Captain Mike’s excellent GW adventure

By former Commander Mike Snyder

May 11, 2024

With Eric Due and Jeff Canaday as crew, Distant Dreamer (a Columbia 43) cruised in the western Setonaikai. We covered about 135 nm over 6 days. We didn’t to get to Shimo-Kamigari Island as per the sail plan due to rain and light winds, but went to Nakajima Island and then Matsuyama from Nuwa-jima. I had wanted to go to Shimo-Kamigari because there was supposed to be some remains of a pirate (sea warrior) stronghold there. The trip then was Marinpia Musashi Marina – Kaminoseki to Nuwa-jima to Nakajima to Horie Matsuyama back to Kaminoseki to Marinpia Musashi Marina. (see map)

The first day we left in the rain which let up as we approached Kaminoseki but had to mostly motor. The second day we went to the north shore of Yashiro Island, passing under the Ōshima Bridge between the Yamaguchi ken mainland and Yashiro Island, south of Hiroshima and Iwakuni. The day was clear and beautiful, but alas no wind. One highlight was passing through the area where the Japanese warship Mutsu blew up and sank in an accident killing all on board during the war. The wreck is still there but way under the water, so not visible, though marked on charts and even Google Maps. We had two short sails from Nuwa Island to Nakajima and then over to the uminoeki at Horie Matsuyama, where we had a reservation. On both days there was pretty good wind and pleasant sailing, though overcast. It was the first time for DD to stop at Nakajima, which proved to be a very nice friendly island. We enjoyed good food and drink at both Nakajima and Horie Matsuyama. The longest day of sustained sailing was on Day 5, a broad reach from Matsuyama back to Kaminoseki along the southern coast of Yashiro Island in blustery northeast winds and rain. The last day back to Marinpia was again a low wind and motoring. The Setonaikai is an interesting area to sail in, but winds are often light and there are strong currents at times in the major straits and  between islands due to the tide going in and out.

All in all, it was a very good cruise, though with the often problematic Golden Week weather!

Golden Week Cruise of Distant Dreamer, April 27 – May 2
Murotsu Port with Hatonokoyu onsen and restaurant in foreground on the way back to Marinpia.
Nifty little transportation cart for sending oranges down the hill from the orchards above. They are all over Nuwa-jima. 
Japan Defense Forces warship off of Nuwajima.
At the floating dock in Nakajima. Nakajima is much larger than Nuwa-jima and we found a nice yakiniku restaurant there.
At the large floating dock in Nuwa-jima. 
At the floating dock in Murotsu Harbor Kaminoseki.
On the way to Nakajima from Nuwa-jima.
Starting out from Marinpia Musashi Marina in the rain and mist.
On the way to Nuwa-jima along the northern coast of Yashiro-jima. Sunny with no wind, so the sail isn’t even up.
Beautiful sunny day along the north shore of Yashiro Island…but no wind.
Timothy Langley

About Timothy Langley

I have only been sailing for the last 5 years or so. I was originally drawn to TSPS and to the alien-to-me suggestion of sailing (I wasn't really looking) when a friend invited me to a Keelhaul. Several friends and old-timers who I never imagined were connected to the sea were active Members. After a few pints and lots of lobbying, I thought "why not...". I stopped hitting the sauna on weekends and working on old cars and, in no time, was sailing regularly. In my plight for sailing opportunities & begging for crewing time on someone else's yacht, I stumbled on a decrepit yacht that needed some attention. So I purchased it, fixed it up and sailed the heck out of it. It is now a very proper and reliable sailing vessel. And, as a consequence, I have become somewhat competent as a solo sailor (though this is a long road). I long for something bigger (Santana is a 40 year old Yamaha 26' possessing a proper enclosed head, a good galley, two berths, dry, comfy, reliable: sleeps 4) but in the meantime I am out on the Pacific almost every weekend. Completely smitten.

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