Thursday, September 24, 2009

In a fog

We sailed from Kamchatka straight into the biggest fog bank I've ever experienced. It was thick as the proverbial pea soup for about 40 hours. The ship cruises at just under 20 knots, so that's nearly 800 miles of fog. And the ship's fog horn, which is unbelievably loud, was sounding every minute or so the entire time.

We finally broke out a few hours ago (whew!) into beautiful 70-degree weather off the coast of Hokkaido, the north island of Japan. The waters around here are thick with fishing boats. They are *everywhere*. It's a wonder there's a fish left in Japanese territorial waters. (Update: apparently we just caught the evening fishing rush. When we broke out of the fog I could count upwards of twenty fishing boats visible to the naked eye. But now an hour later I can't see any.)

Our immigration adventures continue. We've been told that the Japanese officials want to make a "full inspection" of the passengers before they allow us ashore, including photographs and fingerprints. Ain't travelin' just a hoot 'n' a holler?

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