Decision time. Do we wait for a weather window or give up and truck her down to Osaka?
The last episode on the frustration to sail SV Freelancer, a 28 Bristol Channel Cutter out of Hokkaido and down to the warmer seas of souther Japan.
While waiting for a weather window to open I spend time around Esashi town and learn what it is like to live in a cold climate, plus experience big seas, high winds and freezing cold snow from the comfort of shore.
Next week back to normal with updates on Tiare’s overhaul and looking back on how we have managed to survive sailing and cruising with kids and dog onboard without a fixed income.
More info here on the Replica tall ship
Waiting for the break in the weather before winter sets in and it gets too cold. The break never came.
The adventure of sailing down from Hokkaido in the top of Japan to Kagoshima at the southern tip of Kyushu wasn’t to be.
The weather beat us and ground us down. Weeks of waiting for a window that would allow us to beat the lee shore didn’t happen.
Frustrating for the owners Nick and Rika who were hoping to set off on their new life.
However as much as the frustration was at not sailing down the option to truck her down was still available.
As long as winter didn’t arrive too early and make the roads impossible for such a journey. But that is for next weeks video.
Video put together on my phone as we wait for a weather window to sail south from Hokkaido to Kagoshima. Test the new Pelagic autopilot do some last minute maintenance and repairs. Go for a test sail and wait out a monster storm. And finally get that weather window.
Has been a slow week as we wait for a 24-36 hour weather window so we can set off sailing south from Iwanai on the Japan Sea side and get through the Tsugaru Straight and into the Pacific.
Once through to the Pacific Ocean side we have better weather and generally away from a lee shore. Plus a lot more ports to run too if the weather packs in.
Sailing south down Japan in November is not the best time of year is cold and the weather doesn’t give us much of a chance.
Have done the last prep on the boat. All stocked. Fueled up. Sails tested. Autopilot is working (we think) and have a 24 hour window to get down as far as Esashi (95Nm) before the window closes. Then a wait of 24-48 hours before we can duck around the corner and heading for the pacific and the east coast of Japan.
Just a few more days until I fly to Hokkaido and sail a 28 foot Bristol Channel Cutter through the Tsugaru Straights between Hokkaido and Honshu, the main Island of Japan and then head off down the Pacific side of Japan keeping close to the coast so as to avoid the fast flowing “Kuroshio” current that runs up the Japanese archipelago. Total distance around 1200Nm and expected passage time will be / maybe 10-14 days.
The episode is just me talking with a few pictures and sailing routes, plus a bit at the end about how it felt spending time watching my kids grow.
Next Episode will have lots of sailing and boaty stuff.
Link to James Wharram Designs and the Islander 55
And Tiare’s Build photos.
The photos with a lighter blue hull and the bright white interior are of another Islander that was launched recently.
Tiare was hull #1
This week we remove the sails, survive two very wet typhoons and I get ready for a 1200 Nm adventure sailing from one end of Japan to the other, Hokkaido to Kagoshima, on a newly refurbished 28 foot Bristol Channel Cutter.
The sail from Hokkaido to Kagoshima will be a true adventure for me! I don’t like cold weather or water, it is a 28 foot traditional sail boat and we are on the wrong side of Japan with sailing through the “missile testing” grounds for North Korea.
But am determined to make the most of it. Will be a fantastic experience to sail this coast line on a traditional classic small boat.