Jens / Warm, clear skies, light northerly breeze.
Escapade departed Fukuoka
this afternoon heading for Kanon-Marina
. Things have changed quite a bit since we left Escapade two months ago. I have accepted a Project Manager role with KAZMinerals
at the Aktogay
copper mine in Kazakhstan
. It is a 2 year contract with 6 weeks on + 3 weeks off. That will affect our cruising plans a bit.
Meanwhile the America's Cup Louis Vuitton
challenger series is coming to Fukuoka in November. Odo Marina would not allow us to extend Escapade's stay past October 1st as they need all available visitor berths to support the America's Cup syndicates. My start date in Kazakhstan is still uncertain but I will not be able to return before October 1st to move Escapade so we decided I should come up and move her now before starting my new job. Allyson was unable to come due to prior commitments.
Finding a suitable mooring for a foreign 47 foot (14.1m) catamaran in Japan is proving difficult. The overwhelming majority of slips seem to be 12 meters and few of those are available. Most marinas have visitor pontoons where we can fit but these pontoons are all 'side-tie' where we can only tie up one side. In a typhoon that means the boat will get hammered into the pontoon. Best to have a proper slip where we can tie up both sides of Escapade and 'spring' her out into the middle of the berth. Kanon-marina in Hiroshima has a few 15m berths and one is available so that is where we are headed.
With Allyson unavailable for the delivery it was fortuitous that Jaap Mulder was available to help me move Escapade. Jaap lives at nearby Marinoa Marina and has been keeping an eye on Escapade in our absence. I hope to make good use of his invaluable insight and experience from 20+ years living and cruising in Japan as well as his fluent Japanese language skills.
Jaap and I spent a day and a half waking up Escapade from hibernation. We removed the spider's web of docklines, checked out the engines, generator, started up the fridge, checked out the electronics and generally got her ready to go again.
Unfortunately the Digital Yacht AIT2000
, an AIS Class B Transponder
no longer seems to work. It boots up and works for a few minutes but then just turns off. So we are unable to see other ships equipped with AIS and are unable to transmit our own details so they can see us. Quite a disappointment as we will have to be extra vigilant in the heavy shipping lanes of the Kanmon Straits
The sails that were on the boat when we purchased her were made of a cruising laminate and are now 7 years old. They were starting to delaminate before we left Subic Bay. We had the genoa mended in the Hyde Sail loft in Cebu. By the time we arrived at Fukuoka the sails were long past their use-by date. When I removed the mainsail two months ago it started disintegrating in my hands. I have ordered new sails but they will not arrive until the end of October. There is little to no wind forecast for the next week so we are not bothering to put the sails back on. This will be a motoring trip.
We departed Odo Marina about 2pm, headed over to Marinoa to top up on diesel fuel and were underway heading to Kanmon Strait by about 3pm.