Blog

After leaving Yobuko, we made the short, 20nm trip to Fukuoka in calm, sunny conditions. Fukuoka, population 1,500,000, is the largest city we've visited in Japan so far, the largest city on the island of Kyushu, and the sixth largest city in Japan. The skyline is notably different than the villages we've become accustomed to. Kirk Patterson, our agent at Konpira Consulting, arranged for us to stay at Marinoa Marina. He was on the dock waiting...

We arrived at Dejima Wharf in the middle of Nagasaki and found plenty of empty space. The slips are small--maybe 40 feet--but the end ties are 100+ feet and both appeared available. Unable to raise anyone on the phone or radio, we tied up, only to find we were trapped by a locked gate. Turns out it was a holiday in Japan and nobody was working in the office. There we were in the middle...

Originally we planned day-hops north from Okinawa all the way to Kyushu, the southern-most of the three largest Japanese islands. But as we sat in Amami looking at the weather forecast and our schedule, it became clear that we should probably skip a few of those stops and head right for Kyushu. Several things contributed to this decision. A few of the stops we're skipping are tiny islands. They have populations in the low triple digits. We'd...

We were having dinner in a small izakaya (pub). We’d struggled a bit to find a good restaurant for dinner. The first place we tried was full, but they recommended another restaurant that we eventually found. When we arrived it was empty but the proprietor turned us away. As we left, they waved us back in and offered us a table. We were early and I think they hoped we’d be gone by the time...

We departed Zamami Tuesday March 14 heading north. Pulled into Iheya Shima after 64nm of nice cruising.  Iheya has a population under 1000 and is a very quiet village. Starr on the seawall in Iheya. A rough seawall! We found a Saki brewery where the young manager gave us samples and a brief tour. After our visit there we searched for a place for dinner and the well regarded places we would have liked to have dinner were closed....

We arrived in the port of Zamami Island and idled over near a fishing boat to ask the crew the best spot to dock.  The fishermen pointed over to a large area near the ferry dock.  The dock didn't look particularly well used but we didn't think we would fit on smaller docks further in.  Tides here vary by as much as 3 feet so we tied off with this in mind, knowing that we...

As soon as we finished clearing into Japan and drinking our champagne toast, we set out on foot to explore our new neighborhood. Yonaburu Marina is located in Yonabaru (pop. 19,000), on the southeast side of Okinawa. The marina is spotlessly clean, with excellent floating docks, good shore power (60hz, 200v), and potable water. The staff is friendly and helpful. The price--about $53 USD per night--is exceptionally reasonable for such a nice facility. The marina has two...

Guam to Okinawa, Japan is a “short” 1200nm hop across the Philippine Sea—about six days at Starr speed. Unfortunately, the perfect trade wind conditions we’d enjoyed for most of the trip from Hawaii to Guam wouldn’t continue on this leg. Immediately after leaving the harbor in Guam, we were rolling around in beam seas to 15 feet with 30+ knots of wind on our starboard side. Not the most fun, but we were hoping that...

The final 1000 miles to Guam were easy, comfortable, and quick. We enjoyed cruising downwind and got a nice push from the current. As we approached Guam in very settled conditions, we rinsed the salt off the outside of Starr. After more than two weeks of ocean travel, everything was salty. Guam comes into view after 18 days and 3300+nm Our destination was Apra Harbor, a huge, breakwater-protected harbor that caters primarily to commercial and military ships....

Note: this was written last week but we forgot to post it. We're now en route from Guam to Okinawa and will update the blog over the coming days. One of the challenges we’ve had is figuring out what time it is. Apple devices, it seems, have pretty limited time zone choices. It’s a bit of a guessing game to figure out which city is in the same time zone as we are. If we can’t...