Tue 18 Mar 2014 12:04
Weather: mostly sunny, mild.
It would seem that the school here is still in operation. During the day there were three cars parked outside one of the buildings, and I saw a couple of people wandering about at times, adults, no children, so whether the school still functions as a school I cannot say.
I went for a walk both north and south of where Sylph is berthed. Many of the paths are overgrown and there are a few derelict dwellings about. The village to the north looked neat and tidy, and quite picturesque. It even had a post office with an ATM. There is a modest sized pontoon in the boat harbour that is well maintained, unlike the pontoon that Sylph is secured to, so I would assume that there is a regular small ferry that runs from Fukue to all the small villages around the many islands in the Goto Retto archipelago. I have seen a few of them zipping back and forth.
As I was walking along the road back to Sylph I saw the pesky customs boat with its big Cyclops eye approaching the bay. I was worried that they might have wanted to speak to me, so I picked up my pace and tried to attract their attention by waving at them as I made my way down the hill side towards the pontoon. They must have seen me for a couple of men came out on deck to wave at me. I think they were trying to tell me that they did not need to speak with me, for they then went back inside and the boat continued on its way. Presumably it was doing a routine patrol.
After lunch I went for another walk, this time to the south. First of all I crossed the narrow isthmus to the bay opposite. I walked down to the shore line and was dismayed to see a lot of rubbish piled up along the high water mark. It was mostly fishing boat detritus; lots of floats, polystyrene foam, rubber footwear including one white sea boot, sheets of blue plastic, bits of rope, and even a broken life ring. I guess it is not surprising. I am sure even if the fishing boats were really careful they would lose gear in rough weather, and it will naturally tend to accumulate at the head of these sorts of narrow inlets. Though I am sure that what looked like the large rusting rear axle from a small truck did not wash ashore from a fishing boat. If one ignored the rubbish, it was a place of great natural beauty.
Out to sea a little ways there was a large wind turbine. I had seen it as I sailed in yesterday and was curious as to why the blades faced away from the wind, and not into it like most wind turbines. At the village I saw a diagram of it which explained why. The structure was not secured to the sea bed as I had assumed, but rather was moored by chains. This must mean that the blades would naturally want to swing away from the wind, rather than to turn into it as shore based turbines are made to do. Perhaps this is not the sort of information that most people are curious about, but when I notice such oddities my curiosity generally bothers me, and I am pleased when I work out something that puzzles me like this.
I also managed to hike a little ways off the main road up some paths that were not too overgrown. Most of them led to small vegetable patches, generally in a clearing on the top of a hill. I assume they were planted on the hill tops because here the vegetables would receive a good amount of sunshine, whereas on the steep hillsides themselves, they would only get direct sunshine for less than half the day. Alongside one of these vegetable patches was a small van that looked like it was used for storage. I must confess I was intrigued as to how it came to be on the hill top, for the paths were all narrow, steep and quite muddy. I doubt whether a stout four wheel drive vehicle could have made it to the hilltop, yet alone this small urban van. I think I will have to let this puzzle remain unsolved.
Perhaps it has been a bit of a slow news day today. I won't bore you with any more of my conjectures. Tomorrow we will make for Narao, what looks like another small village on the southern headland of Kushi Shima, about eight miles north of here.
All is well.