Sunday, June 6, 2010

Be The Boat

It was a beautiful day out on lake Hinuma today - a few wispy cirrus clouds to make the clear skies interesting, temperature in the low 20's C (mid 70's F), wind from the east (perpendicular to the dock) at a nice 3 m/s (6 knots or about 7 mph). That amount of wind is enough to make it interesting without overpowering Bluesette or creating too much chop. It was also easy on my sore shoulder, yet gave me some exercise for it. Simply couldn't ask for better.

Adding to our good mood was the readout from Kimie's Honda Insight's computer. On the trip to the lake (about 39 km or 24 miles), without even trying, she had averaged 29.4 kilometers per liter ~ that's 69 mpg! (We paid about $5.34/gallon last fill up, so efficiency really matters in Japan.)

Only a couple of other sailboats were out - a SeaHopper (similar to a Laser) and a Flying Junior or two manned by high school students. Before we launched, a small bus load of guys showed up, maybe fifteen of them, and started unloading sit-on-top kayaks from a truck. While we sailed, they paddled across the lake, had lunch at a park on the northern shore, and returned. Nice outing for them, and we enjoyed seeing them. I used to kayak/snorkel every week when I lived on Maui. Kimie and I have enjoyed kayaking on Maui and in Fiji together.

Ready to run down the kayakers - not! We gave them a wide berth.

While out on the water we had a sort of "mission" to perform. To paraphrase The Blues Brothers, "we were on a mission from Buddha".

I had bought some shijimi (small local fresh water clams) last week, which we had enjoyed in soup. They are served in the shells in the soup, so one is left with a bunch of shells. What to do with them? Kimie checked our burnables/non-burnables/re-cycle chart (which nearly every family in Japan has posted on the kitchen wall) and pointed out that shells were non-burnable so would end up in a land fill. That didn't sit well with me (after all, there isn't a whole lot of space available for landfills on the Japan archipelago) and I thought of using them as mulch in the yard, except that we didn't have enough shells to cover much of anything. Kimie made a joke about future archaeologists digging them up in a thousand years and surmising our lifestyle from them. Then I thought, "what would mother nature do?" Of course. They would end up back in the lake. So we took the shijimi shells along with us in a bag and Kimie returned them to the lake bottom for natural recycling - minus the bag naturally. Sort of a "burial at lake".

The new sails offer excellent visibility through the large windows, such as this view of a Flying Junior (center) best seen if you click on the pic.

I was happy to have the windvane back on the top of the mast. It had been removed to make room for the teardrop mast float we had for a while. But now, we have the inflatable floats that straddle the mainsail, so the top of the mast is available for the windvane again. The inflatable floats posed their own problem today, however, in that unless one is pointed into the wind when raising the main (and thus floats), the float will be to one side or the other of the mast and get jammed between the mast and shrouds. It only to took me three tries at raising the main to figure it out. :o

In this pic, you can see how the floats might get caught between the mast and shrouds on the way up if the boat wasn't facing into the wind.

The north shore with our homemade whisker pole holding out the jib on a downwind leg.

We might have stayed out a long time, but the crew got hungry and became restless, so I cut the voyage short. (When the crew is also one's spouse, one must make tough decisions.) A delicious lunch at Mama's Kitchen quickly restored order. We also ordered pizza to go from Mama's so neither of us would have to cook dinner. The pizza was great - shrimp, octopus, squid, and mushrooms.

On the way back in, we took each other's picture. Our timing was off both times and resulted in eyes closed portraits. It reminded me of the movie "Caddy Shack" (1980) and the scene wherein Chevy Chase plays a perfect chip shot over a water hazard while blind folded, saying "be the ball". He later (mis)quotes Basho as saying that "a flute with no holes is not a flute, and a doughnut with no hole is a Danish", and putts several balls into the hole one after another..."nanananananana, tutututututu, nununununu".... Too funny.

Be the jib...."nanananananana"

Be the boat...."tutututututu nununununu"

Update: I forgot to mention that the haze (striped mullet) were jumping and one about 30 cm (1 foot) long leapt across our foredeck and hit the jib with a bang. Perhaps it was thinking "be the sail".

Until next, sweet sailing.


ladybug said...

As always I love your beautiful saling pictures! The comment about the Kayakers reminds me of an experience I had when we visited Tofino BC (the beaniac was just 4-5 years old!~). I went kayaking in Clayoquot Sound and was told to watch out for the boats since they regard the kayakers as "speed bumps". I'd love to go there again....It's absolutely gorgeous!

Baydog said...

Nice day, nice temperature, nice new crunchy sails, beautiful crew. What more could you want? Oh yeah, squid pizza.

My favorite line was "You scratched my anchor!"

To this day, I refer to big motorboats as "Seafood"!

Pandabonium said...

Ladybug - thanks. I took a ferry from Seattle to Victoria BC once as a teenager. I'd love to explore more of BC.

Baydog - that movie had quite a collection of comedic talent and a lot of great lines. I'd forgotten the name of Dangerfield's yacht.

Arkonbey said...

I'm not talking. I'm completely silent. Not saying a thing...

Don Snabulus said...

I was enjoying the blue sky and water so much, I didn't even notice your eyes closed until I read about it.

We've set a 2 month record for rainfall here with 24 days left in the month, so we are dazzled by anything in that shade of blue. ;)

Pandabonium said...

Arkonbey - right in the lumberyard.

Don - you need a boat!