Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pre Xmas Fun

Kaki Run.
Last year we missed out of this Fun-Run event as we were celebrating Xmas in sunny NZ.
Now you wonder: Kaki?
Well, in Japanese it can mean: Persimmon... or in this case...Oyster.
All of us are prepping for this or that (ultra)Marathon, 
so our feet have to get moving anyway.

Start was at 6:30AM in Odo, see pink line 
(tell you,  2 runners had started at 12 midnight and had done already 45K!!).
Goal was Mamushi Hotspring in Itoshime, just under 30K.
Conditions would be okay as long as we'd make it to the bath before 10 AM...: Rain/snow was expected. 
The going was good & fun despite the strong cold head wind.


Oh yes, look at this mobile aid-station.
Ito-san and Marijke were in charge.....looking after us with
cake, cookies, candy, hot water, coffee, tea, soup,...

          .............and for the keen-under-us: Sakeh !
                  Not to forget  smiles and cheers.

Most of us arrived on time to be the first visitors of the day at Mamushi Hotspring.
More Fun.

And even more at today's Kaki-ya @ Fukuyoshi Village, around the corner from the hot-spring.

How to Kaki?
You just buy some oysters and/or other sea-food and together with +++ food items you have brought along.... cook, smoke, burn or what-ever your meal.
Don't forget the drinkies!

Yep, it's fun to do with your friends and esp. after those 30K.
.....and by that time it's blowing a snow-gale, outside.
Next day was a National Holiday (24th).
Good reason for an other get-together and officially take 
Noriko's Kintaro-Pizza-Oven
in use.

...... it looks like Kintaro-kun...
(Marina Animal Hospital's Chief Nekko).

Here Master Pizza Man Shinkai san in action....
Please say Miaou...

Inside it's about 600 takes << 2 minutes to Do-a-Pizza.

Wish you were there neh...

Cold, crazy but cozy and fun.
By times it was snowing & windy, by times the sun joined us.
Laughter, Wine and Good Food kept us warm.
Next day it was Xmas Day..
and we all just went to work.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

San Blas....1985

Soo often we are asked:
After all your travels…What's your favorite place on this planet?

Hmmm, let me think.
Do you mean: For work, for its climate, nature? 
Culture, food, the people….?

Well, of course we like it here in Japan.
If’s safe, we have the sea and the mountains, it’s reasonable clean, 
we have great friends, have nice jobs, can do & enjoy our hobbies, 
luff the seasons (if it’s not too hot or too cold) and…and… 
And yes Japan is also a great place for cruising around by sailboat. 

But….a special place we always think of with fond memories are the
San Blas Islands 
in Panama.
A group of islands on the north coast, east of the entrance to the Canal and stretching towards the Columbia border.
In November & December 1985, we spent a few weeks cruising around these islands on board of Jan Haring.  
Those were the days: 
Pre-GPS, pre-electronic charts and other Hi-tech boat stuff….pfff, like a fridge!
(Good Old Days?)
Also, those were the days we would see no other sailboats for weeks, just be by ourselves and in these islands sometimes with some locals.
(Yes, Good Old Days).

See here a few scanned slides/pictures from that time…..
Sorry not the best of shots and quality, but they tell a story.

The pink line was our direct dash from Aruba to the San Blas.
In the eighties any and every body liked to stay far away from Columbia pirates and drug runners were a serious problem.

Here Marijke is handling the sextant take sun-sights...
She'll would say BANG and i had to write down that moment's the second correct. 
Then after a lot of calculations we could figure out our position.....
at least.... more or less....with-in a few miles!!

Yes it was a fast and windy down wind run, 
with piping trade winds....and thus
according waves (here looking astern).
So timing it was when taking those sun-sights ...
BTW, just wonder how many cruisers out there (still) know how to find their ship's location by using a sextant....

And then.....
So peaceful, calm flat seas, pretty scenery, fish and lobster loaded clear blue waters...

Some of the San Blas Islands are inhabited..., some are not.
(drinking-water is always the problem).
The people of the San Blas Islands are Kuna Indians.
Jan Haring was anchored in front of this island for a week... 
we had an Amazing Time with the family.
Sharing meals, going fishing & snorkeling, working in the gardens (on the mainland), playing with the kids, reading stories...(no body spoke English and some only a little Spanish..), even going for walkies around the place....;-)

1985...being puppies ourselves..

Grandma and some kids visiting Jan Haring.
Tradition of the married women is to have their wedding ring pierced thru the nose....
Marijke had to do a lot of talking why her ring wasn't .
And wouldn't.

Local Mass Transport.

Ahh, a visit to the Big Smoke.
This village even had a store...where the locals were buying goods and paying for with....
Brown Coconuts!  
(3 were good enough for a bottle of coca-cola, 1 was an onion...).
Copra, the main source of money making for the Kuna Indians.

Plenty and happy kids!

Very few possessions could be found in any Kuna Household.
Like a pair of scissors...Nope.
So when Marijke told them she had scissors....
wow, a job was landed....
In return Marijke herself was given a traditional Kuna hair-cut.

Marijke showing off her hair-cut and...
The Catch of the Day!

After a few wonderful weeks it was time to move on, heading in the direction of the Panama Canal. But first a stop in
The harbor's ours!

 Jan Haring, sailing along nicely.
Our Home for 19 years and good for 80.000 miles.


Friday, December 7, 2012

She's Back...............Who's Back?

(click to read the story)

 Early August Fu Kyo's Onan Girl went to the doctor...

...Who discovered the source of all the smoke. 
(but Not the Why...)
Any way, the Onan dealer ordered new parts from the USA...
and ...the waiting...started!
Almost 4 months!

But Yo-Ho-Yo-Ho, just last week......
see the following pictures:

In the truck,

Can Fly,

Close up of the piece of string that "lifts" Onan Girl,

Part of the Get-Her-Inside Set-up,

Ready to pull Her horizontal?

In front of Her locker,

Couldn't do it without this Male Thing,

Gently does it,

Some push and pull is needed,

And finally put Onan Girl on her mounts.

  Welcome Home.

Now next week or-so, we're gonna splash Fu Kyo 
and give Onan Girl a good work-out.
Let the AC glow, let it glow, let it glow!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Red October

The trip to the US of PAE has delayed this posting.
Anyway, here it is.

As in so many places around the world, 
Autumn in Nippon is superb for Colors.

Of course you should see  
  Wings 'n Things.
where Marijke's pixs are showing her D90 Red.

But my small Coolpix scored some red as well.
One Sunday a Run was on the menu & the Trail would lead us 
into the Heart of Mt Kuju Land.
And yes, Noriko was dressed up in the appropriate color.
BTW...way down below in this picture you can see Mt Kuju's campsite, the only way to get there is to cross either mountain range, on foot!

And this is the Jewel of Kuju Land in Autumn.
Awesome neh.

As planned we met up with buddy runners at the top.
Great to share lunch, a yepper-the-yep,

....and a hug....

Then a few days later, with Marijke, we climbed the area near the Makoto Pass, also in Kuju Land.

The Lady with the Nikon in action.
It was a super day, for sure as it was the first time in many months that Marijke was able to do some hiking as her knees are getting better. what's red.....?

This beauty stands near Mt Raizan, just around the corner from Alishan. 

  .....And today......
It's late November.
Red aint no more.

That day we had a great Outdoor: Marijke chasing birds with her Nikon and the runners going around Mt Shooji. we went to a hot-spring for a good soak
and then for closing an other perfect day: 
A picnic a-la Nabe Style on TOP of Mt Ino.
Surprisingly it wasn't cold, as there was zero wind. 
 Together with the nice (warm) food and 
happy moments (sakeh flowed) we enjoyed
a great night-view over Fukuoka City.