Oshima, Shimoda and Kouzushima

This was our most epic voyage yet, 8 days aboard sailing with 1st Mate Nick Benavides offshore to the Izu Islands. New dodger bars and jacklines (for safety harnesses were installed).

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We sailed to Oshima, where the water was crystal clear in Habu Harbour. We enjoyed exploring the underwater world, and Nick speared his first fish… I though the local sushi chef would prepare it for us, but no go, sadly.

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There was no room to shelter at Habu, and with a typhoon rolling in we had to sail to Shimoda to shelter.

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It was a wild trip into Shimoda. We lost all electronics in the wild weather and had to sail into Shimoda without lights. The mast track ripped off, the worn out rivets popping out when we tried to reef but I forgot to remove the Cunningham strap first. I had to lash it down to the mast in order to get into Shimoda. Luckily a kind mechanic lent us a pop rivet gun and I was able to repair it. We wound up sheltering for 2 days there, which was for the best, as we had several repairs to do.

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With all repairs done and the typhoon mostly passed we pulled out of Shimoda headed for Kouzushima.

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It was still blowing pretty good, around 25 knots, with a big sea running on our quarter, but Watari handled it very well. We made the 28 nm run to Kouzushima in just under 4 hours.

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Unfortunately upon arrival at Kouzushima the starter burnt out in a big puff of smoke. We had to anchor just outside the harbour while we waited for a favourable wind.

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After a night and most of the next morning spent waiting we finally had a bit of wind to try getting into the harbour. A friendly fisherman gave us a tow the rest of the way in.

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It never seemed to stop raining on this trip.

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Despite the poor weather we managed to explore a bit. Nick found a little beach bar where we had a few drinks under the awning, and I even braved the waters for a swim… turned out to be pretty warm actually.

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We quite enjoyed the outdoor onsen too.

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It was a hard trip back. With no engine we had to use the dinghy to tow Watari out of harbour, and it took two days of constant beating into the wind to get back to Tokyo. Nick was in danger of missing his flight so we had to radio for a friend to come pick him up in a motorboat, and I sailed her in solo the last part. All in all a very tiring trip, but it was an adventure!

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