Sunday, July 21, 2013

Floating Fish Bowl

Excellent sailing on lake Hinuma today.  We were late getting going this morning and the harbor was somewhat busy.   A couple of students who we used to see sailing with their school club, were back for some fun with Sea Hoppers.  A Laser was also on the water.  The students have moved on from sailing with their school and now learning to handle commercial fishing boats on the ocean.  Tough career choice with the world's tuna stocks over-fished and fuel costs going ever higher.

I measured the wind at six knots gusting to seven as we shoved off.   The air has been cooler in recent days - 24ºC instead of the previous weeks of 34º.    Much more comfortable, if a little too cool when soaking wet, as we we eventually found out.

No video this trip as I have misplaced the "shoe" which attached the camera to its mount.  In addition, I had left the camera set for high speed and flash - neither of which was good for taking the best pictures.

As we tacked across the lake, a *bleeping* speed boat came up the river from the ocean.  Why they would want to run a speed boat on such a small lake, I don't  know, but its wake and smelly exhaust were annoying.

We set up on a long downwind run with sails wing and wing so K could serve up cold tea and water and share a peanut butter and oat bar as it was after lunch time.

As we skirted the north shore we admired two new houses.   Lakefront homes with boat ramps - nice set up.  Dream on...

We decided it was time to start a beat to windward to get closer to the harbor again.  The wind was picking up with white caps forming, more splashing through the waves, water over the rail, and work.    We soon had about ten or so liters of water in the boat.  That's when a small striped mullet about  20 cm long jump over the transom and into the water inside the boat.  We were now a fish bowl on the water.   I eased the main so K could bend down and scoop him out.  From then on we were too occupied with sailing the boat to be able to take pictures.  The wind was now about 10 knots.

Soon after that we started to come about but for whatever reason - the skipper not using enough rudder quickly or the crew trying to pull the jib across too soon - we stalled in mid turn and started to go over.  K let the jib go and scrambled to the windard rail and I, already on the leeward side with water pouring over the lee rail, popped the main sheet.   We manged to prevent a complete knockdown, but the boat was really swamped now.  We let the sails luff as we bailed a goodly amount of water out.  I then  pulled in the main just a bit to give us forward motion as K continued to bail.   When we had gotten enough water out, we gave it another go making sure to enter with enough speed and waiting until the bow was through the wind before pulling the jib across.  Back in business.  A topic for later discussion and education between us.

A few more tacks and we were back at the harbor at the precise time we had put down on the log-out sheet.  A nice safety feature at Hinuma Yacht Harbor is that boats sign out and give an ETA for their return.  If you don't show up, they start looking for you with the binoculars.

As Bluesette was pulled up the ramp, Mr. Hakuta pulled the drain plug on the transom and
let bucket loads of lake water drain out.  We must of had 20 liters still in the boat.

We washed Bluesette, put her away, and got showered off ourselves, finally arriving at Moma's Kitchen at 2:30 PM.   Accommodating as always, the let K order the set lunch even though is passed the time they normally serve that.  She had salad, a tray with fried chicken, rice, tofu, cucumbers, and miso soup.

I enjoyed pasta with tomatoes, zucchini, and komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach)  and a nice combination of herbs.    At home I would have made whole grain pasta and wouldn't use any oil, but Mama does her best to meet my plant based diet needs.

K had a dessert of cake and fruits while I finished my pasta and iced tea.

As we went to pay there were fresh bagels cooling on the main counter.  K bought some to take home as well as a ponytail hair band which was hand made by Mama.  Another satisfying end to a fun and exciting day on, and almost in, the water.  

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

Until next, sweet sailing.


Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Carpe Diem, indeed! You're doing it!

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Looked up your Lake Hinuma. It's a proper sized lake. Have you discussed its increasing salinity, which I read about?

Pandabonium said...

Thanks Doc. Wasn't "Carpe Diem" a rug store in Saigon owned by the Diem brothers? (ba-dum-bum)

Actually, Hinuma has always been brackish. The degree of salinity changes due to the balance between the tide bringing salty water up the Naka then Hinuma River vs the inflow of fresh water from the small Shishido River. It is most salty in Winter and least salty from about May to November with a spike at the beginning of July corresponding to the end of rainy season.

If you google "salinity Lake Hinuma" you'll find a few scientific papers in English about it.

Pandabonium said...

Also, the salinity is expected to rise considerably in coming decades due to sea level rise from global warming. :0