Back on the boat

We are back on the boat after a fantastic although rather tiring 5-week ”holiday from the holiday” in Europe that saw us visit 16 countries and drive over 10,000 kilometres. We had fun celebrating a family birthday in Spain, and enjoyed stops in many beautiful places along the way. We also visited several historical places, and the girls got a homeschooling lesson about the sad history of World War II when they first stepped into Anne Frank’s hiding place in Amsterdam, and later witnessed the scene of crimes committed at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

The boat has survived our absence well, but we did spend a whole day preparing her for the eventuality of a typhoon while we are absent. We were fortunate in that no typhoons visited the marina while we were gone, but the most powerful typhoon season is only beginning now, and there are in fact three tropical depressions currently on the radar in this area. As per this morning’s forecast, two of those appear to pose little threat to us, but the third one (already typhoon force) called “Noru” is forecast to only grow stronger, and the experts appear to be puzzled as to the direction it will take next week once it has gathered more power. Needless to say, we won’t be taking off in the next few days, and the tens of lines that are holding our boat and its sails currently, together with the oversized fenders that are meant to keep her from ramming into the dock in case of a strong wind, will have to stay in place.

The continued delay is frustrating for several reasons. Of course, we would finally like to be on our way again, but the most worrying aspect (apart from the risk of a typhoon hitting the marina!) is that we have had to commit to a particular route and timing in connection with our renewed port application to the Japanese Ministry of Transport, and the weather isn’t exactly making it easy for us to stick with that commitment. Fortunately, at least the marina that we are in understands the situation and won’t kick us out tomorrow even though that is when our current berthing agreement ends.

In any case, we’ll now be stocking up our fridge and freezer, fueling up, cleaning the hull and propeller and checking that all gear works, and then we will just be hoping that Noru takes the path of least destruction and that there are no new tropical depressions forming in the meantime.

Finnish midsummer celebrations.
Swedish coast seen from the Finland-Sweden ferry.
Nyhavn, Copenhagen.
We fitted in a day in Legoland, Denmark.
Windmills in Holland.
View over Luxembourg old town.
Begur on Costa Brava, Spain. Spent a week for birthday celebrations here.
Another week was spent in Javea on Costa Blanca, Spain.
We stayed in the French Alps for a few days. Lovely, cool weather.
Prague city view, Czech Republic.
Former Auschwitz concentration camp, Poland.
The girls grabbed every opportunity to do schoolwork. Big Sis studying in Spain.
20 minutes before arrival at our final destination, we crossed the 10,000 km line.
Fireworks in the marina the first day we were back in Japan made our return feel festive.
However, the forecast about typhoon Noru also greeted us upon our arrival…

 

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