Tag Archives: sailing

Singlehander Sails from California to Hawaii and Back

Singlehander Screenshot

I stumbled upon this wonderful thirty-minute video made by a guy sailing singlehanded from California to Hawaii and then back.  His narration is insightful, humorous, and warm, with his love of sailing apparent. The quality of the video is outstanding and creative. If you have  29 minutes 35 seconds to spare, take a look. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Warren Fraser

Hayama – TSPS Joint Sail and BBQ, October 19, 2013

TSPS Crew Aboard At Hayama Marina, 2012
TSPS Crew Aboard At Hayama Marina, 2012

Our Annual Hayama Marina Outing and Barbecue– Saturday, October 19

Again this year TSPS members have been invited by the Hayama Marina Yacht Club and HMYC’s International Relations Committee member Akihiko Kobayashi to enjoy a day of sailing on the waters of Sagami Bay and a barbecue in the marina boatyard. This has been an annual event for many years and is always a most enjoyable time. It starts at 10 AM with us meeting at Hayama Marina and being assigned to an HMYC-member boat. We then go out on the water for about four hours. We typically sail till 12-ish, anchor together for lunch off the Hayama coast, then return to the marina at around 3 PM to ignite the barbecues, unlock the drink coolers, and relax with friends on the hard till 5:00PM.

By the way, if you or your friends and family are unable to attend the sailing portion of the day, by all means come for the barbecue. The food and drink is good, and if this event is consistent with past ones, there will even be live music and an open mic, should you care to belt out a favorite song.

The date this year for the event is Saturday, October 19.

This is one of our more popular TSPS events, so if you would like to attend, sign up here.

We prefer you sign up online, but if necessary you can send an email providing your full name and the full names of any guest(s) to commander@tspsjapan.org

Final date for sign-up is October 15th. Slots will be filled on a first-come first-served basis, with a limit of 40 participants. Please, no cancellations after October 16.

The meeting place is next to the Marina office, the yellow building near the boat launching facility, at  10:00.

Hope to see you there.

Warren Fraser
Commander, TSPS

Photos from the 2012 event are available here.



Date: Saturday, October 19, 2013

Time: 10:00 ~17:00

Place: Hayama Marina (see directions below)

Total number of guests: 40

No. of boats: 7

Fee: ¥4,000 per person, children ¥2,000

Weather: If it rains the event will be cancelled and not rescheduled. HMYC will advise before 15:00, October 19, if the event is cancelled and TSPS will notify those who sign up.

Time schedule:

10:00 – all get together at the Marina office (the yellow building)

10:30 – leave dock

12:00 – anchor and lunch

13:30 – sail again

15:00 – back to dock  BBQ

17:00 – SAYONARA

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Directions to Hayama Marina

By Car:

Take Yokohama-Yokosuka Road, get off at Zushi-Interchange, take left road to Hayama, pay ¥100 at toll gate after driving through tunnel, drive about 4 kilometers, go straight under overhead bridge for pedestrian with signal, drive through tunnel, turn left at next crossing with signal (AM-PM shop right side), go straight at next signal and Hayama Marina is 50 meters ahead of the signal, right side of the road. Parking is available, cost is ¥2,000.

By Train / Bus

Train time is around 1 hour from Tokyo to either station

If by JR to Zushi

Take bus no. 11 or 12  from bus stop no. 3

Get off at “ABUZURI  HAYAMA MARINA MAE.” Travel time is about 10 minutes.

Proceed about 100 meter along the road the bus is on to Hayama Marina on right side of the street.

If by Keihin-Kyuko (to Shin-Zushi) station.

Exit the platform from the exit nearest the front of the train, Go to bus stop no. 2. Same bus no. 11 or 12 stops there.


Report: The TSPS/Hayama Marina Sail and Barbecue, 10/20/12

In late September, 2012, TSPS members were invited by Hayama Marina members to a day on the water and an afternoon around a barbecue. On October 20th, over twenty-five TSPS members made the trip south to Hayama and were joined by another fifteen people from Hayama Marina, led by Kobayashi-san, the chief organizer of the event. Four sailboats took members out on the water, departing the docks a little after 1000h under clear skies and little wind. Lunch was at anchor in a small bay easily within shouting distance of the Emperor’s summer home. The water there was boiling with schools of small fish, and much larger bora were leaping all around. It was quite the sight. After lunch, the boats sailed around a bit before returning to the marina at a little after 1400h. By 1500h, the barbecue was in full stride. A number of members who could not make the sailing portion of the day came down for the barbecue, and under the clearest of skies the forty-or-so of us began to feast on typical barbecue fare– vegetables, chicken, pork, sausage, yakisoba, and enjoy cold beer and wines. As the sun began to set, festivities culminated in thank-you speeches from the skippers of the boats and TSPS Commander Warren Fraser. The pianist who had played during the barbecue began to invite people up for a round of karaoke and on that note, the event came to a close.

TSPS would  again like to thank the members of Hayama Marina for welcoming us aboard their boats for a beautiful day on the water and a delicious barbecue in the boatyard. We’d also like to thank all the TSPS members who made it to Hayama. We are already looking forward to next year’s Hayama event.

Photos from the event are available here.


TSPS Silverweek Cruise And Photos

TSPS_Silverweek_2012 1

The crews of Akdenizli, Bifrost, Diva, Mary-Jane, Sophie, and Voyager set out this past weekend for a three-day cruise to Atami and Hayama. Voyager departed Yokohama for Misaki Friday to position the boat for a short sail to Atami. All but Akdenizli made the crossing to Atami on Saturday. Those who made the journey across Sagami Bay enjoyed a wonderful dinner at a local restaurant near the marina. Akdenizli sailed into Misaki from Yokohama on Saturday bound for Hayama on Sunday, but unfortunately experienced engine troubles enroute and went no further.

The plans for Sunday were for Bifrost and Voyager to sail to Hayama and be joined there by Akdenizli, for Diva and Mary-Jane to return to their home port at Velasis, and for Sophie to sail to Oshima. Voyager’s skipper, however, didn’t like the forecast for Monday and instead sailed to Velasis, thus leaving only Bifrost to sail the TSPS ensign into Hayama port. Sophie, encountering light winds to Oshima instead returned to Shimoda. Meanwhile, Akdenizli, bound for Yokohama and laboring along with a lame engine, encountered strong northerly headwinds and so diverted to the east to Chiba to wait for a more favorable southerly wind, which she promptly got for an enjoyable sail back to Bayside Marina.

Monday saw strong winds, large swells and wind waves from the south. Bifrost rounded Jyogashima enroute to her home port at Velasis in the afternoon. Voyager remains in Velasis awaiting its six-year inspection and re-certification and will return to Yokohama next week.

We’d like to thank TSPS Cruising Coordinator Per Knudsen for organizing the cruise, and also thank the skippers who made their boats available for the cruise, and all the crew that signed up for the trip.

Photos from the trip:

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Yarramundi in Cairns

TSPS-member David Devlin successfully completed his five-month voyage from Japan to Australia on August 17. Departing on March 25th from Shimoda, David sailed south to among other places, Ogasawara, Saipan, Faralaup, Yap, and Papua New Guinea, before making a dash across a tempestuous Solomon Sea and a calmer Coral Sea to arrive in Cairns under ideal sailing conditions. As David says, “After all this little boat has been through it is nice to have a such a pleasant sail into her first port in Australia.”

David’s journey had more than its fair share of hardships (you can read his blog here), but through it all, David maintained a positive attitude in the face of such difficulties that was, in short, inspirational.

On behalf of the TSPS Bridge and TSPS members, we congratulate David for his achievement, and look forward to seeing David when he returns to Tokyo.

Warren Fraser
Commander, TSPS

Yarramundi Ready For Yap Voyage


It would appear that TSPS member David Devlin, so unfortunately waylaid by a coral bommie (outcrop) on May 15th at Faraulep in Micronesia, has completed the temporary repairs necessary to his vessel’s skeg and rudder and is about to depart for Yap, a sail of about 385 miles. There, he will complete the repairs at a boatyard before continuing on to Australia. This is from a recent update on his blog:

Thomas, Chan and Chan’s son Melvin navigated for us yesterday on a nail bitting trip out to sea through the lagoon’s middle entrance. It is a dog leg’s entrance and we found it both difficult to navigate going out and then returning in to. Think we will use the narrow but straight entrance we used when we first came in when it comes to leaving.

My mouth was dry and I was shaking the entire time. Not only concern over hitting again but concern over the repairs holding up. We motored around a bit and found water in the bilge. Emptied it and found it did not return. I have had this happen before. There are so many places for water to get trapped and once you get out to sea and rocked around it starts appearing in the bilge. We then put up the main sail 3rd reef and ran with the wind toward Yap doing 3.4knots. The wind was between 15 and 20 knots and the waves 3 to 4 feet. We turned around came back through the lagoon entrance, attached back up to our anchor and celebrated with 3 not so very cold but very enjoyable bottles of wine with our new friends.

There has been no leak whatsoever since. I have therefore decided to sail to Yap. The earliest would be tomorrow afternoon but still a few things to get done so more likely Thursday. All weather permitting.

We will lodge our sail plan with Guam Coast Guard and also Australian Maritime and won’t go if they say don’t. We plan to only use sail to steady the boat to reduce pressure on rudder. Will keep our sea anchor ready to deploy from the bow should we get strong winds or a storm.It is nearly 400 nautical miles so we are bound to hit a couple of squalls.

I am not going to write all details here of our repairs or the how we plan to sail to avoid a barrage of arm chair advice and comments. I have chosen to work with 4 good people on this and they have devoted a lot of their time. We have spent a lot of time discussing and debating every detail and I feel confident we have done the best we can and the boat will withstand the journey.


All of us at TSPS wish David an easy and safe journey.

A Flota In Hota


Hota Spring Cruise 2012.01The 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.

The next sailing event is our next social event, the Spring Rendezvous on June 23. Skippers are welcome to contact Per Knudsen if they would like to reserve a slip at Velasis marina.


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So We Strike, Like…

Over Golden Week, four boats made their way to the west coast of Izu. We wrote the details of the journey in detail not long ago. During the trip the shutterbugs were hard at work snapping pictures, which we’ve turned into video slideshows. The photos in this video are from the camera of Bifrost skipper and crew Per Knudsen and Anne Bille. Editing is by Warren Fraser. Youtube approves of our choice of music, and therefore the video may not be viewable in some regions.



and previously posted: a video from the crew of Distant Dreamer


Report: 2012 Golden Week Cruise

This past Golden Week saw a TSPS fleet embark on another week-long cruise, this time to the west coast of the Izu peninsula. Boats that made the trip were Distant Dreamer, Bifrost, Fuji VII, and Sophie, and stops included the beautiful ports of Shimoda, Mera, Arari, and Misaki. Unfortunately, heavy rain, very strong winds, and high seas kept the fleet in port much more than expected.

The cruise began with Bifrost leaving her home port early on Saturday, April 29 and encountering strong winds and a two knot counter-current on her way to Shimoda. Distant Dreamer left Yokohama the same day before noon for an overnight sail direct to Mera via a rounding of Oshima and Mikomoto Island near Shimoda. She arrived in Mera 21 hours later, having encountered light winds most of the way. Fujii VII departed Seabornia Marina on Sunday, and made directly for Arari, arriving a little past noon on Monday. Distant Dreamer was joined in Mera by Bifrost who sailed up from Shimoda. Together the two boats sailed to Arari Monday morning arriving a few hours after Fuji VII. Sophie joined Distant Dreamer, Bifrost and Fuji VII in Arari arriving in darkness at approximately 19:30h after a fast six-hour sail from Shimoda, her home port. The fleet was complete and rafted up alongside Minoru Saito’s Nicole BMW Shoten Dohji III, in port for a complete refit after his epic round-the-world sail. That night plans were laid for the remaining 5 days of the cruise.

Because of the equipment aboard the four boats, the experience of the eleven crew members, the nine smartphones, and the three iPads, the boats were all too aware of the weather. The forecast was for rain, and lots of it for long stretches of time. The cruising plan slowly evolved from an adventurous one that included visiting three ports to the north of Arari to a much more conservative stay-in-port-and-wait-out-the-weather plan. And so the fleet remained in Arari for three long and wet days and nights, before Distant Dreamer, Bifrost, and Sophie busted out when the rain let up on Thursday morning.

The next port of call was Matsuzaki, a small town with dock/wall along a river bank a few miles south of Arari. However, upon arriving first in port, Bifrost discovered the river was swollen with the heavy rains in the mountains of Izu, enough that with high tide, the entire docking area would flood. Additionally, a 2 to 3 knot current in the river made docking difficult and dangerous. Per Knudsen aboard Bifrost waved off Distant Dreamer and Sophie as they approached the port and the decision was made over the phone to return to Mera, another two hours down the coast.

All three boats arrived in Mera easily enough under pleasant winds and gray skies. The skies later cleared and the remainder of the day was spent lazing aboard the boats, searching for basic food stuffs, and watching a very strong blue-sky gale build gradually. The forecast was now calling for Force 10 winds, 4 to 5 meter waves, and beautiful blue skies over the next 24-36 hours. Experience has taught us to effectively double the forecast figures if you want to approximate reality, and so the decision was made to remain in Mera for a second night. In the afternoon of the second day, in the middle of the gale, a 34-foot sailboat came lurching into port flying only a storm jib. They had departed Shimoda early in the morning bound for Aichi, but the conditions forced the crew to quickly revise their plans and make way for Omaezaki. The wind and waves, however, were coming exactly from where they were bound. With no hope of making Omaezaki before sunset, they beat a hasty retreat to Mera for refuge from the storm. The TSPS crews were there to lend a hand when the boat docked and the wide-eyed, exhausted, and bewildered look on the faces of the crew said all that needed to be said about their day on the water.

The crews of Distant Dreamer, Bifrost, and Sophie felt a little peckish near sunset and so the region’s only taxi was enlisted to ferry the seven to a restaurant in the hills above Mera. Discussion on the sailing plans continued and Distant Dreamer skipper Mike Snyder decided a 05:00h departure Saturday morning from Mera would make it possible to reach Misaki before sunset. The seas remained very high as Distant Dreamer left port Saturday morning, but fortunately the winds had dropped to Force 5-6 and the passage south to Mikomoto Island was rough but uneventful. Upon rounding the island, the seas and wind moved astern, and the boat settled into a smooth groove all the way to Misaki. Meanwhile, Fujii VII left Arari at about the same time and was five or so miles off Distant Dreamer’s stern for much of the early morning. Upon reaching the Shimoda area, Fuji VII headed due east perhaps to pick up a favorable current, rounding Oshima on its return to Seabornia. Bifrost left Mera mid-morning Saturday and had an easy sail down to Shimoda, where she stayed for the night. Sophie spent the day sailing and returned to Shimoda on Sunday.

Bifrost departed Shimoda for her home port of Velasis early Sunday morning in fine weather, but a few hours after turning the south east corner of Izu and heading north east, she encountered very strong winds and high seas. Gusts peaked at over 45 knots and the boat hit speeds in excess of ten knots as she surfed down the waves. Not trusting the autopilot, Per and crew Claus hand steered the boat all the way to Velasis Sunday afternoon.

Distant Dreamer departed Misaki on Sunday at around 09:00h and was soon caught up in the same gale Bifrost was experiencing further out. As she entered Tokyo Bay winds built to speeds in excess of 35 knots and the first hour or two was spent dodging traffic. Once inside the bay the seas flattened but the winds remained. Low tides meant arrival in Koyasu, her homeport, needed to be after 14:00h, so Distant Dreamer stopped at Bayside Marina for a few hours before completing the cruise under power on Sunday at around 15:00h.

So, all boats got back to their home port safely. There were no injuries or major equipment failures suffered on the cruise. In this very important way, the cruise was a success.

So that’s it. A brief summary of the goings-on of the four-boat fleet on an eight-day Golden Week cruise to Nishi Izu. One key lesson learned on this cruise, one that confirms opinions of last year’s Golden Week cruise: do not go cruising during Golden Week. The weather sucks.

The crew of Distant Dreamer has posted their images and video here in a video slideshow of the cruise. We will be adding other photos as they become available.