December 18, 2010

Arrived Caicos

Three long days of hard sailing brings us to Caicos. 570 of the 2660nm to Panama completed. There is some weather coming, so we will be here for a few days to let that pass before getting our move on again. For the first time in the adventure we actually needed to dawn the foul weather gear. The thorny path has lived up to it's name and we are glad to take a break from the seas Neptune gave us.

Uploaded a video-blog of us arriving and navigating the shallows, lots of heads to avoid some only inches others just feet under the water...

(Link to embedded Youtube video)

December 15, 2010

New Friends in Georgetown

Spent a few days in Georgetown, the big city of the Exumas, waiting for a bit of weather to pass. We anchored just off the Chat'n Chill beach bar. It was really cool to meet new people and reunite with a few that we met on the way north in May.

Georgetown is 260 completed of the 2660nm to Panama, from here we get our move on...

I got inspired by a few guests to the boat to make a video-blog, please enjoy.

(Link to embedded Youtube video)

October 19, 2008

Freedom in London

Great news for Londoners, McD's has not yet stolen the right to deep fried apple pie. I guess this shouldn't be surprising since they are the home of a lot of famous deep fried goodies like Fish and Chips, Deep fried Mars bars and best of all Deep fried frozen pizza.


January 10, 2008

The Ramen Master

Before coming to Tokyo Shimpei had mentioned a new Ramen place had opened about a block away from his station and it was really good taste. We headed off for dinner with the typical Japanese style directions, "from the station cross the tracks, then walk to the 7-11 and hang a left and after a bit you'll know when your there". It was very easy to find with a long line of people and a simple sign "eat ramen here".

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January 1, 2008

The Deadly Poisonous Killer Japanese PufferFish

Fugu NabeYes... Challenging life, death or worse! Fugu paralyzes the muscles while the victim stays fully conscious. There have been tales of people being taken to the hospital and put in the morgue and wake up at some point later if they don't die from that whole not breathing thing.

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December 27, 2007

First Ramen of the Trip

There are few traditions in Japan that revolve around New Year, one of these it to do house repairs and yearly house tasks. For us this means changing all the batteries in the clocks, clean and repair all the light fixtures and what ever needs renewal. So, we needed to head off to one of the main stations to replace a gas hose for the cooking stove. There is a good ramen place up the hill in Minami-Senri, and they serve a good bowl of spicy tonkotsu ramen with really nice chashu (roasted pork).

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December 26, 2007

The Land of Tanuki (Part 1)

You know you're headed off to a distant land when the final train in the journey is a single car, it's even better when it has a picture of the thing that represents the area that your headed off to.... TANUKI.... Ok, lets start form the beginning, a long time ago when Christen was still living in the valley she took it as her responsibility to make sure I had a correct understanding of Japanese culture despite Mikiko's objections. And it went something like;
  • Tan Tan Tanuki no kintama wa, Kaze mo nai no ni, Bura bura
  • (English) - Tan-tan-tanuki's testicles, there isn't any wind but still go swing swing
Welcome to Shigaraki, home of Tanuki-chon...

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December 20, 2007

Back to Lilliputian Land

Another day starts with the alarm clock going off, and me heading off to LAX to jump on some airplane heading to a hotel in a far away land. The difference this time, Mikiko is not dropping me at the bus stop and leaving, we are dropped by my mom and headed home to Japan instead of a hotel, wow... home... For a first in my life I'm head off on this mysterious thing I've only heard others remark off-handedly about, vacation...

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November 11, 2006


Kushikatsu is a style of food from the Konsi area of Japan (Osaka, Nara, Kobe, Kyoto, Suita). In a few respects it is like going to a sushi bar, the food itself is an art form of flavors and textures. There are also different levels of taste and quality, from sticks you can buy at the local market, stands on the train platform to high quality restaurants.

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November 9, 2006

Japanese Lunch

After we unpacked and got the house in order Miki and her Mom made a nice lunch of Sesame bread, hand made sausages, Chinese Shumai dumplings with hot Japanese mustard and a salad made from seaweed, onions, cucumber and tomatoes. Nice strong Japanese style coffee, we are set.... The sausages taste similar to ones that our Uncle Sam and Elva used to get made from pigs they raised, the traveling butcher that serviced their area was something special ( and if you ever have a full sized pig rendered into meat products you will have more then you can store yourself and will end up just like Sam and Elva giving sausages to every family member, neighbor, friend and a few strangers).

Japanese Breakfast

Japanese Breakfast - Sakana (Shisyamo) After only getting a few hours of sleep, Okason made a normal Japanese style breakfast for us. It was a bowl of rice, bowl of Miso soup, a bit of Tofu and a plate of little fish to share. Nice typical breakfast in Japan.

Shinchon and Michon, brother and sister ( can you tell? ) - breakfast after driving 6 hours to Osaka

Japanese Breakfast - Along with fish we have Miso soup, Tofu and rice
Japanese Breakfast - Along with fish we have Miso soup, Tofu and rice

Cheap United Flight

A few months ago Miki and I went down to the Torrance area to get the hard top installed on the Geo Tracker, after the install we headed to the Japanese market, while walking about we found JTB was selling round trip to Japan for $299 each. After inquiring at travel desk we confirmed the rate and found there was also about $200 in taxes, fuel surcharges and airport use fees... Still round trip to Japan for $500 was hard to pass up.... We jumped.....

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August 30, 2006

Fishing is fun

Big enough for 2Last year, we had a really good time fishing here in Yosemite. Water was nice and clean, trees gave cool shades, beautiful scenery and small creatures. It was almost therapeutic just to be in such a wonderful nature. So fishing at Tuolumne river was one of my main reasons why I wanted to come to Yosemite.

Yesterday evening, I had sudden urge to go fishing. It was already getting dark outside, but I had to go. Keath and Kodiak agreed to come with me. We packed fishing tools quickly and started walking towards the dam. Walked around the pond and entered the trail, we realized the level of water was really really low. Even at the dam, water level was almost 3 feet lower than the edge of dam, not like last year with full of water and the width of the river is almost 1/3 of its full width. Instead of water, there's huge sand bar in the middle. Keath checked the shallow stream and noticed some fish still there. If there is fish, we have to try, don't we?

As the result, Keath got a baby (about 6 inches long). Too small to bring home. Say good-bye to the kid and release him back to the stream. See you next year! It's really dark and cold already. I was really disappointed, almost sad to see the changes of the river, no catch and too cold as I forgot to grab jacket. I wish I could come here a couple weeks ago when the river was still full of water and fish.

Good eatDuring Kodiak's walk this evening, we decided to check the other parts of the same river. One section was shallow, but still has nice flow and, and, and FISH! Yey yey yey yey! Sorry Kodiak. We need to go back to RV and get the fishing tools.

I heard it before that "the fish you can see is the fish you cannot catch". I don't remember when and where I heard about this, well, it's true. We can see lots of trout swimming, chasing each other, or making splash right in front of our eyes. But, nobody wants to play with our lure or yummy bites. Smart fish.

After trying different methods, Miki caught 1 good size trout. Clean up and bring it back to home. There must be hundreds of good recipe to cook trout. As fish-eater Japanese, I'd rather cook it simple to enjoy its freshness. Means - salt the fish and gill it on BBQ. I wish we could have wood campfire and grill these fish... It must be the best way to eat fresh fresh-water fish. Unfortunately, the fire danger level is really high in Yosemite and no wood campfire now. (I bought marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers... Sad)

Kodiak is also fish-eater Japanese (dog). He was stirring at our main dish during the dinner. Sorry Kodiak. We can't share this with you because you have very sensitive stomach. Trust me, this is tough love. LOL

August 28, 2006

Blackberry and turkeys

Bears' favorite - BlackberryYesterday, we found blackberry bushes while out walking Kodi. The whole area is covered with blackberry bushes, which are all full of berries. We tasted some and it was really good. So this morning, my main job is - to pick some blackberries! (Not those blackberry device addicts! (CrackBerrys?))

Make sure to wear long pant since blackberry vine has thorns like roses. Tiny, but sharp thorns give your hands and legs nice itchy scratch. Grab a container and my good body Sony CyberShot and go!

At the beginning, I was more playing with thorns than blackberries. Man, such a friendly thorns! It really wants me. After few scratches, I started learning where and how to pick berries. Once I get used to it, I was hopping from this vine to other vine like honeybee. Shortly after, I filled the whole container with blackberries and headed back home.

10 oz of blackberryKeath was impressed how much I picked and decided to weigh it. 10 oz! Wow! That's a lot! hhhmmmm... How are we gonna eat... Muffin? Sounds good. Pancake or Belgian Waffles? Then need whipped cream. It will be nice to throw some in yogurt. O! Blackberry salad dressing will be Nouvelle Cuisine a la Yosemite. LOL

Keath, Kodiak and I went to Jamestown and Sonora in the afternoon. While cruising in Sonora, we saw a sign said "Turkey Ranch". That sounds much more fun than walking around the old downtown area. Let's go check the big ugly birds.

Well, turkey ranch was filled with turkey. Look around you and all you see is turkey. And they are watching you, too. For some reason, Watching the farm instead of something like petting zoo I expected to see, I was overwhelmed by hundreds of turkeys and their smell. Take some pictures and drive back to the town.

Shine like cavier

To see turkey pictures? Click "Continue reading"

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August 26, 2006

Way to Yosemite

Are we there yet?Yeah! We finally made it to Yosemite! We put up with the delivery nightmare of Data Satellite System just to come to Yosemite. And here we are in Yosemite at the first time this summer.

Left Acton in the afternoon yesterday. Took care of some errands before leaving LA, then headed up north. Our plans is drive as far as we could and stay at a Wal-Mart parking, and leave early in the morning to get to Yosemite. Hopefully we can reach Fresno before midnight.

Since there wasn't any traffic, Keath pushed more and more and at the last, he decided to spend the night at Wal-Mart in Turlock. This is the first time we spent overnight at a Wal-Mart. It wasn't bad, actually, it was nice and safe as 3 security constantly checking their parking lot all through the night. I was way too tired and crashed, but even security alert man, Keath, had a good sleep after confirm that Wal-Mart parking is much safer than he thought.

Strange name 1/2Got up early and get ready to move. Well, we meant to do that. Just needed to fill RV, get some parts for RV, grocery shopping, etc took longer than we calculated originally. No problem. It's still before noon. LOL.

No major traffic or anything until we hit the notorious Priest Grade. The old one is too steep for RV, so we took new PG. In the middle of steep hill, they were re-doing the road and controlled 1 lane traffic. Luckily, we didn't need to wait too long to pass the section.

After Priest Grade, enjoy the scenery and cruise to Yosemite Lake. We hoped we could get the same end site as we had last year. Unfortunately, the new manager of the park changed the whole area designated ONLY for the park employees. That's not fair. They have 50amp power (even it's metered) while the rest of the park have only 30amp hook-up. And that area gets the best satellite receptions, too. Oh, well. That's bummer. Hope this is not the sign of "not so happy changes" by the new park management. Hey, we would love to see "Improvement" for members. Of course, happy employees will serve better. Then, make members happier, please.

BTW, our moving house hit 55555miles on the way to Yosemite. Here's some memorial shot.

55555 miles☆

November 8, 2005

Fun with Google Maps II

Jeff, Miki and I Playing with google maps (again)

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