Saturday night after sailing down to Katsuyama from Kisarazu I stayed onboard and worked on various projects. I also walked to the convenience store and got some basic supplies. I made a simple dinner of ramen noodles, cooking aboard for the first time. Katsuyama was very quiet, no one around but some wild looking fishermen’s cats, and outside of the city the stars were beautiful and clear. I turned in around 23:00, had a good short sleep and woke up at 05:00. I had a quick breakfast of coffee and Japanese bean-paste filled buns. The sun was just coming up over the hill backing the harbour:
Just outside the harbour I raised the working jib and main, and set off across the bay headed for the Miura peninsula. The wind was light, barely 10 knots and easy sailing. I had to cross the shipping lane for the first time, and was a bit apprehensive as I timed the crossing ships looking for a gap. Luckily it was Sunday and the shipping traffic was quite low.
As I crossed the bay the wind picked up to about 15 knots gusting to 20, and I put a double reef in the main as Watari picked up speed! She points very high to the wind! I was pleasantly surprised. She not only points as high as 35 degrees at times, but manages to hold about 5 knots speed there.
Here’s a little video of that point:
I sailed directly over to Miura, then beat up the coast tacking back and forth and learning the lay of the land, as well as testing different sail configurations. I was headed directly into the North wind, but made fairly good time with relatively few tacks. I finally coasted into Verasis Marina at about 11:30, just in time for lunch. The marina has nice guest berths, which appear to be free if you eat at the restaurant (at least no one asked me to pay). There’s also freshwater on the docks and a dedicated fuel dock, so after lunch I filled Watari’s tanks.
Watari seemed a bit out of place in this posh marina full of modern, plastic boats. She seemed to be the only boat there with a bit of wood decking.
The lunch was good, if a bit pricey. I had a nice hamburg rice plate which included salad, coffee and dessert cake for ¥1,800. If one considers that includes mooring too though, it’s a very good deal!
After lunch the winds were very light and I slowly sailed out of Verasis and back towards the Chiba side of the bay.
I wanted to get across the shipping lane as quickly as possible as it was busier now, so I pointed up north a bit to cut directly across, and switched from the working jib to #2 Genoa. This was my first sail change at sea on Watari, and I was pretty happy with how it went. I’m looking forward to getting faster and more efficient at it though. Here’s the refurbished #2 Genoa with new hanks and leach sown by Toya-san:
With about 5 knots of breeze we coasted across the shipping lanes without incident and lazily turned South for Katsuyama. Watari sailed herself and I enjoyed standing up on the foredeck admiring the view, having a snack down below, and adjusting lines here and there. I also tried sailing her wing and wing using the boat hook as a whisker pole to pole out the Genoa, which worked quite well while the wind was light:
After about an hour the light Northerly breeze switched to the Southeast, and started blowing about 15 to 20 knots again. I kept the #2 Genoa up to see how fast we could go. At almost 30 degrees into the wind she got up to 6.3 knots speed over ground according to the GPS. Not too bad! I got back into Katsuyama at about 16:00.
Here’s an approximate map of the route taken: