Irene Returns Home via the “Birthplace of the Winds”

  June 1, 2021  -  July 29, 2021 Gale NW Pacific Ocean As expected, our passage from the Japanese island of Hokkaido to the American island of Attu in the Aleutian Island chain of Alaska was blessed by plenty of wind, rain, and fog. Seki-san, our advisor and host in Kushiro, Japan, nodded approvingly as we declared our intention to depart in the morning. “Perfect weather!” he declared. He had brought big bags of onions and asparagus as a parting gift to us. Our timing was dictated by the arrival of a low pressure system delivering rain but also plenty of wind to the region. “Don’t go too close to Russia!” he warned. The great circle route we intended to follow did take us close to the Kuril Islands, where his family had lived until they were expelled in 1945 when those islands were changed from Japanese to Russian ownership. We appreciated Seki-san’s sailorly wisdom. In the past, in other parts of the world, well intentioned people have given us poor advice suggesting that