Ahoy me maties, yar yar and a bottle of rum etc.
During our recent trip to Toyama Dan and I decided to hijack ourselves a rather splendid sail boat. She was the quite the beauty, and all ours to enjoy.
We arrived on a wet and windy day, just before the snow came, to enjoy the infamous port area of Toyama. It was awash with concrete, weeds, and the whisperings of the promises we had been sold floating away in the air. We had been assured it was a place of fresh fish and beautiful sea views. Just not on the day that we arrived…
In Japan, it is very well known that you follow the rules whenever you do something a little unusual, or actually just anything at all. There always needs to be an old man in an old hat and jacket looking shifty and following you about to make sure you’re not one of those ‘wreckless foreigners’ that are feared the world over. No selfies whilst you’re hanging backwards off the ships mast please. So you can imagine our surprise when we trotted up the ramp and onto this splendid boat, that there was no old man to be seeen.
“Harhar she be ours!” We declared. Upon trying to work out how we could commandeer the ship in the style of Jack Sparrow we came across a little barrier to progress. A large, erm, barrier. The ship had been cemented into position and was clearly going nowhere, ever again. Defeated, we decided to just follow the arrows painted onto the deck and do the tour in the right way, as is expected in Japan. We expected the old man to appear at any moment, but as we ventured below deck, we were still, mysteriously, alone.
The ship tour actually turned out to be pretty interesting. Far more than we had initially thought! We got to check out the cabins, engine rooms, and mess hall, all the while wondering where anyone else was. I was particularly freaked out by the display of a Captain’s uniform, on display at person height just with a missing head. The ghost of our ship. I then continued to rebel slightly and kept trying to open the many mysteriously locked doors below deck, but alas, after many fails we ended up just sticking to the tour as recommended.
About an hour later we came back up to the very fresh air on deck to find it still very empty of the old man. We departed from the ship and headed across the concrete ocean to the, somewhat unexpected, open cafe. We sat at the window looking out across at our ship that we would never sail, and as we watched another couple arrived to take a look, also trying to commandeer it. They wondered around on the deck for a while looking cold and a little confused (perhaps they had just discovered the barrier…)
Lonebehold, following closely after them was the old man…