Monday, June 20, 2011


Now you see it.

Now you don't.

The old disappearing clubhouse trick. Too badly damaged by the March 11 earthquake, the 38 year old clubhouse had to be taken down. Hopefully business will pick up at some point and allow a new clubhouse to be built. That isn't likely to happen unless and until the Fukushima Dainichi power plants are brought under control and people are no longer afraid. At present, bookings at ryokan in neighboring Oarai town and port are down 48% from a year ago and the major aquarium there, Aqua World, is said to look like a ghost town.


Clubhouse or no, we're here to sail. It's "tsuyu" in Japan - rainy season. Last Monday we had a break in the weather and Kimie had a day off from work. Winds were forecast at about 6 mph - a nice breeze that moves Bluesette along, but doesn't create enough waves to get Kimie splashed.


The winds were not to be found in the morning. As we sailed lazily upwind toward the west end of the lake, the crew complained of the slow pace. There is a certain range of wind speed which my crew likes. It lies between about 4 and 7 miles per hour. Below that, she gets bored. Above that, she gets splashed with water which she doesn't like, but as long as we are not in danger of capsize, I think she'd rather have too much wind than too little.

I was enjoying the peacefulness of it all. There were no other boats on the lake save a solitary open fishing boat tending to nets. As we came about to return eastward, the wind died completely. Nary a ripple was to been seen on the lake's surface. The crew went beyond boredom to mutiny, refusing to just sit with nothing to do.


I had to do something, so I broke out the paddle. This gave the crew something to do - take the tiller while I paddled. Then we traded off for a while, giving Kimie the paddle while I steered. As we got closer to the dock, a puff of air came up and we soon docked, brought down the sails, and went for lunch, hoping for more wind in the afternoon.


Tomato sauce, mushrooms and snow peas for me...

Ham and cabbage for Kimie...

Fruit roll for dessert for both of us ...

Back on the water, the wind did indeed pick up a bit and we had fun in 6 to 8 mph of the stuff. No time for pics though.

While we were out, some personal watercraft licensing students were getting in some practice. I'm not fond of these things, but glad to see the yacht harbor get some business.


It wasn't the kind of day we had expected, but still nice to get out on the water. Any day sailing is better than ...

Until next, sweet sailing.


Baydog said...

I'm very fond of ushrooms myself, but probably would have gone with the ham and cabbage.

Pandabonium said...

Oops. I meant 'am an 'abbage of course. :)

O Docker said...

Played like a true jazzman.

When out of options, try trading oars.

Pandabonium said...

Odocker - thems ain't 'ores, thems me sisters.

Oh, oars. Yes, indeed. Saved the day.

Charley Best said...

Ah yes, the rainy season! In 1986 during the local Yamagasa (Yamakasa) festival in Fukuoka, I experienced the rainy season first hand. I participated in the traditional dress for that parade, so you know that I truly got a wet a_s.

Your food pictures certainly bring back wonderful memories of my epicurean experience in Japan.

Zen said...

Not a lot of good news from that area. Other than your sailing!

Pandabonium said...

Charley - were you dancing "cheek to cheek"?

Zen - the good news is, we're still here. and the sailing.

Arkonbey said...

So, what's Japanese for F.A.C?

Pandabonium said...

Arkonbey - I don't even know the English for F.A.C.

Martin J Frid said...

David Copperfield makes that disappearing act look much easier. I'm hoping they had insurance, but maybe impossible for a 38 year old building?

(K caught napping on the job! I've heard of Jumbo Jet pilots doing it, but on a Lido?)

Pandabonium said...

Martin - Copperfield's act looks easy because you don't see the work (and money) that goes into the props. For him, it is all part of the plan.

At least big jets have crew quarters so that they can take scheduled naps on long flights. Outrageous on a Lido. An idle crew is the devil's workshop! 50 lashes with a pasta noodle at Mama's!

Charley Best said...

Ha ha, I think since my participation they have changed the dress code! I set back the wearing of loin cloths a hundred years. I have photos but they are under lock and key, I have the only key and I just swallowed it.

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Ah... my 'ats off to you and Kimie, for you're truly on the front lines of spreading the culture of sail cloth. I will say some private words in a private place in favor of the early restoration of your beautiful club house!

Arkonbey said...

F.A.C. stands for Flat-Ass Calm. We used the term a lot in the USCG ;)

Pandabonium said...

Charlie - wise move, they way things go viral on the internet! ;^)

Doc - thanks so much. I hope someday we'll see it rebuilt. Meanwhile, life goes on.

Arkonbey - can't say as know any Japanese sailor slang or acronyms. I'll check with Kimie.

kehlwok said...

Even lakes get the doldrums I suppose. The pastas looked marvelous (as always). Here is to hoping for a new club house in the not so distant future!

Pandabonium said...

kehlwok - one of the challenges and pleasures of sailing (as with many other sports) is coping with whatever set of circumstances one faces. (And as Agent 86 would say, "and loving it"!)

Thanks for the well wishes on the clubhouse.