Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ni Mai Season

Ni Mai.

Or in English: Two Layers.
Yep it is cooling down.
There are moments these days we need two layers of clothing.
Tell you, it even feels nice to wear long pants again. 
And sleeping?...No Sweat at All!

First a short report Re a Spin with Esther the Car made early August. 
South of Karatsu is a hilly area where rice is grown on 
man-made terraces, with stone walls.

 An area also with plenty of wild pigs, hence the fence.

Our first target was Mt. Hachiman...
and yoho-yoho, see those antenna towers?
The road should be going Alll the Way. 
Remember, that was still early August..and too HOT to walk.

So......indeed Esther took us all the way to the top...
.....our heads in the clouds.
         And this was the splendid view....

Down we went again and there was the valley.
 Plenty of rice fields, nice and crispy green.

 Who says red should be the color of luff??
Last week Esther made that Spin again...

Oops , it's all mellow-yellow now!
Usually this time of the year the walls around the rice fields are covered with red flowers , but due to the enormous rains Kyushu had this spring.....
No Red to be Seen.
Then a few days later...

Thought so!!
Just around the corner from Alishan: Red Flowers. 

As said, it's much cooler these days, so it's time to re-explore the hills just to the south of Imajuku.
This road is leading to the start of the climb...& most of the trail-run along the mountain ridge you see in this picture (above).

There is a spring with tasty water. Last chance to fill your bottle.

The first Torries leading towards..

Mt Kanonga temple.

...Autumn is here.
Somewhere along the trail.
What a beauty neh.

That is Itoshima, play-ground for last week's ultra marathon.

Hakata Bay, on left-middle Noko Island. 
Alishan is somewhere at the top-right side of this pix.

.....one more shot on the road home.
Rainbow colors?
That was a great trail-run & perfect weather
According to Google Earth some 20Ks. 

That day, even Wakame was tired;-)


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Back on Board

Those were the days in Holland.
Two weeks full of Sad, Difficult, Happy, "Gezellige", Tasty and  Fun times.
It was good to be with our sisters and bro's, 
but Home is in Fukuoka.
So we loaded the suitcases, including some 7 kg of Good Cheese, took a deep breath, climbed on board a plane or two 
and "did" some 23 hours of uncomfy "air-travel"
Hmm, why do we have nasty translations for airline abbreviations.???

Flying into Fukuoka. 
(i know, i know about those electronic toys etc...)
Right is the Japan Sea, middle is Uminonaka, at the the top the entrance to Hakata Bay (left).
Red arrow is pointing to where Fu Kyo is on the hard stand.

Just before landing at Fukuoka Airport.
Alishan is somewhere in right-top part of the city. 
Only 30 minutes away by subway.
Nori...Wakame...we are almost there!!!

And then, after 1 week at home...(wow what a jet lag),
Nori messed up his ear.
And had to go back to Marina Animal Hospital for some serious stitch work.
Thanx for the Good Care!!

But happily, after only 1 night stay he was allowed to come on board again....
But No Walkies Ashore, of course,
So 2 more weeks of using the toilet box..

Who's not yet ready to come "home"...
is Fu Kyo's ONAN generator.
See here at the service station's workshop.
And indeed they found the cause of the SMOKE
But were not able to explain to me why it had smoked,
And were indeed able to tell that ordering parts from the ONAN USA would take 2 months!
(how long did it take them to go to the moon and back?) 

See red arrow where the ONAN started its own smoke-oven...

Well, back to Fukuoka FunRun Facts.
The extra soft padding i gained in Holland had to come down...
so i joined my running-buddies.
They all were 99% prepped for the Itoshima  58 K or 100 K marathon the week after this 20K practice run.
Ouch, that was little fun and tuff going for me after all those stroopwafels and bruintjes kaas...;-) 
But happy to have been out There with You.

And this is the start of that 100 K Itoshima Marathon , AM 5,
Sunday Sept 16th. The day before a big T-bag was gonna hit Kyushu..

.......And at 11 AM, the start of the 58K.
By now it's raining and will do so for most of the next 48 hours.
At one stage the 2 groups would join the same trail, notable at Itoshima's own beer factory....where many-a-runner downed one...

Marijke and i were helping out with taxi service, "traffic contole", aid stations and runners-on-the-go support.
The Red Rocket is ready-to-go!

The first 5 of the 58K.
Solid rain, ideal temp and as you can see Good Spirits.

The runners have just done that hill you are looking at...
Ha, and there is one more climb to follow...
Even for the Red Rocket that next one was tuff to make it a non-stopper-to-the-top.
(but did it 3 times)
Note the weather; It wasn't perfect for a sunny day at the beach....
But the surfers out there were having a ...wave of a time.

And this is Mrs T-bag named Sanba, Monday AM.
She is passing us to the West, making it a direct hit for 
South  Korea...that is 3 in a row in 1 month!
Fukuoka is more or less in the middle of this map.
Mrs Sanba's giving us strong (30-40 knots) southerly winds. Not the best of directions as Alishan is on a lee-shore. But both anchors are holding. So far only blown-out stitches of some canvas work and some lost nerves...Oh-yes, those T-bag do effect you. Well at least it aint cold..


Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Hmmm, What time is it?

Just take a closer look and see..
It's 1 hour after Hoog Water= High Tide.
Also note, it's close to Spring Tide.
Yep it's a High Tide-Low Tide clock.
Apparently invented in and for the Port of Maassluis. 

Maassluis has a long history for being home-port for (ocean going) tugboats.
Now it's more or less a museum port. 
See here two residents. The most famous is the FURIE. http://english.furie.nl/
Holland's oldest sea going steam tug boat...almost 100 years old now.

 Some serious steering stuff...,
No-no, no auto-pilots like we have on Alishan and Fu Kyo.

Remember, our world travels with sy Jan Haring started more or less from Maassluis, that was in 1984.
And on paper, Maasluis is home port for  sy Alishan.

When will i see you again....
What's that song again??


Saturday, September 8, 2012

So...So...So Holland

What do you think...??
Great conditions for a bicycle ride neh.

So we did. 
There a zillion bicycles-only trails crisscross Holland...
What a pleasure to paddle...
The only hick-ups are the bike-racers....wow, they zoom around at amazing speeds and think they own the road....

You see, when it's nice weather and flowers are blooming...
....good to be there.

Somewhere in the dunes, just south of The Hague. 
We had to go to this city "to do" our new passports.
Took us 2 hours cycling to get to the office, NICE.
3 Hours waiting for our turn, Not so nice!
30 minutes to fill out the forms and pay the bills, Easy
And an other pleasant bike ride home to Maassluis
Sore bums by now.
Oh yes, 3 days later, we could pick-up the new documents...
(Way easier than doing this process in Japan: we would have to fly back and forth to Tokyo!!)

Time for an other stroll, this time some heather fields near Wageningen.

The local yacht harbor in Wageningen.
We had stayed here, now almost 30 years ago, with our 
 sailing yacht JAN HARING.

The River Rhine, facing upstream.
That's where we had come from (Arnhem).

This time of the year, the Rhine is so.......so....different from the seas and oceans we have seen ever since...

This location is: Hoek van Holland.
Final stretch of water what started as River Rhine....
Port of departure for us in 1984. 

With Long Time Friend, Crew and Sister 
in front of farmhouse:
yep, it's for sale..

Miauw...eh... Salute

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Knives and Forks

 Consuming food is an important activity while Family Bonding.
Coming from the Land of Chopsticks, Sushi, Sashimi 
and Slurping Noodles....we noticed: 

 #Food is knife and fork work, one can go fast and eat a lot.
#All food is served like Mountains...
#It all taste so good and there is some much to choose from.

See here a few pictures taken during our visit to the Low Lands.

Food on your plate Marijke: Concentration, concentration!
This was in Brussels at one of the restaurants with an outdoor terrace.

First,  the Mighty Three:

1) Hollandse Nieuwe Haring...
Wow, wake me up any time...

2) Bruintjes kaas
Finding good whole wheat bread in Japan is almost not possible. 
(well, for a price it is...)
Not even talking about Good Old Gouda Cheese...,
 or goat cheese, or Edammer, or....cheese,

3) Stroopwafels with a cup of Good Dutch coffee...
Never ever do you eat only 1 wafel....

And there is more...

Our favorite:
Witlof with some cheese cooked in the oven,
Stampot rauwe andijvie and verse worst.

Cheese croquet.

Sssst: Family at Work

Chicken Curry Madagascar style.

Cooked mussels Brussels' style... portion is for 1 person!
Note the always and ever supplied french (Belgium) fries...

 Hot Poffertjes with an extra portion butter.

Baked eel.

And last, something that was almost like home-sashimi-home: smoked, raw and minced salmon, some ikura and zeekraal (kind of wakame).

Back in Japan...we're showing food-withdrawal symptoms,
and pfff, have an amazing amount of blubber to be burned off.

Where are my running shoes...??