Miura Peninsula

Last weekend I went on a voyage to explore the Miura peninsula. Masuda and Ejima had helped a great deal with getting Watari ready, so I wanted to repay them somewhat by taking them fishing, as they’re both avid fishermen.

Friday night after work I caught the train out to Katsuyama. I arrived at about 10:00pm, successfully installed the depth sounder/fish finder transducer and got it working properly (very well in fact!), and installed a new sail track stopper for the mast. I then slept for a few hours and got up at 03:00. I planned to pick up Masuda and Ejima at Miura Fisharina at 06:00.

The sun was just coming up as I left the harbour:

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The wind was very light. So light that I had to change the headsails partway across. It was a bit hard dodging the shipping traffic going so slow. I made it to Miura fisharina at 06:30. Masuda took this pic as I came in:

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Miura Fisharina is a beautiful natural harbour, but they don’t have any guest berths. I quickly picked up the guys from an open spot and we set sail for a fishing spot Ejima thought might be good.

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We sailed around the outside of Jogashima island at the southern tip of the Miura Peninsula, and up the coast. Just outside of Aburatsubo bay we dropped the anchor and the guys tried fishing while I did some boat maintenance and had a short, refreshing swim round the boat.

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There weren’t many fish around here though, even the sounder was pretty quiet, so we picked up anchor and headed farther up the peninsula to a reef marked by a beacon. It was shallow around the reef and I was very thankful for the working sounder as I skirted it until we found a drop off where fish showed on the sounder. We dropped anchor, and pretty soon the guys started to get some bites. In a couple of hours they caught several rockfish and a nice black snapper!

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I was pretty tired, so while they fished I had a nap. I missed out on having fish for dinner, but when Masuda got home his wife prepared a delicious meal from his catch!

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Around 16:00 the wind started to pick up so we decided to head in. We had some drama trying to get the anchor up, had to sail around it in circles till it came free, and we were all getting pretty tired.

We finally got under way, and soon saw a massive sea turtle!

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It wasn’t very lively, and Masuda thinks it was dead. I’m pretty sure it was just very, very slow though. It looked about 200 years old!

We sailed through Misaki harbour on the inside of Jogashima Island as the sun began to set.

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I dropped the guys off at Miura Fisharina, then sailed back under a full moon through Misaki harbour, where I was lucky to find an open spot at the tourist dock.

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Moored just in front of me was Sasaki-san of the Tokyo Yacht Club on S.V. Tonoas. He and a friend came back from the pub just as I was tying up Watari, and he generously invited me over for dinner and beers. It was great to meet him, and we enjoyed sharing sailing stories. He gave me a lot of valuable advice on the area. A true sailing veteran and gentleman!

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Misaki Harbour was very nice to stay at. The tourist dock is free to tie up at between 18:00 and 09:00. It’s about ¥3500 per day for a 30 foot boat like Watari to stay all day. There’s a convenience store a short walk away, garbage bins, and fresh water. The restaurant district and even hotels are within walking distance. It was a bit noisy in the evening, but quiet at night and I got a good sleep. It was very calm in the harbour, protected on all sides, with light winds. In fact it was so peaceful and calm that I sailed in at night, tied up, and sailed off the dock and out of the harbour in the morning without ever starting the engine! This is technically not allowed in Japanese harbours so not recommended, but there was almost no one around when I arrived and left in the early morning, so no one seemed to mind.

Around 05:00 I ghosted out of Misaki harbour on a breeze so light it required full main and #1 Genoa just to get clear of the breakwater. The harbour with bridge across to Jogashima looked very peaceful in the early morning.
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Then almost as soon as I cleared the breakwater the breeze picked up to a stead 10 knots from the North, then about 15, and I had to make a quick sail change to the working jib while hove to.

I wanted to explore the harbours and anchorages on this side of Miura for future trips, so I sailed up North against the wind into Koajiro Bay and past the luxurious Seabornia Yacht Club and Riviera Resort. There are some beautiful homes in this area. This little inlet reminded me a lot of Canada, with the fleet of yachts moored deep inside the bay and these little beach houses right on the shore:

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I sailed up the bay and back out again without having to start the engine, a little feat of seamanship I was quite proud of. It was easy in the light winds though. Watari really handles well and is easy to sail solo!

I then sailed out of the bay and South one inlet over Moroiso. I’d heard that a friend and fellow Tokyo Sail and Power Squadron member was anchored there. I wanted to say hi and to check out the anchorage there. I sailed in and dropped the anchor nearby, then swam over to have a chat with the crew of Bifrost. What a beautiful boat! They were kind enough to share a beer with me and tell me some very interesting stories about the area, more of which I’ll write about in future posts.

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Moroiso is a great natural harbour and there are two marinas here, with many, many yachts. As we chatted it seemed that every yacht in the area set sail at once in a massive convoy. There must have been a race or regatta of some kind on. I had to start heading back, so we raised the anchor and headed out into the bay behind the fleet. If you zoom in on this pic you can see the entire bay ahead is filled with sails:

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Leaving Moroiso bay:

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I passed Jogashima island on the outside, through a massive fleet of anchored fishing boats and left Misaki harbour with its pretty bridge behind:

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I then set out on a broad reach straight across the bay for Uki shima and Katsuyama. The wind picked up to around 15 knots, gusting maybe 20, with a bit of a chop, and I had our roughest sail yet as we took a few waves broadside. I got a bit wet from spray over the cockpit coaming, but no waves came into the cockpit. It was a brisk sail back, only taking about 2 hours to get right across the bay and back home to Katsuyama. The end of a fun trip and our first overnight voyage! 🙂

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