June 11, 2006
May 24 was one year since we released our
mooring from the Peace River
Bridge at Dunvegan and started our long journey. A truly
for us. So many places we could have seen no other way and
wherever we stopped. Sometimes we think longingly of home and
minute we hate to see this journey end. Maybe we'll just fuel
up when we
get to Vancouver and continue on forever.
Chichi Jima, population 2,000, clean, small and beautiful.
Islands were given back to Japan in 1968 when Japan was
and they have spent big time on infrastructure including
roads and harbor.
No airport but tourism and fishing.
We were scrutinized by Harbor Control, Coast Guard,
Customs and Police for 3 hours, then 2 hours the next day.
The Coast Guard
in particular was against us going into Tokyo Harbor because
it is very busy
and there are many potential problems. I was just as
determined to go
there. If being difficult was reason to stay away we would
never have left
home. As a matter of fact, the difficulty added to the allure
of the place.
We met some wonderful people in Chichi Jima, rented a car and
around the small Island. A lovely interesting place.
first settlers were Americans in 1830. We went by ferry
complicated to take our boat) to Haha Jima about 40 miles
away which was
originally settled by a German and a British couple about the
Haha Jima population is 420 and an incredibly lovely place.
here but the only access is Ferry from Chichi Jima. Back at
Brad & Kevin enjoyed snorkeling before we headed for the
Yankee Bar to visit
with Rans for the evening. May 14 we got a good weather
Commanders and headed for Tokyo.
Tokyo Bay is as busy and interesting as we expected. We were
course with ships many times but everyone is watching closely
problems. Visibility was poor so we didn't see the many
but we did see 1 airport and Disneyland. I have been around
the world 3
times by air before, and Tokyo is the only city common to all
first time was 45 years ago in 1961 and the city has changed
We have visited Edo-Tokyo history Museum, a Police Museum,
Museum of Emerging Science, A long Canal Tour throughout
Tokyo by Terry
Suzuki of Ocean Life Magazine, a Motorcycle Expo, Sumo
Temple, Tokyo Tower, Tsukiji Fish Market, Ginza Shopping
Restaraunts, Shinjuku Station and the night spots.
We are at Yumenoshima Marina where we are being spoiled.
manager and the staff were always very helpful. They are
treating us very
special and offering to help us in any way they can.
Michihiko Sasaki of
the Tokyo Yacht Club (TYC) met us early and was extremely
talked to the Commodore, Minoru Wada and said we would be
their guest and
our stay would be without charge at the Marina. They
presented us with a
club Burgee. Tsutomu Takayama arranged a fuel coupon to help
with the fuel.
Sasaki drove us several places including Customs and to the
and was continually bringing us a supply of food and
information about our
stop in Kushiro. We sincerely thank all the people we met in
Tokyo who made
our stay very happy and memorable.
Yumenoshima Marina is a highly convenient Marina, just only
15 minutes by
car from center of Tokyo. It is clean, quiet and secure so it
is an ideal
place to stay.
To our joy, Kurt Fink a family friend from home joined us on
May 25 in
Tokyo. We had been scheduled to leave Tokyo May 27 but storms
departure and allowed us to explore more to Kurt's delight.
Kurt has been
an excellent seaman, he can cook and do dishes like a pro, as
well as the
less demanding tasks like the graveyard watch. He caught a
42" fish, but
after landing it, the fish jumped off the gaff, broke the
line and bounced
down the steps to freedom. Do we count that?
A lovely calm trip to Kushiro, into the quiet Bay and up the
to the center of town. Everything available close, and no
security, it is fabulous. Our friend Shigemi Seki met us and
Customs, finding our way and generously lent us his car. He
heard we had
interest in Russia and urged the Russian Embassy to call
Moscow to get us
permission to enter Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy (PK). They have
to enter except by air or cruise ship. Moscow said OK for a 3
transit visa. We would have to be there on the exact date we
said and could
not stay any longer so I went to Sapporo by train and met
daughter, Ayako. She had recently gotten married in Vancouver
and was over
for a vacation and spoke excellent English. She took me to
the Embassy and
gave a walking tour of Sapporo while I waited for my trip
back and helped me
catch the right train. Thank you Ayako.
Kevin drove Seki's car up to Mashu Lake through the beautiful
forest land. Thank you Seki.
Kitano invited us for a lovely Japanese supper which we
greatly enjoyed and
his friend, Shizuo Tsukada was there as well for a nice
visit. Tsukada is a
pain specialist who works on baseball players etc. Kitano has
North Pacific for 40 years and had 2 factory fishing boats
fishing boats for many years and was familiar with the
coastline from Japan
through Russia and Alaska to Vancouver. He knows far more
Pacific weather than anyone we have met. I had been a little
being early by going in June but he said this is the best
time. He said by
August it is more foggy and stormy.
We even got invited to a funeral and paid our respects after
explanation. They are so friendly you don't feel
uncomfortable, even though
3 cowboys with their hats (Kevin was back at the boat) going
to a funeral
where we didn't even know the name of the guy who invited us
deceased. It was truly great. I want to come back again.
Tokyo May 17 to 31, Kushiro June 3 to 8 - good weather so off