Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Scenes from Zamami Island 2014 Sailing Sabani Race

Motion GIFs of the Boats in Action


This year, the course was changed due to rough sea conditions.

Instead of sailing from Zamami Island to Naha, Okinawa the race was held in the Keramas.

sabani boats racing around Zamami Jima

The sea was relatively calm, close to the islands.

wooden sabani boats sailing

It was a beautiful, sunny day.

boats sailing around islands

For awhile, it had me wondering. Why not sail to Naha ?

sabani sailing around Zamami Islands

As you probably noticed, I'm bouncing around on a fishing boat.

silver sail, 3 man sabani

Each team had an escort boat, somewhere nearby, for safety.

3 man sabani team

Peeking through a camera viewfinder, I'm busy, looking for the Umimaru team.

sailing sabani race

With 30-40 boats racing, it would take some time to find them.

3 sabani boats racing

I take advantage of he light to shoot different types of the traditional wooden boats.

sabani with outrigger

A few, had outriggers and some had, two sails.

sabani sailing by lighthouse

The weather, seemed perfect, to me.

And, I was a little bit disappointed, that the race to Okinawa was cancelled.

Leaving the Kerama Islands

We rode a commercial fishing boat back to Naha, Okinawa.

Just a few minutes away from Zamami Island, I learned, why the race was cancelled.

The swells, in the ocean, made waves a few meters high.

They would have swallowed any one of the sailing sabani boats.

A few times, I thought our boat was going to capsize.

But, we had a captain who knew how to handle the seas and, I thanked him for the ride.



On the ferry, going to Zamami Jima some gals, asked the age of this old cameraman.

So, one of the sabani dudes told them.

"Mike, he's a Super Grandpa, about 90 years old or, so."

young Okinawan woman waving


I won't be 90 for another 13 birthdays or, so.

Okinawa.  I couldn't think of any place, on earth, I'd rather live.

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