Saturday, August 28, 2010

Kagoshima Ken

Kagoshima Ken has a great sky-line. Wakame is also enjoying this perfect sunrise moment whilst Alishan is slowly sailing towards the coast on our trip from Yaku Shima.

Chiran is famous for its Samurai history. Here a sneak pix of one of the gardens...
Not a bad spot to watch the Stones Grow.

The windward coast on the day of the small TD we had at Kasasa Ebisu.
Happy to see the sea from this point.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Just in Time

Alishan left Makurazaki early Friday morning before the wind picked up. Already a nasty swell was running at the entrance of M port, but soon we were able to run down wind and with the waves around the corner to Akasa Ebisu.
31° 24' 924 N
130° 08' 047 E
The resort here in the bay has a nice pontoon and we are able to use it. Of course not for free, but's perfect to sit out this small typhoon. So far we had some nasty wind bullets, ( maybe 30~40 knots) but that's all. At night we soak in the resort's hot spring... So nice.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Alishan is in the fishy port of Makurazaki. Position:
   31° 16' 126 N
130° 17' 607 E
Fishy? Well, fish smoking !! it is.
Due to the season there is not much Katsuo= bonito  fishing activity, but the cool houses are loaded. 
Half the town consist of fish smoking factories, so that bizz goes on as usual. And can be smelled for miles.  Once smoked it is then shaved to very thin slivers for all sort of Japanese food toppings. Even PIZZA gets some.
The trip from Yaku Shima to here was NICE. We left the harbor just before sunset. The moon was up already, 95% full. No cloud in the sky and we had a great sail across. Of course there were the odd BIG containerships we had to avoid, ( Tokyo/Osaka~Hong Kong/SIngapore route), but with the perfect visibility all went well. There were enough hours in the night, so the little wind we had from behind gave us a perfect timing for the landfall.
Alishan will stay in this port a few days, until we ourselves get smoked out. It is still HOT, but the sea temperature!! is a few degrees down. And we found  a nice Sento=public bath house. Wow, it's so good to soak in such a bath.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Some Anbo Pix

Concrete walls in Japanese ports. Here is Alishan
at the foot of the cement tower.

Yaku Shima has many OLD inhabitants. This one is at least 1500 years old.

And these oldies "like to do it together".

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And cool it is, at least at night!

As you might have seen at Google Earth, Anbo port and town is right at the mouth of the Anbo river cq valley. Both water temperature and ESP night breezes are a pleasantly cool. Even inside, the floor of Alishan is: cool!

The other day we got a ride up to Yakusugi Land, a natural park where 2000++ year old sugi trees can be found. OF COURSE by times it rained tropical! but walking around in this forest, even in pouring rain is magic. Every corner in the path showed us more giants! Pretty water falls and small streams, plenty of deer and monkeys ( the friendly variety, not like those mean rubbish bin macacs in Malaysia) The "park" is 1200 meters above sea level.... we got a guided tour/ride up with Mr Yamada, who runs a small B&B here in town....with in the booth of the car...our bicycles, for the return journey...THAT was fun!

Talking about Giants. Jaap's Giant bicycle took him around the island yesterday. Round trip is 98.9 K, it took me 7 hours with the odd stop for sightseeing and close encounters with deer and monkeys. Coming from the-land-below the sea...those 200 meter hills ARE high! Marijke went bird scouting, but somehow..very few birds to spot here. But plenty of butterflies and flowers.

some pictures:

Nori and Wakame have their own concrete jungle here ashore: Big blocks to be used for new harbor projects... Don't think they really like those blocks.

The weather still looks settled, the plan is to make a move after the weekend.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Anbo, Yaku Shima

Alishan just found a possy along, yes again, a concrete wall at
30 degree 18.7N
130 degree 39.5E
The trip across from Koniya was with very little wind, from behind and choppy seas due to the ever running currents and counter currents in this part of the pond. We had a super view at 3 BIG thunderstorms forming to the west of us, joining each other and....never dropped a drip or a thunder on us.
As anywhere here in southern japan:It's Hot, extremely hot. So we keep it low key....
OR go up in the mountains here on the island. Top is 1900m above sea level...must be cool out there...
Tell you later.


Friday, August 13, 2010

That was a TD

Koniya's Summer Festival did go ahead despite the rain. The karaoke was fun to watch, as there were many traditional songs and dances. And the fireworks were still splendid, about 1 hour oh's-and-ah's...but also leaving loads of fireworks rubbish on the deck!
And indeed that nasty weather turned into a TD (it did reach us the day after the summer festival). Not a deep TD, we saw 985 on the weather map, 1006 on board. So yes we had some wind, most in the range of 25-35+. The rain was plentiful. That was good to wash the boat!
We had stayed at the little basin with extra lines across to the other side and all went well. Don't know if we would stay here if a real big blow would come over. Wind protection is perfect, but the surge here can be dangerous.
After drying out we took the Lend-a Car for a spin around the island, it's so pretty here. Too bad we can't and dare to move off road to far into the bush as Amami Oshima is ill famous for poisonous snakes!
Now the weather looks okay for the next week and Alisahn will make a move North again.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Amami Oshima

We left Izena with a wind/weather/sea forecast that promised to be good.

As we moved away from a lee-shore concrete wall, there was little wind. Out at sea, as soon as the sails were up...the bumping and jumping started. First due to a fat squall with some lightning and plenty of rain and then plenty of wind. Just on the beam, that was good enough so we could lay our course for Amami.

BUT did the seas built up. Nasty 3~4 meter waves.

With the cockpit curtains down we were mostly comfy, but the going became rough. Lots and lots a waves jumping on deck etc.

Turned out that JMA issued a "high waves and thunder storms" warning for our area...

And ...That weather system did develop into a TD ( early stage of a typhoon)..moving SW (away from us) and later in the's coming back to us!

Anyway, after 14 hours Alishan found shelter in the lee of Amami and we decided not to move further on..just let Alishan drift for the remaining nite-hours. Next morning with first daylight we moved on to Koniya. Where we first anchored for some R & R. Later in the afternoon we moved to:

28° 08' 720 N
129° 18' 600 N

red circle is Koniya.

Alishan found a possy for a night. Or two. Or three.

Nice spot, next to a small park. Right downtown. Water for Alishan and us and trees and grass for Nori and Wakame.

And what a timing, this weekend it is Summer Festival. And yes in the park is the stage for karaoke..... Oh No.
Will let you know if and how we survived.

There is also an hour fireworks display on the schedule...let's hope the weather will be fine.

As said, it looks more like fat autumn weather, low fast flying clouds and by time nasty wind bullets...and rain. brrr


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Eisa Pix

Soo hot, it was at least 35C and the tarseal didn't cool them either..
But for us, it was a great show to watch.

Teach them young.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Back to Cruising

Alishan made a Move.
We are now at NAKADA KO on Izena Shima;
26 degree 55.6N
127 degree 67.0E
And of course, after weeks of SW winds, the wind is now N. So we have to sit-it-out here until later in the week when the SW will come back ( so the weather maps tell us). Not a bad place, friendly people, slowww traffic and just big/small enough for running and cycling.
And Nori and Wakame Luff it here. Green grass on the shore to play hide-and-seek and jumping fish (onto the deck) for breakfast.

We (almost) did (all) the things we wanted to do in Okinawa.
Thanx John and Naomi of sy HORIZON for the lend-a-car, your company and help.
Ginowan Marina was indeed a good and safe stop. Great place to meet other cruisers, locals and overseas. AND of course we did like That Yellow Cord... with plenty of 100Volts streaming towards the Aircon and other electronica....(remember, Alishan is setup for 100 volt, a problem where 220 V rules the marina)
Departure day was delayed by 1 extra day: we wanted to see Naha's Eisa Festival. We watched hundreds and hundreds of dancers and drummers doing the Eisa dances in Naha's main shopping street. Don't know why they do this festival at that time of the day; Start is 1400, temp is 34 degree C. But for us watching it from a possy in the shade it was a great experience.
Thank you all!
(pictures will follow).