Sorry to be behind in my posts. ' Been busier than a three-balled tomcat on a Saturday night. I've got a couple posts I'll put up in a day or two.
Yesterday we went up to the port town of Ōarai, Ibaraki. The southerly end of Ōarai, in which the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute facility is located, touches the eastern shore of Lake Hinuma. The port is toward the northern end of town. The beaches along Ōarai are popular with windsurfers, surfers, and in summer, everyone in Ibaraki who wants to cool off in the ocean.
I was hunting for neoprene boots. My feet are wide and I have trouble finding shoes that fit - especially in Japan - so internet shopping for them is out for me. K has no problem there, but wanted to check out what was out there.
Ōarai is port - 50 miles north of Tokyo - is the port for catching a ferry up to Japan's northern most main island of Hokkaido. As we ate lunch, we watched the Sunflower Sapporo enter the harbor and dock. At 630 feet long and over 13,000 gross tons, she is one of several Sunflower ships which make the 500 mile trip each day carrying cars, trucks, and up to 632 passengers.
After poking around we found a few shops - mostly disappointing - to check out. I was beginning to feel like we wasted our time, but on a whim, K followed a sign for "Yellow Sands Surf Shop" that led us to a small building right on Ōarai beach. It turned out to be a good find.
I found a pair of 5mm boots that fit me well. They are from a Japanese company called Surf8. Made for surfing, they have a 2 part sole which doesn't cover the arch, so are more flexible. They also have a divider inside that goes between the big toe and the 2nd toe and gives one added support. The soles grip really well. So, for sailing through November and in the still cool months of April and May next year, I should have Cozy Toes*.
K came home empty handed, but wasn't disappointed as she has several leads online, so should have boots, if not a wetsuit as well, next week.
Until next, sweet sailing.
*Cozy Toes - a swing band tune written by Lennie Niehaus.