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.
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/littlegreenboat
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Spruce's Photos - Antigua & Barbuda
Photos 1 to 47 of 47 | Main
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A replica J-Class yacht, similar to Velsheda, returning from being put through her paces out at sea in preparation for the racing of Classic Week starting on 16th April 2010.
The 25 feet long Swedish vessel Ouhm at Jolly Harbour Marina, Antigua. Ingrid and Jonas sailed her from Goteborg. THeir longest passages were from Cork to Madeira and then from the Canaries to Guadeloupe acoross the Atantic in 39-days. Jonas went over the side in mid-Atlantic to scrape off the goose barnacles that had slowed their modest speed by 1-knot.
John and Sue providing "Sundowner Concert" aboard Spruce anchored at Falmouth Harbour - Antigua. The audience were the crews of Aleria (Alex & Daria), Rapau (Keith & Welly), Moonlight (Anne with John playing clarinet)
Neslon
Neslon
One of the transatlantic rowing boats. When we left La Gomera in the Canaries back in November these guys were preparing to depart in December for Antigua. The adverse weather delayed their departure until early Jan. Some are still at sea and due too complete soon.
Neslon
Neslon
Moon setting in the West as the sun rises in the East ...
Sunrise in the East and the full moon was setting in the West...
Rock Folly anchored at Barbuda. Steve has sailed her around the three-capes (Good Hope, Leeuwen and Horn), he will completed his circumnavigation when he re-visited Cape Town after South America and is now 5-days out from Barbuda (3rd April) on his way back to the Azores, then UK
J-Class vintage restored yacht Velsheda getting prepared for Antigua Classic Week. A restored J-Class vessel built in the 1930
English Harbour Entrance 2010 ... but a 1952 style view to help Ray Warman
English Harbour Entrance 2010
English Harbour & Nelson
A battered transatlantic rowing vessel... we think this one came for 80 days then didn
Ashley aboard the vessel in which he and a partner rowed from the Canary Islands to Antigua in about 80-days at sea. His rowing partner has left Ashley here while he joins an Everest summit climbing expedition in the Himalaya.
Looking North at Low Bay on the West coast of Barbuda.
The hunter-gatherers off to find fish.
Launching a dinghy in the gaps between larger swells.
Trolling for fish with a lure - unsuccessfully.
Latest Zinc-Oxide cream anti-sun fashion.
Not to be outdone by Sue, Andy also sports cricketer fashion.
An "upside down jellyfish". Apparently these are eaten by turtles.
Scene above the Frigate Bird Colony - inner lagoon Barbuda.
Looking South along Low Bay beach on the West cost of Barbuda.
Steve casting his fishing net in the style learned in Sierra Leone.
Preparing the BBQ with dried mangrove wood.
A conch shell. There are many of these around, the ones that are spoil from human consumption have a machete cut at the top of the spiral... without is a natural demise.
Young frigate birds on the nest awaiting the next meal from airborne gatherers.
Adult Frigate Birds sitting on nests.
Andy tying up to a rickety jetty at Codrington.
Our guide to the Frigate Bird Colony, "King Goldilocks".
An unsuited male Frigate Bird indicating availability with his red throat display.
Wandering lonely as a cruiser on a Caribbean beach.
Juvenille Frigate Birds sitting on the nest and waiting for a free meal from Mum & Dad.
Sue puts a brave face on having selected the wrong shade of blue to wear today.
A grey overcast moment as rain threatened:-)
Heading to Codrington via a long 11 Mile dinghy ride.
Mangrove trees spill over to the beaches.
Shallow water as we round the penultimate headland before entering Codrington Lagoon.
Contemplating getting wet. Time to launch the dinghy after the peninsular portage.
Monserrat some 20 miles away as we sailed from Guadeloupe to Barbuda.
A cracking good sail.
Various shades of blue punctuated by mangroves and underlined by a white ribbon.
The great view to which we woke up.
The anchorage off the west coast of Barbuda.
 
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