Monday, March 14, 2011

Weathering the Storm

Bluesette, and the other boats at Hinuma Yacht Harbor came through the earthquake unscathed. The concrete area where the boats are stored cracked, there was some damage to the club house, and some embankments of the Naka River collapsed, but the tsunami waters did not flood the boat yard. One more blessing to count, one less thing to worry about. The owners of the harbor called to let us know. They have intermittent electricity and use of one phone line out of four. They also suffered some damage to their home.

Considering what happened just a few miles away at Oarai Port, it was quite a relief to hear the news about Bluesette.

This is a satellite picture of Oarai Port, near where Lake Hinuma empties into the sea. This port is where 630 foot ocean ferries dock, connecting Tokyo and Hokkaido. It is also right next to where Kimie and I stayed in an oceanfront hotel celebrating her **th birthday just last month. I have added some labels for reference points.
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And here is a picture taken during the tsunami...
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We have stored food and water and other supplies for just this kind of emergency. Our family and community are close and supportive of each other. There have been more than 200 aftershocks since Friday. Sleep is softly interrupted by gentle side to side shaking or rudely by abrupt vertical jolts. Nerves fray. The empty store shelves, shortages, and rolling blackouts are the norm - just the way things are, rather than a hardship.

While it is nice to know that Bluesette is safe, our emotions swing between the high of having survived the momentous events of the last few days and the deep sadness for those who did not, those who grieve, and those still cold and hungry and homeless as temperatures drop and snows approach northern Japan. The victims may feel "why me?", but the survivors ask the same question.

There is also the realization that the road ahead is as uneven as the buckled pavement and the shattered rooftops. We humans like to think that we control our destiny, but fate is more often the hunter and we the prey. We rededicate ourselves to a life of "arigatai" - profound gratitude - to everyone and everything around us in this world that supports us, nurtures us, and indeed makes our very lives possible.

And thank you, dear friends, for your thoughts and kindness at this most difficult time.

Until next, sweet sailing.

7 comments:

bonnie said...

I'm glad that even Bluesette made it through!

Terrible times there.

Tillerman said...

Thank goodness that you and Kimie are OK. I am amazed that your boat survived but that is good news too. Our best wishes to you and everyone in Japan for the days ahead.

O Docker said...

It's a relief hearing you're OK, Panda.

I guess at a time like this, Gann's words can haunt us. Hope weathering the storms ahead is easier than the storm you've just been through.

But that's why there are little boats to sail, isn't it?

Zen said...

Thanks for the update,, glad you are safe

Baydog said...

Next chance I get I'm sending you some VT maple syrup (inside joke).

Don said...

We are glad for your safety. Good words to take to heart.

Frankie said...

So glad to hear your wife and you are safe. Thinking of you there in hardship.