Sunday, August 13, 2017

Special T-shirt Arrived Overnight

T-shirt, memorial, sailing sabani, race, Sir Peter Blake

Late Night Message

Saturday night, sometimes finds me in a local watering hole and, it was one of those nights.

DING: A message came through on the iPhone, saying my T-shirt was delivered.

It was placed in the mailbox at the office. It would wait until morning.

It's a good thing the crime rate is low in this part of the world. Nobody, swiped my shirt.

Last month, I traveled to Zamami-jima for my fifth consecutive year to photograph this event.

The Maririn Cup, is a local race in the Kerama Islands.

The big event, is the Sir Peter Blake Memorial Cup Race, from Zamami to Okinawa Island.

A passing typhoon made this the longest of the sailing sabani races, I've ever witnessed.

Only three boats finished, within the six hour time limit. The rest struggled to get home.

Normally, there's a big celebration at the finish, with bands and free beer.

We dragged our exhausted, sunburned bodies to the closing ceremony and got a beer.

Suddenly, rain busted out and closed out the closing ceremonies. After, only one free beer !

Everybody ran for shelter and the bands, dancers and beer kegs, went home.

We were told, the T-shirts would get to us at a later date. It's a pretty busy shirt.

Sir Peter Blake

If, you were a Kiwi (New Zealander) and, didn't know this man, they'd lock you up.

He's the most famous yachting sailor, who ever went out to sea.

Broke every ocean sailing record in the world including sailing around the world.

Peter Blake was the only one, to take the America's Cup from the Americas. Twice !

After 2000 America's Cup win, he retired from yacht racing and, became an environmentalist.

On an expedition to the Amazon in Brazil, he was killed by pirates.

Going after the robbers with a gun, Blake was shot twice and died instantly.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Almost Full Moon Over Okinawa AUG 8 2017

Moon the 8th of August, Okinawa, Japan

Waning Gibbous 99.6 Percent

This is about as round as I've seen it get during the month of August this year.

The local moon phases calendar, says the moon was full at 03:10 this morning.

As I was walking the dog home, from buying my coffee, I saw the moon setting.

About 5 AM and the skies were hazy but, it looked like the moon was going to hit the highway.

Tonight, I climbed up on the roof and was waiting for moonrise at 7:30 PM.

It appeared shortly after I set the camera up, surrounded by fast moving black clouds.

There were 60 photos in the camera, when I stopped shooting and downloaded.

Tonight, I'll just post this one and, another on my Facebook Page, Ryukyu Life.

The remaining images, I may use to create a slideshow, showing the moving clouds.

All photos were taken, using a tripod and the camera timer at 2 or, 12 seconds.

Various exposure settings were used, depending on the brightness of the moon.

For this image, here's the camera specs:

Camera: Pentax K1

Lens: Sigma 50-500 with 1.4 converter Focal Length 700 MM

Exposure:  f/22   1/5 sec   ISO 100

Location: Kin Town Okinawa Japan

Date and Time: AUG 8 2017  8:06 PM

NOTE: AUG 22 2017 there will be a Black Moon over Okinawa at 03:30.

Do you think, I should climb up on the roof, to shoot it while it's in a black sky ?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Full Moon AUG 2017 Over Okinawa Japan

Some Tricky Weather

Depending on which source you use the full moon this month could be anywhere from the 6-8th.

It's best to get out and shoot it, any time it peeks through the clouds.

A passing typhoon has left the skies cloudy and hazy and, no moon was visible last night.

Earlier, I shot a few images around 8PM but, they were cloudy.

When the moon got higher in the sky, much sharper images were possible.

Camera: Pentax K1

Lens: Sigma 50-500 with 1.4 converter Focal length 700MM

Exposure: f/16  1/60   ISO 100

Location: Kin Town Okinawa Japan

Date and Time: AUG 7 1017  8:37PM

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Seeing Hacksaw Ridge

Not the Movie - The Terrain

War movies aren't something you'll catch me watching very often. War kinda sucks.

We've heard about the film "Hacksaw Ridge" and, seen a few promotional clips.

Doc Graff and I, decided to take a hike, with cameras and, check the place out.

Japanese film poster advertising Hacksaw Ridge

It was a blazing hot August day and, we were sweating like a few hogs in a roaster.

There's a little museum-looking building we came across and, saw this poster.

The building is called Urasoe Youdore and, it's well worth paying 100 yen to visit.

The staff are friendly and gave us permission to take photos. Little English is spoken.

But, we get by with our pidgin Japanese and Okinawan Hogen.

Desmond Doss photo from 1995 visit to Okinawa

There are all sorts of treasures in this climate controlled building.

They have archaeological, historical and war-related artifacts on display and, I found this photo.

It shows Medal of Honor recipient, Desmond Doss, visiting Okinawa in 1995. 

Explanation of Hacksaw Ridge and Desmond Doss in English and Japanese

For those who never heard of Desmond Doss or Hacksaw Ridge, I shot this photo.

The stone marker, dedicated to him, has been moved over the years.

We had trekked the lower levels of the hill but, wanted to walk Hacksaw Ridge entirely.

That's because there's a spot named Desmond Doss Point, up there somewhere.

All along the walkways, going up and down those hills, there are caves.

The vegetation is too thick, to see many of them and, it's fairly rough terrain.

Not far from the Urasoe Castle walls, we located Desmond Doss Point and, this photo was taken.

The Original Stone Marker

The day wouldn't be complete, without locating the stone dedicated to Pfc. Doss.

A gentleman, working at the museum, gave us directions to the Adventist Church.

It's located far from Hacksaw Ridge, in Kitanakagusuku.

The International Seventh-day Adventist Church, maintains the marker.

Stone marker dedicated to Pfc. Desmond Doss

The church was located and, a middle aged woman came out to show us the location of the stone.

We thanked her and, asked if photography would be allowed. She gave the OK.

Reverse side of Desmond Doss marker inscribed in Japanese

The back side of the stone is etched in Japanese. I can read Desmond T Doss.

When we were done, the lady at the church, invited us to go inside the buildings.

We're sweating like a couple of goats in heat by now and, I ain't crazy about churches.

So, we thanked her and, said it was time for us to get back on the highway.

Church people are alright and, I try to be respectful around them but, don't get too close.

They're religious and I'm sacrilegious so, don't want none of my stuff getting rubbed into them.

 If, you decide to visit Hacksaw Ridge, there's parking at the bottom of the trail. 

For a shorter hike, I recommend parking at Urasoe Youdore ; don't forget to visit the toilets.

There are no Men's or Women's facilities once you leave that parking lot !

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Plant Photo: Goya or Bitter Melon

Goya, Bitter Melon, Bitter Gourd, Bitter Squash

It's Actually a Fruit

This monster is hanging just outside my kitchen door, along with half a dozen others.

They look something like bumpy cucumbers but, these babies got some powerful kick.

This happens to be my first year, attempting to grow my own. Well, the wife's growing them.

I'm just the guy responsible for constructing the net, they hang from.

The Goya is plentiful on Okinawa and, I probably eat them 5 times a week.

Also known as Bitter Melon, Bitter Squash and Bitter Gourd, in Okinawa it's just Goya.

The scientific community, would call it, Momordica charantia. That's a sweet name.

Folks in China and Okinawa cook this in stir fry dishes and, it's healthy food.

Tofu, pork and even good old USA Spam or bacon are some of the ingredients in the recipe.

Not really a cook, I am a big fan of the meal called Goya Champuru.

The wife, knows the recipe and, all the secret ingredients added to the dish.

Lately, I've been getting Facebook messages, asking for the recipe. My wife's is the best.

For now, try some of Just Hungry's recipes and, see if you like the meal.

Someday if, you email me, I might show you another secret ingredient the woman adds.