After Two Days in the Desert Sun, My Skin Began to Turn Red

Horse with no name

Horse with no name

So Ben and I set off early Thursday morning to explore the Keramas, a  group of 22 islands located about 45 kilometres southwest of where I live. We did no really know where we were going other than we had visited one of the islands 2 years ago and thus had a general geographical concept of their whereabouts.http://quietripple.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/%E2%80%9Cgod-gave-us-memory-so-that-we-might-have-roses-in-december-%E2%80%9D/

We took a couple of tins of Spam, some squid and rice and some beer. We also bought lots of water being very conscious of the necessity of rehydrating ourselves but we left it in the fridge.

There was a gentle following wind that wafted up slowly but ineluctably Southwest. We pass turtles, schools of tuna and watch the coast line of Okinawa gently slip by. The sea is blue, the sky is blue, the sun is white hot.

Ben at the helm early in the day

Ben at the helm early in the day

We cannot see the Keramas but are confident that they will loom up in front of us at some stage.

Slow boat to Tokashiki.

Slow boat to Tokashiki.

Sure enough at about 3:00 in the afternoon, islands do appear that we take to be the two main islands of the Keramas, Tokashiki and Zamami.

We are completely wrong. These are just baby islands . The big boys are another 15 kms away.

We are completely wrong. These are just baby islands . The big boys are another 15 kms away.

By now we have had a lot of sun exposure and Ben adjusts his clothing

Not so, my lord; I am too much i' the sun.

Not so, my lord; I am too much i’ the sun.

My old-man-post-operation leg.

My old-man-post-operation leg.

Notwithstanding by 5:30 we make it to a tiny island just off the northern tip of Tokashiki. We now use the mighty Tophatsu to bring us into a lost beach. Rain squalls are to the right of us and rain squalls are to the left us, giving a very eery light.

https://www.google.co.jp/maps/place/26%C2%B013’57.7%22N+127%C2%B022’14.1%22E/@26.23269,127.3705751,8210m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0?hl=en

Dileas makes landfall. Note the turtle tracks, which were everywhere on all the beaches we camped on

Dileas makes landfall. Note the turtle tracks, which were everywhere on all the beaches we camped on

I name this beach Glass Balls

I name this beach Glass Balls

Ancient Turtle worship fetish

Ancient Turtle worship fetish

I do not think anyone has been on this beach for many years. The jetsam has an antique quality, vide big glass floats.

Make up your own caption.

Make up your own caption.

After 10 hours in an open boat in the blazing sun, we think it a luxury to eat some Spam with runcible spoons, lie down on our mats and sleep. We have no tent, sleeping bags. Who needs them? It is 30 degrees.

We made it.

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Son in Sun

Ben’s here and adventure possibilities are limitless.

Last night, we went out snorkeling as the sun went down.

Ben finds old naval shell case like on the bottom of the sea. I have swum over this bit many times and never saw it. Ben is good at this kind of thing.

Ben finds old naval shell case like on the bottom of the sea. I have swum over this bit many times and never saw it. Ben is good at this kind of thing.

My shell case

My shell case

Swimming home as the sun goes down.

Swimming home as the sun goes down.

Today  we load up the truck with a whole heap of junk to take to the magic dump.

How much the Magic Bus?

How much the Magic Bus?

Then we go sailing. Little wind which is not good news for the epic sail to the Keramas tomorrow.

Big Ben steers small

Big Ben steers small

 

I am on vacation!

I am on vacation! Gimme a White Russian

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Anhydrobiotic

This is a new word I learnt recently. You may wonder why little has been written about Dileas. Well I am pretty handicapped post surgery and certainly unable to turn over and drag her down to the water. However help comes in the form of Ben who is muscular and will be here for the next couple of weeks.

Dileas taking it easy in Dead Man's Gulch

Dileas taking it easy in Dead Man’s Gulch

However though shorn from boating adventure, Okinawa still delivers. As the sun goes down I usually go for a swim.

Tonight as I swim out to Viking Rock

Tonight as I swim out to Viking Rock

This is a rock just in front of my house that has so far resisted the blast and grunt of decades or maybe millennia of typhoons.

Tonight as I swim out there is a Black Naped Tern just sitting there. This is a rare bird and she seems in no way way scared of me as I masquerade as a Dugong.

These are wild open ocean birds, which makes this photo like er awesome.

These are wild open ocean birds, which makes this photo like er awesome.

If you look down, this is what you see.

Er, 7:30 at night as the sun goes down

Er, 7:30 at night as the sun goes down

I swim back in the dark.

The water is warm

The water is warm

Great joy

Great joy

 

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Fiddler on the Roof

Last weekend on a visit to Nagahama Dam to check on bird activity, I heard shrieks of excitement from the adjacent park.

Juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron

Juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron

To my surprise the glee came from a bunch of elementary school kids playing rugby. They were having the best time. What’s more they were really good. It was a kind of touch rugby whereby  a player was deemed tackled if the tag thing, attached with velcro to the shorts, was untimely ripped off. The teams were mixed with boys and girls and other things. The emphasis was on moving the ball around quickly with no handling errors. Their passing and support play was excellent.

Great try

Great try

The teacher told me that there are 65 teams from elementary schools on Okinawa. I find this hard to believe but the kids were obviously enjoying themselves.

Hot rain's a gonna fall

Hot rain’s a gonna fall

The morning after.

7:30 the next morning

7:30 the next morning

I like it here.

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I Love This Stuff

I cook a lot of tempura, which means hot oil that becomes dirty and grunge. As you all know the problem of deep fat frying, whether for chips or squid tempura is what to do with the dirty oil. I mean you cannot chuck it down the sink as it congeals and blocks your evacuation. You can sneak off into the woods in the dark of night and pour it over the roots of orchids but that does not seem very nice. The Japanese have of course, due to their harmonic with Nature, got the solution.

Thanks Naoko

Thanks Naoko

This stuff is fantastic. When oil gets objectionable you just heat it up some and sprinkle on the fairy dust that comes in the packet in the previous illustration. As the oil cools , it congeals.

Magic. Wendy got it all over her.

Magic. Wendy got it all over her.

You can then hoick it out in one piece and dump it in the trash.

I don't like sponge cake.

I don’t like sponge cake.

Do they have this stuff in other countries?

Do they have this stuff in other countries?

Maybe I can make a million dollars by marketing this stuff in other countries. I could call it, “Peter Pan”

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Avec Le Temps

‘Avec le temps’ by Leo Ferre

Avec le temps…
Avec le temps, va, tout s’en va
On oublie le visage et l’on oublie la voix
Le coeur, quand ça bat plus, c’est pas la peine d’aller
Chercher plus loin, faut laisser faire et c’est très bien

Avec le temps…
Avec le temps, va, tout s’en va
L’autre qu’on adorait, qu’on cherchait sous la pluie
L’autre qu’on devinait au détour d’un regard
Entre les mots, entre les lignes et sous le fard
D’un serment maquillé qui s’en va faire sa nuit
Avec le temps tout s’évanouit

Avec le temps…
Avec le temps, va, tout s’en va
Même les plus chouettes souvenirs, ça, t’as une de ces gueules
A la gallerie j’farfouille dans les rayons d’la mort
Le samedi soir quand la tendresse s’en va toute seule

Avec le temps…
Avec le temps, va, tout s’en va
L’autre à qui l’on croyait pour un rhume, pour un rien
L’autre à qui l’on donnait du vent et des bijoux
Pour qui l’on eût vendu son âme pour quelques sous
Devant quoi l’on s’traînait comme traînent les chiens
Avec le temps, va, tout va bien

Avec le temps…
Avec le temps, va, tout s’en va
On oublie les passions et l’on oublie les voix
Qui vous disaient tout bas les mots des pauvres gens
Ne rentre pas trop tard, surtout ne prends pas froid
Avec le temps…
Avec le temps, va, tout s’en va
Et l’on se sent blanchi comme un cheval fourbu
Et l’on se sent glacé dans un lit de hasard
Et l’on se sent tout seul peut-être mais peinard
Et l’on se sent floué par les années perdues, alors vraiment
Avec le temps on n’aime plus.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiXcUTTLud4

 

So I have a sore knee which makes me slow and clumsy.

Knees up Mother Brown

Knees up Mother Brown

I finally installed AC in my living room and this has given me a dreadful cold. Scots do not thrive in comfort.

The California Tax Authority has helped itself to $7,000 out of my bank account for income tax in 2010.

I have no idea why.

Forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!

Hours on phones waiting for someone qualified to answer my questions, demands for documentation that has long since disappeared, time differences making investigation tedious, excuses from accountants, snivelling from lawyers, whining from bankers, coughing from people that have a cough.

Basically I want my Mummy.

Yet there has been such beauty of late that it is undignified to girn.

We come in peace

We come in peace

A couple of nights ago.

A couple of nights ago.

 

Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity

Write your own caption.

Write your own caption.

Wordsworth was very big on the therapeutic powers of exposure to nature.

Check out this bleat from Tintern Abbey. Er the them he refers to are periods spent communing with Nature.

But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din
      Of towns and cities, I have owed to them
      In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
      Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
      And passing even into my purer mind,
      With tranquil restoration:--feelings too                        30
      Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
      As have no slight or trivial influence
      On that best portion of a good man's life,
      His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
      Of kindness and of love.

 

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Slow

I go to the knee toubib and he sternly tells me to go slow. He says my knee is unnecessarily swollen and inflamed. He say ” Put your knee above your heart-I am not sure if he is speaking poetically or medically – and walk as little as possible.”

So, the weekend has been  static. Interestingly, once the guilt of doing nothing has been removed by a doctor, I find inactivity very pleasant.

Final of the Super 14. Incredible rugby.

Final of the Super 14. Incredible rugby. The sun is going down behind me.

I binge-watch. “73% of people define binge-watching as “watching between 2-6 episodes of the same TV show in one sitting.” Ray Donovan is really tough. I wish I was more like him.

"Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"

“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”

There has been a minor typhoon and the sea is a little agitated.

Leaving Port Askaig

Leaving Port Askaig

I take photos of insects that hang out around the house.

Burnt Norton

Burnt Norton

East Coker

East Coker 

The Dry Salvages

The Dry Salvages

Little Gidding

Little Gidding

I learn The Famous Ballymote. Second tune:

I have to say that my knee feels much better.

 

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