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"

January 24, 2015

We are in Singapore

We had to do a visa run for an extended period.  So Singapore fit the bill the best.  Two degrees this morning and twenty eight this afternoon!

The only downside is this morning we woke up to find none of our Garmin instruments working (radar, wind, chart plotter, and GPS)  They are all networked together so we are hoping it has something to do with the networking.  But we tried isolating the wind instruments with still no luck.  Unfortunately not enough time to do any real tests.  We are hoping we do not have to head back to Japan with an expensive replacement to deal with.

January 22, 2015

Mochitsuki or Mochi Pounding

Mochi is a Japanese sticky rice cake made from special glutinous rice.  The rice is pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape.  In Japan it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki.  While also eaten year-round, mochi is a traditional food for the Japanese New Year and is commonly sold and eaten during that time.

We were invited to a mochitsuki party to experience the tradition of the Japanese New Year.  It was a really fun party.  We even get to pound the rice into mochi as well as sample the final product.

The rice is soaked overnight and steamed.  It is then placed in a traditional mortar called usu.  The rice is pounded with wooden mallets and two people alternate the work, one pounding and the other turning and wetting the mochi.  The sticky stuff is then formed little round balls.

The mochi can be eaten many ways - in soups, with powdered sesame, with grated daikon (radish) and soy sauce, with sweet red bean paste inside or just plain.   There were four pots of different soups at the party - sweet red bean, miso, ginger and beef with vegetables.  Of course we tried everyone of them!

Mark having a go at pounding the mochi

Even the kids get to go, although with a smaller mallet
Forming the mochi into little round balls

This batch of mochi has dried shrimps added to it.

January 15, 2015

USHIMADO

The day after the rally pack split, some going to Ushimado and some of us going back to Nio to wait out the typhoon, the rally organisers had a problem.  They had a large party planned in Ushimado and half of us were in Nio.  No problem really, they organised a road trip.  The group of us in Nio were to take a car and drive to Ushimado over a hundred miles away and on the island of Honshu while Nio is on Shikoku.  This was only possible because the Japanese had built a series of five major bridges connecting the two islands not too far away from either destination.  The bridges use a few islands as anchor points.  We stopped off at one of these to stretch our legs and take some pictures.  It is amazing that everything runs so efficiently here; they post the train schedules from each direction and highlight the ones that will be crossing within view of the island.  Sure enough you can set your watch to them crossing.  During the road trip we realised the problems of driving in Honshu.  Once we crossed the bridges, we hit a major traffic jam.  But we still arrived in time to do the walking tour around Ushimado and get ready for another fantastic party.  The party was excellent and as it was the end of the rally for some, a very good call by the organisers to get everyone back together again.  We really enjoyed the food and the talk by Mr Furuno.  A lot of us on yachts use this equipment and it was really interesting to hear from one of the founders of the company.  We never realised it was a family business until this talk.  We had a conversation with him later ad were surprised to see how much knowledge he had of the various agents around the world.  He knew the agents personally from Singapore, Australia and the USA, the strengths and weaknesses of their companies etc.  No wonder the company does so well, even at the very top they pay attention to details.   


This is A Stop Off Point Halfway along the bridges where you
can take pictures of the bridges
Pretty Cool On Off Ramp

The train runs on the bridge underneath.  This picture was
supposed to show the trains crossing but some how the camera is not as
efficient as the trains 




Retro Vehicle?  These are not even made by VW but pretty cool


Temple in Ushimado

A parade Float.  Hand carved and very old.  It is
pushed around town every year during the festival

January 8, 2015

Konpira-San

This is one of those older posts that I promised and am finally getting around to.

While we were in Nio waiting for the second typhoon, we decided to make a side trip to Konpira-San.  We had been told this is a must stop for sailors in the region.  Why, we were not sure, as it was half way up Mount Zozu, and boasted 1368 steps.  But further investigation told us this shrine was founded in the first century and housed the god O-Mono-nushi-no-mikoto, who looks after seafarers.  The reason this mountain was picked was probably because it was conspicuous to any seafarers traveling the region.

So with a day to spare before the winds started we headed out with some others from the rally - Shiho, who had never been and also had the advantage of speaking Japanese and another couple, Ros and Bruce.

On the way up along all those stairs are the typical bazaar type shops that adorn many of the major shrines in Japan.  We were able to borrow some walking sticks by purchasing some local snacks from one of these on the way up.  And on the way down the shops offered a pleasant distraction for the ladies while Bruce and Mark sampled some beer!  Of course we did all those steps and when we got back down we found out that the god was not in residence. For one weekend a year the god comes out of the shrine and spends his time at a famous old bridge in town and the day we were there was the day.  So we headed over there in case he was still to be found.

Steps with shops on the side



This Dog made the journey so his master didn't have to

More Steps

Bruce, Mark, Ros and Shiho all in front of the photographer

Hey, pretty nice up here


This is a solar powered boat made from recycled beer cans that crossed the Pacific.
Actually this room is loaded with maritime stuff 


If you can't make the steps you can hire these guys to carry you

k
This is the bridge the god was supposedly visiting

And this is Bruce and Ros.  Not sure what Ros is up to but if she is
looking for O-mono-nushi-no-mikoto pretty sure he is not there








January 1, 2015

Back On the Boat

We made our way back from Numazu yesterday.  Some great views of Fuji to help kill the hangover from the Taproom Countdown Party.  We caught up with our Rally friends from there and of course Chris and Satch, drank far too much Baird Beer.

This is Kaori, friend of Kerry's, who met us in Numazu dressed in a kimono made by her mum from Okinawa

Us with a snow capped Mt Fuji

A great night with our friends at the Numazu Taproom

As I said we had clear skies when we left Numazu an the bullet train was going its normal 160 miles per hour but suddenly it started to snow.  Long before we hit Nagoya we had to slow to around 70 and by the time we hit Kyoto looked like there was about 6-8 inches on the ground.  But as we approached Osaka the bay warmth turned the snow to rain and there was no snow on the ground.  Not sure if it snowed here or not.

Anyway we got back and fired up the fireplace and sat around with our guests who leave tonight.  It has been a great visit and we will miss them.