(click photos to enlarge)
There was not much wind - 1 to 2 m/s (2.2 - 4.4 mph). We'd get going for a few minutes, only to slow again. That was fine, but the wind could not make up its mind which way to go. I would establish a course and then follow the bit of yarn on the shroud and watch in amazement as it gradually changed direction. I'd keep adjusting our course and we'd go through a turn of 30, 60, 90, and then 120 degrees as I tried to maintain the same angle of attack to the wind! The weird thing was, these shifting winds seemed to be located at the north and south side of the lake. And formed a kind of trap that kept one in one location or the other. The only way out was to tack back and forth in quick succession to break out to the other side . Mind boggling, but fun.
At 11:30, the cities of Japan play chimes to let everyone know it is approaching lunch time (different cities may adopt different times. Ours play at 11:45). The funny thing is, two cities - Ibaraki Town and Hokota City - share lake Hinuma. We were at mid-lake at that time. First we heard Ibaraki Town's chimes start with a traditional Japanese melody, and then, seconds later, Hokota City started playing Green Sleeves. The tunes clashed with each other over the lake in a strange sort of "battle of the bands". Happily, the tunes only last about 30 seconds.
I felt I didn't dare venture very far from a line north from the harbor as the unpredictable direction and often weak wind speed might make it hard to get back. We had been out a bit over an hour and decided to dock, take a lunch break, and see if things improved later on. If not, we'd take a drive and explore the north shore by car.
Mama's Kitchen, we soon discovered, is closed on Thursdays, so we opted for Ikoinomura Hinuma, the resort just a few hundred meters down the road. (next door to Mama's).
The wind did indeed pick up as hoped, to 2 to 3 m/s (4.5 to 6.7 mph) and gradually rising. As the direction was such we could easily go east and west on the lake. I took us as far west as we could safely go. In addition to getting shallow at that end, there are increasing numbers of nets strung there. Some pics taken by K...
We had such a good time Thursday afternoon that we were late getting back to the harbor. As we approached, the wind was from the south - ie offshore - and for the last 100 meters, almost entirely blocked by the trees. K broke out the paddle to give us a boost for while, then a little puff came along and took us the rest of the way to the dock.
Until next, sweet sailing.