Tuesday, September 23, 2008

August 23, 2008

Temp: 24 - 26 degrees C
South at approx 6m/s with 8m/s gusts

Distance travelled:

Average speed:

Time on the water:
2 hours 39 minutes

Spent the day on the Tornado with John and Richard, in great weather conditions. The wind stayed constant until we got back to the beach. Sea conditions were a mix of light choppy water inshore and some more challenging waves outside the bay. Lots of hull flying excitement and crashing waves. Landed on a beach near Makuchi and climbed to the top of the hill in search of somewhere for lunch. Minchikus everywhere but no restaurants. Bought some light lunch bits at a local shop and went back to the beach to eat, before heading back out into the action. Returned to the beach and dragged the boat onto the rack - seemed a lot heavier after the sailing workout. Drank a well earned beer afterwards and ate some banana muffins that Richard baked before breakfast;-)

Camera work was a bit sloppy today in the rough seas

The Boat

The Route

The Action

Monday, August 4, 2008

July 5, 2008

Looking at the video you'd think we had a great day sailing. Actually we had light winds to begin with and stopped for lunch at at restaurant between Enoshima and Kamakura with slowest service I've ever seen. The service was slow even the wind got fed up and left. My two passengers Jona and Osada-san had to paddle the boat back ......... about 2km to Zushi, but without paddles.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

June 1, 2008

Temp: 21 C

Wind: Northwest, moving to the south late in the afternoon (offshore) 5 – 7m/s, clear skies

Trip: 1h37m

Distance: 20.9km

Max speed: 27.9km/h

Average speed: 12.9km/h

Seaweed: none

Nets: some inshore but well marked

Today we had Simon along for his first ride in a Tornado. Most of the MMHC members were at the club today, the first day of summer. Hopefully this will be the case for the rest of the season ‘cause we need lots of hands to move the boat on and off the storage rack.

John had a number of options to solve a problem he’s been having getting the sail head to lock in place – after 4 attempts he came up with a solution using a steel bracket, the halyard and a piece of string.

By the time we hit the water the winds have died down but the Tornado doesn’t need a lot a winds to take off. We sailed out into the bay and back to the beach for lunch. After lunch the winds picked up and we had some wet sailing while flying a hull. We almost left Simon on behind – the winds had begun to change and the boat nearly leapt off the beach. Simon had great time watching his dad getting splashed while sitting on the windward hull.

When we got back we had plenty of help getting the boat back on the rack.

Friday, May 30, 2008

May 30, 2008


Temp: 15 C

Wind: north east (offshore) 5 – 7m/s, overcast, threatening to rain all day but no delivery

Trip: 3h48m

Distance: 35.5km

Max speed: 22.5km/h

Average speed: 9.8km/h

Seaweed: none

Nets: none to speak of but there did seem to be lots of pots about.

Picked up the Hobie Wave at 9am. Numano-san went through the rigging with me – as with any new boat it seemed daunting to begin with but its pretty straight-forward compared to the Tornado. I thought it came with a tiller extension but it didn’t – this could be a problem in light winds where I’d expect to move my weight forward ie away from the fixed tiller.

Perfect conditions today for breaking in a new boat; good strong offshore wind with little or no waves, overcast and very few windsurfers to run over (maybe not quite perfect). Had a hull out of the water within 30 mins and spent most of the day playing with the gusts and practicing tack and jibes. Jibes were effortless – cats have so much momentum, when running downwind the sail comes across without any loss of speed. Tacks were fine for the most part but there was on point where I ended up on irons. It would appear that the boat needs speed going into the tack but as it turns I need to increase the push on the tiller.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Temps in the 20s again but cloudy, the forecast on the club board was was 4m/s onshore increasing to 6 a later with rain due late in the afternoon.

Lars joined me today and Stuart was with us for a quick sail before returning to Kobe. We headed off to Enoshima tacking out of the bay before one final long tac all the way to Enoshima. Had lunch at the Shonan before the long tack back to Zushi.

Conditions were pretty much perfect all day and when the winds picked up back at Zushi we had 40 mins of blasting up over and back across the bay.

Looks like today was the last day with the sea martin - the Hobie Wave arrives on Thursday!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 18, 2008

Simon decided at the last moment to come today and brought his friend Thomas Winstanley along for a 'first sail'. Simon joined Stuart on his boat and Thomas crewed on mine. 5m/s winds were forecast for the day, but they never really got above 3m/s and for most of the morning we had very little wind. Our crew began to get bored when the wind dropped off and we decided to maroon them on Nejima, a series of large rocks just off Hayama, while Stuart and I sailed about waiting for the winds to pick up. An hour later the wind returned and I ‘rescued’ the boys and headed to Hayama for lunch. We ate near the shrine overlooking the sea.

Back in the boat after lunch we sailed around Nejima – Thomas was ‘fearlessly’ hiking out, when we hit a wave and he went for an unplanned swim. He had the good sense to keep hold of the jib sheet and was pulled along by the boat laughing all the way. Once he pulled himself on board he immediately settled back into his hiking position and 5 mins later …………….. went over again! Once back onboard we headed for Zushi and let the crew take control of the boats. They steered, trimmed the sails and practiced tacking for an hour before heading for shore at about 15:45.

May 17, 2008

Stuart took the overnight bus from Kobe to Zushi and arrived looking pretty tired. After a fairly sedate start to the day we finally headed off just before 11:00. 5m/s winds were forecast from the north, moving around to 3m/s from the south – good day to run a jib. We had a straight forward run all the way to Enoshima with minor course changes to avoid nets. Little or no seaweed about so, no real obstacles to navigate. We went to the far side of Enoshima where we lost the wind in the shadow of the island. Finally, we landed on the calm beach in front of the aquarium. Very warm day with temps in the 20s – we bought some lunch at a convenience store and ate on the steps above the beach watching lots of surfers in the small waves farther down the beach..

The winds dropped as expected mid-afternoon. Stuart was clearly sleepy and fell behind. In hindsight, knowing he was the worse for wear after the bus ride, I should have stayed close rather than sailing ahead. Arrived back in Zushi at about 15:30, de-rigged and washed down the boats and later washed down a couple of cans of shu-hai (great Japanese hangover free Japanese drink) on the beach.

Monday, May 19, 2008

May 4, 2008

Another first for 2008 - sailed over and back to Zushi today on my own. Moderate winds from the south made for a nice 3 hour return trip. Pulled the boat up on the beach and went for a brief walk amongst the tourists and food stalls.

Went through the usual game of dodge the fishing nets but the trip was a relaxing and uneventful sail. When I got back I joined a bunch of club members for an impromptu BBQ on the beach.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

May 3, 2008

Lars Peterson joined me on the Sea Martin today. Lars used to sail 470s in Denmark and knows his way around dinghies.

Unfortunately I forgot to bring the GPS unit along and don’t have a record of the route. The light rain and 6-8m/s offshore winds were perfect for Lars’ first Zushi sailing experience. We headed towards Nejima and had just gone through the channel when it occurred to me that the boat was unusually sluggish: 10 seconds later I realized I hadn’t inserted the drain plug back at the club (first time in 3 years)! After rounding Nejima and two tacks later we hit Hayama beach with the stern submerged – not sure how much longer we’d have stayed afloat but we made it. It took about 20 mins to empty the hull and Lars found a piece of Styrofoam to insert into the drain hole. We hit the water intending to beat a retreat home only to capsize a hundred meters offshore. The temporary fix worked and the wind picked up providing us with plenty of action on the way back to Zushi.

Given that its Golden Week here I had expected more boats to be out but the rain must have put people off - don't really know why as conditions were really great.

After a lunch on the Marinebox balcony we headed back out for another 50 min or so in the 8m/s winds.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

April 29 - 30, 2008 - Tornado

Having previously spent over two hours setting up the Tornado, today’s second try took about an hour but we were assisted by a number of ESS members. Once we got the boat on the water the offshore wind took us to the mouth of the bay without any tacking. The light wind conditions were perfect for familiarizing ourselves with the Tornado. Nihei-san was out in his Hobie 16, keeping an eye on us. After a few experimental tacks and jibes we headed to Enoshima where we left the boat on the beach and headed off for lunch. The island was crammed with tourists – some of whom were resting on the hulls of the Tornado when we got back. The Tornado (white sail) on Zushi Beach

After lunch the winds picked up and we rocketed across to Nejima. Enroute, a seam on the trampoline came apart where it had been repaired in the past – the stitching thread had rotted. Later Nihei-san lent us a needle and some tough thread. On the approach to Zushi beach we hit a windsurfer while making a terribly timed adjustment to the rudder assembly. No harm was done to either the windsurfer or his sailboard however, we did spend some time afterwards recovering the windsurfer’s bandanna. Dragging the boat above the waterline confirmed the boat is a lot more difficult to move about out of the water – the two of us could barely move afterwards.

Tornado Practice - Zushi to Enoshima to Nejima and back to Zushi

First impressions of the Tornado was that its very quick, has a complicated jib sheet arrangement, is a little slow to tack, is really stable while jibing and is a lot of boat.

That evening we had dinner at a Thai restaurant in town, set up the tents on the beach and went to bed at about 10. Next morning John woke at about 6 and repaired the Trampoline. We packed the tents away had breakfast and made ready to leave Zushi.

At 10am we headed off down the Miura peninsula into a fresh headwind and it looked like being a long day of tacking. The tacks took us about as far offshore as I’ve been, and well clear of most of the nets and rocks. By mid day the winds weakened but the boat kept moving along. During a particularly relaxing moment John decided to move weight forward and managed to fall in the water, sliding under the trampoline – I headed up into the wind and he managed to climb back onboard after his refreshing swim. We rounded the end of Miura peninsula keeping well clear of a series of nets at about 2pm and entered Tokyo bay with the winds strengthening. The wakes from shipping coming out of the bay made things a little interesting for a while but nothing really challenging.
Zushi to Mirua Multihull Yacht Club

There were a number of nets to avoid on the way into Mirua Multhull Yacht Club and the winds really kicked in while we approaching the beach – we almost got a hull out of the water! After a nice soft landing we again had to man-handle the boat off the beach but only after struggling with the main sail for 15 mins – there’s a knack to getting the headset of the sail out of the mast. We borrowed a dolly from the club and wheeled the boat up on the beach.

This weekends data from the GPS
Trip: 89.7km
Moving time: 8h 16m
Max speed: 27.8km/h
Average Speed: 10.8KM

Sunday, April 27, 2008

April 27, 2008 - Fun on a Hobie Wave

Change of plan today; Mr. Neilson kindly invited us for a sail in his Hobie Wave. Haven’t been on a catamaran in some time and it was nice to get back to the sense of space the boats give. We had very light offshore winds from the northeast for the first couple of hours but once the winds swung round coming from the south, the boat hummed along really nicely at 9km/h in conditions the Sea Martin would have moved at 5-6km./h

Simon was with me and fell asleep on the trampoline. However as the winds increased so did the chop and the water splashed through the trampoline ruining sleeping conditions.. Simon was well able to take the helm tacking and jibing with ease. The boat has back rests and at one point it was like sailing around on a sofa. My one criticism off catamarans in the past was sitting on the trampoline – the back rests really helped.

Hitting the beach without centerboards was great and the tillers popped up nicely in two stages, so steerage was never a problem. The way it handled the landing and the robust construction makes the Wave a great candidate for beach cruising. Worth noting that although there is heaps of space onboard, and the boat can accommodate 4 adults, lots of water splashes through the trampoline requiring gear to be put in waterproof bags.

By the time we arrived at the club the boat had already been rigged, but de-rigging took 40 mins and would have been quicker if Neilson-san hadn’t been distracted by me. Marinebox100 have nice storage arrangements and systems for raising both the mast and boat.

All in all, a great day out!

Monday, April 21, 2008

April 12 & 13, 2008 - Beach Cruise to Mitohama

April 12, 2008 - Saturday

Arrived at Zushi at 7:30, Stuart’s boat and tent were on the beach. Changed into my sailing gear and waited for the club to open. Winds were light from the east and conditions looked good for our first beach cruise of 2008.

Set off at about 09:30 in light but gusty winds, flat seas and overcast skies. As usual there were a number of nets to navigate around but seaweed presented a particularly difficult hazard requiring us to divert from our preferred course on at least three occasions .

Arrived at Miyahama at 12:30. Stuart landed first and before I set down, was asked to move to the other end of the beach by an angry fisherman . We pulled the boats up the steep beach and set about exploring.

We checked out the dinghy sailing club on the north side of the beach - nice club, really friendly people. When we mentioned we had sailed done down from Zushi they reacted like we'd arrived from another continent. Later we checked out some potential campsite locations at the west end of the beach but decided we had selected the right end of the beach (near the angry fisherman) to begin with, so we picked up our gear, leaving the boats behind and trekked back to towards the south end. We popped into the Mitohama Hobiecat Fleet; great day for sailing but no one was out or about. I wasn’t impressed.

We also checked out the local small but beautiful Shrine - its at the end of an avenue of tree, many of which appear to be tropical.

The beach at the other end turned out to be the perfect – sheltered, private, flat etc. We selected spots to set the tents and then realized we needed beer. Some bikers camping nearby took pity on us and gave us a couple of cans before we set off in search of a convience - the 50 round trip significantly impacted Mitohama's ratings.

It being a little early in the year for a beach trip, we had decided to cook on the beach rather then forage for food. I brought some pasta and some sauce but didn’t bring salt or oil because it I thought it was ‘un-camperlike’. Needless to say the pasta was stogy but served a purpose. Later the bikers asked us to join their camp fire. There six guys had more camping gear than I’d ever seen – tables, chairs, cooking stuff and a great looking inverted pyramid shaped barbeque. They cooked for us and we wiled away the evening around a campfire.

April 13, 2008 - Sunday
It rained overnight and the next morning we woke to howling winds and grey skies. After another feed of stogy pasta and sardines followed by hot coffee. I received a call from the sailing club warning us that the wind was going to pick up and strongly recommending that we get back ASAP. Following a lengthy debate over whether to run the jib or not, Stuart suggested that it would be a bad idea – great decision! My thoughts were that I should run it and get home quicker, Stuart could already see that catching wind wasn’t going to be a problem – the challenge was going to be handling the overpowering gusts, or as he called them, bullets.

We set off and immediately ran into problems with seaweed – well I ran into problems, Stuart kept a safe distance away. Once we’d exited the bay we were sailing dead against the wind and started a 5 hour tacking session. I messed up at least half my tacks but managed to recover every time. As time went on the winds held at about 10 – 12 m/s and I got used to the conditions but not overconfident. There were moments when the waves seemed to come at us from 3 different directions but as long as we had steerage and were moving forward we were able to stay upright.

Unfortunately I couldn't take any photos or even glance at the GPS (or change its batteries!) so, the visual record is a little light for the Sunday leg of the trip.

By the time we returned to Zushi the Marinebox sailors had given up for the day. I was shattered but it felt great to look up at my dry sail.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

April 5, 2008

Temp: 17 deg C

Wind: 3 – 6m/s from the northeast and late from the south

Sea Conditions: a little choppy outside with some waves mid afternoon.

Visibility: Clear to Enoshima.

Comments: Had Simon along today, sailed over to Hayama beach with Simon at the tiller for most of the day. The wind picked up eary in the afternoon and we sailed about in the bay.

Today's Route

Saturday, March 29, 2008

March 29, 2008

Temp: 12 deg C

Wind: 3 – 5m/s from the north

Sea Conditions: flat in the bay, choppy outside with some waves mid afternoon.

Visibility: Clear to Enoshima. Squall over Enoshima in the afternoon

Comments: Had the jib up and got back to the bay as the wind picked up. Reached 9mph.
Sailed thought the beacons at Najima straight into the wind.

Forgot my windproof jacket and paid for it as the wind got stronger - wore a short sleeved wetsuit. Eventually had to come in due to the cold just before 3:30.


March 23, 2008

Temp: 18 deg C

Wind: 5 – 3m/s from the north

Sea Conditions: flat with lots of seaweed at low tide on the north end of the beach. Fishing nets covering about 30% of the bay!

Visibility: Clear to Enoshima

Comments: Managed to squeeze a second day of sailing in this weekend. Richard was out and we went as far as Najima together. Wind dropped off early in the afternoon and moved round to the east.


Monday, March 24, 2008

March 22, 2008

Temp: 15 deg C

Wind: 5 – 3m/s from the north

Sea Conditions: flat with lots of seaweed at low tide on the north end of the beach. Fishing nets made things difficult in about 30% of the bay.

Visibility: Clear to Enoshima with the white peak of Mt Fuji in the background

Thought it was wetsuit weather but temperatures topped out at 15 deg C by mid afternoon, ie. ‘sweat suit’ conditions.

Winds were forecasted to blow between 3 and 5m/s but there was a point where we were becalmed. Nice flat sea conditions with an offshore wind from the NE to begin with, swinging round to the SE later in the afternoon.

Lots of dinghies out and beginner level windsurfers



Saturday, February 9, 2008

Feb 9, 2008

Temp: 2 degrees C
Wind: 2 - 4 m/s
Sea Conditions: choppy but no real waves

There were some wind surfers about today but I appear to have been the only sailor mad enough to go out in the cold. Stayed in the bay as I was on my own but managed to get about at a fair clip, 7 - 9 mph according to the GPS unit.

The fishermens nets are a lot closer to shore this time of year - forcing me to leave the bay when there are a lot of windsurfers around, or to stay close to the shore where the wind is gusty.

Tacking and gibing definately became more difficult as I got colder - will probably leave the jib behind next time I go out in these condidtions and bring some heat packs. Filming was difficult in the gusty condidtions, so I took some photos of the club afterwards.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Jan 20, 2008

Zushi Wan
Temp: 2 - 8 degrees centigrade
Wind: offshore @2-4 m/s
Sea Conditions: flat with lots of seaweed close to the shore
Companion: Stuart Smyth and 'George', briefly

Wore a full wetsuit, gloves, boots and sailing smock. As the winds were light I didn't need a hat. Made the mistake of getting cold water in my boots while launching and regretted it for the rest of the day.

Rigged the jib and managed to stay ahead of Stuart while the winds were light but as soon as it picked up Stuart raced ahead. Sailed out to Najima - through the channel and out to the point before heading back to Zushi Bay.

Stuart tried out his cut-down mast. Performed without any problems, but he should be careful with it until he's out in stronger winds, and when things warm up, capsize.

First winter sail this year and expected it to be a lot more difficult. If I capsize in these conditions I'll get back in the boat and head home. Will look into getting some warmer footwear or perhaps some waders during the coming week.