Sunday, August 23, 2009

We made it home!  奄美ー九州横断完成

Iojima-Sata Misaki
During this expedition, satelite tracking was made possible by SPOT.

We actually made it to Kyushu's southernmost point, Cape Sata, late at night the day before yesterday. But to get closer to our car, we followed that up the next morning with a crossing of Kagoshima Bay. Car recovery (from the ferry parking lot in Kagoshima City) still took the entire afternoon of walking and riding trains. Loading the nearly 7m long kayak onto our 3.5m minicar (making it look somewhat aircraft-like), we proceeded homeward under cover of darkness, dropping the boat off at the Water Field Kayaks factory in Kumamoto and eventually arriving at our domicile at about 3:30 in the morning. We are recuperating today from what was by far the longest day of the trip!

tidal race2
The Kuroshio races off the northern tip of Kuchino-shima, further roughed up by a persistent east wind. We waited for two days before setting off into marginally better conditions. In all, out of 14 days we only spent 3 days waiting out the weather - a statistic that points to our good luck on this trip. 口之島の最北端の沖合い激潮が発生している。この状態はもうちょっと良くなったまで、二日間待っていた。しかしこの旅の14日間から、3日間しか待なければならなかった。それは僕たちにとって普段より運が良かった。

tidal race

今朝深夜やっと帰宅しました。皆の応援やサポート有難う。九州への横断はもう一昨日の夜中九州最南端の佐多岬に着いた際完成したけど、鹿児島進行で駐車していた車の回収をもうちょっと簡単にする為、昨日の朝鹿児島湾口を横断して指宿の長崎鼻海岸に着いた。それなのに車の回収は昼の残りをかかった。結局借りたカヤックをWater Field Kayaksの熊本での工場で持って行ってやっと深夜三時半うちに着きました。遠征の一番長い一日だったですね。今日寝不足で疲れてゆっくり休みます。

From the clifftop at the Heike Castle viewpoint on Ioujima, Leanne looks at Takeshima and Showa-Ioujima over the indigo waters of the Kuroshio, here and there discolored by volcanic hot springs. The latter island erupted out of the sea only in 1934. 硫黄島の平家城展望台からみた竹島、昭和硫黄島、そして温泉水に色を変われた海。この強い潮流が変わるまで硫黄島を出るまで午後3時ごろまで待っていた。

Ioujima's highest peak Iou-dake, or Sulfur Mountain, is an active volcano. In the words of local official Mr. Tokuda, "It's the hottest volcano in Japan. When it's going to blow, nobody knows. If it does, we'll all run for the fishing boats, head to sea, and wait for rescue there." Many thanks to Tokuda-san for letting us have his truck for the morning so we could poke around the island and take these pictures. 「いつ爆発するのか誰も知らない」の硫黄島の活動の多い硫黄岳。出張所長の徳田さんによると、日本全国での一番温度の高い火山です。噴火すれば、皆島の漁船に乗って沖へ逃げると言いました。徳田さんは自分の軽トラックを島の探検の為僕たちに貸してくれて有難うございます。

ioujima ferry
The ferry comes to Ioujima twice a week, stirring up the mango-colored, volcanic-spring-fed water of the port. In spite of the local officials' honest efforts to increase tourism, hardly anyone comes to visit this beautiful and fascinating place. Why not is a bit beyond our comprehension too. 硫黄島の港の海底温泉によるマンゴ色に染めた海水を掻き回しながら、定期船が入港します。ローカル政治家も取り組んでいるくせにこんな面白くて美しい場所なのに、中々観光客が来ないって。これは私たちも余り理解できない。


OK, bye bye! Leanne is stranded on a buoy in the middle of the mouth of Kagosima Bay. 里杏は、鹿児島湾口の中央付近にある神瀬浮標に登っちゃった。

The goal is in sight during the final hours of the expedition: approaching Nagasaki-bana on the coast of Satsuma Peninsula with the Fuji-like Kaimondake wreathed in rainclouds. 遠征の最後の数時間、鹿児島湾を横断しながら、土砂降りの雲の覆われた開聞岳を望む。

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  • Congratulations! You guys made it! There always has to be at least one Christ journey on a trip.

    It was great to follow your progress on this trip.

    By Blogger lubo, at 10:55 am  

  • thanks. it's always a little depressing to return to reality after such a fantastic adventure.

    By Blogger Leanne and Rik Brezina, at 1:24 pm  

  • So great to hear you are home! What a trip! I really enjoyed reading your updates and checking out your progress on SPOT! Sometimes you were in process of paddling and it was so cool to 'see' where you were at!

    It seemed like a trip of a lifetime! So happy for you two!

    By Blogger Kootenay Mom and Dad, at 12:57 pm  

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