We leave Osaki in Wakayama with Shiraishi Island our destination. Nestled in the Seto Inland Sea in Okayama Prefecture you can find this tiny, quirky island which acording to the locals it is still quite unknown to most Japanese, making it the perfect place to relax and get intouch with nature again.
Day 55 – April 27th.
The alarm wakes us up at 4am on this first morning aboard and we are motoring away from the harbour by 4.30am. It is still pitch black and clear skies shimmer in the calm water. It’s Moni’s job to keep a record of the fuel gauge and nautical miles traveled, I hope the she records them correct as she has a sore head from last night.
The sun slowly makes its appearance producing a fine glow and a welcome warmth to a very cold morning with the wind in our face.
Once we are under way, I cooked up an English breakfast which we proceeded to eat with chopsticks, a first for me.
Check out the size of the huge tanker that passed us, our belongings that we sent from Switzerland to Australia were on one just like this. I’m glad it all arrived safe and in one piece, they look like building blocks just balanced on each other.
The seas are calm and we motor along with the aid of one sail, passing by some small islands and under the first of many bridges.
Captain made lunch which was Gyo-za with dipping sauce, so easy to prepare and very yummy, after lunch we continue to motor unfortunately there was not much wind.
Moni had a splitting, sore head all day and spent most of it sleeping, but did venture up now and then, remember not to mix your drinks babe.
It was a fun day getting to know some knots and other nautical terms.
Yumi had made her way from Osaka by train and then water taxi and had just arrived to join us just in time for a glass of wine to celabrate our first day sailing.
On the island we meet up with some old friends of Toshi. They picked us up in an old van ‘the Moooo van’ to take us to San-chan’s which is a back-packer style, budget accommodation that has a restaurant below, here we first take a bath upstairs and then have a drink with them down on the beach before having dinner in the restaurant.
The bath was small, only large enough for two of us at a time so I shared a bath with Toshi before Tom takes his. The sharing of baths is customary in Japan, some are small like this one at this backpackers, others are huge.
The restaurant is small and decorate with memorabillia from visitors, we sit and take it all in as we reflect on the day as the sun starts to set, by the way Shiraishi Island is famous for it’s wonderful sun sets. It’s also a place where you can get back to nature, the locals are very hospitable and no over the top snobery can be found, it’s all very basic but that’s what makes it special.
Dinner is a mix of basic rice & chicken plus raw fish, fried baby fish (like whitebait) and a few other things… The prices are very cheap.
We also had another taste of Toshi’s favourite the ‘Turban shell’, needless to say it was just like before tough and tasting of the sea big time. I must say this Japanese delacacy does look impresive though.
After our dinner we joined the Moooo Bar crew and other locals on the beach for a few beers, while convesations flowed and entertainment from the elder of the island, all in Japanese I might add. We kind of got the gist of it though…
On the island you can get up to many things, except we didn’t have much time for any but you can find plenty to do. Just having a drink at the Mooo bar was fun enough for us, take this one with a pinch of salt…
After spending some time with the locals at the Mooo Bar, we head back to Big Elle. Incidently the Mooo Bar is very laid back, not that you thought otherwise!! but owner Amy Chavez is a freelance writer. You can check out the Mooo Blog here.
Amy runs this place with husband Paul for a few months each year, great for Golden Week stays. Be sure to check for reservations as it gets booked out.
I’m quite red with sunburn and also very tired it must be a combination of fresh sea air and the sun. Some five friends visit Big Elle to drink and talk which is fun then it’s off to bed at 10.30ish.
Osaki depart 0430 – Naruto Channel 27Nautical Miles 0730 ~ 1320 ~ Seto Bridge Shiraishi 58Nautical Miles arrive at 1520