Earthquake Bridge

Nearly everyday I cross a bridge near my apartment. There are traffic lights at the end of the bridge, so frequently I have wait on the bridge for the lights to change. More often than not, as I wait, the bridge begins to shudder and move. Earthquake!

I jump and panic; what should I do?

There is not an earthquake. The bridge appears to have independent suspension and if a truck drives onto it, it shakes.


Scares me to death every time.

This anecdote is to explain that I have lost my nerve. I suppose it is a symptom of old age.

It is the same with the boat, which you will remember, we moved onto a much higher trailer.


I dare not get into her

I climbed aboard yesterday and was terrified. It was too high, my balance felt wrong and it swayed as I moved around. Kiyuna san who is my age hops in and out like a cat. Nerves are shot.


I manage to sand down the center plate surround and drench it in anti fouling paint.

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I also do a test run of rudder plate installation.

The next indication of shredded nerves is a sensation that I have had in my lower abdomen for the last couple of weeks. I convince myself that it is a huge tumor or a hernia or an ulcer or at least, cancer .

I cycle over to the Onna Clinic, which is only 5 mins from my flat. There no appointments, you just wander in. A nurse does height, weight, blood pressure and generally asks what is wrong. I then see a doctor who interrogates me on what I think is the problem. I then have an ultrasound scan, a chest Xray, a urine test, an electrocardiogram, a blood test. I ask why I need a chest Xray and an electrocardiogram to diagnose what the sensation in the lower abdomen might be. They say that I might as well have a full check up now that I am here. Next I see another doctor who goes over my results. Amazingly everything is just fine. However the blood test results only come in on Monday.


Maybe the blood test results will come up with something good.

Again, I am amazed by the wonderfulness of the Japanese health system.


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So, the center plate is a problem.

Clearly the best thing to do is to remove it and cut another. However, no-one seems to know how to do this. I have consulted various oracles in England and they have been strangely evasive. The problem lies with the location of the center plate pivot bolt. The plate has to swing up and down around a pivot, which is, it seems, hidden behind layers of fibre glass.


You take off the access plate only to find fibre glass.

We take off the wooden center plate surround on the keel. This is not easy.

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It is a fine piece of wood. But infested.

Taking it off does not really advance me in the search for center board bolt but it does give an injection of romanticism.

In all my readings of voyages to the tropics, I have always been struck by the danger of the Teredo worm. Said worm burrowed into the wood of boats and basically ate them. This was a major problem.


Check out my very own Teredo worm! How romantic is that?

Anyway having totally exposed the centre plate, I decide that we will repair rather than replace.


Voyage of discovery.

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Since my time in Hiroshima, I have been very interested in oysters.

I find, after seven years, that I can buy them here in Okinawa.

Tonight is Hiroshima Oyster Ramen.


Leeks, Bamboo shoot, oysters, ramen. 8 oysters  – 300 ¥



Spinach, there are many variities on Okinawa



Leeks and bamboo shoot.


Oyster ramen, so easy to make.

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Thank You

Naoko Matsubara gave me one of her works.

I am very happy.

Thank you Naoko.


Her work is in the White House and now in my house.

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Trailer Trash

So, I have to move the boat onto an even higher trailer, which Tabata san has miraculously found for me, to enable center plate fun. I need to be able to lower and raise the center plate easily. The plate was previously jammed but now it moves freely. However the cable that raises the plate has to be replaced and the plate itself is grotesquely corroded. I don’t know if that matters that much as I do not think looking good is the premier requisite for a center plate.

Anyway, I have to get the guys to push the boat to the huge hoist, raise her off the trailer, remove trailer, bring in the new higher trailer and dump boat on to it.

This is planned for 9:00 this morning but we get off to a slow start but being Okinawa, no-one cares in the slightest.


I profit from the delay by installing the second set of floor strips in the cockpit.

Suddenly the guys show up and off we go to the hoist.


Ready to go.


Hoisted. Notice descended center plate.

We bring in the high trailer but how to balance and secure the boat onto it is problematic. Basically there is a very good chance that she will topple over one side or the other. It becomes clear, after much good-humored  messing around that we need a long strong plank to support the bow.

Kiyuna san of course knows where one is.


Kiyuna san, Nick and perfect plank in the mighty X-Trail.


Mounted! Check out the center plate. This is the first time I have seen it.

All of this, I mean installing heavy boat high on a totally unsuitable trailer, would have been stopped for safety reasons in most places in the world, but in Okinawa it is all part of the fun.


Is n’t she beautiful ?!

So we then take her back to my slot, dreading that she will crash off the side at every bump.

We make it.


Let me take you higher.


I am not sure what to do with this. Paint it?

Here is a video.

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Of late, my posts have been very boat-centric. I feel I should add a little context.

Okinawa is an amazing place to live.

I take Medium Blue  out to view the sunset.


She is a hell of a good bike and loves this kind of thing.

We end up at a little fishing harbor about 5 minutes ride from my crib.


The air is so pure

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A few minutes later


Yep, Okinawa

I ride home. It is 28 degrees.

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Banana Skins

Banana skins you slip on.

So do you on gloss paint slicked with water. It is therefore necessary to paint cockpit and other surface with special anti-slip paint. This paint has granules in it that creates a surface that is very unslippery. I apply lots with very complex taping. It is fun.




I start to re-install the wood strips.


Strips screwed


All anti-slip finished. 2 coats.

There is something about peeling off masking tape to reveal clean line between white and cream color that gives great satisfaction.

Folks, I started at 9:30, by 2:00, I am suffering from heat exhaustion.

I have to reconsider my working hours. I think I have to sleep on the boat, work the early morning hours then return home to shower, cool off etc. Back to the boatyard in the evening for more work and then sleep on the boat.

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