Christmas Day in Japan, we headed up to the lake to check on Bluesette and bring her a present. Weather was fine, if cool, with just scattered cumulus. The yacht harbor was closed as far as boat launching went, but the office was open. The owners' three year old grandson was playing with his new Thomas The Tank Engine pull toy (while wearing his Thomas and Friends T-shirt). We had brought some candies for him and his older sister which made him less shy than usual. The lake was cold and windy, with only a couple of windsurfers on the north shore braving the elements.
It had been many weeks since our last visit and a lot of weather had passed so we knew Bluesette probably needed some clean up. While temperatures in Kashima have gotten close to 5C (40F) some nights, at lake Hinuma, it had been frosty cold. Some of the micromesh rags we had left there had gotten wet and were frozen this morning. Bluesette did have a bit of water in the cockpit and once again the mainsail had fallen off the seat and into the water.
After cleaning up, I tied the mainsail to the jib cleat so it would stay high and dry, and then we installed our "gift" to Bluesette - a plastic tarp to cover the cockpit under the "Sunbrella" canvas cover, so that even if (when) the cover leaks, the water will run down the plastic beneath it and off the boat. Hopefully that will solve the problem for the duration of the winter.
Then it was time to pay a visit to Mama's Kitchen. It was so nice to be back in our familiar haunt. A beautiful white Christmas Cactus in bloom adorned the window bay (see top pic). Traditional Japanese songs played on the stereo - as opposed to the usual pop music, probably because "Papa" was there today. Mama had thoughtfully placed lap blankets on the chairs for customers who felt a chill, though the place felt warm as toast to me.
I braved the spicy red pepper and fish roe sauce for angel hair pasta with mushrooms and scallops. Oishikatta desu. (It was delicious.)
Kimie's lunch centered on "buri" (Japanese amberjack fish).
Mine included dessert which we shared - a nice raisin cake with strawberry, orange slices and a wedge of persimmon.
On the way home we stopped at a farmer's market and picked up some local eggs (from a truly free range farm where the chickens get feed but also eat veggies and bugs while out of doors). The eggs were collected this morning at 10 am! As treats for ourselves and Kimie's parents, we got strawberries and sugared ginger slices. I really enjoy our farmers' markets, which offer fresh, local produce and feature bios and photos of the people growing the food you buy. Yes, it costs more, but as the old Dutch saying goes, "cheap is foolish" - especially when it comes to things you eat!
Until next, sweet sailing.