Saturday, January 26, 2013

TO JAPAN

Sailing past Diamond Head, Hawaii

The plan was nine sailing days from Hilo to Yokohama, but we ended up staying a day and night in Honolulu, where we refueled.  Sorry Skip, nobody was allowed off the ship or I would have arranged to see you.  The delay was due to a storm off Japan.  The seas were somewhat rougher during this time, but we stayed south till the last day and enjoyed temperatures in the 70's.  It got colder and rougher after we turned north.  The last night was actually scary, with 20-30 foot waves and high winds.  When you look out your window on the fourth deck and see waves taller than where you are, you tend to pray a little.  Of course the crew took all of this in stride.  The bus person at breakfast the next day, who has been doing this for seven years, said, "Oh, that was nothing."  The northern seas are apparently much rougher in general, which is why they don't sail from Vancouver to Japan.




This student worked her way through college doing balloon parties
We skipped a day as we crossed the international date line, so January 21 "never happened."  No Martin Luther King Day or Barack Obama inauguration.

Relaxing on Deck7













Dawn at sea

A lot of us got together to make paper cranes to give to the Hiroshima Museum.  Apparently this is a tradition to give cranes in memory of a girl who died of leukemia after the atomic blast.  She thought if she had 1000 cranes she would not die.  She did, but the cranes keep coming in her memory.  We made 500 total.


Proud crane makers

We sailed into Yokohama under sunny skies, temperature 43 F.  We could see Mt Fuji clearly for about an hour, but in Yokohama it is only a peek behind some buildings.  There is a beautiful white suspension bridge across the harbor and lots of skyscrapers.  A band and lots of cheering Japanese met us at the dock, but it will be awhile before we can clear immigration.


View of Mt Fuji as Commodore Perry probably saw it

View of Mt Fuji from Yokohama port
A band met us when we docked
A lively port full of container ships-reminds me of Panama