TSPS holds a monthly gathering every month, open to everyone, called the Keelhaul.
In January about 15 people showed-up for pints of craft beer and delicious Chicago deep pizza. Photos below identify most of the culprits but, in a nutshell, 6 Bridge Members attended, two new Members, and approximately 5 boat-owners joined others to eventually stumble out at closing-time.
Sailing, in spite of the bad reputation, does not mean you have to be wealthy. Thirsty, yes, but not wealthy.
Though the core of TSPS is for helping people qualify for the Japanese boat licenses in English (see the schedule of Tests and classes are posted on the TSPS website), there are regular social components and skills-upgrading opportunities, too. Similarly, there are opportunities to get out on the water, crew on someone’s boat, join in overnight sailing, purchasing a yacht or rescuing/restoring something of timeless worth (a couple of those projects on-going and wildly bragged about over beers). Plus , just getting together and meeting new people.
The February Keelhaul is at Pizzakaya in Roppongi https://pizzakaya.com/ from 7:00 o’clock (but earlier is better!): February 7th…. no excuses.
Upcoming in March is the enormous Yokohama Boat Show (TSPS will have a booth) and a SUPER Keelhaul on the last Saturday of the Boat Show (Wolfgang Puck’s in Yokohama!) https://www.wp-japan.jp/menu/wpp-yokohama/
Stay tuned to learn more about these opportunities and the venues, and get involved in supporting sailing the waters in-and-around Japan!
(Upcoming: February’s Keelhaul at Nishi-Azabu’s Pizzakaya on February 7th)
This year the party will take place in the iconic luxury waterfront hotel INTERCONTINENTAL TOKYO BAY, just in front of Takeshiba St.Dress up (or not), drink and eat all you can, enjoy the spectacular view across the Sumida River which includes the skyscrapers across the river in the area known as Little Manhattan and the view of Tokyo Bay that includes the nearby Rainbow Bridge and the Odaiba area.
We are also going to have our new traditional Annual Award, praising achievements and failures of our fellow sailors . Last year it was great fun, be sure not to miss it this year!!
The Tokyo Sail & Powerboat Squadron hosted it’s wonderfully-popular annual Fall BBQ this last Saturday (10/07/23). On the top deck of Yumenoshima Marina 34 Members & Guests joined for an open tap with lots of grilled meats, vegetables and even yakisoba! As the photos reveal, a robust time was had by all with magnificent Fall weather and blue skies.
The leadership of the NPO also took the opportunity to hold their monthly organizational meeting just prior to the BBQ. For the first time, in fact, Members of the USPS (of which TSPS is the largest squadron in District 13) also joined-in virtually. This was open to all TSPS Members. Of note was the Tony Whitman recognition for 50 years of devotion to TSPS and for his instrumental involvement in setting-up the Club under the leadership of George Purdy and his magnificent wife Midori forty-five years ago! What an achievement & legacy!
Attached below are photos of the BBQ event but in closing, please remember that the Keelhaul for November will be (always First Wednesday) November 1st at the Devil Craft in Jiyugaoka. The Keelhaul is our most regularly-attended social event, over beer and pizza, and is open-door to sailors & guests alike. Photos and descriptions can always be found at https://tspsjapan.org/skuttlebutt/.
The Yumenoshima Marina location right inside Tokyo (Imperial Palace upper left)!
The green building (bottom corner) is the marina & facilities.
The deck overlooking the yachtdocks was our venue of the TSPS Fall BBQ of 2023.
Commander Bill Van Alstine logging-in and preparing the monthly Bridge Meeting… this one, an open invitation for TSPS Members to join as Observers.
Bridge Meeting before BBQ, video-conferencing USPS Officers from sister-squadrons in the US, too: John Kratoschvil, Gary Thomas, Brendan Morris, Ash Smart, Claude Strobbe, Commander Bill Van Alstine (Observers: Laurie Wesselhoff, Bruce Reinhart) (Timothy Langley out-of-picture)
Three grills… ladden trays-of-food .. delivered & replenished throughout the afternoon. Beer keg replaced twice!
Andy, Brendan, Bill…. swashbucklers.
Captain Sherwin and big-streetbike riddin’ Colin.
The Man, The Legend….
Free-flowing wine and beer-on-tap! Commander Bill extended the cut-off time for an additional 1.5 hours, so we went long and everyone stayed late!
Captains Jiro Fujiwara and Strobbe.
Jiro, with half-empty/half-full Claude Strobbe
Andy, Brendan (Kaoru & Chris in the background slavin’ away!)
Bridge Secretary & Legal Officer Captain Timothy Langley slaving-away, Education Officer Captain Claude Strobbe in background.
Chris taking on BBQ duties: with appreciation Chris! (…didn’t burn things half as bad as Langley did… this year & last!)
Vlad, John… a competition for a bottle of the highly prized Myers’s Rum! John pointing-out a fine bone of contention, hotly contested….
Colin, Vlad, John (great reflection from the storm-windows!)
John, Freddie, Brendan, Colin, Vlad (Laurie & Bruce in the background)
Little Michael Staley: Kent
Cloe & Keiko (only just barely tolerating us…). Another good reflection in the window revealing the Tokyo skyline in the distance.
High Tension Andy in the background with Michael, Dominique
Kaoru, Andy, Chris (Michael and Max in the background)
Kaoru (and guy looking out the window)
Captain Freddie Snoxal, Administrative Officer Brendan Morris (sorry new Member with the shades… can’t make out your name~!).
Squadron Webmaster & IT Head Ash Smart, Commander Bill Van Alstine
Commander Bill Van Alstine, Colin Sheldon, Boating Activities Chair Vlad Legeza, Membership Chair John Kratochvil
Administrative Officer Brendan Morris
Captain Jiro, Captain & Mrs. Darren Halliday.
Governor Gary Thomas
Captain Jeremy Sanderson, Jerry Brady
Captain (& exalted Former Commander) Mike Snyder, Renowned MC Andy Lawson
Self Evident: The Sherwin.
THE Famous Fuji Jake!
Laurie Wesselhoff, Naoko Staley
Mr. Yaki Soba
Boating Activities Chair Vlad Legeza, Squadron Webmaster & IT Head Ashley Smart, Captain extraordinaire Darren Halliday
Steve Bettnick, Nikolay Gritsenko
Captain Demir Sadokoglu, Captain Michael Staley, Captain Sherwin Faden, Colin Sheldon
Captain Michael Snyder, Captain Sherwin Faden and Hollywood star Andy Lawson
Max, Dom & Claude looking at boats they covet…
Kent, Michael, Naoko!
Famous Nijima Island resident Freddie Snoxall getting a lift after a laborious day of drinking and carousing at the marina….
… while John Kratoschvil, on the other hand, receiving of a different kind of lift.
This event was another success due to the planning, preparation and involvement of many people. A special thanks, however, goes out to Svetlana Ilyushechkina and Claude Strobbe for making the arrangements for food, venue, the roster and payment administration. Claude also brought in several boxes of swag, which was a bit hit! A great time was had by all!
Next up: November Keelhaul in Jiyugaoka (11/02) and the End-of-Year Blowout & Awards Ceremony on December 6 at the Intercontinental Hotel.
The second Wednesday of September found our monthly Keelhaul at Pizzakaya in Roppongi. Although the Notice wasn’t well circulated due to webpage revitalization and laziness in getting the word out, this turned-out to be one of our largest Keelhauls of the year!
TSPS Commander, Bill Van Alstine, held court and generously ordered pizza for the assembled masses. Typically, TSPS orders the first few and afterwards, you are on your own. Pizzakaya is a well-known and frequent haunt for salty sailors, but we don’t go here EVERY month. The Regulars know to pay your own way and in this area there was plenty of craft beers jostled about!
Bridge Members John Kratochvil (Membership), Timothy Langley (Secretary & Legal Officer), Svetlana Ilyushechkina (Administrative Officer), Claude Strobbe (Educational Officer), Ashley Smart (Squadron Webmaster & IT Head), Vlad Legeza (Boating Activities Chair) were likewise present but, wow: there were about 30 other people! TSPS totally dominated the entire shop!
I was not successful in getting the names of everyone but outstandingly we had 4 guests, 2 new Members, and the rest diehard Keelhaulers! Apparently, the guests were curious about sailing lessons but due to the finicky webpage, decided to join the group over beers and pizza. Since then, I am told the issues with calendar and access to Lessons has been addressed.
In any event, this Keelhaul was loosely organized: no speeches, no introductory round-the-table runs, no save-your-ass lessons from John Kratochvil. But it was great fun with lots of comradery, particularly due to the fact that so many old salts showed-up including past Commander Mike Snyder!
While the Keelhaul is TSPS’s most regularly-scheduled social event (1st Wednesday-every month), we also host two annual barbeques and lots of on-the-water opportunities to sail or motorboat.
On October 7th, in fact, (13 days from this writing!), an always fabulous BBQ happens at Yumenoshima Marina on Saturday afternoon. Details elsewhere on the webpage but sign-up deadline is approaching so please hurry.
Also, the next Keelhaul approaches for October: Devil Craft in Jiyugaoka; the lessons for passing Class I and Class II tests are ongoing now. Fall sailing season is here!
And finally, make sure you are on the Mailing List to receive Announcements directly and bookmark the webpage to register.
by Timothy Langley, May 15, 2023 Tokyo(revised September 26th)
Overview: The following describes two hearty sailors setting out over the long Golden Week to outline the boarder of their licensed area, Region One, in Japanese waters. This journey took 7 days.
Vessel: Yamaha ‘26C sailing yacht (1983) Santana.
Crew: Timothy Langley & Evan Burkosky.
Journey: traverse Region One (Santana’s registered area) over 7~8 days. Ultimately, sailed 7 days, traversed 270 nautical miles, hit islands Oshima, Niijima, Miyakejima; returned to touch Shimoda (Shizuoka Prefecture), then home-port sprint to Awa-Katsuyama. One nighttime sailing leg of 16 hours (Port Ako Miyakejima to Shimoda).
Leg One: 4/29 Saturday, depart 4:30 am from Home Port Awa-Katsuyama (Chiba Peninsula) for Habu Harbor, Oshima Island. Head-on wind required extreme tack into Sagami Bay for ~5 hours, tack back, then hug the shadow of Oshima Island to shelter somewhat from tremendous building winds and seas. Mainsail set throughout at 3rd reefed position. Storm approaching from the south, hitting in several hours. 14 hour sail.
Leg Two: 5/01 Monday depart (one-day layover) Habu Harbor at 4:00 am for Niijima Island. Very brisk crossing and almost entirely over/through the Kuroshio current; very choppy & confused waters, lots of leaping tuna. 9 hour sail. Sail almost exclusively on Spinnaker, consistently maintaining 6 knots/hour! Trouble: when bagging spinnaker from the bow, sheet inadvertently fell into the water (unnoticed) and got immediately caught-up in prop; Captain Evan’s dive under the boat to untangle quickly achieved success… no damage but close-call.
Leg Three: 5/02 Monday arrive Niijima Port at 1:40 pm (7 hour sail). Tie-up, walk to sea-water hot springs “Yunohama Ryoten Onsen”. Drive around island care of new friend (JET Teacher assigned to Niijima Education System) Freddie Snoxall. Forced-feast at Chinese restaurant. Early next-day departure.
Leg Four: 5/03 Tuesday depart Niijima Port at 4:00 am heading for Miyakejima Island. 21 nautical miles, with new crew member Freddie. Very swift crossing over rough waters but made excellent time, arriving after only 6 hour sail.
Leg Five: 5/03 Tuesday arrive in Ako Port on the south-western side of Miyakejima at 10:00 am. Walk to nearby “Furosato-no-yu onsen”; a hearty lunch at Kairaku Hotel; puffed on cigars on the massive breakwater; walk around unsuccessfully searching for dinner (town completely rolls-up at 7:00 o’clock); brief visit to Snackbar Azabu for drinks. Next day scooter riding through winding roads, lava fields, the highest accessible points on the island (much of the island is a no-go due to volcanic activity), etc.. Lunch at yucky, almost unbearable, Chinese shack.
Leg Six: 5/05 Wednesday depart 5:30 pm for night sail (while the sun is still up): destination Yaizu City in Shizuoka Prefecture, Oi River (the western boundary of Santana’s registered sailing area). Trouble: once in open water, bowlight shorted-out (still in daylight but nightfall approaching). Captain Evan springing again into action with trouble-shooting, finding spares within Santana, repaired in the dark while underway in rough seas. Pretty tense as seas rough; head downwind at slow clip (see sailing diagram, below), Evan dangling on the Bowspirit to reattach the entire housing, with success finally. 16 hour sail (only slightly due to the bowlight issue). Navigating by the stars and treated to constant meteor shower!
Leg Seven: 5/06 Thursday arrive Iritahama Beach in Shimoda at 9:30 am, due to unfavorable winds forbidding the full Suruga Bay traverse; 16 hour overnight sail. Brief 3 hour anchor off the beach, then 1.5 hour sail into Shimoda Cove, Admiral Perry Visitor’s Pier arriving 12:30 noon. Overnight layover: lunch in-town; glorious bath at Thousand-People Kayaya Ryokan Onsen at Rentaiji Station; bbq ribs dinner; hit Tosaya Soul Bar on the warf until 1:00 o’clock.
Leg Eight: 5/04 Friday depart Shimoda Cove 4:30 am for Home Port Katsuyama (expected to be ~14 hour sail in rough seas in following 25+kt winds). Only sail 40% of jib-sail, no main-sail throughout. Turns-out to be the best day of sailing in strong winds for first 2/3rds, then extremely strong winds in last 1/3 but arriving earlier than expected at 4:30… a 12 hour sail! Averaging 6 knots the entire day on the sliver of a foresail!
End: 5/05 Friday, hit Home Port Katsuyama on the Chiba Peninsula at 4:30 pm; 12 hour sail.
The summer heat is not going away anytime soon, so let`s have some refreshment with beer and a stunning view at our annual traditional BBQ at Yumenoshima!
Nag about the heat, boast about your summer trips in Caribbean and European seas, find new friends and crew members for your autumn/winter sailing season.
Here where you can find us!
Place: Yumenoshima Marina & Grill (https://www.marinaandgrill.com/) Date : Saturday October 7 Time: from 13:00 till 16:00 Food : bbq set Drink: free beer, wine, cocktails, soft drinks Entertainment: live band
Payment deadline: Sep 30 (Sat) 12pm Payment: Online credit-card payments exclusively: no in-cash or day-of payments.
Yumenoshima Marina BBQ 2023 Oct 7
TSPS Members: Adults (12 years and older): ¥6,000 Child (12 and younger): ¥free
NON-TSPS Members: Adults (12 years and older): ¥8,000 Child (12 and younger): ¥4,000
As usual, the second Wednesday of every month is reserved for our monthly Keelhaul. April saw us experimenting with a new venue, the fabulous Midtown BBQ in Suidobashi, close to the Tokyo Dome (https://www.midtown-bbq.com/tokyo).
This new venue is off our normal TSPS beaten-track (DevilCraft or Pizzakaya). And probably because this was just 11 days after our wildly successful Boat Show SuperKeelhaul, participation was somewhat down, but the energy was extremely high; the food was excellent and the craft beer flowing.
Newly inducted TSPS Commander, Bill Van Alstine, was joined by Bridge Members John Kratochvil (Membership) and Timothy Langley (Secretary & Legal Officer) together with 4 guests, 2 new Members, and 11 diehard Keelhaulers!
To kick things off, Commander Van Alstine donated several plates of wings and pizzas! Ordering thereafter was clunky at first but everyone could order on their own and pay individually. This worked-out due to astute John organizing a sign-in sheet and issuing Name-tags! This not only helped the waite-staff but also generated better comradery all around. It was a great event.
The Keelhaul is TSPS’s most regularly-scheduled social event, falling almost always on the first Wednesday of every month. If you are not securely on the Mailing List (to receive Announcements directly), the venue & time notices are posted on our elegant TSPS webpage (https://tspsjapandev.wpengine.com).
If you have ideas for Keelhaul venue (or input regarding this venue), please don’t hesitate as we are always looking for great locations to comfortably accommodate our usual ~25+ attendees.
Finally, since the first Wednesday of May falls within Golden Week, the Bridge will determine the most appropriate date for our NEXT Keelhaul. If you have a preference on date or venue, please post to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SuperKeelhaul is an annual event always held in conjunction with the International Boat Show in Yokohama.
Going on two-years strong, the event was again held at Wolfgang Puck’s pizzeria. This was such a resounding success, with an open-bar and free-flowing, delicious food, that TSPS not only took-over the entire shop from the 6:00 o’clock start, but extended an hour to accommodate the tremendous fun, joviality and comradery that flourished. Approximately 12 guests / potential new-members joined the assembly of 60 or so TSPS Members!
A great shout-out not only to Svetlana for organizing the Super Keelhaul, but also to the valiant Booth Committee’s Claude Strobbe, Jeff Canady, Bill Van Alstine and a slew of diligent volunteers, as well! The Booth attracted a huge amount of attention and we received, as a result, many visitors interested in learning more about TSPS.
Please reach-out to future volunteer-opportunities in TSPS-sponsored events: you can always expect to be involved in something fun and engaging.
DevilCraft in Gotanda was the venue for our February Keelhaul. More than 25 Members joined this event: four Bridge Officers, two prospective new Members, and four Guests. Keelhaul is our most regular social feature, followed by annual BBQs, on-the-water cruises, and Yokohama Boat Show (coming up at the end of March!). TSPS is an NPO that is dedicated to learning & gaining experience in sailing & boating inJapanese waters, to getting licensed, and to meeting likeminded people in this, the world’s largest megatropolis. The Keelhaul supplements the work of the webpage by spreading information on cruising availabilities and Class schedules, bringing-in new Members, and allowing everyone to meet with and talk (brag) about sailing with the leadership and Instructors. Here are some of the Keelhaul Participants: Timothy Langley, Secretary & Legal Officer Vllad Legeza, Boating Activities Chair Claude Strobbe, Education Officer Will Wade, Membership Chair Yves Simon, John Kratochvil, Lowell Sheppard, Nemanja Komatinovic, Ashley Smart, Alexan, Andrei Enshin, Wolfgang Bierers, Raymond Leung
Paolo Montesel, New Member Ben Knuth, New Member Tomiko Ishizuka, Guest Anthony Hardie, Guest Maya Matsuoka, Guest Kristina Stojchevska, Guest Patrick McEvelly, Guest
Please connect with everyone via Linked-in or FaceBook so we can continue to grow thiscommunity…
DevilCraft in Hamamatsucho was the venue for our first TSPS Keelhaul-of-the-Year.
More than 25 Members joined this monthly beerfest & deep-dish Chicago pizza, four prospective new Members, and two new Members. Keelhaul is the most regular social feature of TSPS, followed by our twice-annual BBQs, the on-the-water cruises, and the annual Yokohama Boat Show.
Otherwise and as you know, TSPS is primarily about learning and gaining experience in sailing & boating in Japanese waters, getting licensed, and for meeting other likeminded people in the world’s largest megatropolis.
The Keelhaul supplements the work of the webpage by spreading information on cruising availabilities and Class schedules, bringing-in new Members, and allowing everyone to meet with and talk (brag) about sailing with the leadership and Instructors (who are all drunkards in any event).
Please bookmark the webpage for the Calendar-of-Events and by all means reserve the First Wednesday of Every Month for our regularly scheduled Keelhauls (venue changes frequently).