This rainy season has been the worst ever! Incredible rain such that visibility is reduced to 5 meters. When there were no thunderstorms, there was consistent drenching rain. Not good for sailing adventures.
One of the great sailing adventures is the Sabani boat race from Zamani island back to Okinawa. I was selected last year and it was totally memorable. https://thequietripple.com/2018/06/25/a-match-of-two-halves/
I was assured of a place in the boat for this year’s race due to my outstanding performance last year. I have been looking forward to it immensely. Not to be.
The boat is actually owned by a guy who manages a sort of orphanage, young peoples’ adventure set-up on Tokashiki, another island in the Keramas. The day before the race, there is much confusion as it appears he has offered places on the boat to some young people from his establishment and there will be no place on the boat for me! I use my skills in diplomacy, pointing out that this is Japan and the elderly must be respected, that young people must not always get what they want, bad for their character development. I also underline the safety risks, my vast experience, and that I would be ready to fight any of those young punks etc. It is no good as I am politely bumped from the boat.
The day of the race it is blowing 12 knots gusting to 18 knots more or less on the nose. There is a big swell. Sabanis are open canoes with a very basic sail. I would not take my boat out in these conditions!
Of the 35 boats that set off, only 19 crossed the finishing line! The rest sank or abandoned on the way over. Our boat sank. The thwart that supports the mast, ripped out taking with it some side planks allowing the ocean to flood in, just as they crossed the finishing line. What an adventure!
Ah well , next year. I find a gift on my boat. It is a commemorative bottle of Awamori for the 2019 race.
To get over my disappointment I tune up the Portapotti. This is the toilet on the boat. The bottom part is filled with a mixture of water and excrement hating chemicals. These wait for the glorious moment when the flush hatch opens and they can get to work. The top part is filled with water that can flush stuff. It is a lot of fun but I doubt that I will use it. Women do not have the liberty of peeing off the side of the boat so I hope the beautiful and functioning Portapotti will lure lots of them aboard.