Monday, November 30, 2009
We motor sailed to O Shima...another island with an aging population. The weather was beginning to deteriorate..our baromater over three days went up and down like a yoyo..from 1032 to 1020 to 1018, We had 48 hours of continual winds inthe high 20's with our maximum gust being 48knots. We were only going to spend a night here but it was six days before the weather was settled enough for us to move on and even then we should of stayed another day.
On our walks around O Shima we came upon a temple with a resident monk and we spent an enjoyable hour with him, drinking tea and learning the history of the temple.
Next stop was Aino Shima. an island with two small harbours, a clean well stocked supermarket, WIFI accessable from onboard, friendly people, cats everywhere, abandoned fishing nets, polystyrene buoys, old abandoned vehicles filled with old tvs,heaters,radios,bycycles,old fans and rubbish. In one harbour rubbish was burnt on the seawall, leaving tins and plastic floating at the waters edge. In the other harbour the rubbish was thrown into the sea or into the jungle/bush/scrub growing beside the breakwater. There were many fishing boats tied to the wharf but no signs of the fishermen, many houses appeared to be closed and empty. This island felt to us, desolate and unloved.
We arrived back in Japan on October 27th and it has taken us until then (Nov 30) until we reached the Seteo Nakai with our Cruising Permit.
We knew that winter was coming but we never expected the type of weather we have been having. The locals are also surprised.
Our first stop after our entrance port was Iki Shima and the port of Ashibe. This place has one of the biggest supermarket department stores we have seen in a long time. Once our bycycles were unpacked we set of towards the ferry terminal which we have usually found to be a good source of information. Even if it is in Japanese there will usually be a map with numbered pictures and we have found many interesting sites this way. Iki did not lets us down and we found the brochures and then we met the delightful ladies who ran the ferry terminal concession stalls. Amid lots of laughter we finally managed to get away, knowing the ladies were going to join us for coffee in the afternoon. A very enjoyable time we had with them...lots of laughter and lots of miming.
The next day we cycled for miles...up and down hills until finally we reached a shrine/temple that had stone monkeys as guardians.
On the way we had stopped for a breather and were invited in to the house of a Kite Maker......the room was filled with tiny wee kites to gigantic ones. We left carrying two medium sized kites as gifts.
That evening as we were relaxing onboard we had another visit from one of the ferry ladies who had her family with her.
The following morning as we were getting ready to leave they arrived bearing copies of the photos they had taken. So from arriving unhearaled we departed Iki with new friends waving goodbye.