Japan

Hakodate and Kushiro

Hakodate turned out to be one of our favorite stops in Japan. A big part of that was our moorage, which was right in town. It wasn’t at a marina–there was no power, no floating dock, no amenities at all, really. But it was in a charming neighborhood, touristy in a good way. The formerly-industrial area where we moored was full of historic brick buildings that had been carefully restored. Restaurants were just steps away….

Takaya, Sado Island, Awashima, Toga, and an Earthquake!

After a week in Tokyo, I returned to Starr via train–four trains, to be exact. As I got further from Tokyo and transferred to progressively slower, smaller trains, the other foreigners disappeared. By the time I got to Mikuni, only the conductor and I were aboard. The transition from bustling city to nearly-silent fishing village couldn’t have been starker. The next morning we departed Mikuni at first light, not entirely sure where we were going….

Passagemaking with Dementia

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…

Sakaiminato, Ine, and Mikuni

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…

Tsunoshima, Hagi, and Izumo

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…

Onomichi, Su-Oshima, and Exiting the Inland Sea

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…

Suma Yacht Club

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…

Miyajima to Suma Yacht Club

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,…

Family Time

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….

Miyajima

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,…

Entering the Seto Inland Sea

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,…

A Trip to the Doctor

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…

Fukuoka

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…

Nagasaki, Hirado, and Yobuko

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…

Overnight across the Kuroshio Current

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….

My 80th Birthday

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…

Zamami to Amami

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…

Zamami Island

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…

Yonabaru, Okinawa

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…

Guam to Japan

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…

Guam

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…

1000nm to Guam

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…

Sharry

Day 16 15-15.4N, 150-35E 2967nm from Hawaii, 366 nm to Guam I got up at 0500 to relieve Sam. My watch starts at 0600. I did the Engine room check going thru the same motions we do every 3 hours. While the check list is useful, even more so is to listen, smell and visually inspect. Thankfully, our engine room checks have not revealed many surprises. After making a cup of coffee I say good…

Day 4.5 | Dead in the Water 750nm Offshore

I (Don) was woken at 0100 by Celeste saying we have a problem. The boat was stopped and the engine was in neutral. We were rolling 40+ degrees in the 20-knot breeze with 10-foot-at-10-second swells. Water washed over the side decks and unsecured items flew across the cabin. A check of the engine room confirmed that we had no water ingress and no apparent mechanical problems, other than whatever seemed to be wrapped around the…

Day 4 | Going with the Flow

The first few days of a passage are often the hardest. It takes a little while for the body to adjust to constant motion, strange sleeping patterns, new noises. My mind takes a few days to adjust, too. Do we have everything we need? Is that belt throwing off more dust than it should? What about the generator, is it running too warm? Are the fuel filters starting to clog up? Over the course of…

To Japan, again! 2023 Starr Voyage

We are preparing to take Starr on what will most likely be our last significant passage. I’m turning 80 next month and Sharry is three years into being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  Sharry and I have been holding hands for 60 years. While we are both grieving the loss of her memory, we also want to keep living our lives the best that we can. We are told that the best thing for Sharry is to…

What Day is it? What time is it? It’s a conundrum.

 

Passage to Hawaii -We are at the International Dateline

21 April, 2000Z, We are at the International Dateline. Pos 22 12N/180E/W Nm run since Ashiya 2820Nm, 16 days running so far. Distance left to go to Honolulu, 1230Nm. 6 plus days left to finish. The generator only ran 17 total hours during the first 15 days. Due to the temperature and humidity, we have started the genset so we can have A/C and more comfort for sleeping.     We have been carefully monitoring...

Passage to Hawaii

Starr 10 April 10, 2011,0400Z 26 22N/144 46E We are 700nm SE of Ashiya. Yesterday at 0200JST, we pulled into Chichijima 27N/142E., 600nm from Ashiya and re topped off, loading an additional 2700 liters of fuel. We departed Chichijima at 1500JST, 13hrs later. Currently we are 150nm ESE of Chichijima. Our next way point is 25N/160E with 3162nm left to Hawaii. Don Notes from crew: This is Jean & Gary. We are with a great...

Sayonara Japan, Aloha Hawaii

Sayonara Japan, Aloha Hawaii 5 April 2011 MV Starr is departing from Osaka this afternoon at 1230, Tuesday, April 5 in Japan We anticipate that the passage will take us 3 weeks, so our ETA will be sometime around 27 April to 1 May. You can follow Starr on our passage by clicking on the link directly above this entry in the website.     We have a very experienced and compatible crew: Gary and...

Stretching the Fuel Range to Cross the Pacific, Part 2

Stretching the Fuel Range to Cross the Pacific Part 2: Fitting the auxiliary fuel tanks. Guest blog entry by Viktor Grabner, crewmember Don has already written about the challenge of making our fuel last the 3800 nm voyage across the Pacific. He discussed fuel saving strategies and stretching our fuel capacity by using Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) as auxiliary fuel tanks to add another 1000 gallons of fuel for our voyage.    We have now...

Change of Watch aboard Starr

News Flash: Change of Watch aboard Starr 1 April 2011 Preparations aboard Starr for her voyage to Honolulu are in full swing. Unfortunately, we have to make bit of a startling announcement: Don decided to not take this trip with Starr, but instead retire from cruising effective immediately. Having just taken delivery of, and “commissioned” his first granddaughter, Don can’t wait to see her again! He’s taking the plane back to Seattle to actively participate...

What’s really going on at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

 

An amazing article from the NY Times

 

Life in Japan Today

Life in Japan Today March 24, 2011 Sharry's Note: The Japan death toll is now 9800 bodies and 17,500 missing.It is so easy to stop watching the news regarding a disaster like this: it is so far away and life moves on. Don and I are returning to Ashiya on Tuesday, 29 March. We know that we will be entering a world of mourning, a world that we Americans can relate to because it is...

Back to Japan

Back to Japan March 24, 2011Note from Don: Go to "DON’S LOG" for additional articles regarding preparing for our passage to Hawaii: “Getting Ready for the Passage to Honolulu” (1 February) “Stretching the Fuel Range to Cross the Pacific” (9 March)We are packing our duffel bags for the return to Japan on 29 March. We anticipate that our departure from Japan will be around April 6 (?)   Survival suits, tiedown straps, etc.   Frequency drive, 10,000rpm...

Additional response from friends to 3/11

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

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 huge 9.0...

Dangerous Debris

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

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

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, Part II

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

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

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 and Miyajima Revisited (with Family)

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 Hanshin Awaji...

Dan Stabbert, 12-22 November 2010

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...

A Visit to Kyoto

 

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE

Part II - SEPTEMBER-NOVEMBER 2010 FRIENDS IN JAPAN – IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE You have to stay in one place long enough to become friends. We returned to Starr on 1 September, and have had guests from Hawaii (Kat & James Petron) in September, and from San Francisco (Shari Walker and Steve Leonard) in October. For each of these visits we have taken Starr cruising in the Seto Nakai (to Shodoshima, Takamatsu and Onomichi)...

CHABA is Here?

Saturday, 30 October 2010 – 0800 Yesterday we added more lines in anticipation of Chaba arriving on Friday night and Saturday. Starr weighs 100 tons and the dock we are tied to is a Bellingham Marine float, with cleats bolted through a 3x10” wooden rub rail. These cleats can be torn off of from the rub rail, so it is important to spread the load to as many different points as possible. Our winter lines...

CHABA IS ON ITS WAY!

Typhoon Chaba will arrive on Friday and Saturday, 29-30 October. This is Typhoon #16 in our part of the world. Typhoons don’t get a name unless they grow into big storms and this one is on its way to visit us. Every morning Don and I get up and check our computers for emails and then go to three websites that track tropical storms and cyclones (typhoons) in our part of the world. PassageWeather -...

More Barnacles on the Bottom . . .

More Barnacles on the Bottom . . . September 24, 2010 We just returned from a 250nm run thru the Setto Nakai, from Ashiya to Onomichi and back to Ashiya. James and Kat Petron went back to Hawaii last night and I thought I would tidy up the engine room. I checked the sea strainers, and would you believe it, the main engine strainer basket was full again…this is the third time since doing the...

Kat Petron: A Guest’s View of Japan

Sharry's Note: We first met Kat and James Petron when we arrived at Waikiki Yacht Club on our voyage to Japan. Kat was the Port Captain for WYC and James is a 1600 ton tug captain for K Sea Towing, moving fuel barges around Hawaii. Kat runs a business managing and renting vacation properties in Honolulu. If you are interested in renting a place for a day or for a month contact her at:Hawaii Vacation...

The “Tool of the Year Award” has been contested!

The “Tool of the Year Award” has been contested! AND Barnacles on the Bottom 15 September 2010 The Tool of the year award has been contested! The Yanmar Diesel Emergency Fire and Bilge Pump has lodged an appeal. AKA: DPL48-2PT, Sold by Diesel America West, www.dawest.com (These pumps are on most Foss and Crowley tugs for emergency use) WE ARE REQUESTING YOUR INPUT TO SETTLE THIS APPEAL.    Yanmar Emergency Fire/Bilge Pump Home    Yanmar...

Engine Room Helper of the Year

September 9, 2110 Engine Room Helper of the Year Award goes to----------- The Jabsco Mini Puppy!!! Yeah!!    The Mini Puppy I don’t know what I would do without my little Jabsco Mini Puppy pump. That little pump has done more dirty jobs just this year than you can shake a stick at. Some of its accomplishments include: Transferring 100 gallons of used lube oil from the E.R. waste tank to 50 gallon drums on...

Don and Sharry are back in Ashiya

September 2, 2110 NEW ON STARRVOYAGE BLOG and Don and Sharry are back in Ashiya NEW ON STARRVOYAGE BLOG: DON NOW HAS HIS OWN BLOG – see the tab “DON’S LOG” on the Home Page to read about issues regarding Vessel Operations and other subjects that interest him. Who knows he may actually update his log now and then (when he’s not fixing things or improving things or just doing general maintenance on Starr).  ...

Starr is back in Bellport Marina, Ashiya

June 24, 2010 Bellport Marina Ashiya, Japan 34 42' 35"N, 135 19' 05"E Dear Friends, We left Bellport Ashiya on April 30, and traveled with the GSSR Group through the Seto Nakai (Inland Sea) to Nagasaki. We left our GSSR friends in Nagasaki and cruised to Hirado, Imari, Yobuko, Haggi and on June 14 began our trip back to Ashiya. We arrived at Bellport Ashiya, our Home Port in Japan, on June 24. On the...

Yasugi, Matsue and Izumo-taisha

Yasugi-Matsue-Izumo June 11-12 Yasugi - Adachi Museum and Garden We left Hagi early Friday morning on a fast trip north, up the coast of the Sea of Japan to Yasugi to visit Adachi Museum and Gardens. Adachi came highly recommended by our Waikiki Yacht Club friend and Japan Sensei, Jack Peters. It was a four-hour train ride on the San‘in Line and involved a change of trains in Masuda. We planned to visit Adachi Friday...

Starr in the Sea of Japn – Hagi

Hagi - 34 26N/131 25E June 7-13, 2010 Starr in the Sea of JapanI am home now in Seattle when I write this story and it is very difficult to “enter into” the story of Starr in the Sea of Japan. It feels like Japan is so far away: not only in miles, but a huge distance away in culture. The best part of our spring cruising in Japan was the North Coast of Honshu...

Otsunahiki in Yobuko

Yobuko, Saga ken, Kyushyu 33 32’ 53”N/ 129 53’32”E June 5-6, 2010 Otsunahiki – (Translation: the “Rope Pull”) We stayed in Yobuko mostly because we loved the intimate feel of the small town and because we made so many friends. We also stayed because there was a festival on Saturday and Sunday, the Otsunahiki (“the Rope Pull)”. As quoted from the local tourist brochure: “In ancient time, when Hideyoshi Toyotomi was camping at Nagoya Castle...

A Small Town of "Sea People" and Our New Friend

Yobuko, Saga ken, Kyushyu 33 32’ 53”N/ 129 53’32”E June 2-4, 2010 A Small Town of “Sea People” and Our New Friend After leaving the GSSR group in Nagasaki we began to seek out small towns and fishing ports to visit. I have already talked about Hirado, which was our first stop in a small fishing town, and Yobuko was our second. The Lonely Planet Japan Guide describes Yobuko: “This quaint dwindling fishing port has...

Don’s Story: Splicing an Anchor Cable in Yobuko, Japan

Yobuko, Saga ken, Kyushyu 33 32’ 53”N/ 129 53’32”E June 2, 2010 Splicing an Anchor Cable in Yobuko, Japan Sharry and I were wandering down the main business street in Yobuko, just looking at the various small businesses that were interspersed with homes. Often the business was on the front and the living unit was in back or adjoining on the side. We came across one shop that was full of ships rigging and parts...

Hirado, Imari and Arita

 

Ashiya to Nagasaki

June 1, 2010 Update for May: We joined our Nordhavn friends on April 13 in Ashiya, all four boats left Ashiya on April 30 to cruise the Seto Nakai (the Inland Sea) and the West Coast of Kyushu, and we parted company on May 29 in Nagasaki. My last blog entry was on May 5. There is always a conflict when traveling; do I live the experience of cruising in Japan, or do I write...

Hiroshima, Japan

May 5, 2010 Kanon Marina 34degrees21.34N/132degrees24.54E Hiroshima, Japan We now have a new feature on the Starr Blog. Go to the home page and you can follow Starr wherever we are in the World by Satellite GPS. Look for the link just under the StarrVoyage Blog header.   Seabird entering Kanon Marina, Hiroshima We arrived in Hiroshima yesterday at 1530. Today we will go to the Peace Park and explore the history of the end of...

Hiroshima – The Flower Festival

Hiroshima – The Flower Festival May 5, 2010 This past week in Japan has been Golden Week. Many government offices and businesses close down, Japanese travel within the country and everything becomes more crowded than usual. This didn’t affect us much early in the week because we were traveling on our boats, but on May 5 we went to the Peace Park in Hiroshima and found ourselves in the middle of one of Hiroshima’s biggest...

GSSR + 1

May 1, 2110 Uchinomi-Ko, Shodo Shima 34 degrees 27.45N/134 degrees 18.06ENote: Ko=Harbor and Shima or Jima=Island   GSSR+1 in Bellport, Ashiya    Sharry with Kokoro, Bellport Yard Chief We left Ashiya yesterday morning at 0800 and the GSSR group +1(Starr) cruised to the island of Shodo-shima, the beginning of the Seto Nakai, the Inland Sea of Japan. After so many miles of cruising on our own it felt a little strange (but good strange) to be...

Arrival in Ashiya, Japan

Bellport Ashiya 35degrees 42.35N/131degrees 19.03E Arrival time: 1400 local time (GMT+9,1 day later) Tuesday, April 20, 2010: One Week in Ashiya Heavy commercial traffic became a big issue once we approached mainland Japan. Entering Osaka Wan (Osaka Sound) we would often have more than 30 boats with AIS on our navigation screen within a 12 nm range; and that didn’t take into account other vessels, such as fishing boats, that didn’t have AIS. (AIS is...

Mechanical Issues on a 8999nm Voyage

Bellport Marina Ashiya 34degrees42.35N/135degrees19.03E April 15, 2010 8999 Nautical Miles Total Distance Traveled from Seattle, WA The mechanical issues that we have had since leaving Seattle have been minimal: 1. The Cummins Engine fuel solenoid shorted out, killing the engine and shorting out the engine electrical panel (blog entry “A Night to Remember”). 2. The two brand-new 20kw Northern Light Generators each lost their oil sending unit, which maxed out at over the 80lb. maximum...

Our Japanese Courtesy Flag is Flying!

April 7, 2010 Chichijima, Japan 27degrees05N/142degrees12E 8371nm traveled so far We entered the closed port (not an entry port) of Chichijima, an island 600nm SE of Ashiya our final destination in Japan, at 1400 (Japan time, GMT +9) yesterday afternoon. We had arranged through our ship's agent Furuno-san to enter this port as a port of refuge. Don needed to do some minor repairs and we needed to "hunker down" in expectation of 40+ knts...

Starr is on her way to Japan

Starr is leaving Honolulu this morning (January 29) heading to the Marshall Islands. We will cruise through the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands, arriving in Japan by mid-April. I have started a new Blog to allow our friends to cruise with us as we make this 6300nm voyage. Currently the blog is not ready for viewing, but if you register and ask to be notified by email, you will be...