Miles traveled, day 1&2: 291!
Miles to Port Angeles: 4,196
Well we definitely found the Japanese current (Kiro Shio), and are loving the amount of miles we’re ticking off in a big hurry. We left Tannowa Yacht Harbor at 7:00 Wednesday morning and motored out until we found some wind mid day. We sailed out of Osaka Bay and took a left, discovering we still had another 45 miles of very heavy freighter traffic until we turned the corner towards Tokyo. About 6:00 we were wishing we had left a couple of hours earlier, as we were still being passed by freighter after freighter motoring at 20 knots in both directions. At one point we had four huge freighters within a mile, passing on both sides. Then miraculously, for some reason, they stopped coming out of the bay right at 7:00. It gave us a break to cross the outbound lanes and get far enough outside the traffic to feel comfortable as darkness set in.
Needless to say, these first two nights on passage have required our full attention. But we were past the worst of it by the time Rob woke me up Wednesday night at 11:00, so it hasn’t been too bad. I’ve learned a lot in four years about how to identify ships at night, and no longer fear that I’m going to make the same mistake I did in the Santa Barbara Channel on our first trip south when I thought a ship was an oil platform, that is until it started beeping at me! In the last three hours since we passed north of the entrance to Tokyo Harbor the ship traffic has decreased significantly, and at the moment our AIS only shows one ship within 20 miles of us. We’ll still keep a vigilant watch as long as we’re in Japanese waters for another few days, but the heavy traffic seems to be gone.
The weather has been crappy and rainy all day, but the rain isn’t packing gusty winds, so we’re just sailing along with it. The first two days were beautiful and sunny, so we won’t complain about one rainy day out of three. We’re all settled into a routine and I’m starting to work my way through veggies that won’t last much longer. Tonight it was a yummy chicken salad for dinner, even though the peppers, carrots and cukes were pretty soft.
Right before we left I sent out our last broadcast email and we received lots of notes wishing us a safe journey (thanks everyone). We were both of the mindset that this, our longest passage ever, was one to be endured. Rob had parsed it up into two pieces – a short 1,200 mile hop like the trip from Bora Bora to Niue, then a 3,200 mile trip like the Galapagos to Marquesas passage. Infinitely doable. Since reading the email from our friends Catherine and Neville of the boat Dream Time, my attitude has changed completely. Their very wise advice was “enjoy the journey with Yohelah, as before you know it, you’ll find yourselves swept up with land-living again and be dreaming of those quiet days at sea”. Better advice couldn’t have been given. I’m now not enduring the moments, I’m trying to cherish every last one of them, good and not as good.
Today on Yohelah we’re enjoying our last passage and saying “thanks Neville and Catherine for those very wise words”……