Little Green Boat

Spruce left the UK in 2011, arrived in SE Asia during 2015. Finished land/air touring in Asia. Afloat again and getting ready to head east to Raja Ampat and on to Japan and Alaka in 2018.

21 May 2018 | Hakodate - Hokkaido - Japan
21 May 2018
21 May 2018
21 May 2018
21 May 2018
21 May 2018
21 May 2018
21 May 2018
18 May 2018 | Saigo, Noroshi, Sado Jima and on to Hokkaido
18 May 2018
18 May 2018
18 May 2018
18 May 2018
18 May 2018
18 May 2018
18 May 2018
18 May 2018
04 May 2018 | Oki Islands - Shimane - Japan
04 May 2018
04 May 2018

The Northern Island - Hokkaido

21 May 2018 | Hakodate - Hokkaido - Japan
Andy & Sue
In January, the typical daytime temperature in Hakodate barely climbs above freezing. Fortunately, in May, things are warmer, but inclement weather still makes frequent appearances. On one of the nicer days, we joined John & Kathy from Mystic Moon to head off to see the sights in one of the older parts of town, including a ride on the cable car to Mount Hakodate where magnificent views of the surroundings lie resplendent. The water off to the right of photo is the way we shall go when we depart for Kushiro in the east: around a headland just off to the right and then off leftwards behind the high ground in the background. The water on the left is the relatively sheltered port area, protected by substantial breakwaters.

21 May 2018
The history of Hakodate is varied. Japan’s 250-year closed period, during which Nagasaki was the only port allowed entry by foreigners, ended with the arrival of Commodore Perry under orders from the US President, Millard Fillmore. Perry’s ships were armed with the terrifying new “shell” projectile, which exploded upon impact. The method of gunboat diplomacy, so perfected by the Royal Navy before, brought a treaty that opened Hakodate and four other ports to foreign vessels. Russia’s eastern extremities being close by, their ships frequented Hakodate. The beautiful spires of the Japanese Orthodox Church are a vestige of that era.

21 May 2018
On some days, the mountaintop is obscured by cloud, squalls rattle downhill into the harbour whipping the surface into choppy wavelets, their tops blown off. The rubber buffers lining the dock wall are rather too deep for sailing boats with smaller diameter fenders. In this photo, Sue is hastily clipping down the cockpit canopy just ahead of rain bringing up the rear after the squall.

21 May 2018
Our primary focus is getting the boat ready for the passage across to the Aleutian Islands. We had expected to see several more yachts hereabouts by now. We know of four but they are still farther to the south. Perhaps the weather has been windier for coming north than in previous years, we have certainly been dodging a few gales.
One of the jobs is to check the bottom, we had intended to do it farther south where waters are warmer, but circumstances did not oblige. Twenty miles from Hakodate, we picked up more of that vexatious weed. Performance of a folding propeller is impacted markedly and little stopping power evident when using astern gear. Once in Hakodate, water temperature 11C, two wetsuits, hood, gloves and a tank of air enabled a brief 40-minutes underwater: cleaning the propeller, brushing off minor growth, making sure transducers are clean, checking the rudder bearings, cleaning fridge keel-cooler, cleaning anodes and HF Radio ground plates. It is surprising how much faster one works in cold water compared with warm limpid tropical seas. The coldest parts of anatomy were lower lip and feet.
We have a problem with our genset seawater pump seals leaking again; they seem to need changing every hundred hours of operation. Spares we bought in Australia have proved to be slightly the wrong size. Thankfully, a friend from Seattle joining Mystic Moon in Kushiro is bringing us a complete replacement pump and a number of spare seals. Without the genset operational for charging and running heating, supplementary to our diesel heater, our time in Alaska might be less fun than we are anticipating.
Today we filled with diesel fuel, we shall top off in Kushiro before our final departure from Japan. The 9Kg Japanese LPG-Propane bottle we bought in Okinawa has been re-filled (Local rules prevent filling of non-Japanese bottles). We have managed to keep our normal LPG bottles full en-route through Japan so we have plenty of propane stored in ventilated deck lockers. When we leave Japan, we may not be able to refill for some time. A different mind-set must be engaged once more, before heading out into the Bundu; this time a rather cold wilderness where we must plan to be independent from shore services and supplies.

21 May 2018
Another nice spell between wet and windy conditions, we issued ourselves a day –pass for an outing. A few cherry blossom trees are still in bloom, most went over two weeks earlier than usual. Here two flowers, Sue & Kathy, among blossom.

21 May 2018
Our visit happened to coincide with an annual festival that re-enacts the events that thrust Hakodate into the Meiji (Modern) Era following the termination of the Shogun era. A parade complete with mocked up ships on trailers, people in uniform from foreign navies and a local acting the part of Commodore Perry…
Vessel Name: Spruce
Vessel Make/Model: Hallberg Rassy 42 - Enderlein Design
Hailing Port: Portsmouth, UK
Crew: Sue & Andy
About: Sue is an artist, plays the flute and guitar. Andy enjoys technical challenges and hoped to learn to speak more Spanish. Unsuccessfully:-( Maybe this year?
Extra: During 2013 and 2014 we sailed across the Pacific to New Zealand and then Australia. 2015-16 brought us north into Asia. The past few years cruising has enabled us to visit many countries, meet lots of interesting people and to understand the world a little better.
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Spruce's Photos - Galapagos - San Cristobal
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The channel at Kicker Rock.
One of the cliff faces of Kicker rock.
Andy glowing after a brilliant dive at Kicker rock.
Galapagos Shark
Hammerhead Shark appearing from the murk
Interaction with Turtle - should be rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise, that
More turtle interaction
Sue having a fine day out
Spotted Eagle Ray
One of the huge shoals we swam through
King Angel Fish - a big shoal of those
White Tip Reef Shark in distance, probably a Galapagos Shark closer
Green Moray Eel - you can just see the cleaner shrimps on the right of picture
View from the top of Frigate bird hill.
A young Sally Lightfoot crab.
Different types of lichen
New growth on the trees.
Viewacross the bay too san Christobel
A blue footed Booby and a sea lion, sounds like a new cocktail
A lava lizard
Up close and personal to a cactus
Yellow Warbler.
Our swimming cove.
Andy sits amongst the sea Iguanas.
Lichen covered tree
Not sure if this is Sue on a good hair day or a bad hair day?
Barge blown onto a trip ship.
Succulents growing on the lava path.
A large cactus tree/
Not road kill just asleep.
Lichen covered plants by the coastal path.
A very cheeky Finch!
These sea lions came within a couple of meters of us, they were not at all bothered by our presence.
The same Sea lions moments later.
Plants on the lava.
Blue footed booby, nice bright feet.
The coast line path.
Andy takes a break making sure he is not sitting on any wild life first.
£ different types of lichen on this rock.
A swallow tailed gull.
A sea Iguana heating up after a swim.
This large Iguana did not move a muscle !
Scales on the iguana tail.
Sage of some sort, the smell was quite strong
A lava lizard
Sue posing.
Passion flower
A Galapagos warbler, this one kept flying closer to have a look at us.
A kiddies water-world play area, taken over by sleeping beauties.
Sea Iguana relaxing ashore,soaking up the rays before the next plunge
Volunteers please ladies! Who is going to pucker their lips and check out whether this is Prince Charming?
See how many sleeping sea-lions you can spot?
Wildlife in the market, these may not make it past the weekend roast.
Sally-Lightfoot Crabs cling to the rocks.
Sally-Lightfoot Crabs
Sea Iguana
A tough day on the beach...or life
Yes alive! Feed all night and sleep all day.
Big, smelly and not as cuddly as they look
Sally-Lightfoot Crabs
Sally-Lightfoot Crabs
Noddies clamour for fishy eats
Golden Cow Nosed Rays pirouetting alongside Spruce
Golden Cow Nosed Rays pirouetting alongside Spruce
Golden Cow Nosed Rays
Looking towards Frigate Bird Hill at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno... it seems the birds have been displaced by encroaching human habitation
Sunset at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno - San Cristobal.
Let sleeping sea-lions lie
North Coast of San Cristobal
North Coast of San Cristobal
North Coast of San Cristobal
Leon Dormida (Sleeping Lion) in the distance
Leon Dormida (Sleeping Lion)
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno - San Cristobal.
Swallow Tailed Gull
Neptune comes lookimng for the intruders who Crossed His Line
A scared crew
Shooting the sun at noon (taking a sextant angle of the sun
Sue, all at sea. Dawn and time for her watch, Andy
Just past the Equator, the first time our GPS showed a "South" latitude
Celebrating crossing the line in the middle of the night
Sue, happy to be back at sea...waiting for more wind...we got F8 a few hours later, thankfully from astern so fast and furious.
Showing our route away from Las Perlas Islands and Panama.