The TSPS Spring Cruise to Hota held on June 2nd and 3rd was a great success. A total of seven boats participated: Akdenizli, Bifrost, Dede III, Diva, Fuji VII, Gone With The Wind, and Voyager. All crossed Tokyo Bay and tied up at the Hota docks without incident, and at 5PM, the 30 crew members of the fleet gathered around two tables in Banya and began the annual TSPS feast of fresh sashimi, sushi, tempura, nitsuke, shioyaki, and misoshiru, among others, all washed down with many a bottle of Asahi Dry, numerous frosted mugs of namabiru (draft beer), and tall tokuri of atsukan and hiyazake (hot and cold sake). (see photos below)
It was for many people the first chance to meet with TSPS friends in the new year, and the conversations were lively and spirited. Many enjoyed their first TSPS sailing event and one participant, Michael Scott, paid his fees to become a member of the squadron after dinner. Mike is a wine merchant and we owe much of what followed the dinner to him and his satchel of wine bottles. (Welcome, Mike, and thanks)
While some of the crews went to an onsen following dinner, others gathered aboard Voyager to continue the revelry. At least ten sailors crowded around Voyager’s tiny cockpit and were in no time bringing the Hota hills alive with the sound of music as they sang numerous renditions of Happy Birthday to Per Knudsen, who was celebrating his 39th (?) birthday on Saturday.
The next day dawned cloudy and hazy, but outside at sunrise it was blue skies, much to everyone’s surprise. The forecast called for rain all day with winds from the east. Slowly, the boats in Hota harbor came alive with activity, as crews had their coffee and breakfasts outside in the sunshine. The first out of the harbor was Voyager bound for Yokohama, then Diva powering home to Velasis. The rest of the boats departed Hota sometime before noon. The winds built throughout the morning reaching 27 – 30 knots. Akdenizli left Hota under full sail, but unfortunately tore her mainsail at the aft reefing cringle when putting in a reef and was forced to motor back to Bayside. Voyager sailed for the first few hours on the return to a point near the islands in Tokyo Bay, but finding the wind directly on the nose, decided to motor the remaining 8 miles. Gone With The Wind sailed on and off on it’s return and enjoyed a fantastic sail toward the end of her journey. Bifrost, with Novice Sailing Class students Janice and Graham aboard, enjoyed a wonderful sail under reefed jib and main as she sailed home to Velasis.
Once again, the Spring Cruise to Hota was a very enjoyable event. We’d like to thank Cruising Coordinator Per for organizing the cruise, the skippers Demir, Per, Francis, Bobby, Fujimoto-san, Chris and Warren for making their boats available for the trip and for welcoming members aboard, and to all the 30 people who participated in the cruise.