Arrived Sato Ne

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 4 Mar 2014 10:37

Position: 31 50.44 N 129 55.30 E
Alongside Sato Ne
Wind: East nor' east F4 moderate breeze
Weather: overcast, light showers, cool
Day's run (since sailing): 99 nm

I was concerned as we were approaching Bono Misaki, the south-west cape of Kyushu, that the wind would remain north of east and that the leg of our passage to Sato Ne from there would be a tight reach in a fresh breeze, but it turned out that I had no need to worry, all went according to plan The wind veered as predicted into the east sou' east, and eased, perhaps in part due to a wind shadow effect from the land. We were in no rush so I left the reef in the mainsail and overnight we jogged along at a nice comfortable four knots.

As you would expect in a densely populated island nation like Japan, there was a fair amount of shipping running up and down the coast. I set the 'Watch Commander' to an interval of twenty minutes or so, depending on circumstances, to ensure that I kept a reasonable look out, so between that and the AIS alarm going off on a fairly regular basis my naps were short and frequent.

Come dawn we had only twenty miles to go. Now that it was light I shook out the reefs and Sylph hummed along at close to seven knots. We were going to arrive at about ten o'clock. I was tempted to make the most of the fair breeze and to pass Sato Ne by. I looked at the charts, but in the end decided against it. There seemed little point in getting too far ahead of schedule, and if we had kept on going then we would have arrived at the next stop on the itinerary at low water, which was not recommended by Bosun Bird's cruising notes.

So we have ended up tying up alongside the fishing harbour here at Sato Ne, just after ten o'clock. After tidying Sylph up I went for a walk, as per my usual routine, to get my bearings ashore. It looks like an interesting town. Situated on a narrow isthmus, it is small and rural. A modest sized white hotel dominates the skyline . . . but, I am tired, so I will continue my account of my first, and second, impressions in tomorrow's blog.

All is well.