Monthly Archives: March 2015

Looking for a place to drop in

IMG_4496Another beautiful day in Shimane… I decided to take the bike out today to seek out a nice spot to drop-in with the new stand-up paddle board. While I know of a few places already, I was hoping to find something new. I spent the day riding along the coast, following some of the same roads as from the Winter Seaside Ride post.

I came across fishermen, a couple of scuba divers taking a lunch break, and some surfers as well. I ended up finding a great spot just the other side of the “意味ない橋” (Meaningless Bridge), or the Marine Bridge, as they actually call it. There is a nice little protected cove, behind a tetrapod barrier, perfect for launching from. It gives access to a few small islands, which are perfect for fishing, as well as a nice starting point for a trip beneath the bridge. It seems like commercial traffic may be something to consider, but I can’t wait to strap the SUP to the back of the bike and paddle out do do a lap of the islands.

It looks like I can do a  few nice routes from this launch point. There are three islands; Majima, Yanajima, and Setogashima, which is the island the launch point is on.  A lap around Setogashima would be nice safe option, as there are no potential crossings of commercial traffic from the port. Yanajima is the next safest, being the smaller of the two other islands.  I guess I will just have to get out there and see how it goes sometime soon.

I think a sunset paddle would be fantastic in this area…

Touring is not just for bikes…

IMG_0549While I was in Hawaii for work in Feb/March, I ended up purchasing a new stand-up paddle board. It was not a big surprise, as I have been considering purchasing one for quite a while now. I had been looking into a relatively cheap Japanese inflatable SUP for a while, but while I was in Oahu I ended up stopping by Blue Planet and renting some of their inflatables to test them out.

The staff was fantastic, and the boards were pretty great as well. I ended up humping a new 12’6″ inflatable touring board home with me. I promised them pictures from the first time I took it out on the Japan Sea, so here the are.

While it was a bit colder than Waikiki, I braved the chilly waters and took the board out for its first venture into the Japan Sea. While one would think that “water is water” and “a beach is a beach”, it definitely seemed different to be paddling in Japan. The water seemed a bit choppier, and I was a bit less willing to fall in. (You may have guessed this from my obviously hacked together outfit, as rarely do you see a surfer in a vest…)

All things considered, my first venture into the Japan Sea went well.  Yes, it was a bit cold, and I obviously need to look into better cold-weather paddling gear, but it was fun, and that is all that matters for now. The board was baptised in Waikiki waters before I brought it home, but now it has tasted the Japan Sea, and I think we are both thirsty for more. I am really looking forward to touring the Shimane coast on my new paddle board in the near future.