Sailing the Izu Islands and Beyond

Vessel Name: Samurai 6
Vessel Make/Model: Gib'Sea 414 Plus
Hailing Port: Tokyo Japan
21 May 2012 | Tokyo Japan
17 May 2012 | Oshima
16 May 2012 | Off Hachijojima
15 May 2012 | hachijo-jima
15 May 2012 | Hachijo-jima
15 May 2012 | Hachijo Jima
12 May 2012 | north of Chichijima
12 May 2012 | Chichijima
11 May 2012 | Chichi Jima, Ogasawara
09 May 2012 | Chichi Jima
09 May 2012 | heading towards Ogasawara
08 May 2012 | 130 miles north of Iwo-jima
08 May 2012 | Location: 230 miles SSE from HachiJo
08 May 2012 | Somewhere in the middle of the Pacific
07 May 2012 | South of Hachijo-Jima
06 May 2012 | 102 Miles South of Hachijo Jima (31d21.35' N Lat; 140d20.28' E Lon)
06 May 2012 | Hachijo
02 May 2012 | Kozu Island
Recent Blog Posts
21 May 2012 | Tokyo Japan

Belated update: home again

The road goes ever on and the ocean seems endless but after 3 weeks of sailing I returned home with the rest of the crew safely on Friday evening. The last adventure on the way home didn't involve wind and waves but was significantly worse. However, in the interest of keeping this safe for lunch time [...]

17 May 2012 | Oshima

Big waves

So we made fantastic speed today traveling around 125 miles by 8:30pm but as we were passing Oshima we were seeing gusts just under 40kts and huge waves. I rode down one wave at 14.5 knots. It felt like I was on a 7 ton surf board. It was getting a bit too exciting for an all night sail, however, [...]

16 May 2012 | Off Hachijojima

4:46 AM

We've just left the island harbor for Tokyo. We should arrive in 30 hours give or take 5.

15 May 2012 | hachijo-jima

Miss E talks about sailing

Written by Miss E.

15 May 2012 | Hachijo-jima

Catch up

Sorry for the slow updates everyone. I'm going to hand over to Eve here in a few minutes to demonstrate her writing prowess.

15 May 2012 | Hachijo Jima

safe harbor, waiting out the wind

Samurai's peaceful and slightly boring Monday evening (still motoring) turned exciting during the crew's nightly game of hearts. Aaron checked the bilge to find they were taking in a significant amount of sea water. They pulled up everything to locate the leak, discovered the problem in the exhaust water line and were able to repair it. Nothing like your boat taking on water without land in sight! The wind then began to pick up, the sails went up and the weather kept getting heavier. By early Tuesday morning the wind was gusting in the 30's and the swells peaked as high as 5 meters. By 1PM they brought the boat to the leeward side of Hachijo Jima where the waves calmed a bit but the gusts coming off the island were 40 knots. It was a wild ride into the harbor but they made it. The crew has been to the onsen (first warm bathe in 9 days for 3 of the crew members and the first bathing at all for one member--not disclosing identity), they have eaten and are all sleeping soundly. After Aaron and Mark helmed those rough conditions, they were quite pooped. Apparently, they all have their "sea legs" now and nobody lost their lunch. More to come from the crew tomorrow.

Day 2

02 May 2012 | Kozu Island
So this is the second day where the boat has not moved from the port at Tako-wan (although if you're sleeping on it with 30 kts of wind whistling around then the boat still moves around enough to make you feel like you are sailing). Yesterday was rain all day and last night as we came back from the onsen it was dumping buckets. Today is clearer, however, and the fishing boat we were tied to left at 5:30 am which was my wakeup call as although the crew of the fishing boat were trying to quietly slip out from between us and the wall, they aren't really sensitive to sail boats. They made it out and after climbing up the wall in the rain at low tide to fix the lines I tried to go back to sleep, but the second human alarm clock (Reed) was already awake and he is not really ever quiet. It's why when he was a baby we used to like it when was sick.

The itinerary for the next few days is as follows: swimming and snorkeling today, boat prep tomorrow and then late night departure to sail mostly overnight to Hachijojima by Saturday afternoon. Then we will sleep ashore to be able to make the transition from family sail to the next leg of the journey to Ogasawara. That means taking off all of the toys and other kid stuff, although maybe I will leave the pink box of legos for Eve to play with.

I've been coming to Kozu for 3 or 4 years now and one thing is very clear--when a group of noisy gaijin guys travel someplace together, the treatment by the locals is radically different than when you travel with young kids. Landing in the fishing ports used to feel like entering a war zone where the fishermen would sooner have sunk us than helped us. This time, howoever, showing up with 4 kids they are bringing over buckets of fish. In fact we've been given so much fish (and squid) by the fishermen and the local obachans that we're going to have a hard time eating it all. Last night Elan cooked with the ladies that run the restaurant at the onsen (the only dry refuge we had for the day) so she could see how they would cook the aji (fish) we had been given. It ended up as a breaded sort of tonkatsu-like donburi that was very good.

So at this moment I'm sipping a cup of warm tea and enjoying the gentle rocking motion of the boat as the dull roar of noise goes on around me. Reed is cleaning the floors, Perry is doing dishes, Tess is jumping from bench to bench singing some kind of song and occasionally Elan is yelling commands. I'll sign off here in anticipation of the next instruction coming my way.
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