there is no choice. The surge increases, the confusion increases. I am picking up a engine smell. But we make it past the last of that section, and things calm a bit.
 
We are coming up on the last section, and close to the rocks, I recall this area from the lighthouse memories at night. As we approach the water is not too bad, we seem under control. I go below for a quick use of the head. I enter and hear a loud screeching noise, like a bearing rubbing with no oil. I rush to the deck. There are clouds of black smoke coming from the engine. I quickly throttle down as the motor starts losing power. We are near the rocks and in big surf again. I quickly go forward to release the jib so it can be raised. However there is problem. I can not deal with it, with the kid steering. I go back to the cockpit and take over the steering to find some wind. I send the kid forward to deal with the jib. I am franticly trying to catch some wind to move us away from the rocks. The wind is everywhere but nowhere. Finally the jib is free and I raise it, still the wind is shifting, the surf is pushing us. There is just enough power in the motor I see to hold us in place, and finally with both sails up and find a position and we ever so slowly inch away from the rocks. 
 
At the same time as the smoke and noise started, the rain also started. Now it is a downpour as we slowly inch away from a wet rocky death on the shore. Still I can not breath easy as we at times seems to move , other times seems to slide backward. I am soaked from the downpour, but I see us slowly inch away, and past the rocks and light house.
 
Finally we are clear, I struggle to catch my breath for the next fifteen minutes, while sitting in the rain deluge. The kid and I breath heavy, heads down trying to re-center. For the next 2 hours we slowly make headway in high seas and heavy rain. I am soaked to the bone. I check our fuel and notice the next problem it is low. Another problem, we can not refuel in the rain. If water gets into the fuel, the motor stops. I do not know much about diesel engines, but I know that much. I asked the kid how far to the marina? He had given me a change of course just as we were passing the rocks. I can not deal with that now, I said, I was trying to keep us alive. However now was the time to face that. I was told 6 hours. We did not have 6 hours of fuel as the pace we were going against the wind. Maybe three, maybe if lucky four with help from the wind. I sat, calmed my breath and thought, waited, asked the Universe for guidance and a break.
 
About an hour later there was a break in the rain. It was still a light rain, it did not fully stop but it slowed dramatically. I came upon the idea to use one of the extra sails as a cover. I had the kid get out the extra fuel can and I covered him with the sail as a tent while he refueled the tank. That done, I felt better and settled in for the long wet trip to port in the big wave and head winds. 
 
The kid had been getting sick over the last hour. I felt bad for him, but now that things were some what settled, I noticed myself feeling illness coming as the rain started again then slowed and stopped. Then it started and I was hanging over the side of the boat. Again and again, I tried to force myself to get stable, mind elsewhere etc. I needed to go below for something as the waters calmed slowly. I went below and tried to rest laying down. Usually it is a bad move to go below when sea sick, but I had no choice with this, also because I was starting to shake with a chill. It helped some. However after a bit I was at the sink, heaving, over and over. Even moving my head caused me to hurl into the sink. I was in bad shape. Not only was I throwing up and had the major chills and was shaking badly. The only thing that saved me was there were heavy blankets on the boat. I wrapped myself in one. God it felt good. That warmed me greatly. The kid told me I could rest, things were under control. I slept. Once again I awoke with a start I felt the boat make a sudden change. I asked what was going on. The kids said he had to avoid another ship. (I found out later he almost hit one that came up without him noticing. ) I went back to sleep. 
 
Slowly the seas calmed and we picked up speed and started making time. I slept on and off. The last hurl into the sink left my stomach empty. I was feeling better, just weak. I finally hear the kid talking to someone at the port. We have made it. I go on deck to help prepare. I do what I can in my weakened state. Once ready for docking, but still a distance out of the marina I go again below to rest, until we are making the dock approach. Finally we are docked. I feel better, the last vomit emptied my gut and I felt an improvement. This lead me to believe it had sometime to do with what I had eaten and had gotten some food poisoning.
 
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I find out the new plan is we will stay for the night in the harbor, there is another Typhoon due to hit that night and most of the day tomorrow. I say a thank you prayer and go lay on the dock. The kid calls “the master”. With the news of staying over night I decided I was staying in a hotel even if I had to pay. I told the master I needed to stay in a room for the night. I was figuring I had pickup some food poisoning from the night before’s meal and told him. He agreed to my statement, however there was a lot of confusion that followed due to translation. My wife was told I was returning home as I was too sick to continue. It took a while and several phone calls to get everything corrected.
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After some dinner, a very light one for me, re-adjusting the boat at the “masters” command, because he felt the angle was wrong for the up coming winds. He was very concerned about the boat being damaged. We finally got to a room for the night. It was first said I would get the room the kid would stay on the boat. That changed later for whatever reason. It was not really a hotel as I was expecting. It was a room with a futon, bathroom and shower in the hall, a hostel type of place. There is a name which I do not recall. A traditional Japanese cheap place to sleep for a traveller/ student. I shared the small cheap room with the kid. WTF I was thinking, not pleased but rolled with it, as I had no choice. I reminded myself, just be thankful you are not on the boat in this storm, you are dry and warm. I fell asleep grateful.
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After a shower and some dry clothes I went to bed, exhausted and disgusted. I was told breakfast would be at 6:30 a.m. not the 8:30 I requested when asked and was told ok. Meanwhile the rain and winds had started in ernest, I was glad to be out of it, and slept expecting a day of rest tomorrow, at least most of it.
 
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The next day the storm had passed that night. We were expecting to leave in the afternoon around 3:00. However the storm had passed overnight. The morning was pretty clear. The kid and I had worked it out, I would rest until 9-10 then we would leave. He in the meanwhile would get the boat ready. Next thing I know I hear from LZ saying that she heard the kid was going to sail the boat back alone, leavng in 1 hr , because I was too sick and was going to take the train! Whaaaat! Where did that come from I say. The kid and I have it worked out. I explained, she called him, and confirmed that was indeed the case. I lay back down…a few minutes later, the “master” calls, saying, I could take the train back, because the kid needed to leave in 1 hr because of the tide. (which was BS). I said he is not able to make it alone, I will go with him, now. I got up and went to the marina. We cast off shortly afterward.
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We slowly made our way out of the marina out to the open water. That took about 1 hr. The kid had told me, I could rest all the way back to Osaka, he could handle it, he was good. So far the trip was smooth…it did not last…
 
Shortly later the wind and waves picked up…more and more! It was heavy storm conditions without the rain! I had to again take over. The kid did not know what to do, and at one point was trying to sail under full sails. I dropped the jib, still the wind and waves overpowered us. We were already under 1 point reef. The second reef point was not rigged. I had to improvise a way to put it in. After much effort I managed to put in the second reef and it held, for a while. Later I had to re-rig a way to get it more stable and hold better. The second reef helped, greatly. Still the wind and waves increased. I checked for a nearby port, but there was none. So we had to continue, with the strong headwinds, inching our way forward.
 
I had found that near to shore the wind was more manageable. I also noticed even the big ship travelled there rather than out further. It was easier to sail, but more dangerous with more big traffic. As the wind was on our nose where we needed to go, I under took a tacking pattern to make headway. Slowly slowly progress was made. I had checked my weather map and saw we had about three to four hours to go before the heavy wind area ceased.
 
Finally after a few hours of this, we had comfortable sailing. We were able to pickup some speed and make good headway. We approached one more area of minor concern due to the speed of the current. However we were able to go through even with the counter current at 4-5 knots, under sail and motor. Somewhat near to shore. Then we were back in the home bay of Osaka. I noticed there was smoke from the engine again, but not enough to be overly concerned as it is a diesel engine. I went below to rest. I was there for about five minutes when I hear two very loud bangs ! My first thought was we hit something or the motor had thrown a rod. I went on deck, asked the kid what happened? He did not know. However the motor was ok. I checked for water leaking , entering the boat. Everything was ok. However, we found the steering was extremely hard to handle. The tiller was hard to move. Whatever it was, perhaps a fish trap had damage our steering. We still could control the boat but not easily. No matter we were home.
 
The next issue was getting the boat into the marina. Our harbor is just under a bridge. Because of our arrival time and the height of the boat at high tide we could not enter. I had guessed we were going to dock just before the bridge and the boat would be moved in the morning at low tide. I had seen that done before and did not think it was a big deal. However, the “master” had it in his mind he wanted the boat inside the marina, so we spent the next 1.5 hours trying to get under the bridge and could not. The master was not pleased. I found out later, he was upset and he spoke badly about me, not getting the boat back in the time, as he wanted ! WTF!
 
Once it was figured out we could not make it inside. The “master” comes to the boat, takes great care in making sure the boat was protected against being scraped on the seawall tie up. He made sure everything was just so.
 
But…
 
Not one word of concern or thanks or apology to me for having to go through the Typhoon, because of his bad call, and rushing. Nor thanks for getting the boat back safe, nothing! He only concern was getting his boat safe in the marina. Even after the kid told him the only reason he made it back safe was because I was there. He was very casual about that. Ok, I get it none of this is a big deal for a circumnavigator who has gone around the African cape, but I am not that guy. I am out there working for him, not because I was out there for fun. So to me that says, only boats matter not the people who work for him! Compassion for all life is one of the number one items on the list for those who practice Zen. He failed as a “master” in my eyes.
My lesson was learned, and my respect lost. My spirit was shattered! For the next three days I was depressed, this was someone who I thought was a friend, someone who on many times I went out of my way to help. Including this time. Even LZ said this was a bad time to travel and showed him the weather maps. He said it would be fine sailing, even after he was shown otherwise. LZ says as a Zen Priest it is part of my spiritual training to rise above this. I am struggling to do so. Even just a thank you would have made a difference in my feelings.
 


The day after the day after…I had a sailing class to teach. When I was going to the boat, the three yard workers ( not the “Master” who acted like everything fine and normal) lined up when they saw me, and bowed deeply saying thank you for my effort. That was touching and warmed my spirit.

One thing for sure it will be my last sail from The north to Osaka. I have more Trauma from this than getting rescued off the coast of Mexico. This maybe my last sailing adventure blog post. Not from the Trauma, but because I will not trust his words on sailing conditions, nor will will I take another pickup a used unchecked out unknown condition boat from the North Pacific side of Japan to bring to Osaka. He may just cut me off. Oh well, I worked 24 hours and get paid the same as working a 8hr day. The only extra is food coverage. Perhaps it is best to have this motivation to find another income source.

Okayama

 

Another delivery

I was surprised at how this delivery came about. I was told I was not doing this, at least that is what I thought was being said. Then later I find out the person who told me this had quit and I was indeed doing the sail with one other guy who was new at this.

Hmmm, I had kind of lost track where, which delivery I was going to post about. So I will speak about the next to the last. I am having some Sake at a resort hotel with LZ today and we have free Drinks! I am in the lounge at Lake Biwa writing this, so not only did I lose my place, I am now digressing…
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The sail story…
Osaka, Tajiri Harbor to Okayama
 
The fairly new guy, the new owner and myself had a sail planned. We were taking the boat to the new owner’s marina. This was a fairly short sail it was to be done in one day. We set out early in the morning. It was somewhere around 5:30am . Way early, i got up at O dark thirty and was supposed to meet Yoh sensei at 4:30. He was late! I was sleepy! Grrrr. I rolled with it.
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We arrives at the marina in good time. We got what we needed organized and set off. We were taking a new Zen24 sailboat to a nearby island. We got an early start and expected to be back home by late evening.
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Weather was fair we set off with wind on the nose. Not fun but not too bad. It was slow going, sometimes unpleasant. Slowly we made headway. I was on constant alert for the first few hours. Checking the course, traffic, wind, sails etc etc. around noon we made it to the first marker. Awaii island, it was a little shaky at first, being the traffic lanes, there was it seemed like a current change, so some places the water was unsettled.
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We made it through without any issues, reset the sails and made the turn around the island, once we settled into our new long course everyone relaxed more and was able to get into their shifts, as in sleep.
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For the most part is a pretty smooth trip. I got to see some different islands and inlets. That is always fun when the weather is good. This trip it was. As planned we made it there and docked with no problems. We found afterward there was some issue that developed with the Rolling furl jib. Kawa-kun my first mate contacted Yo-sensei. We got it worked out enough that we could leave after doing a disable repair on the furling unit.
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Afterward we caught a train and headed back home. I got home sometime just before midnight. I think i rode the last train home.
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Another sail upcoming
Nagoya to Osaka

Return to Shikoku

Return to Shikoku

 
The day started for me at Way-too-early o’dark thirty. I had had about 1.5 hrs of sleep. Oh jheez! I had a club session with the Blues band the night before, ten finished packing, and prepared some food for the trip. I was out of the house and a little early to the meeting spot to hookup with Yoh Sensei. I stood and waited…and waited, he was late. Better him than me, so i waited. 
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He arrives and we are off to the marina. It is starting to get light outside now. We arrive and I load my stuff onto the boat. After some pre-sail preps we start out. The wind is good enough to set the sails once out of the marina. We do have a tail wind, however, there is a lot of chop! Unpleasant chop! I am put on first watch. This good and bad. There are three of us making the. Passage, so after my watch i get a solid four break. Nice! However i am sleepy now from lack of sleep. Oh well, I “shaolin-up” and roll with it.
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It takes more effort for me to not get seasick than to stay awake! The ride was rough and several times i was close to feeding the fish. I had taken seas-sick meds and had on my wrist bands, but still i was riding the edge of barfdom. Surprisingly i held the sickness at bay and we sailed on to my break. I was so pleased when that arrived. The chop has smooth down somewhat so the ride below deck was not bad. There I found the first bummer, minor but still a bummer, that turned into a larger bummer after getting home. I had brought my iPad along, as usual with my Nav-x software. Well a short while back I had to install a new OS , and reformat my drive. This meant I lost all my data. i could reload from a backup, but some items had to be re-downloaded from the maker. I tried to reload ,y Japan chart to Nav-x and was told I had to repurchase. WTF! The good mews they said is I can do so for 50% off the new updated version. My old one was no longer available! 😦
 
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Anyway…that is another story. For now, i made do with my smartphone. I had purchased Navitonics software with the Japan charts so I could still follow along electronically. course Yoh sensei had done a course plot on a paper chart, but i liked the handiness of just whipping out my pad or phone. On this case the phone. So. Had my new phone app and my new sailing jacket. I was good. The Jacket was perfect. Helly Hansen , offshore model. Nice. I liked it much better than the One i had been using and even better than the Gill i left on Zen II. I had this shipped from the UK, it was worth it.
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Ok, we sailed on the chop eased later. For the most part things went smooth. We made good time even got to a marked spot to soon and had to hang out some until the tide changed so we could past under a bridge. This marked the real start of the inland sea. The current was strong there at times and even had serious whirlpool during the tide clash.
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Once under the bridge the water smooth out and the ride was easy. I started thinking about breakfast and lunch and discovered with horror i had left most of my food supplies at home. With me I had water, tuna, some nuts, carrot sticks, cheese and lettuce from my garden. Ok, i will roll with it. I will not starve , it is only two days, really a day and a half, so I will just deal with it. I eat light while under sail anyway, so it was not too bad, I made do.
 
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Next up the motor starts sounding weird, and seems to lose power. This is now about 9:00 pm, it is dark we are in the shipping lanes. We made do with the sails to keep us moving while trying to figure out the engine problem. After a while they figure out with some speaking to the company mechanic to add some more oil to the motor. This helped and we were under full power again.
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Most of the trip, was sleep, eat a little, mostly sleep, read a little, and change watch. Two hours on and four hours off, is great! I got in good sleep time. The weather was not bad, no rain, not really cold, a little cool at night but not bad. Finally the night is over and it is day time. We are about 6 hours from landfall. Once again the engine is sounding weird and no power. This time Sensei says he thinks something is on the prop. He says he will have the boat hauled out once we landfall. However in the meantime he send the other crew member, the young guy into the water to check the prop. He does so and pull off a handful of seaweed. This helped greatly, once again we are up to speed. The rest of the sail was problem-less.
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We make landfall and start unloading our stuff from the boat. The new owner arrives and we greet him. He is not as friendly and cheerful as the other owners I have encounter after a boat delivery. Oh well. Sensei has the boat hauled out and we remover more stuff from the prop including some plastic . The boat gets relaunched and we go to eat lunch ! Yay! Food for me. It was not a great meal, but filling enough. Sensei paid and not the new owner as had been the case for the past deliveries. Yeah this guy was “different” he did not want to sit at the table with us, he sat at the table next to us. Sensei moved there and sat with him to talk. Yeah weird guy.
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After lunch we cleaned the boat and Sensei and I took the owner for a test sail. I showed him a few things he needed to know about handling the sails and we sailed around a bit, with him at the helm. Coming back into the marina, we went aground. Not hard, we were able to back off the spot, and going around to another entrance after a couple of tries.
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With that done, we finished packing, cleaning and headed for the train station. Again this owner made no offer to help as others had done in the past. Sensei did not say anything, but I thought the guy was weird. That could just be me.

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We got a taxi to the train station and had an easy trip home to Osaka.

 

Osaka – Niihama


Niihama, Ehime

 
A delivery of a 26 ft Yamaha. It was a sweet little cruiser. I liked it when i picked it up from izumesano harbor marine. A lot of wood, cabinet space, great setup. I would love to have it, the inboard diesel was rebuilt, we at the Aoki Yard did a fair about of stuff to make her travel ready for the owner. Part of the Aoki sale is having the boat fully use functional for the buyer/new owner.
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I was not pleased at all about making the trip, when I first heard about some UN-pleasantness to be had with this trip. The time was reduced from 3 days with stops to 24 hrs non-stop, with no auto-pilot, no gps! Yuk! Besides the rush factor, I hate overnight sailing. Constant need to watch for small boat eating cargo hauling sharks in the shipping-lane! So yeah I was not looking forward to it, then also heard it was supposed to be raining. 
Lucky the owner agreed to an Autopilot and GPS! The gps not a big deal I have mine own, three I travel with now. I installed them myself last week. Yeha, happy dance time. That was a big relief, the over-nighter was much more tolerable. Even more so since the chances of better weather showed a break, now in the cloudy skies of future travel!
 
Time came around Hamano-san and I set sail at the agreed time. I was the captain, he was the first mate, navigator. He was also suppose to be my BCC student for this trip. That really did not work out, mostly time wise. This was our first time on a sail of this type together. He had plotted out our course with input from Aoki Sensei, I was confident with it. I had made a chart from the way-points given on the sail plan, into my nav program on my ipad. This is very handy for me. All the times before on other deliveries I did not do this. This proved to be asset, several time over. I have decided to install the another on my SmartPhone. That I can also get up to date on the current, winds, waves. Most of the way we had phone access. Working the combination of hand and Digital tracking we had no navigation problems.
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As we set off we had some unpleasant conditions. Not dangerous , just unpleasant. The wind was up, not a big deal, being all headwind was. All the wind we had, was wind on the nose. We bashed along uncomfortable until around 11:00, when we rounded into the inland channel around Kobe. Once on the other side of Awaji island, things calmed. However we still had wind on the nose and no time to tack along. We motored through-out the passage. 
We did two hours shifts, one would watch and try to stay warm and fiddle with the small jib I had up. There were times it gave us a knot speed boast from just the motor. At the time I first open the jib, because it was easier to bring into use under sail and put away than the main. If we hit good sail conditions later, then it would be worth bringing it out of it’s cocoon.
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The night crossing was not as unpleasant as my mind had made it. A big part of that help was it was raining. It was though still, bloodly cold, even with the mountain of clothing I had on. It was mostly uneventful. A couple of small errors put us off course a bit, for a bit, still we made it safely to our landing spot. Even arrived ahead of schedule. There we hung out and cleaned up of stuff from the trip, while waiting for the new owner.
 
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I got to check out around the marina. I was surprised at the size and condition of the place. New docks were being added and a new big lift. It was not just the marina, but a nice, restaurant, a huge swim beach park area, car/people ferry.
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Impressive place. I could see snow still on the nearby mountain tops. Which did not seem that far away or tall. So I figured this place must bloody cold at times, down right unpleasant! Right now though it was not bad, and as the sun warmed the air more, even though hidden by clouds, thing grew more comfortable.
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The new owner was delighted at his boat. He was also pretty shocked when I encountered him on the walk down to the dock. I knew he was coming down to the boat shortly, he only spoke with Hamano-san. Imagine how shocked he as when I walked with him and asked if he was the new boat owner? Ahahaha.
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He turned out to be a very nice man. It was his first boat, and delighted! He took us to lunch it was quite good. It was not a small Japanese place or some little shop. It was a full blown nice restaurant, western/European menu type. I got a seafood lunch, they had steak.
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We took the new owner out for his test sail and we went over the systems operations and gave him some tips on sailing, and docking. Afterward we got a ride to the train station, for the train ride home.
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We both napped most of trip home-bound. I have to be grateful this was an uneventful and safe trip…I am.
 

Wind and Rain


Wind and Rain

At Aoki Yacht school, I am scheduled to captain the sailing club practice sails. Mostly it is just me and one other. A former student. He is quite dedicated and so far comes every month for the last maybe six month. Rain or shine.

This last week or so the session was held. It was a shocking warm day for a February. Pleasant wind, very mild temps. I was pleased, I am a fair weather sailor, I admit it!
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The morning started off nice at Tajiri Harbor, we made the Yamaha 23 ready to sail. After I got some gas in the tank we headed out. The nice thing about this is when I am being lazy I do not have to do much. My student puts up the sail and get everything ready, I steer and advise of he is off in his endeavors. Once the sails were up I man the jib sheets. Mostly we just do a couple of tasks, and he likes to sail close-haul. I just enjoy the ride. I ask him what he wants to practice, then we do that. Heave-to, Gibe, reefing.
 
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He likes to have his lunch break on time so we are just out for about 1.5 hrs before heading back to the marina. During lunch I generally use that time to practice my Shakuhachi. However today I found myself fairly sleepy from a late night before. So ended up just doing some Cat naps. It was good, fair temps, the rocking of the boat…
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After lunch we headed out again, the sky was not looking good. I had said earlier there maybe some rain in the afternoon, a shower. As we were heading out the sky darken, however the pleasant wind that we had for the morning, soon went elsewhere. It was replaced by a windless dark sky, which soon delivered rain. It started light, and increased. It was not one of those heavy downpours but a steady medium soaking. I made the mistake of not wearing my boats and just my work shoes which were only somewhat rain-worthy. I was expecting a light short shower. I was in fact quite wrong and my feet ended up quite wet, soaked in fact. I did bring my foul weather gear, so only my feet were in poor shape. Oh well. 
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We sailed on, and on, the guy was determined to get his money worth. After a while though he called it a day and we returned about 1 hour sooner than the scheduled end of the class. I had no complaints. By the time we got the boat put away it was not really that much of an early stop. Still I got to go home and catch up on my sleep.
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The date for the boat delivery has still not been set yet, however still should be this month. It is supposed to be a two or three-day trip on the inland Sea. The 1st mate I am giving his ASA basic Keel boat training this coming weekend.