Japan

Additional response from friends to 3/11:(Please note recommendation for donations to relief effort below in red) From a friend in Kobe, who checked our boat immediately after the earthquake/tsunami:“Thank you very much for your kind email.In Kobe, there was a slight low frequency earthquake but I could not feel it.Also there was Tsunami in Osaka bay but the height was 30cm.I checked my boats and "Starr" but there was no problem.Please see attached photo which...

Life in Japan after 3/11 March 17, 2010 When the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, Don and I were in Seattle waiting for the birth of our first grandchild. During our year in Japan we have made many friends, and shortly after the quake we emailed them and asked if they and their families were OK. It was a tremendous relief to us that all responded in the affirmative. The...

How do we avoid the dangerous debris from the 3/11 Tsunami? March 17, 2011 Starr is in Ashiya in the inland sea next to Kobe, and was not impacted by the Tsunami. Our plan has been, and still is, to return to Ashiya at the end of this month, finish fueling and provisioning, and then head out toward Hawaii taking whatever route that seems most prudent. BT (before tsunami) our course would have been to...

Stretching the Fuel Range to Cross the Pacific 2-9-2011 REDUCE GENSET HOURS AND REDUCE RPM. When Starr made her run from Seattle to San Francisco and on to Honolulu we chose to run the Northern Lights 20 kw gensets only when we needed to make water and or the air conditioning. The total main engine hours for Seattle to Honolulu were 352hrs. Total Genset hours were 75hrs. (We needed A/C for the last few days...

GETTING READY FOR THE PASSAGE TO HONOLULU, HI January 2011 We are currently tied up in Ashiya, Japan (35 42.3N, 135 19.0E). Starr has been here for over ten months with the result that I’m ready to “set sail into the sunset” (sailor talk). The distance to Honolulu from here is 3768nm. Starr uses 1gallon of diesel per nautical mile so the the total fuel capacity of 3700 gallons seems to be cutting things too...

Nara: A Trip to Japan’s Ancient Beginnings 21-23 January 2011 Day Two: 22 January 2100 and 602 AD Horyuji, the oldest Temple in Japan and Yamayaki We met an elderly gentleman on the train from Ashiya to Nara; his name was Mitsui Maekawa and he was a 78-year-old retired school principal from Osaka. He was also a volunteer guide at Horyu-ji Temple in Ikaruga, three stops on the train in the direction of Osaka from...

Nara: A Trip to Japan’s Ancient Beginnings 21-23 January 2011 Day One – 21 January 2011 and (710-784 AD) Almost every morning I read various newspapers online on my computer; these usually include The New York Times, The Japan Times and The Asahi Shimbun. On Friday, 14 January, a short article in The Japan Times caught my eye: “Nara to set hill on fire for good harvest”. It started out “Even though Nara’s 1,300th birthday...

New Year in Kyoto The Temple Bells of Kyoto and the Rabbit in the Moon 30-31 December 2010 30 December 2010 A VERY large part of my desire to spend a year in Japan was my wish to experience all four of Japan’s very distinct seasons. At the center of my wishes was my desire to hear the temple bells ring in the New Year in Kyoto. This idea arose from reading the last novel...

Hiroshima Revisited (with Family) Who would have thought that you could have so much fun with family? 14-17 November 2010 Don’s oldest sister Donna, her husband Wayne, Don’s youngest brother Dan, and his wife Cheryl arrived in Ashiya on Friday, 12 November. The next day we took the train into Kobe and visited the Earthquake Memorial Museum. On January 17, 1995 at 5:46 am, the city of Kobe was hit by the Great...

Our time aboard Starr has been just fantastic. It has been a blending of intimate family time, new experiences, and old stories with a cultural voyage into the hearts and minds of the Japanese people and their rich cultural heritage. Sharry’s passion for Japan and her attention to detail made her the perfect tour guide. Armed with her bus schedule, just the right amount of yen, and six of us in tow, we made a...