In port – Aomori, Japan
Day 11 – Tuesday, October 2, 2007
From the Navigator
This morning we will sail on a westerly course towards Aomori, Japan where we will embark the local pilot at 7:00am. The weather forecast predicts an outside temperature of 64 degrees and a gentle breeze from the west-northwest force 3.
I had a difficult time trying to sleep this morning so I got up and dressed for the day. It is now 4:305am. Since we did not see the island of Hokkaido yesterday, I just had to get up and see if I could see it this morning. I did observe the lights of what I assumed were cities off our starboard beam (amidships). To be sailing through the waters that our brother Junior sailed thru on his arrival to the war torn country of Japan, just gave me chills. Of course this time of day, the ship seems deserted, with just those members of the crew that had the night watch, in evidence. I am glad I got up.
Aomori is located in the extreme northern territory on Honshu, Japan on Aomori bay. Opened to foreign trade in 1906, it is now the chief port of northern Honshu with a population of 299,000. It is also the chief transportation center of Northern Honshu, with important rail lines and ferry services and the site of the world’s longest tunnel, the Siekan Tunnel which stretches 33.4 miles and connects Honshu and Hokkaido. Fish and lumber are among its exports, many of which are shipped to Hokkaido; Aomori is a modern city, rebuilt after a disastrous fire in 1910 and again after severe air raids in 1945.
Aomori resources include timber lands and their world-famous apple orchards. In addition they produce rice, fish, beef and dairy products. Lake Towada, a beautiful caldera, lies on the boundary between Akita and Aomori Prefectures. The Oirase River drains Lake Towada; in the summer it is refreshing and in the autumn the eaves are breathtaking.
Arrival time: 8:00 am – All Aboard: 5:30 PM
Welcome and Farewell Music
The Aomori Port Bureau will provide welcome music upon our arrival from 8:30am – 9:30am pier-side. Upon our departure from 5:15 pm – 6:00pm there will be a festive sail away with music once again provided by the Aomori Port Bureau.
Sunrise calls – more when we get back.
I want to close this report and get it in the mail, however, our visit to Aomori was so special that I want to write a full report, and I need some time Wednesday to do it justice. I just need to add a special thanks to our Internet/email friend; Hideki Yamada, because of you, we fell in love with your hometown.
Jack and Barbara