Category Archives: Japan


Well, I sit at my desk while docked in Osaka, we arrived early this morning.  It is sunny, however the temperature is hovering around freezing, ‘baby it’s cold outside’  🙂 We have had quite a time since I wrote last; having had to cancel Saipan, we headed north towards this Japanese port.  Ahead of us, in the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea were 2 weather patterns, streaming east and we were going to be the jam in the sandwich, right between the 2 and nowhere for me to go, we were just going to have to grin (or should it be ‘grim’) and bear it.  Sure enough, we got slammed.  It lasted for 2 days and during one night, we had 6 metres, 20 feet seas and winds gusting 60 mph, Storm force 10.  

I couldn’t go on our track to Osaka and took the most comfortable course, in fact, almost due north, so that the swell came at us at an angle, at least it was manageable.  This video was in the morning ‘after’ and seas had abated (?) slightly.

Today is our Sunday and the seas eventually subsided yesterday afternoon; guests came out of ‘hibernation’ and we returned to normality. We’ve had a glorious sunset and the phenomenon of ‘sea smoke’ forming. This occurs when warm water reacts with the cold air above, the condensate being ‘sea smoke’.

Japan is “The Land of the Rising Sun’, this sunset being similar to their National flag.

Sea Smoke and a double rainbow, beautiful….

Osaka lies in a Bay and one has to access this through a narrow ‘neck’ before steaming towards the harbour.

Overview of Osaka Bay, our intended track is red, the green track is where we sailed, avoiding the storm

The Bay, with the narrow ‘neck’ bottom

The approach to the harbour, our green track avoiding anchored vessels and fishing boats

..and where we are docked.

We embarked our pilot at 4:45 a.m. and made our way northwards towards the narrow gap into the Bay.  He let us keep the conn, (you know by now how much we like that) and he ‘advised’. It’s very busy with shipping and we carefully make our way towards the port.


A radar picture, Osaka is at 2 o’clock, the ‘neck’ at 6 o’clock at dots/AIS triangles. are ships

The harbour ahead

Getting closer

A fire boat greets us with a multi-coloured display

The dock ahead

Almost on it

With typical Japanese efficiency, everything went like clockwork; the fastest tie-up I’ve had in years, personnel friendly and helpful.  The jetway was in, bang on our scheduled 8 a.m. and guests were off.  Some going further afield than Osaka or Kyoto, many further inland and they will return later, before we leave Japan.  Me?  I am relying on Karen to take photos, she and her group have gone to Kyoto, full of history and buildings over 2,000 years old.  Keep your fingers crossed for me please.