Backing Trailers

Before Ben leaves we take the Scaffie out of the water for her winter refit. She needs lots of Teak Oil, sanding, varnishing, scrubbing and general love. Don’t we all.

We sail the Scaffie to the best harbor in the world, Shioya, where the the trailer awaits.  I have never been able to back the trailer down the slipway accurately. It jack-knives, it goes the wrong way and I end up pushing the trailer by hand thereby herniating my gut.  Ben takes control and gives a master class in backing up a trailer. We winch the Scaffie onto the trailer consummately.  We then take the boat home and again Ben backs her into the winter position without the slightest problem. I am in awe. How does he do it ?


What a masterly performance!

So, the Scaffie awaits months of tender care.


“I’m afraid we shall waste an awful lot of time.” “Don’t worry,” answered Snufkin, “we shall have wonderful dreams, and when we wake up it’ll be spring.

You may remember that I spent a lot of time working out how to winch the Scaffie into Dead Man’s Gulch. Check out:


However, now the fishermen allow me to use their slipway, as I am clearly mad, the need to winch the boat up the beach has evaporated.

However my brain has been squirming like a toad on the subject. The wheels on the trailer are too small. Yesterday, with a little help from my friends, I install new wheels, which, if I ever lose fisherman favor, will allow me to winch the Scaffie out of trouble like nae borra.


Previous decadent wheel situation


I like to keep my wheels on the ground.


Little Blue Boat on the trailer.

I feel a little bit over-prepared. I don’t generally like people who prepare for possible future difficulty.

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Moth and Rust Doth Corrupt

So the car goes in for its road fitness test. You will remember that this takes place every two years in Japan. The test is called the Shaken after Welsh 80’s pop star Shakin Stevens.


Rusty Chassis was one of his greatest hits.

Ben leaves – boo hoo, he is a good companion.


Bye Ben, thanks for looking after me


Grey Heron in the slime bath near the airport.

I drive to the shop, where the main man is Yamada san, to see what pain I will have to suffer Shaken style. Ouch! Yamada san does an excellent onomatopoeic interpretation of rust eating its way through the chassis of my faithful pig liver colored March. It goes, “Crunchy,crunchy,crunchy,chew,chew,choo.”


I am surprised the engine has not fallen out

Living by the sea is good for the soul but bad for cars. The wind, salt, humidity, heat, crabs, do damage to metal.

So my car is over, long live the car!


Yamada san with Honda 750

Yamada san says, ” Why not buy this Honda Fit, which is fit and like fits you.” What a good idea.

I scurry off to a ATM. In Japan I can pull $5,000 from an ATM day after day, within limits.


Cash rules!

I now have a Honda Fit. I am am bound to lose weight.

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Most Weak Hams

Oh no ! Ben is about to leave. I take a day off and we go diving. First we go to Sunabe and generally burble about amidst the amazing soft corals as what is found there


That’s my boy



We then go for an evening dive straight out from my house. We swim out and everything is OK.  We watch amazing groups of Bat Fish who seem to be hiding. We become aware that  there is a very strong current zooming around. Beautiful clown fish but it is late, the sun is going down and we have to get back to shore. Normally this kind of thing does not bother me. I have total confidence in my physical ability. But, this time it is different. We set off for shore against a very strong current. I do what I can, but for the first time in my life I question my physical ability to get out of the situation I have engineered. Am I strong enough to get back to the shore?

I swim on my front, I swim on my back, I swim on my side, but nothing seems to work as the current pushes against me. I make no progress. I feel inklings of panic. Thank God that Ben is with me. He stays about 1 metre away from me all the way into the shore. I feel weak. Finally, after 30 mins of desperate  swimming from me, I reach a depth where I can walk. Ben is like a sea lion, he is aware that I am not doing too well and swims around me making sure that I am OK. Thanks very much Ben.

Oh no! I am I old?

Check the video:

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Jonah Lomu

So in honor of Jonah Lomu, Ben and I order a whole lot of food from the amazing:

This is Aladdin’s Cave. You can get what you want.  We want meat.

Japanese food is wild but from time to time, I want to roast, a chicken, a duck, a shoulder or leg of lamb. When I say from time to time I really mean all the time.

We get our quantities very badly wrong.


Dead meat

At 7:30 on a Wednesday night, a hyper polite delivery guy like delivers, 29 kilos of lamb, 3 chickens, a duck and lots of other stuff.   We have gone too far. There is neither tomb nor continent  enough to hide the slain.


Meat on the ledge

We light the BBQ.


I tried hard for many years to be a lawyer but happiness kept breaking through.

Hmmm, I now need to find a big freezer.


Every nook and cranny of my fridge is crammed with defrosting lamb, chickens  and a duck. What to do? I mean Ben leaves on Friday.

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Sun King

Ben has no mastery over the Sun. In fact I would suggest that the Sun has mastery over Ben. The last time he was here he went diving on the first day and this happened.


Factor 0

This time around he has been sitting in the boat exposing his  knees. This happened- warning – this video is gross.

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Lobsters Blush

Foul bottom. Well, yes, I know, but I am actually I am talking about the Scaffie. She has been in the sea since April and her bottom has attracted a lot of attention.  It is befouled with weed, slime, parasites, limpets, and stuff.

Ben and I try to capsize her to get at her bottom. This is reassuringly difficult to do. We manage to fill her with water and Ben sits in her but she will not sink. Yay Scaffie!

Nice to know when one worries about being swamped on the high seas.

Nice to know when one worries about being swamped on the high seas.

We finally manage to overturn her and the full disgrace of her bottom is revealed.



It is warm and cloudy. The sea is very calm. Ben and I spend a delightful couple of hours scrubbing  the Scaffie’s bottom.



We use a scraper, wire wool, sponges, face cream etc.

Boat therapy

Boat therapy

We take the opportunity to fill various holes, divots, scrapes that she has accumulated in the high season.

Lo and behold!

Lo and behold!

I don’t know, but I think I would rather clean a boat’s bottom with one of my sons, on a warm day in November than any other activity that the world has to offer.

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In November, Some Birds Move Away and Some Birds Stay.

“No sun—no moon!
No morn—no noon—
No dawn—
No sky—no earthly view—
No distance looking blue—
No road—no street—no “t’other side the way”—
No end to any Row—
No indications where the Crescents go—
No top to any steeple—
No recognitions of familiar people—
No courtesies for showing ’em—
No knowing ’em!
No traveling at all—no locomotion,
No inkling of the way—no notion—
“No go”—by land or ocean—
No mail—no post—
No news from any foreign coast—
No park—no ring—no afternoon gentility—
No company—no nobility—
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member—
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,

Well actually in Okinawa November is the best month of the year. That’s what I think anyroadupwards. The weather has been glorious but without the oppressive heat of high summer. Also the humidity is like not. One of the wonderful things about November is the flowers.

Let's Boogey

Let’s Boogey

What the hell is that?

What the hell is that?



Smells good

Smells good

A lot of birdies also show up in November.

Golden Plover

Golden Plover

This one has lost a leg

This one has lost a leg

Kentish Plover does yoga

Kentish Plover does yoga

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