Necessity is now in Ishigaki, Japan
Eva and Jan Fr. Mack
Mon 25 May 2009 22:36
Necessity finally got away from the Philippines three weeks after we checked out the first time. The Philippines is a sticky country in more meanings than one. Even if we didn't quite grow to love the place like some other countries, it is very much a place we will remember. Most of all for the Typhoon of course, but also for the people that we met. The average Philippino is helpful and friendly in their struggle for a tiny piece of what we take for granted. A few people take it all, often by graft, and make no secret of it. Corruption exists everywhere, but in the Philippines it appears to be the official way of doing things. In all we do, a little "extra" is necessary to make things work.
When Necessity finally left it was without Johan. He did a very good job during the Typhoon, but he had generally had enough. He continues his journey on land.
In our perspective we have now come to a very different place. The trip up to Ishigaki was not easy. The Bashi strait if infamous, and even with a good weather forecast it was uncomfortable to say the least. The chart is marked "Tidal Rips and Overfalls". Yes indeed. Add to that a lightning storm that tripped our autopilot once every 2 minutes for many hours. Only about one in a hundred lightnings appeared to have that effect, so the night was not dark even without the moon. After the Bashi strait is was good old fashioned wind on the nose. Poor Eva. She had decided not to do this stretch of waster, but came anyway to help out after the typhoon. She is the best.
Ishigaki is the southernmost island in the Okinawa group. There is still 500 miles to mainland Japan, but locals agree it is normally an easy stretch.
In the meantime we will spend some easy days in this real typhoon shelter. Ishigaki has moorings and pilings built to hold boats in 200 knots. The harbor has been put together by people in a country that knows both typhoons and engineering. While Bolinao looked like a war zone after the Typhoon, this harbor looks like it is very much prepared for "war". It is a bit like being moored in a bunker. More about Ishigaki later.
Jan Fr. and Eva
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