Koinobori (carp streamers) were being flown at many homes and at the yacht harbor in honor of the holiday.
Y-san was sailing too. Here he is launching his Com-Pac.
I brought snacks including mikan (tangerine) to prevent scurvy on our long voyage and keep the crew satisfied enough to stay out a bit longer.
As you can see in the above picture, winds were almost calm when we first launched, but we spotted some ripples and sailed toward them, finally finding some wind. The striped mullet were plentiful and doing a lot of jumping which you can see in the video clip. They also roll on their side and swim right at the surface.
Some scientists speculate that they engage in these behaviors to capture a gulp of air which they can store in their pharyngobranchial organ (the back of their throat) so that they can dive to the bottom where they feed and where there is not much oxygen in the water. They jump more when the water's oxygen content is low, so this may be a reasonable explanation.
At one point I remarked that I hoped we wouldn't have any fish jump into the boat this time. It was not to be and a large striped mullet landed at my feet. In this video it happens at about 3:02 in the clip, but it is off camera. You can hear K's laughter and the fish flopping around on the deck until she scoops it up in her hands and sends it back into the lake. I then mopped up the deck with a cloth until we no longer smelled like a fishing boat. (No offense to my fishermen friends intended.) Enlarged view highly recommended.
When it got to about 11 knots I stopped taking video and headed for the dock. This a busy time as we must raise the centerboard "sukoshi" - enough to keep from hitting bottom at the dock depending on how much water is in the lake I (test this before we shove off to see exactly how much room we have). Depending on how much this is, it makes sailing in a strong breeze even more difficult as without full centerboard we drift downwind more and heel over more easily. K must handle the gaff so that she can grab the line of the dock when I make the approach and pull us to it so she can jump off and tie us up before we are blown away from it. I don't recall any of these difficulties in Southern California, since I always sailed in a protected harbor (Santa Barbara, Marina Del Rey, Mission Bay) and the wind is seldom more than about 4 or 5 knots.
At Mama's Kitchen I had pasta in a spicy tomato sauce with mushrooms and zucchini. K had pasta in cream sauce with mushrooms and tuna and something else, of which I am sure she will remind me. ;)
For dessert, it was fruit for me and cake for K. Well deserved reward for her exceptional crewing.
Our routine may seem, well, routine, but it is something we relish. Especially as our 2011 season was shortened by an earthquake and nuclear disaster and last year's by my medical follies. It's great to be able to go sailing whenever weather and personal schedules permit. We are sailing with an attitude of gratitude.
Until next, sweet sailing.