I am tremendously bored. In lockdown in a tiny apartment with, granted, a 700mbs internet connection, is still pretty dull. To make it worse I break my much beloved knife. I have talked about this knife before. https://thequietripple.com/2018/03/31/knife-fighting/

The tang is horribly rotted and, at first, I believe that the end has come for my beautiful knife,

Moth and rust doth corrupt.

However exhortation from mary.collins2018 and @nut_butters_shop to get a new handle makes me think. If I remove the black collar and adapt a new handle so that the maximum length of tang is driven in up to the blade, supplemented by lots of epoxy, then the knife might slash and slice another day. Good little project.

If I can get the handle to snug up against the beginning of the blade, the I think we are back in slash and slice business.

I have now been in lockdown for 5 days, paltry, say most of my faithful readers. I only go out to buy food. I buy a new 5kilo bag of rice.

How beautiful! Sums up Japan really, it is just a bag of rice but it is made into an artwork.

Strangely enough, there is a team of guys digging up the parking lot. Must be essential. Maybe buried treasure.

Stay well.

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As the Waters Cover the Sea

So, The Governor of Okinawa has asked all residents to refrain from going out unless it is necessary to maintain life. It had to come.

Not having much food I went to the supermarket. Food is necessary to maintain life I suppose.

The place was virtually empty.

I buy a month’s supply of sashimi.

On the bright side, Arisa-san tells me that the Japanese government is giving each household 100,000 yen. Even to me! https://nhk.io/details-on-japans-covid-19-%c2%a5100000-payment-to-every-resident-how-to-apply/?fbclid=IwAR0fCb4syzak26lVB9b9ZA-10B5rb9WUASDMVXXlpVRbBTQa1wPRs42ei_0

She explains, “The government is asking  everyone to receive the money and if you don’t need the money,  donate it to the nearest organization that need the money. This way, the money will flow to proper people quickly and smoothly instead of the government keeping the money. “

I think I will pass mine onto the Champagne merchants of northern France who must be going through a very hard time.

Yay Japan!

The weather is bad so I would not have done much sailing. Just have to stay at home and work on my boom crutch

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Flag It

Every year I visit the Iris fields at Kijoka. https://thequietripple.com/2013/03/31/flags/

There are acres of irises growing in paddy fields. The fields are surrounded by wooded hills and all in all it is super beautiful. This year I decide to take good photos. I set off with macro and wide-angle lenses, flash, tripod. I am very excited. But the camera is dead. I have not checked the battery, which is totally flat. How stupid I feel.

Mind you, as we all know, the IPhone is more or less as good.

I love this

Having strolled around, I buy big bunch of coconuts, no irises. No one is there to sell them. There is an honesty box and lots of pre-prepared bunches. The idea of people just walking off with them without paying is absurd.

Just one

The back of my truck is full of yacht paint, varnish, teak oil, rope, clamps and stuff. It is now upgraded with a big bunch of about to flower, irises.

Much better.

Anyway, about a year ago I took an Ikebana course taught by the very learned Okubo sensei. https://thequietripple.com/2019/07/07/ikebana/

I look forward to making dazzling displays. I have amazing Yachimun vases.

I wander through the fields near my house and collect leaves, grasses and flowers.

A butterfly tells me where to find suitable stuff.

Unfortunately, every attempt I make to build the clever internal structures fails. These structures allow you to hold the flowers in interesting positions. In the end I am obliged to, more or less, dump the flowers into the vases, as I have done most of my life. Very disappointing. I am a bad student.

Volcano ish
Nice mug.
Bad photo
Structural failure.

So my apartment is full of flowers. This can never be a bad thing.

On a darker note, I hear that there has been a coronavirus death on Okinawa.

Only the beginning?

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Pacific Golden Plover

Not much to say really during these dark days. I am very conscious that most of the world is going through unprecedented rigors, whilst we in Okinawa lead an essentially unchanged life.

This is just a diary entry. I have understood the joy of keeping a diary. It is always interesting and usually surprising to look back on what you were doing, 2, 4, 6, 8, years ago.

Wonderful week of sailing with good healthy winds. The Norfolk Gypsy likes wind.

On Saturday, the boat took Atsuko, Arisa and I on a wonderful sail followed by lots of eating. The mainsail is very badly set in the video, which we fixed later as we put up the jib. Lots of wind, lots of fresh air, leading to huge appetite.

What could be better?

The weather takes a turn for the worse. Strong winds and high seas. This drives the Pacific Golden Plover to shelter. I track them down.

Beautiful birds

The sea is wild.

Such color

I am at Cape Zanpa, usually replete with tourists. Today, there is only one man wandering in the wind. Yay, it is an old friend.

One of the world’s greatest accelerator builders.

No sailing today!

I love this

Stay well all!

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Silk Mask

Mary makes very superior masks. I understand them to be made from layers of silk and cotton. She takes it seriously. The masks are tested at OIST.

These masks are tested as P36, excluding 36% of 300nM particles. Combini, local shops, masks are p20, Izumi Fukunaga https://groups.oist.jp/sbn has attained P40.

Tim and I model said masks.
I am honored to have one, actually two, of these handmade masks. Thanks Mary!

Prime Minister Abe has declared a State of Emergency in some Prefectures, not Okinawa. My generous Japanese friends say that little has changed for Okinawa. Well I have Kiyuna san’s magic sucking stone and Mary’s mask, so I feel wonderfully protected.

Life is wonderful! Exotic flowers bloom wild by the road.

Lilies by trash cans
Amaryllis sway as trucks go roaring by.
Waste ground is full of Cosmos and Sunflowers.
I eat liver
Blue Rock Thrush, these are everywhere but still amazing birds.

I go sailing. At first the wind is gentle and we flap around without much purpose. It then rises and the Norfolk Gypsy shudders, trembles and then sets off at a gallop.

Only the beginning

The wind gets stronger and we thunder back to land. She is such a good boat. She loves the rough stuff. I take great delight in sailing straight into the Marina, only using the engine for final mooring manoeuvres. So much sun, so much fresh air.

The first bouy approaching Ginowan. I have to use a very high shutter speed cos we are going so fast.

Stay safe.

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A Feast in Time of Plague

As most of the rest of the world reels from the impact of Coronavirus, we on Okinawa remain untouched. The local government has not suggested any restrictions. Life goes on as normal. Schools reopen next week after the spring break. That said, the university, OIST https://www.oist.jp/ with many international visitors and employees has taken the situation very seriously and has, in my opinion, introduced very sensible changes.

I hope all of you and all of yours are well.

Well, I hope this post does not annoy. It is a beautiful day. We go sailing.

Arisa san and Kaori san set the tone.

It is Sunday morning when Arisa san, Kaori san, Simon san and I foregather to take the boat out for a sail. A glorious day, bright sun and about 25 degrees. The dark side is 15- 20 knots of wind.

Captain Arisa takes us out.

So, none of my companions have any sailing experience and I, as you know, am incompetent. We get out from the harbor to meet seriously disturbed sea. The wind is manageable but the sea is intimidating.

Do we care? No, just take more selfies.

I am amazed by the lack of dread demonstrated by the crew. We are plunging around in broken seas with only the jib up but they are unconcerned, indeed invigorated!

Simon is excellent crew cos he looks like a pirate.

The idea of raising the mainsail with inexperienced crew and having to put in probably 2 reefs as we crash around, seems unwise. This manouevre is complex and trying to do it with people who don’t know the names of the ropes, as we hammer against big swells is foolhardy. I order a turnaround. I am the Captain. The crew is disappointed. I thought they would be terrified. and so overjoyed to get back to land. Ignorance is bliss and that sort of thing.

We go out about a mile just on the jib and then turn around. We come back in very nicely on jib alone. So much fresh air! I am only wearing a T shirt, well, I mean I also have my trousers on.

Once safely moored, we have a delicious picnic prepared by Kaori san and Arisa san. Such fun in a time of plague. Here is a video:

Life goes on

Again sincere best wishes to all of you who are going through difficult times. I hope this post makes you happy.

Another video from Arisa san, who also tells me that the schools will remain closed for 2 weeks. Thanks Arisa.

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Black Bottom

So, to all my faithful readers, a small but distinguished group, I send all my best wishes. Okinawa is untouched by the Myley Cyrus and it is difficult for me to conceive the awfulness that many of you are going through. Hang tough.

So, here is a happy story to make you all feel better. I try to raise the center plate of the boat but all that comes up is lots of cable. Ouch! This means that the center plate has conspired to free itself from the cable and wants to hang loose. This has to be fixed and in conjunction with the need to generally scrub her bottom I decide to haul her out and give her a good makeover.

Dirty bottom
Short Sutherland

So, the bottom of the boat is covered in weed and shellfish of various denominations.

Very pretty but must die.
Out, out foul spot!
You get the idea

So, first I scrape and then I spray and then I paint on new anti fouling. I work in glorious sunshine with the encouragement of all the boatyard boys with whom I have become close over the the duration of the Norfolk Gypsy project.

Hmmm not so good. The hole in the center plate, through which the center plate cable was threaded, has decayed into uselessness.

Oh dear

I scrape off all the weed and barnacles and limpet-like things. I then hose her down with high pressure spray gun, Yay! Ginowan Marina.

Then I paint her bottom with a chemical brew of awfulness that will keep the creepy crawlies off for another year, one hopes.

Get lots now, panic buy!

I then apply compound to the hull. This is the most rewarding work. What was dull suddenly becomes glistening.

Front bit before compound treatment, back bit after.

I then paint teak oil on all trim and bolt on two new anodes.

Anodes make me feel good
Look how sun blasted the trim is.

This is all very well but the main problem is the center plate. Kiyuna san slices off the end of the decayed plate and welds on a shackle.

Unchain my heart

After three days of glorious work amongst friends in a Japanese boatyard, we drop her back in the water with a black bottom. Yay Norfolk Gypsy!

Look at amateur video.

Thanks all

I hope this makes you happy. Stay well.

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