Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Sendai Shuffle

It should be a song and dance - "The Sendai Shuffle".

As I mentioned last post, our friend Y-san was out sailing on the 14th as well. We don't see much of each other, but always check if he is sailing when we are so we can wave to him on the lake, and keep track of how often he sails when we sign out on the harbor's log book. (We are almost tied for number of days of sailing this year - I think he is one up on us.)

Y-san and his Com-Pac cat, Silvervine

Anyway, a little mix up occurred at the end of the day due to the fact that both Bluesette and Y-san's Com-Pac "Silvervine" are the same length and our sendais have similar dimensions (a sendai is a trolley used to move the boats around in the harbor parking area - like a trailer, but with four small wheels and no hitch. It is easier to handle than a road trailer.).

We docked first and Mr. Hakuta (the harbor owner) was a bit rushed that day and made a simple mistake. He put Bluesette on Silervine's sendai. K was the one who spotted the error as we pushed Bluesette into her parking space. She noticed that the sendai was older, especially since I had upgraded to stainless steel wheels last year, and it had Y-san's last name painted on part of the frame. In the meantime, Silvervine was pulled out of the water on Bluesette's sendai.  Uh-oh.

In short order, Mr. Hakuta got his fork lift and proceeded to do "The Sendai Shuffle". First, he lifted Bluesette off Silvervine's sendai. Then he switched to a third unused sendai and set Bluesette onto to that. Then he went back to the ramp area and put Silvervine back onto her proper sendai. Then came back with Bluesette's sendai and repeated the motions.

And now ladies and gentlemen, for the first time in front of cameras, Hakuta the Great will perform the amazing "Lido Levitation"!

I am especially amused by this "levitation" as I performed a magic act for my #1 daughter's birthday party which included producing our pet rabbit from an "empty" box and a miniature human levitation (substituting a doll for a full on human). As I recall, the magic went off OK except that the rabbit's ears appeared to the audience behind what was supposed to be an empty box. :)

(Cue Art Metrano)

Of course, after these adventures we were due for a shower and a visit to Mama's Kitchen. No pics of the shower, but here's Mama's Kitchen -

Doesn't everyone eat salad with hashi (chopsticks)?

What a dish.  Waiter!  What's this crab doing in my miso soup?  "Looks like the back stroke." 

Zucchini pasta.  A bit oily for me since "Mini-Mama" wasn't cooking this day.

K's dessert -  Kabocha pie (Japanese pumpkin) and watermelon.  Mine was all fruit.
Furansu Pan (French bread).  On the way out, K bought a couple of these to take home.

All in all a good day. How could a day end badly when it starts with sailing and ends at Mama's? Silly question.

Until next, sweet sailing.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Water On The Rail

I know the sailing is good when K starts saying "oh, no; oh, no".  ;)

More clips from mid September -

Water on the rail - a nice run. clip is 6 1/2 minutes. During the last minute we were overflown by 2 pairs of eagles. Mitsubishi F-15J Eagles, that is.

And a happy landing - or "dance of the snakes"

Due to the shallowness of Hinuma, we have to bring the centerboard up a bit as we approach the dock. K handles a hook to grab a line that runs along the edge of the dock, while I take the jib and main sheets. When we're close and I unclete the sheets, the luffing sails turns all loose lines into "the dance of the snakes".

Our friend Y-san who sails a Com-Pac cat boat named "Silvervine", was sailing this day and came in soon after we did. And that posed a problem for us and for him. No, we didn't have a problem sharing the lake, but there was some confusion as we each came ashore...

つづく ー To be continued.

Meanwhile here is the Hyakuri Air Base show of F-15Js recorded by someone who arrived earlier than we did on the 7th of September. (shogunai - couldn't be helped) Awesome stuff.

Until next, sweet sailing.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cast Off!

Three and a half minutes of  explicit, uncensored, raw sailing aboard sweet Bluesette. September 14, 2013.    We cast off at 27 seconds in.   Enjoy...


Remember Arthur Lyman?  I remember listening to his music in the 50's as my parents bought his LPs (Taboo was a great one), and forty years later had the privilege of playing in a big band featuring him as a guest artist at a fund raiser for the Maui Symphony Orchestra (under the direction of James French) at the Ritz Carlton, Kapalua on Maui.   Great musician and a kind gentleman.  Start the following clip about a minute into the first and it makes good accompaniment. 

Until next, sweet sailing.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Air Show Dress Rehearsal

K got us a pass to see an air show on Saturday, September 7th at Hyakuri Air Base, which is located a little to the west of Lake Hinuma.   The last time they held an air show at Hyakuri was in 2009.

They suspended them after Ibaraki Airport was built on a parallel runway across from the base in 2010.   (We flew from there to Hokkaido in August of that year.)

The 7th was to be a sort of dress rehearsal for the full show on Sunday and they were to limit the number of people at the events so as not to interfere with the commercial airport traffic and parking, and  perhaps give the base fewer people to deal with while they relearned how to do this.   One had to apply by mail to obtain a pass.

After a 75 minute drive we arrived a quarter after 8 am.   The parking at the base was already full and we spent the next hour or so in bumper to bumper traffic being directed hither and yon until finally reaching a field which was used for parking.  What was the point of the "special" pass again?    Our parking area ended up being near one end of the runway and as we parked the F-15s which had been doing fly-bys for the show were just landing. It was another half an hour or so of walking to get to the gate, during which time we also missed the rescue demonstration - though I did get a pic of the "Peace Krypton" which is used for search and rescue.  (Ah well, we've seen it all before I told myself.)

Hawker U-125 Peace Krypton - note the white IR sensor under the nose for night searches, bulge under the belly which holds a Toshiba 360° radar, and tall window for visual spotting.  The plane carries flares, marker buoys and a life raft as well.  It coordinates rescues with a Mitsubishi UH-60J helicopter.

It was nice to see the aircraft without the normal crowds. While we missed the usual aerobatics of Blue Impulse, it turned out that the following day which was supposed to include aerobatics was hit with bad weather. The aircraft were grounded! The crowds that came that day only could see static displays and aircraft taxing on the ground!

The following is a totally unsorted slide show - (Photobucket does some things well, others, well, it sucks...) - enjoy the pics anyway.

Pandabonium's Blue Impulse album on Photobucket

Until next, sweet sailing.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

When High Speed Trains Fall In Love

A Series E6 Super Komachi (red) coupled with a Series E5 Hayate (green) at Tokyo Station as a jealous Series E2 looks on. 

Separately, the Super Komachi and Hayate travel at 300 kilometers per hour, but when coupled slow down to a leisurely 286 kph.   Together, they travel north from Tokyo to Morioka in Iwate Prefecture where they part company; the Super Komachi heading for Akita while the Hayate goes on to Shin Aomori at the far nothern end of the main island of Honshu.  They make few stops along the way.

By the way, Komachi means "town belle".  Hayate means "hurricane".  Whirl wind romance, perhaps?  Regardless, we're in love with Shinkansen travel.

The E2 in the background is a much older design (1997) and makes many more stops.  It is no slouch with a top speed of 275 km/h on this run, and has some double decked cars.  A high speed work horse you might say.  Each machine has its purpose.   Sometimes, the E2 is coupled to the E6 so one can imagine that there is a love triangle of sorts going on.

We took an E5 Hayabusa to Sendai in 2011, after the disastrous earthquake and tsunami, to support the local economy up there and lend support to the local people of Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture.   (Our sailing neighbor - Y-San who sails an American made cat rig - was living in Sendai at the time.)

The Hayabusa (Peregren Falcon) is similar to the E5 Hayate, but travels solo at higher speed and has some very fancy accommodation for first class passengers - "Gran Class", shown in this advert with a famous actress...

All of these trains are reserved seat, no smoking, only.   The Hayabusa is the world's most energy efficient train, being more than 10% more efficient that previous Shinkansen models. JR East has a target to reduce the company's CO2 emissions by 32% by 2018 and by 50% by 2031.  We need a lot more focus on that issue!

So what has this to do with sailing?  Not a lot, but it is involved in how we spent September - with airplanes, trains, lakes and rivers.  Or is that trains, planes, and sailing mobiles?

Until next, sweet sailing.