Where Next?
Bob Williams
Wed 19 Feb 2014 11:48
Alongside Miyonoura Ko, Yakushima
Wind: North F4 moderate breeze
Weather: Overcast, rain, cool

Waking to the sound of steady rain led me to conclude that I needed to find some indoor activities if was to fill the day constructively. I settled on progressing the sail plan post Kagoshima. This is proving quite time consuming for Japan's coastline is incredibly dense, with many interesting ports in its Mandelbrot coastline. My ambition is to be in Alaska this northern summer, so that only gives me very limited time in Japan. I know I am going to miss out on a great deal if I realize this ambition. Also of course, as with most countries, the visa rules are set up for tourists travelling by plane, not a sailing boat, so these also place awkward restrictions unnatural to my preferred mode of transport. Having been given directions to the tourist information centre yesterday where supposedly a wi-fi connection was available, I adjourned to its premises for much of the afternoon. The wi-fi connection was upstairs in the restaurant, and the man downstairs said I could use it but please to buy a drink or something. Of course, I said in reply.

In the restaurant it was nice and warm and dry and the internet connection was solid and of a reasonable speed. What I had not counted on however was that to plug the netbook into a wall socket was going to cost an additional 200Y per 20 minutes. Now seeing as the netbook draws less than half an amp at 100 volts, I am sure that this would put this particular power charge as about the most exorbitant on the planet. Next time I shall make sure the netbook is fully charged. What I was hoping to achieve was to research a few of my potential ports of call on 'Google Earth', but I immediately hit a snag. In rebooting the netbook I needed to reinstall Google Earth, but when I had done so it would not work properly. I suspect it is something to do with the netbook's screen resolution being too small, but this is only a guess and I really have no idea. Anyway, my primary mission had to be aborted and instead I checked some emails and the weather.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon going for a walk, despite the unabated rain, for a little exercise and to inspect my environs. Miyanoura Ko certainly does not have the charm of our previous port, perhaps it is too much of a tourist destination, though certainly it is a beautiful island. While the steady rain is a detraction, undoubtedly it is part and parcel of the island's beauty. The highlight of my short walk was standing in the middle of a bridge spanning a wide and fast flowing river looking up into the mountains. The clouds swept over their peaks, numerous heavily forested dark green spurs ran down to the river banks, each spur softening in the light as it receded into the distance, and from the valleys in between the spurs emanated wisps of smoky cloud. I took some photos which of course will not do the scene any justice, especially with rain drops spattered over the lens, but I will try to post them when I can so that they might supplement my equally inadequate description.

Tomorrow I hope to do some more exploring, further into the interior of the island by bus. Yakushima is world heritage listed, and apparently is famed for its ancient cedars. The carvings in the tourist shops are indeed impressive (and expensive), so I figure trying to see some of these trees in their natural state, alive, will be worth the effort.

All is well.