Last weekend offered false promises as although the big rains of two conspiring typhoons had subsided, the water level in Hinuma was still so high that it covered the pier which leads from the launching ramp to the floating docks, thus preventing the launch of any boats. Even now, the water level on the river leading from the lake to the sea is so high that most fishing boats still cannot navigate under the bridges to get to the ocean.
|Last week the pier was under the surface of the lake! In fact, Mr. Hakuta indicated that it came to the base of the top right Kanji character in the yellow sign ("no entry"). That is well over a meter above the decking of the pier.|
A bit of excitement occurred in prepping the boat as I discovered some passengers while opening the cover. At first I thought it was a little tree frog as we had last year, but on close inspection, it turned out to be a rather large spider. Nearby, there was a ゲジゲジ - "gejigeji" - trying to hide under the out haul line. Gejigeji are a kind of centipede - not as fearsome as those in Hawaii, but very common in Japanese houses (even boats evidently) and while not as poisonous as the centipedes of Hawaii, they do sting. Happy to say I've never been stung by either kind, though both of my daughters were while growing up in Hawaii. I have since discovered that the spider is not harmful to humans. It is called "Huntsman" because instead of catching its prey in a web, it hunts and pounces.
|A gejigeji tries to hide under the out haul line.|
|This female Huntsman spider looked plenty scary to Pandabonium.|
Following these discoveries came a lot of yelling by the skipper at the crew to leave them alone as the crew ignored the skipper and attempted to "shoo" them away, which only succeeded in driving them further into the boat. Isn't sailing fun? Well, yes it is. The trouble arises when you don't sail often enough and freeloaders take up residence in the boat. Lesson learned. Visit the boat and clean it every few weeks, whether you go sailing or not.
I thought we would have winds of about 10 knots from the get go today, but even though we arrived in late morning, the wind was nearly calm.
At last, we launched onto a fairly flat lake under the power of our new paddle in the hands of K. After a few minutes of slow going, the wind started to pick up and we spent our remaining time on water with a lovely 6 or 7 knot breeze under clear skies with unlimited visibility.
While putting Bluesette away, I decided to take some pics around the launching ramp. I glanced at K who was taking down the jib and could not resist taking her picture.
|"And now for my grand finale..."|
Critters and mishaps notwithstanding, it felt so good to get back to sailing...
Until next, sweet sailing.