The Last Bottle

Remarkably, I have been able to buy Springbank, arguably the greatest whisky, from a corner shop nearby.

I would like to give a bottle to Kiyuna san but when I get to the shop there is no more Springbank!  Adorable Yoshi san explains that they cannot get anymore Springbank no matter how they try.

“Neil sensei, I knew that you would come to buy a bottle, so I kept the last one for you.”

I have not been in the shop for 3 months.


The last bottle. Thank you Yoshi san.

This act of kindness is a great antidote for a difficult couple of days.

My beautiful handmade reefing block support plate does not fit.

It is too big.

IMG_1939 (1)

My fault.

I spend probably the worst hours of the project trying to fit the fuel tank filler pipe. This connects the nozzle on the combing with the tank. You have to push the pipe onto the nozzle from below. The nozzle is only accessible from a locker. It is totally out of reach.

I make many attempts and fail each time.


A great test of character.

I finally succeed, with the help of a heat gun and washing up liquid, but suffer severe bruising to my right arm and my left ribcage as I force myself into the locker and upwards to the the nozzle. It is very hot and I nearly pass out.

A few minutes later, the holy Sato san passes by. He wants to help me rig the boat for maximum performance.

He is a great person, as is his wife Akiko san. They look at the rope that I have used for halyards and come as close as Japanese can politely come to giggling.

” Neil san you can not use this rope. It is pitiful rope. It will stretch and sag. You can not sail with this rope.”



A load of junk. I have 200 meters of the same.

I absolutely respect Sato san’s judgement. In Snakes and Ladders  imagery, I have hit a major snake that slides me right back to the starting line.

Sato san mysteriously suggests that he can find me good rope that has been taken from another yacht, Watch this space, very hush, hush. Notwithstanding, this means lowering the mast and replacing all the rigging. At least a couple of weeks, because Sato san has to go to Ishigaki Jima to tune racing yachts. I am in no hurry.

To end on a happy note, I go back to Nagahama san’s chaotic yard and explain that  the beautiful plate he made me is too big. He makes me another for no charge.


This one is a perfect fit.

I am now also doing a lot of fine tuning.


Tiller retaining pin installed.



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