Sunday, January 30, 2011

Outside Temp 0.5 degree C, Inside Temp 6 degree C.

At least that’s what the thermometer reads in the mornings when we dig ourselves free from all the blankets.
It looks like we are having one of the colder winters here in Fukuoka.
( see the heading of this Blog).
Aren’t we lucky?
Like today: On and off some sunshine and the odd snowflake on the deck. And it’s blowing a solid 25 knots from the NW. But with 1 kerosene heater on full blast the inside of Alishan soon reaches the mid-ten temps. And if we run the generator and switch on an extra electric heater…it soon feels like we’re back in the tropics. That’s good.
Jan Haring, our previous boat and home for 19 years was build for colder climates, with a well proven insulation layer on the inside. Alishan doesn’t have that sort of insulation, with a nasty result that beside the low temp, we also have a lot of condensation, esp. in the lockers.
Ahwell, only a few more weeks of shivers and drips….

After all, we did spot some plum trees with blooming blossom….,
So spring can‘t be far away…..

Marijke got an other number for her age, that event was also celebrated with a meal at our one and only local Taiwanese restaurant were we feasted on some of our favorite dishes. Of course in company of Jon & Pam and Mena.

The days are filled with some small boat projects, some birding, the odd run and yesyes a little bit of J.O.B. And of course keeping ourselves warm.

BTW, by times we have to "fight" for the chair.. as Nori made it his winter sleep-possy.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Psssst.......There is an update!

Marijke is so happy.....
The latest HP update is online.
Take a look at,
go to the menu bar on the left
and click Q4 report 2010.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kagoshima Birds.

Beside the marathon in Ibusuki, the trip to Kagoshima prefecture was also made to score s some special bird sightings.
The first stop was made at Izumi, the winter resting area for cranes.

Too bad we couldn’t come closer to their feeding grounds as the ill famous bird flu was in the air. Basically the whole area around the crane center is off-limits, but as you can see from the pictures we were able to see them well enough.
The other stop was at Sendai where we spotted the Spotted (!) Eagle. This beauty comes here already for 19 winters, so he’s a local hero. We were very lucky as the weather was perfect, little wind and a blueblue sky.

Snapshots at Kagoshima

Our Along the Road Support Team. Not showing Marijke as she took the picture...
Thanx a lot Team!

The Group Together, after a well earned meal, with plenty of fluids and the odd sing-a-song;-)
Did we sleep well that night.

We also made a stop at Akune where we stayed 2 weeks over summer with Alishan.
There were many new wall paintings.
See that tower...!!
Great job Sensei.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On the Move ehhhhh On the Road

The end of 2010 was cold and the mountains around Fukuoka were covered in snow. So one day we took the car for a spin and drove to Mt Raizan, where we spotted this monk going down hill to town. Yes the road was slippery.

Mt Raizan has this amazing temple. One of the best sights to visit here in Fukuoka.

Like before, January 3rd was Tamaseseri Day. It is a fisherman's event (plus 1 yachty...) where a wooden ball is being transferred from the seaside to the local temple. Holding onto that ball will bring Good Luck, hence the "rugby scrum" . Cold water is to cool down the boys... As you can see it was also a rainy day, i won't have to tell you how good it felt to jump into a hot bath afterwards.

The best spot to stay warm is inside the group! Ouch, did i hear a rib crack?

A few days later we hit the road again, this time for a trip to Kagoshima. We decided to take the mountain road due South of Fukuoka...And pretty white it was up there....
This was the scenery at Sendai River:

Warm sea water is entering the river mouth. That morning all and everything was covered with a coat of ice, something we hadn't seen since 2006!

One reason for this Road Trip was the Ibusuki Marathon.

See here friend Noriko, smiling at 14K point...
The course is Up and Down a lot....

Lots of well wishers along the road. Marijke did a great job cheering up us and the other 15.000 runners. THANX!! She even made it to the "front page" of the local TV station.

Well, this is at 41K point. The smile is ONLY for the camera as ..... anyway i made it to the finish. And that's what counts.

On the Road again the next day, after of course the compulsory Hot Spring Stop ( PM soak # 5), we saw these Big Long Radish being dried. Driving around here in Kagoshima we felt we were a long way from home.