Monday, June 28, 2010

Aka Shima Pix

Along the wall at Aka Shima port.

Somewhere down there is Alishan. It's soo pretty here.

At Aka Shima, Also Known As...

Well, we had the best 24 hour sail since....leaving.... Japan..... about 4 years ago.
Doing an average of 5 knots, not having to use the engine at all!
And funny it was the same passage, but in the opposite direction.
After a super time at Ikema Shima Alishan left Sunday morning for the 140 miles trip.
Wind S, SE, course 060. Calm seas and a full moon at night.
Now we remember how it can be ;-)
It was so comfy that we even had a hitch hiker: Mr Booby travelled most of the trip "sitting" on the pulpit. But at one stage he was resting on the top of the mast! At sunrise he was gone but around coffee time he came back for a few more hours....but getting closer to the Kerama Islands...he decided to go back to sea.

Aka Shima is one of the islands of the Kerama Retto group. It's not the first time we are here...and we love it. It is especially pretty now it is summer: the sea, the islands, the coral, the beaches.....
26 degree 11.3N
127 degree 17.1E

Later this week Alishan will move to Okinawa, a 25 miles trip from here.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Ta Shing Port?

Sailing away from Ishigaki, with Tweed side by side. 
It was hard to say Goodbye.
But, we will be back!

Sunrise, with Big Fat Thunder Clouds to the north of us.....
Alishan just managed to stay clear of the lightning.

In Ikema Port...
or should we say Ta Shing Port?
With Alishan and 3 power boats (all Nordhavn), 
and all built by that same boatyard in Tainan, Taiwan.

NB:  This story has a tail.
Please check out:  SHOGUN SOJOURNS


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ikema Port, a Juwel

It was so difficult to say Goodbye to our friends and to Ishigaki.
You made us really feel At Home Again.
But as it is, Alishan has made a Move to the East. We are now at Ikema Port, position:
24 degree 55.4 N
125 degree 14.9 E
We had one of the Best sails along the NW coast of Ishigaki, flat seas and a nice breeze from the SW. The sun was setting beautifully and the moon came out likewise. Too bad, around midnight it was the opposite: wobbly seas and very little wind from the Yanmar work. We had heaps of thunder to the North of us, but kept boat and ourselves dry.
Alishan will be here, for a short stop, again, and move on towards Okinawa.


The Japan Coast Guards came to visit us here, and one of the senior! officers didn't understand what Country "DUTCH" was. So i showed him the flag we have waving at the stern.
Ahhh, he said: Dutch is French.... ;-)


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Having a Good Time in Ishigaki

Japan's calender is full with "matsuries" = festivals.
We are lucky with being here right on time to enjoy the dragon boat races. Held every year on the 4th day of the 5th month (moon counting).
It is also the final day of the rainy season for Ishigaki area.

And here are the local fishermen teams going.... What an exciting event!

Hmmm, fried rice with squid, including the ink.
Looks.....What do you think?
Tastes...tell you: It's yummy!

Jon and Pam of sy Tweed, our boating buddies since Palawan.
Always in for a new food experience.

And here are the crew of sy Bannister: Hendrik-Jan and Hanna.
They too like the food and the fun

One day we drove the car "all the way" to the NE point of Ishigaki. We had been here before...always in winter, when the NE winds are blowing. Now, in the SW monsoon, the seas
are so friendly. Next week we plan to sail past this point on our way to Miyako Shima


Friday, June 11, 2010

Alishan is in Ishigaki

After a pleasant stay in Hualien, Alishan left Taiwan on Wednesday June 9th.
We had a comfy overnight trip to Ishigaki, Japan.
The wind was from a good direction and the seas were "flat". Ha! and ever since we are here it has been raining and the wind is UP+++.
Happy to be in port.
And so happy to see familiar people and places.
24 degree 20.6N
124 degree 08.8E
The officials came with many (+ with plenty forms to be filed out), all were friendly and helpful.
Probably because we did the, by now ill-famous Pre-Arrival Paperwork correctly ;-)

Well, when and where do we go fro now on?
Of course there are boat jobs waiting and we will have a social calendar.
No doubt the local Bird and Hiking Scene will be explored and our new bicycles will lay for sure some rubber on the roads.