Saturday, April 23, 2011


I couldn't close my reporting on Japan without giving an account of the weather there.  If you live on the sea the weather does have a pretty big effect on you after all.  Michael constantly checks the condition on his iPhone, in fact it might be said he's becoming rather obsessive about it.  He can't change it, only react to what comes our way.  And what came our way was rather unpleasant for a few days.
The First Sunrise

On the last leg, Mother Nature had something nasty in store for us.  We thought rather arrogantly that the Inland Sea would be less of a threat than the open Pacific,  We were very wrong.  As we passed under the great Seto-Ohashi bridge - it was to be closed to railway traffic due to high winds a couple of hours later - we could feel the storm building.  We had started our journey at 7 and made good timing up to that point, passing under the spans at about 10:30.  The last half, which was about 25 miles, took us until 4 to reach our final berth at Nio Marina.  Naturally the 35 - 50 mile per hour wind was in our face and the 15 foot seas were hitting across the starboard bow.  As we eventually made the left hand turn towards port, all the energy then changed to hit our beam and also caused us to surf in a corkscrew manner.  We did eat up the final bit quickly though and only had to maneuver behind the sea wall of the marina to reach safety.  Michael and I had stayed at the wheel for the entire leg and we were both soaked through. An inspection later showed that the constant buffeting had snapped a steel strap inside one of the engine compartments.  It held a water tank and had that come loose we would have had serious problems had it caused that engine to close down.

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