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Captain Log ID: 172
Title: Single-handler finished 5 year circumnavigation
Boat Name(Id): Hope II ( 215)
Sailor Name(Id): Masa Fujimura ( 264)
Geo Region: Tahiti, French Polynesia
Date of Occurance: 1996-08-01
Latitude: S 17º   32.399'
Longitude: W 149º   31.2'
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I went to Easter Island, then Pitcaim. Going ashore at Pitcairn was veiy difficult because there is no harbor. I was the controller of a radio net named Hope II. Boats from about 10 different countries checked in. We all had the same goal: Get to Pitcaim. English, South Africans, Germans, Americans - none of them were able to get ashore. An American friend of mine lost his anchor and chain. The crew from a Dutch boat were among the few who got ashore. Me, I dropped anchor in Bounty Bay and went ashore, but stayed only eight hours on the island. The wind shifts there were sudden and dangerous, but the island was so beautiful. I am happy I have been there.
I went to Gambier, Rapa, then back to Tahiti to finish my five-year circumnavigation.
But when I was in Tahiti, I had another problem - my right eye. A French eye doctor told me, "You have a cataract." I was very surprised because I am too young for cataracts. I wanted so much to bring Hope II back to Japan. I had a responsibility to her. She was my good friend and also my spirit. Maybe Hope IIand I were both vety tired. But we would try to sail back to Japan.
I left Bora Bora in August 1996. I still had the cataract problem in my right eye. I was worried because if the same problem occurred in my left eye, it would be impossible to steer.Also, the trade winds were veiy strong each day - between 25 and 30 knots. My situation was very hard. But I sailed the 1,500 miles to Samoa in just 14 days.I sailed to Tuvalu, Kiribati, Micronesia. Twice Hope II faced 40-knot winds. The world climate did not seem normal to me. When I was about 300 miles from Guam, I felt something was really wrong. I had sweat in my body when I heard the Coast Guard weather report from Guam. A monster typhoon was developing 600 miles away in Micronesia, just behind us. Such powerful energy was coming from nature; this time I thought for sure I would die. Hope II had survived 70 knots before, but never 150 knots. "It is the end," I thought. "We will disappear and that is all. I do not want the end. I want to go home."
But I was lucky again. A good wind from behind pushed us for 24 hours toward Guam. The next 24 hours was quiet - the calm before the storm. When I saw the Guam coastline, I cried, "If I can possibly get there I will be OK!" Super-typhoon Aiza was already blowing 160 knots. By the time I got to the Mariana Yacht Club mooring buoy, people said the typhoon would arrive in two days. Soon after my arrival, one of the Americans said hello. His name was Albert. "I am very tired, Al," I said to him. "But I do not not think it is safe here."Masa, I know it's not safe here. I'll show you a good cyclone hole," he said. He was so friendly and helpful. I had a question for Al. "Why are you so helpful to me?" I asked him. He said the Japanese had been very kind to him when he sailed to Japan with his wife. He wanted to pay back some of that kindness to me.
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