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 - FiJi
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Huge spider!
View of the bay of islands from the look out.
Batava pig roast evening
Our host family in Vulaga( Fulanga) Koro , Luvo and bettinnia
Our fare well kava night
Tea party on board Spruce.
Sue with Gale and Tara weaving partners and teachers.
Sue ans Jasmine
Sue serving Kava to the ladies.
Flower decorations being made for the visitors.
Ba working with the sewing machine
Ann Sy Charisma teaches the ladies how to quilt.
Jasmine , Koro and Gale.
Walking into the village
Lo, Jasmine and Bettinia
The village from one of the look outs.
One of the village houses.
Andy shows the children the film he is taking.
Nicholas makes a coconut fibre rope.
Soko waits outside the cave of skulls.
A view from the look out.
View from the look out.
A king fisher keeps an eye on us.
Children keen to watch the visitors.
Women from the other village
John and Andy at the fund raising Meke
Learning to dance
Meke dancing
Meke dancing , the chief in the back ground
We sit with the chief as his guests for the fundraising event
In search of shells.
Andy and John
Dog toothed Tuna
Andy found a beautiful cowrie, alive so he put it back .
shell seaker
Lime stone islets
Spruce anchored near the spit.
A ghost crab
Sue with the printing pupils
John and Ti with the mornings catch.
preparing the pandanas reading for drying.
in the cave of skulls.
Smoked fish in the village.
Mini one of the wood carvers, making a mask for us.
Tea on the porch.
A village view
We meet the chief.
Limestone islet.
Andy tucks into a dressed crab
Sunday lunch with the family
The choir
Joe beats the drums for church.
Children learning how to march at Draviuni school
Keeping cool
On the beach
from the top of the hill
Carole wearing her formal chumba to the Sevu Sevu ceremony
Andy drinking Kava
Sue drinking Kava
Mahi Mahi for dinner, tea , breakfast....
A clown fish
Makai and Macey with Sue
Beautiful coffee  made by Macey and Makai.
Makai and Macey
My coffee
Sues Sketch of Makai and Macey, done from  photogragh
Houses on stilts near a river flood plain
Sugar cane
Details of the carvings at the Hindu temple Nadi.
Andy and Sue dressed in appropriate attire to visit the Hindu temple
Andy Carole and Jimmy
1/2 kilo bundles of Kava ready to give as gifts for the chief of each village we visit.
The guard at the president
part of an Indian painting at the museum
Part of a very busy Indian painting.
Fijian Masi bark cloth material.
Wedding dress made from Masi
Masi tradition dress for the installation of a new Chief.
Traditional necklaces some made with Whale teeth.
Face painting designs
Masi decorated in traditional patterns.
The last remaining part of the Bounty
one of the last canoes.
Canoe under sail.
A canoe bailer
Fiji lifestyle
Kava lady . the bundles of Kava already packaged ready to give as gifts.
partaking in the Kava at the market
The kava root being prepared ready for buy.
Andy discusses Kava
Lovely veggies at the open market Suva.
Tumaric fresh from the ground.
Pandanas for the making of straw hats
Eggs anyone?