About Me

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Singapore
I am owned by Pauline and Mark Blasky. My hull was built at the Duncan Marine Yard in Taiwan and launched in Dec of 1980. It is a William Garden design based on the Pixie Design and called by Duncan Marine a Freedom 45. They are the fourth owners and have owned me the longest. They have done extensive refitting to me including replacing my entire deck structure and rig. My masts are roughly 10% taller than original and now are made of aluminium as opposed to the original wood ones, which, though pretty, were always problematic. You can read more about me under "MORE ABOUT SARI TIMUR"

October 28, 2014

Guam

We are currently "on Guam" as the locals say.  We needed to do a visa run, so we thought this would be a chance to visit old friends and warm up before the cold really sets in, in Japan.  The Skerritts, generous as always, offered us a place to stay.  Actually we had three offers for places to stay, that is how generous people on Guam are, but the Skerritts drew the short straw.  The weather is warm, but it has been raining pretty much the whole time since we have been here.  We have hit Caliente's twice, Spring Kitchen once, and still managed a MOSA's burger at the club so we are also trying to fatten up before winter!

We are back to Japan on Saturday just before Bill and Martha fly in, too bad Tom and Jeff couldn't also make it.  Be a great Grand Haven reunion!

While we have good internet we have added some photos to some of the older posts especially the ones while we were on the rally.  So if you are interested you can scroll back.




An Impromptu Party at the Cutting/Wolke's

October 27, 2014

Miyajima

While inserting photos to some of our old posts, we realized we did not put a post on Miyajima.

 Miyajima is a little island a short distance from Hiroshima Kannon Marina, where we started the rally.  It is a popular island for tourists, with many shrines and the most photographed gate in Japan.

The most photographed gate in Japan

Another view of the gate

People stand in line to take photos of the gate

Lots of deer on the island.  Pauline with one of them.

October 25, 2014

Fukuyama

Before doing our visa run we and another gaijin couple were invited to visit some of our new rally friends at their house in Fukuyama.  This required a couple of trains and a Shinkansen (Bullet Train) until we met them.  They picked us up and we went to a very nice onsen before heading to their fantastic house.  Their house, is the last one on the road which reminds you of the tight winding drives along the Med.  The grounds are gorgeous and the house has ocean view on three sides.  A great dinner and drinks session with just the six of us that night.

The next morning we took out Sakura his Swede 36 to figure out how to run his spinnaker.  Great day out sailing for probably everyone's last sail of the year.  This was followed by a sushi lunch and then a tour around a local shrine/ zen training center.  This also included a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.  After all of this we still had the energy for a dinner party back at the house which some other locals from the rally also joined in.  Fantastic night,  but there is a scary video roaming around of us trying to butcher Rod Stewart's song, Sailing!

Anyway an early start Friday to get back for a large Sushi dinner on Sari Timur with the last four of us gaijin rally people hosting five of the locals from Tannowa,    But in true Japanese style we couldn't do much of the hosting other than provide the venue and conversation as they provided all the food and drink.


How Come These Things Always Come With So Many Steps?

At The Tea Ceromony



Some Temple Pics From Fukuyama

October 21, 2014

Breaking In the Stove

It is cool enough now to fire up our stove..  There is a break-in period where we have to build five fires starting small and each one slightly bigger and longer with a good cooling off period in between.  We felt we better get at this process so the stove is ready when Bill and Martha come to visit on the first of November.  The first two burns went flawlessly but the third one went horribly wrong.  Apparently the wind conditions and hatches being opened created too much negative cabin pressure and we smoked out the cabin.  Sure don't want to do that again.  Andrew over at Navigator Stove Works suggested we check with an incense stick smoke flow before lighting in similar conditions.  Guess I better head to one of the local temples and get some!

Anyway here are some pictures of it running well.

The fire going good

The chimney

October 19, 2014

The Rally is Over

Wow, it is hard to believe it was only four weeks.  This rally really packed in a lot.  The organizers really did a great job putting together a great event.  Of course the local Japanese people and the natural countryside, layout etc of the Seto Naikai helped a lot.  There remains no doubt the organizers did a lot of work putting this event together.  If anyone is planning a trip this way, we suggest you join this event and book early as they will limit it to 20 boats.  Note if you cannot get your boat here but want to see Japan as only a local cruiser could, you might approach them for an extra crew spot.  There were several of those this year and they all said it was one of the best experiences they have ever had.  We always suspected cruising in Japan was going to be special but even our expectations were way too low.  Ever since we left Okinawa, cruising has been fantastic.  We just hope next year when we head up the Japan Sea side and into Hokkaido we have half as good an experience as we have had so far in Japan.

October 17, 2014

Tannowa

Position 34 degrees 20.31 N 135 degrees 10.76 E

We have arrived at the final destination of the rally.  It also will probably be our last stop of the year.  We were going to move north to Numazu for the winter, but that is proving to be too diffiicult.  So we have decided to book in here for the next five months.  We have friends here and it seems like a pretty good marina to winter over in.

For the next two days we have rally things planned then it is get after some chores and repairs before doing a visa run followed by visits from friends.  But right now it is off to another party!

October 16, 2014

Tsubasa

Position34 degrees 33.46 N 135 degrees 00.68 E

This was an unscheduled stop but a good alternative to get all the boats back together again for the finish this weekend.  It has worked out well and there will be a party tonight in the Westin hotel.  The trip over was a mad dash as we had to get under the bridge that separates Awaji Shima from Honshu by 10:30 .  This is because the narrows are so tight here when the tide swings against you it is more than four knots.  We missed it by about a half hour even with 05:30 start but the current was only up to just over 2 knots.  By the way this is the easy passage, the straits at the south side of Awaji has currents at over 10 knots!

Anyway we are nicely tucked in here and regrouping before the party tonight.

October 15, 2014

N.E. Corner Shodoshima

Position 34 degrees 33.53 N  134 degrees 20.89 E

Well the winds finally quieted during the night and so did the waves in the harbour.  We left this morning at just after 7 am for the trek up to the N.E corner of Shodishima.  This is to be the regathering point for the boats still left in the rally.  Three of us have arrived and three more are on the way.  One boat pulled out of the rally and another can only meet up with us at the next port.  We were supposed to have two days here and some tours around the island.  But Vongfong got those cancelled.  Apparently this is where they grow the native olives.  It looks like a beautiful place from the sea, I think it will require a closer look when we come back in the spring.

We are off to the local onsen so I have to close.  Tomorrow is an early start and a pretty fair trek, with a strait near the end of it going into Osaka Bay.  The currents can be up to 6 knots.  So not as bad as going the other way but we still will have to watch timing.

October 14, 2014

Takamatsu

Position 34 degrees  21.19 N 134 degrees 02.52 E

I said this morning we would leave tomorrow.  Well we decided to leave at noon today instead and we probably bit off a little more than we could chew today.  After all trying to do a 35 mile passage 18 hours after a typhoon passes is not the smartest thing in the world.  But we were lulled a bit by the super protected Nio marina.  Anyway twenty minutes after leaving we were questioning ourselves.  We had winds from 15 to 27 so we were making great time motor sailing with a double reefed main and staysail.  This passage took us under the Seto-O-Hashi bridge which is a gorgeous series of bridges connecting Honshu and Shikoku and when going under we had a positive four knot current smoking us along at over nine and a half knots.

So though the ride was a little lumpy, cold, windy and slightly miserable it really wasn't bad.  But arriving here has been a disappointment, because it looks like a wonderful  town.  But it is so bouncy the bridge to shore has been removed until it calms and we can't get ashore.  Good thing we have beer and Pauline is making us dinner.

October 12, 2014

Vongfong

Well the typhoon is just about to make landfall in Kyushu and that should really make it degrade.  We had 45 knots at about 05:30 am.  It is showing in the low 20's now but it is really low tide and I think the instruments are a bit protected.  The trees on shore look like they are getting a bit more.  The winds are supposed to decrease steadily to a max of around 60 knots when it hits us in about 6 hours. We are doing fine and will try to keep you posted.

17:00 the eye just passed us a little to the south.  Kind of eerie when the wind dropped off.  Our barometer bottomed out at 978.5.  JMA said as it passed the eye was at 975 so I guess it was close.  The max winds we saw were under 50 and that was just gusts.  The recorder which shows sustained topped out at 45.  The barometer is rising quickly now but we will get the backside of the storm for a few more hours.

The next morning.  Well the storm is gone.  Some residual wind and waves around but clear skies and a good forecast.  We should begin untying the spider webs we made to hold the boats today and head out tomorrow making stops along the way enroute to Osaka.  There is a blip on the long range forecasts.  Let's hope it is not typhoon 20!

Sari Timur tucked into Nio Marina two days before the storm

October 9, 2014

Deja Vu

Position 34 d 12.33 N 133 d 38.11 E

For those of you who bothered to look up Nio you will see that is where we again find ourselves and again we are looking at a typhoon coming our way.  We just hope the rest holds true and this one also veers away.  But this morning we couldn't confirm this and the anchorages until we get closer to Osaka are very exposed.  So four boats, Sari Timur included, said our goodbyes and headed for safer harbors.  Typhoon Vongfong isn't scheduled to reach us until Sunday or Monday.  But we are playing safe.

Shiraishijima

Position 34 d 24.36 N 133 d 31.56 E

After Nio, we were off to a fishing port on Shiraishijima.  About 16 miles away.  We had a great little sail over there and begain the raft up sequences with the boats.  The plan that night was a potluck with each boat bringing a speciality to the beach.  The local hosts provided some additional food and drink plus a lot of material to get a very large bonfire going.  The fire was greatly appreciated as the nights are turning cool.

The next day we all loaded up onto the two largest boats and headed over to Tomonoura, which is a very old port on Honshu.  This port has a lot of history dating back to the Edo period.  After exploring the port and having lunch we took a ferry over to Sensuijima, which we were told translates to drunken monk island.  Sensuijima has a bunch of walks and a nice onsen.  We did the former but not the later.

After returning to Shiraishima we had dinner on a neighbor boat and watched the luner eclipse.  We also bumped into a Japanese traditional flute player we met in Nagasaki.  He hand makes his own flutes and his music in the background while watching the eclipse was pretty special.

The old ferry boat sailing between Tomonoura and Sensuijima

View of Sensuijima

Old houses on Tomonoura

The old lighthouse on Tomonoura

View from Sensuijima

October 5, 2014

Dodged Another One

Well Typhoon Phanfone or number 18 has passed south of us at about four am this morning.  It managed to turn a little more south east so our wind wasn't bad.  Our instruments record average wind and that never went above 32 knots the gusts are usually a bit higher but even those didn't rouse me enough to get out of bed and check it.  The pressure bottomed out at 996 as well.  We are cleaning up doing laundry etc getting ready to start out on the third leg of the Setouchi Rally tomorrow.

October 4, 2014

Nio

Well we dodged the karaoke mike.  And had a great time in Dogo, a copper mine on the way tour on the way home, and of course another party that night.  But we were all a bit concerned about typhoon 18 heading kind of for us so the next morning in a very stiff breeze we all left the marina for the trek over to Nio and a slightly safer marina.  The breeze was strong but right on the nose.  We were kind of anxious to get the boat battened down so we just motored it.  That seemed to be the popular decision as only one boat raised the sails.  After securing the boat it was off to another party.  We also met up with a couple that we had met in Hirado.  This is their home port.  We ended up on their boat for the after party drinks and had chance to catch up on what they had been up to.

Today we have a walking tour around Nio, which is supposed to have lots to see.  The typhoon is scheduled to pass between midnight tonight and dawn tomorrow.  The present forecast has it steering a little more southeast so we should be spared the brunt of it.

A lot of frogs!!

A popular pastry shop in Nio town

This pharmacy is 400 years old, still run by the same family

Streets of old Nio town

Another shrine

October 2, 2014

Shikoku

Today we are spending time seeing sites in Shikoku before the typhoon strikes on Sunday.  This is typhoon 18, and 19 has just formed behind it so it will be an interesting couple of days.  Today we visited a pottery place, a place that still does weaving and dying with traditional indigo, and then off to a hotel near one of the oldest onsens in Japan.  Dinner, games, karaoke, and then traditional drums to finish off the night!!  Hopefully I can skip the karaoke, but I doubt it, somehow I always end up front and centre.  But once they hear me sing maybe I can quickly get tossed out!

All dressed up for our dinner

Our dinner!

A group photo

Dogo Onsen, one of the oldest onsen on Shikoku

At the copper mine

Keny drilling for copper

October 1, 2014

Niihama

Position 33 d 59.584 N 133 d 19.880 E

We had a great sail down to Shikoku from Yuge to Niihama.  At times our boat speed was up to 6.8 knots and we had the wind ideal for Sari Timur.  We will spend three days here before heading over to another port in Shikoku, Nio.  More on that later.  But Yuge was a favorite destination if we are allowed to have any.  The evening party there was one of the best yet.  The support of the students has to be deemed as extraordinary at the minimum.  We will add some pics and comments under the Yuge post once we hit good internet.