Japan

Sushi Run Boats Prepare for 2010 Continuation

Original 2009 Route Map of the GSSR - Courtesy Ken Williams

Original 2009 Route Map of the GSSR - Courtesy Ken Williams

Ken Williams, who, with his wife Roberta, owns the Nordhavn 68 Sans Souci, reports that the 2010 cruising season for the boats of the Great Siberian Sushi Run (GSSR) is approaching. In an email today to followers of his blog, Williams reports that the boats, which traveled from Seattle, Washington to Osaka Japan last year, will this year explore more of Japan and finish in Hong Kong. You can read our coverage of the start of the GSSR last year here.

Williams says, remarkably, that the 2,000 mile voyage will likely include only one overnight passage — that from Taiwan to Hong Kong.  Here’s a quick summary of the trip from Williams’ e-mail:

2010 Route Plan of the GSSR From Osaka to Hong Kong -- Courtesy of Ken Williams

2010 Route Plan of the GSSR From Osaka to Hong Kong -- Courtesy of Ken Williams

“Our journey this year “should” be much easier than last year. We’ll be traveling from Osaka Japan, into Japan’s inland sea, where we’ll visit Hiroshima and Fukuoka. Somewhere along the way we’ll visit South Korea, but we won’t be taking the boats. It’s too complicated, and expensive, to clear the boats out of Japan, into South Korea, and then back into Japan. Instead, we’ll park the boats somewhere and take a ferry into South Korea. Once back on the boats we’ll explore Nagasaki and Kyushu Japan, then head south along the Ryukyu Island Japan, visiting Okinawa along the way. Allegedly the Ryukyu islands are a chain of tropical islands, reminiscent of Hawaii. We’ll then leave Japan from the island of Ishigaki and head to Taiwan, where we’ll visit the factory where our Nordhavn boats were born. Our group will be the first Nordhavns to ever return to the factory, so everyone is very excited. After that we’ll head to Hong Kong.”

To read more about the run, including who else will be in the group this year, you can read Ken Williams’ blog here. And if you haven’t already picked up his books on cruising, you should. They’re a great mix of journal-like entries with a narrative that let’s you share his learning experiences along the way. We have a link to the online store where you can order them over on the right sidebar (that link is not a paid ad; it’s there because I like Ken’s writing and hope to expand his readership even farther).

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Destinations, Maintenance & DIY, Passagemaking News, People, Powerboats, seamanship

GSSR Reaches Japan: Sushi Must Wait

GSSR Route Map Showing Progress to Date  -- Image Courtesy of Ken Williams

GSSR Route Map Showing Progress to Date -- Image Courtesy of Ken Williams

Ken Williams aboard Sans Soucireports that the Great Siberian Sushi Run has reached Japan, although the arrival there apparently had a number of unexpected events.  In a somewhat ironic twist of fate, the crewmembers of Sans Souci, the first Nordhavn 68, and Seabird and Grey Pearl (both Nordhavn 62s) couldn’t find an open sushi restaurant on arrival day and some of them, at least, ended up dining on Chinese cuisine.  More alarming was the fact that Sans Soucicrewmember Shelby (the dog) was not allowed to immigrate into Japan due to what Ken describes as a stunningly bureaucratic paperwork issue.  A “Free Shelby!” movement has begun within a Yahoo discussion group known as the Nordhavn Dreamers, with a groundswell (seaswell?) of support for the sole canine aboard.

The GSSR fleet is moored at a marina in Tomakomai on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.  The three ships made a five day passage south from the Russian port city of Petropavlovsk on the Kamchatka peninsula.  Ken Williams reports in his latest blog entry that the passage was without bad weather and that the worst complication was navigating through fields of fishing buoys.  His post has some interesting screen shots taken from the radar displays that nicely illustrate the navigational challenge.

Next stop for the group, and last official stop on the GSSR route, will be the huge port city of Yokohama, on the “main” island of Honshu.  Yokohama is the big industrial port inside Tokyo Bay.  Readers who are considering a stop in Japan should read the latest blog entry from Ken as he describes in typical high-resolution detail the challenges of international immigration; not just for crew but also for the boat. 

Copyright © 2009 OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Destinations