Three Men in a Boat.

So the time has come. Harry, Tsumoru and I take the boat to the harbor. It is the best day, blue sky, turquoise sea, healthy wind. Truck pulls the boat and trailer supports it. We rig Dileas and everything goes just fine.

What a nice trailer.

What a nice trailer.

We then back the boat down the launching slip. I say we advisedly as I failed embarrassingly and Tsumoru had to take over.   It is very difficult to reverse a trailer but Tsumoru recently won the Budker prize for which tractor driving experience is an imperative. http://www.oist.jp/news-center/press-releases/oist-prof-tsumoru-shintake-awarded-gersch-budker-prize

Fare ye well, lovely Nancy, for I must now leave you. I am bound to th' East Indies my course for to steer. I know very well my long absence will grieve you, But, true love, I'll be back in the spring of the year."

Fare ye well, lovely Nancy, for I must now leave you.
I am bound to th’ East Indies my course for to steer.
I know very well my long absence will grieve you,
But, true love, I’ll be back in the spring of the year.”

We decide that we should take Dileas for a little spin around the harbor to judge how well the tiny 2 hp Chinese motor would drive the mighty ark. Tsomoru and I set off and things go fairly well. Once the motor established its dominance over inertia we moved forward quite nicely. Suddenly, the motor lost all power. It continued to run but the propeller did not turn. Oh dear, the worst was happening, the wind was driving us onto a lea shore made of expensive fishing boats. Of course lots of people were watching.

We manage to avoid the huge rocks that dominate the harbor but,  powerless, we did indeed crash into the boats. No harm done and we managed to tie up. Looking at the engine it soon became clear that a rope that was destined to pull down the rudder had snarled the propeller. This sort of thing always happens and I actually quite enjoy it.

We take deep breaths and, having freed the propeller, decide to try again. The motor starts and we push off. However the wind instantly blows the bows around and we are  beam on to the wind and waves. It soon becomes clear that the motor does not have enough grunt to push the bows around into the wind and sure enough we  crash back into the expensive fishing boats.

I will have to get a more powerful motor.

Anyway using the painter, we pull Dileas back around the harbor in a very undignified way and get back to the launching slip. Dileas slips back onto the trailer very willingly and truck hauls her up the slip uncomplainingly.

Are we downhearted? - No !

Are we downhearted? – No !

So we take Dileas home and drink ice cold tea.

I then go snorkeling in front of the house.

The water is warm again

The water is warm again

Sea cucumber

Sea cucumber

Sunburn,  er burns as I write this. Summer time is here. Dileas has been in the water and all is well.

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Haste to the Wedding

Tommy, guitar player in the best traditional Irish music band on Okinawa, gets married. I went sulkily as I blamed the wedding for not giving me enough time to go sailing. It took me an hour and a half to drive there down endless narrow roads with traffic lights every 10 metres. By the time I arrived I was frazzled and in a bad mood. Of course the Okinawans cured that in no time at all.

I had the best time! This wedding was unlike anything I have ever experienced and at my time of life novelty has a special value.

Tommy and Yuki do Hollywood

Tommy and Yuki do Hollywood in first costumes.

It is theatre, very carefully choreographed, with frequent change of costume. First the happy couple feed each other. This is projected on the huge screens that festoon the hall.

Eat cake

Eat cake!

There is then a series of acts. Everyone is hooting and clapping and generally having an excellent time.

Kill Bill

Kill Bill

Traditional Okinawan Belly Dancing

Traditional Okinawan Belly Dancing

Then there is a movie about the childhoods of Tommy and Yuki. Everyone dies with pleasure.

Tommy at school

Tommy at school

The happy couple meanwhile have been in the make-up room. They make a triumphant reappearance in outrageous costumes.

Look at that dress!

Look at that dress!

The happy couple then go around each table  to greet us all and light a candle. The candle represents global warming, er maybe.

The time to hesitate is through

The time to hesitate is through

Then it is time for traditional Irish music, which of course is de rigueur at Okinawan weddings.

I am the only Gaijin in the 300 or so at the wedding

I am the only Gaijin in the 300 or so at the wedding. Actually Gerard is also a Gaijin but he has been here for decades and is like honorary Okinawan

Everyone goes wild

Everyone goes wild

Then all their friends rush on dressed as schoolgirls. Both men and women are dressed as schoolgirls. You can recognize the men by their large breasts.

They must have been practicizing the dance routine for weeks.

They must have been practicing the dance routine for weeks.

I love the Japanese!

I love the Japanese!

What a great night. God bless you Tommy and Yuki.

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That’s a Girl’s Thing

I once lost the keys for a rented Harley Davidson on top of a mountain in Colorado and was thus stranded. I phoned the man I had rented it from whose name was Tiny.

” Hey Neil, look I’m at my sister’s wedding.”

He was in Denver, some 60 miles from my mountain.

“But you know a wedding that’ s a girl’s thing. I’ll be right over.”

Anyway today I have been invited to an Okinawan wedding. I am very grateful but it means I cannot take Dileas for her maiden voyage. Curses.

However I do get the little blue boat out for the first time. Summer is here the water is warm blue and crystal clear.

Blue

Blue

The main purpose of the outing was to test my little Chinese motor.

Outboards never start at the start of the boating season

Outboards never start at the start of the boating season

The trusty Hangkai, which had been in a cosy cupboard throughout the so-called winter, roared or maybe buzzed, straight into life.

Back in business and ready to drive Dileas tomorrow.

Back in business and ready to drive Dileas tomorrow.

I am wild with anticipation. Once I get this Girl’s Thing over with, and given the weather remains good, then tomorrow Dileas will finally breast the waves.

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Things Get Out of Claw

After four days of web stuff and dinners, I break away on the final evening to seek out my place of venality – a fish market .
Not for me the throb of the night club nor the slurp of the bordello. I crave the smell of wet seafood. Seoul does not disappoint.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBYbxFybL7c

I get there at 8:00 pm and the place is hopping. There is about a square hectosievert of fish stalls, all selling very fresh, er like alive, fish and sea food. I am bedazzled.

Mushy peas

Mushy peas

I stroll around looking at stuff with the idea of going to a restaurant for a light supper.

The cars hiss by my window

The cars hiss by my window

It becomes clear that going to a restaurant empty-handed is a cop-out. You buy the fish at the market and then take it to the restaurant where they then cook it for you. I am inebriated.

Feeding frenzy

Feeding frenzy

“This very small lobster – very cheap.”

“I don’t want to contradict you but it looks too big.”

“Not big! You tourist, you in embarrassing situation, you must buy.”

” Oh alright then.”

Hey you, big boy.

Hey you, big boy.

She is right, it is remarkably cheap.

Off I go through strange passages, slaps and stiles until I come to a restaurant. They grab the lobster and sit me down on the floor. This is only one of  a dozen or so places that are full of Koreans having a REALLY good time. They are gobbling down the best seafood and guzzling shochu. These places are raucous. They are very welcoming to me and we discuss football as best we can.

Was Gareth Bale worth the money?

Was Gareth Bale worth the money?

First installment

First installment

Red in tooth and claw

Red in tooth and claw

Burp

Burp

Asia is the place to eat fish.

La belle poissoniere. Sorry no accents.

La belle poissoniere.
Sorry no accents.

 

 

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Reincarnation

The conference/exhibition center where I am spending my time at the moment is in Korea and is called Corex. I wonder why? Anyway, it is well sited as just across the road there is a Buddhist temple. Today I wander off from the talks, which frankly I do not understand, to visit.  Before I leave I take  a photo of Bebo in Korean gear.

Gangnam style

Gangnam style

The temple is very lovely and it is Spring with blossom and stuff. I spy a panel on the side of one of the minor temples.

Yes it is Bebo 400 years ago. Reincarnation is true.

Yes it is Bebo 400 years ago. Reincarnation is true.

There are lots of little templey bits.

Here is one

Here is one

There are also lots of birds! Sorry.

Don't have jays in Okinawa

Don’t have jays in Okinawa

Don't know what this is. I wash I had brought my field guide.

Don’t know what this is. I wish I had brought my field guide. Later – it is a Brown Eared Bulbul er of course.

You know

You know

Oriental Turtle Dove

Oriental Turtle Dove

Not a bird

Not a bird

Good temple and welcome break from geekdom. We then had the conference dinner.

Tim cuts 25th birthday cake.

Tim cuts 25th birthday cake.

Korean geeks

Korean geeks

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Guts

So another city; the thrill of arriving somewhat dulled by the endless journey from the airport to downtown.

Crépusculaire

Crépusculaire

I go eat but in this place I do not know one word of the language – not even hello.

I mimic eating and as a result the nice ladies bring me this.

It is a furiously boiling bowl of guts.

It is a furiously boiling bowl of guts.

When it calms down a bit, I spot lumps of gut sausage and quite a lot of pig ear. I gobble it down with a lot of grunting, thinking thus to pay tribute to the noble animal that ended up in my bowl.

I’ll lug the guts into the neighbor room.

I’ll lug the guts into the neighbor room.

Very cheap.

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In the Rank Sweat of an Enseamed Bed

Did your parents’ bedroom smell? My parents’ bedroom, into which I would wander as a child, always had the  sweaty, foetid odor of the marsh. I think this was because they slept on the same mattress or palliasse, which was stuffed with straw, heather and virgin hair, that had been handed down for about a thousand years and things rank and gross in Nature possessed it merely.

I have owned a bed for the last 13 years that I have never liked. It was bought in California but was too big and too soft from the outset.  Whenever I went into my bedroom I was reminded of my parents bog-like sleeping. Also Western beds take up too much space.  So determined to rid my self of my pestilent bed.

Actually the main motivation was to use my truck for truck stuff.

Gakiya san, my neighbor, dismantle and load the bed onto truck

Gakiya san, my neighbor, helped to dismantle and load the bed onto truck

I love my truck

I love my truck

We set off for the dump but after about 10 meters the load falls over and we have to return to base.

I love it when things go wrong, it is always so much more interesting.

I love it when things go wrong, it is always so much more interesting.

We make it to the dump

We make it to the dump

Get behind me Satan

Get behind me Satan

My current bed

My current bed

I do not think I will ever own a big bed again. Tatami mat +futon is the way to go.

Then the sun went down

Then the sun went down

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