Golden Week Sailing Adventure, Preparing Big Elle Yacht

The next big adventure begins today, or should I say continues. We are heading to Wakayama to board a 55 foot yacht named Big Elle for a trip of a lifetime sailing from Wakayama (Osaka) to Dejima (Nagasaki) over the next ten days. Follow us on this very special adventure. To put this into perspective, from one chance meeting at breakfast on the second last day aboard the Queen Elizabeth cruise in March where we first met Toshi & Yumi from Osaka, we have become great friends and are very honoured to be invited to join as crew for this sailing.

Day 54 – April 26th.

The alarm woke us up at 8am and after a while we are ready to check out. At the front desk we go over the final details regarding the forwarding of our bags to Yokohama, using the Yamato bag service. I’d already filled out the bag slips with the forwarding address and our names.

The four bags are measured and a total of 5600 Yen is calculated which we pay the hotel who will in turn arrange for collection from the hotel in a few days time with the company. That is the last we will see of our bags until we check in at the Hotel Jal City in Yokohama on the 7th of May.

Next we take the subway to Tenoji where we will meet up with Toshi before catching the train to Kainain. We put our bags in a locker at the station and then head out in to town.

Walking around the streets we find some of those roasted walnuts which we enjoyed so much and buy some more snacks for the train ride.

We join a queue at a ramen place for lunch and eventually get a table. It is a busy place, cheap and full of locals, lunch of gyo-za and ramen is very nice and good timing as after we just need to collect our bags and head to the platform and wait for Toshi before boarding the train.

Toshi arrives and soon does the train, we take our reserved seats for the hour or so journey. On the way we discuss the trip ahead.

At Tenoji station and arriving at Kainain station

At Tenoji station and arriving at Kainain station

At Kainain we meet up with Tom who was also on the train just in another carriage. Next thing is to stock up on food, beer etc, we walk to the shop, only to find it closed down!! Fortunately it had only moved to a bigger premises just around the corner a few hundred meters away.

Soon we have bags full of goodies and Tom arranges a taxi to pick us up. By the time we manage to squeeze everything in, it is a tight fit, not only that captain (we call Toshi Captain now) decides to stop off and get some ice, then some batteries, then a bit further we stop again at a small butcher shop and captain buys some meats, all the while the taxi driver is happy to take us on the joyride eventually arriving at the harbour where we unpack the taxi and then carry the stuff to Big Elle, we have to do it in two trips.

Big Elle is tied up alongside a couple of other boats which we have to cross to get to her. But before that we must navigate the wobbly plank.

Tom & I do all the back & forth with the goods before Moni makes her way. It’s not for the feint hearted and one slip you’d be in the drink.

The next thing is to set the yacht ready for early departure and go over a few important safety procedures, then we can unpack and get ourselves settled in before cracking a beer or two and enjoying dinner which captain cooks on the flat top.

Let the party begin on Big Elle

Let the party begin on Big Elle


He bought his favourite meats, tongue and some real tough pieces which we joke is only fit for fish bait and he enjoys it even more. Thankfully their is plenty of soft tender wagyu which Moni & I enjoy, with that we have some spiced wombok cabbage salad. After enjoying dinner, the conversations and wine and cognac we head to bed around 10.45.

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