Monday, February 24, 2014

New Boat!

No, we don't have a new boat.  We just found something to do until good sailing weather arrives...look at some new boats.

Japan International Boat Show 2014

March 6th through the 9th at Pacifico Yokohama convention center and Yokohama Bayside Marina.  

 Until next, sweet sailing.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Treat or Treat

Last sail of 2013...

It was a short season last year.  Busy schedules, some really vicious weather, and a little bad luck conspired to keep us off lake Hinuma on far too many occasions.    But when we did sail, (and once motored electrically),  we had great times.

Our last sail of the year was astonishingly early - October 13th.  The weather that day was glorious with beautiful skies and pleasant winds.

We prepped Bluesette, but as we were getting a late start decided to go for lunch at Mama's before sailing.

 Our favorite sailing day cooks were in fine form.   We started with salads.  Mine with no seasoning or dressing.  Salt, oil and sugar tend to get in the way of the flavor of the veggies. 

 Moved on to pasta - mine with zucchini, tomatoes and herbs.

Dessert....grapefruit, mikan, grapes, cherry and kiwi. 

K's was similar but featured sweet potato pie instead of kiwi.

Then it was back to the harbor to cast off.  We were the only sailboat on the lake, but not alone - there were some jet skis, a water skier, the Yacht Harbor's power training boat, and some wind surfers around.

The winds were a little light at times, but enough to keep us happy on such a beautiful day.  Besides the water was getting chilly and I'm sure K was glad not to be getting splashed.

K took  some beautiful pictures toward Tsukuba-san which provided a majestic background for the lake and windsurfing sails.  Click on the photo below to see the full sized version. 

A lone little cumulus cloud appeared to float above Mt Tsukuba like a smoke signal.   I think it was telling us that our sailing season was coming to a close on this idyllic day.

Or perhaps it means...

Until next, sweet sailing.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Everybody's Gone Surfin'

Surfin' Japan!

Through October, we'd been trying to get together with our "Viking" crew member Martin for an afternoon on lake Hinuma, but weather (mostly in the form of typhoons) had thrown a monkey wrench into the works each time.   We even had two, count 'em two, typhoons just hours apart.  Then it seemed that all was well and we scheduled the following Monday.  Well, all was well with the weather, but I didn't know that the the first storm had wrecked the launching ramp at Hinuma Yacht Harbor and as the second one was on the way there was no point in trying to repair the damage.  As a result, they closed the yacht harbor for a week following the second typhoon to fix everything.

Once again things were arranged for a Monday (the 4th of November).  This time, the weather turned sour with high winds forecast and we had to cancel. 

K and I were expecting to go sailing on Sunday the 3rd of November, and K had notified the harbor.   But checking the weather that morning it was evident that there would be practically NO wind.  Awe (Hawaiian for ouch)!  What a bummer.  Well, we've gone out in such conditions before....    but then I reflected that we hadn't taken Momo the Wonder Dog to a park in long while, so maybe rather that drift around Hinuma, we should spend the day with Momo-chan.  Good call.  Perhaps the god of K-9s was working on Momo's behalf. 

So we went to Kashimanada Seaside Park, which is about 20 minutes or so from home in K's car. We've been there before, but it had been a while since we've taken Momo to this park  - 2009 in fact! The sky was a little hazy, but otherwise the weather was perfect. We stopped at a 7-11 store (7-i in Japan) across from the park and picked up lunch (I found a nice robust salad, some no-oil dressing, and some tofu with shouyu and ginger).

The park itself is very large and well designed with a wide undulating grass field where families can play and high school bands sometimes rehearse. There is commercial area with a farmers market, a huge playroom for kids and a building for putting on events like nature talks. A large mound with a spiral ramp to the top gives an excellent view of the area.  A bricked pathway leads from there down a slope to the beach-side area of grass with animal shaped sculptures, benches, boardwalks, and another lookout. There is even a "UFO" flying saucer climbing structure (see my "Alien Encounter" post from 2006 on Pacific Islander; or Momo's own post "Beach Blanket Momo" the same year.).

Pandabonium's beach slide album on Photobucket

Lots of pine trees line the boardwalks and cover the hillsides. Some damage occurred during the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, but mostly was limited to the concrete lining along the beach which has had to be reinforced here and there. Everything else is still pretty much intact thanks to the steep rise of the land.

Pandabonium's surfin album on Photobucket

Momo had a great time as did we.  There were lots of surfers out as well as other couples with dogs and/or children.   I don't know why we don't go there more often.  It is always fun.

This song came out in the summer of 1992 and was a hit in Japan.

Until next, sweet sailing.