Blog

Four years ago, Sharry was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia. Still holding hands after 60 years She is now in mid-stage. That means she might not know where she, except she knows she is on Starr. She often won’t know what happened 10 minutes earlier.  She does funny and sometimes frustrating things, like taking other people’s stuff and hiding it in our stateroom. We know most of the usual places to look but sometimes it might be weeks...

On Saturday the 29th Captain Sam departed for his vacation in Tokyo meeting his wife Anna there.  The same day, Don and Sharry’s “hanai” granddaughter, Azusa Maruyama, joined us on Starr in Sakai-Minato. The friendship with Azusa‘s family started many years ago and included Sharry and her friend Shari Walker helping Azusa move into the dorm for her study abroad semester at the University of Portland. Azusa is now a successful business strategy consultant, working...

Our first stop after leaving the Inland Sea was an island named Tsunoshima. We arrived late in the afternoon after a long day underway. Eager to see what was around and stretch our legs, we set out for a walk. We stumbled upon a lighthouse with a small museum. Ready for some extra exercise, I paid the 300 yen entrance fee and bounded to the top. The Tsunoshima Lighthouse was built in 1876 and is one of...

After a wonderful four day stay at Suma Yacht Club, we began our westbound trip out of the Seto Inland Sea. We left at the crack-of-dawn to take advantage of favorable current through Akashi Strait. Starr reached nearly 12 knots as we passed through the narrows and under the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge. Until 2022, Akashi Kaikyō Bridge's 6500-foot central span was the longest of any suspension bridge in the world. We followed our track 100nm back...

Suma Yacht Club and Seattle Yacht Club have a long-standing friendship. Every three years, members from one club fly to the other, alternating who hosts and who travels. This year, 31 Suma Yacht Club members are traveling to Seattle, where they'll be hosted at the homes of Seattle Yacht Club members, compete in sailboat races, and to enjoy Opening Day festivities. We visited Suma Yacht Club just a few weeks before the members departed for...

On our last morning in Miyajima, Brooke, Shannon, and Kat departed Starr. We'd had a great visit, but they needed to return to their real lives in Seattle. After sending them off, we got underway for Onimichi, about 50nm away. Cruising on the Inland Sea has a lot of parallels with cruising the Pacific Northwest. Many of the passages are narrow and winding. Currents are strong, often a few knots and occasionally five or six, though...

The hardest part of going long distance cruising is missing our family and friends back home. Sharry and I have spent most of the COVID years in Hawaii, which has made visiting our two sons, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter particularly difficult. When our son Brooke, his wife Shannon, and our granddaughter Kat expressed interest in joining us in Japan for spring break, we were thrilled! They arrived in Fukuoka after a long travel day from Seattle. The...

Miyajima, also known as Itsukushima, is a small island in the Seto Inland Sea, just a few miles from Hiroshima. It is most famous for its iconic Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Japan's most photographed landmarks. The shrine is built over the water and is known for its beautiful torii gate, which appears to float on the sea during high tide. The torii gate as seen from Starr. Don, Brooke, Sharry,...

We left Fukuoka after an eight day stay--the longest we've sat still in a couple of months. It didn't feel like we were there too long, but we were ready to see new places. After much debate, we headed for the Seto Inland Sea. We waffled between a detour into in the inland sea versus a more leisurely cruise north along Japan's west coast. The clincher was the opportunity to visit the Suma Yacht Club, just...

Sharry and I are part of a 20-person hiking group on Oahu. We hike twice a week and cover 4-6 miles, usually with around 1000ft of elevation gain and occasionally up to 2000ft. Sharry was complaining of butt and leg pain and her physical therapist recommended a series of stretches and exercises for what he thought was sciatica. Prior to leaving in February, even with the exercises, her pain had been getting worse and exercise tolerance diminishing. ...