Sailing Okinawa to Jeju

We have enjoyed our rest time in Ginowan Marina, Okinawa.. we were hiding from typhoon (which fortunately none hit Okinawa directly this year) and working out with shipping companies to bring our little Calliste to Seattle. Yep, we decided not to sail the North Pacific, a whopping 50-80 days out at sea… not for me… not at this time, but maybe in future…

We found that we could only ship from a major port, such as Taiwan, Busan, Osaka/Kobe, Tokyo/Yokohama… and we settled on shipping from Kobe being the best for Calliste at this time. Surprisingly, Seven Stars offered the best price and most convenience for shipping, but we refuse to go back to Kaoshoing, Taiwan due to potential typhoon in this season and no safe harbours along the way, plus we’ll be fighting currents and winds all the way back.

Somebody's gotta do the hard work...

Somebody’s gotta do the hard work…

Alright, we settled on Kobe and so we need to bring Calliste there…. plus its time for Doug to renew his Japan visitor visa (84 days passed so quickly eh?), so we decided on a side trip to Jeju, S Korea… There was this Korean craze and almost everybody is talking about visiting Korea and the beautiful Jeju island where much filming is done for Korean dramas. .. Well, so here’s my chance to do what some people dream about 🙂 .. but since I don’t watch TV much, I have no inkling about the craze…. just a convenient visa run with not much expectation on my part.

Evidence! CRAP!

Evidence! CRAP!

Aug 8 2230hrs, Calliste left her berth at Ginowan, bound Jeju. Weather is expected to be cooperative for this 5 day trip, and it was really good but just to scorching hot in the day.

Lighthouse at inlet to Amami-O shima

Lighthouse at inlet to Amami-O shima

Aug 9 2345hrs, We were making such good progress with the currents moving along with us and then suddenly our motor sounded strange and we cut it off immediately. Checked the engine compartment, everything seems okay in there. Therefore, we must have picked up something on our prop that is not allowing it to even spin. Unlike picking up a bag or fishing line, the prop can spin, but forcing the motor to spin may cause more damage that is expensive to fix. We opted to drift since we have plenty of sea room to do so, and Doug to dive in daylight to see what can be done.

I mean, its scary to dive at night and maybe there’s jelly fish or sharks…. and you couldn’t see what you doing anyway. .. plus we need to rest anyway.

Aug 10 0530hrs, Doug prepared his gear etc… Lang slept like a log… 🙂 … until 0630hrs anyway… Diving alone without on deck visual is not allowed on Calliste, for obvious reasons. Lang on the lookout for fins and jelly, with camera in hand and poised to shoot on sight 🙂 … nope, its not funny if I did see fins or jelly, but we could joke about it now.

Sunset at volcanic islands

Sunset at volcanic islands

And here’s what we caught! Jumbled fishing lines that our spurs couldn’t cut thru. Sigh, that cost us 7hrs (or 35nm), but since we drifted 4nm in our intended direction, we were only set back 31nm (yeah right!).

0700hrs, moving along again. Heading for the west inlet at Amami-O shima. Hope to pick up internet and check weather for the next 2 days at least…

1300hrs – 1500hrs, went 3nm into the inlet and no internet! So disappointed. Another couple hours of lost miles… But we think the fantastic weather is going to hold, and maybe we’ll get something from Takara island in 12hrs from here.

Flat calm waters at Fukue...

Flat calm waters at Fukue…

Aug 11 0200hrs – 0300hrs, picked up DoCoMo network at Takara, but still no internet. Just phone service. Send a few SMS and away we go.

Aug 12, another quiet day at sea. Mostly flat, hardly any wind, no islands that we wish to visit, very hot in the day, motoring along, passing more volcanic islands along the way… and my Navionics charts says these are active and some are underwater, depths are subject to change….

Just like a painting... panaromic

Just like a painting… panaromic

Aug 13 0500hrs – 0900hrs, approaching Fukue shima, the last Japanese island before we turn West to Jeju. Finally picked up internet. Weathers great and nothing major happened while we were out of net 🙂 .. phew? …

Rock Island at Fukue shima

Rock Island at Fukue shima

Well, okay, we get to enjoy the beautiful morning at Fukue. Just like what you see in Japanese painting, layers of mountains in early morning mist, flat calm seas disturbed only a little bit by passing ships moving slowly. Its like nobody is in a hurry around here.

Look! More interesting rocks.

Look! More interesting rocks.

We were attracted by the beautiful rock island at the entrance to the bay…  so we turned into the bay on the South side just to relax and take in the view. No hurries 🙂 . .. feeling quite zen … oommppphhhhh…

I was feeling a little sad that we couldn’t hang out a bit around here. Technically, we are checked out of Japan… therefore we cant anchor or land in Japan.

Exiting the South bay on Fukue shima

Exiting the South bay on Fukue shima

1000hrs, leaving the picturesque Fukue in our wake, on the last 90 nm open sea. Heading WNW. Surprising current carried us along at a nice clip for the whole day and night. Hate to think we’ll be heading into it on our next leg to Fukuoka.

A stunning landmark on approach to Jeju

A stunning landmark on approach to Jeju

Aug 14 0200hrs, we see a huge bright loom in the direction we are headed for. We were confused, isn’t Jeju a touristy island with beautiful scenery? The bright loom suggests a great city with all the lights on… but as we got closer, we started seeing the squid fishing fleet with enormous bright lamps everywhere. Ahhh soooo des neh….

Light bearer heading back to port.

Light bearer heading back to port.

0500hrs, we are approaching Jeju earlier than we anticipated. Surprising current pushed us along at 5 to 6kns constantly. We feel its so much cooler here and we were much appreciative of relief from the heat. Daylight crept up upon us and revealing a crater like mountain right there on our approach. It was a beautiful sight, and I wonder how its formed… most likely volcanic of course..

Passenger and car ferry cut right in front of us too

Passenger and car ferry cut right in front of us too

0800hrs, we are passing in between Jeju and the island on its NE. So much haphazard fishing traffic around here. Surprising amount of wind generators here.

Calliste berthed at Gimn Yeong marina.

Calliste berthed at Gimn Yeong marina.

1030hrs, we are tied up at Gimn Yeong marina. Mr Heo (introduced to us by Yap) was there to meet us. 1100hrs, we were visited by Customs and Quarantine. 1130hrs, we caught a ride downtown with customs officials to do immigration. It was a long ride and they were closed for lunch. So we went across the road and had our 1st Korean meal which turned out to be horrible… then back at immigration and was informed that it was the wrong place.

Gimn Yeong marina office building ...

Gimn Yeong marina office building …

1400hrs, at the ferry terminal immigration office. Cab driver ripped us off 27000 won! That’s US$27 for a US$3 cab ride. Yes, we were so new to the Won that we couldn’t tell between 1000 and 10000 bills. Anyway, we got checked in and free to move around now.

1500hrs, 17000 won cab ride back to Gimn Yeong marina and back to work for Lang… Yep, Lang brings work along wherever she goes… got to do something to feed this lifestyle right.


2 Responses to “Sailing Okinawa to Jeju”

  1. 1 Peter Westall
    August 26, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Great post. You guys seem to have MAGNETS attached to your prop when it comes to ropes and lines in the water…..of course it may be that there are so many!! You really are having some excellent journeys. Good on you.

  2. 2 funvinyldecals
    September 3, 2013 at 2:30 am

    Thanks Peter!

    We are back in Japan, and done the inland sea. There seem to be big need for native English speaking teachers here.. in case you like sushi as much as we do. 🙂

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Sailing 2015: Port Townsend(WA, US) -> Costes Island (BC, Canada)

Sailing 2013: Singapore -> Okinawa -> Kobe

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