Crossing the first part of the Pacific

On the good ship M/V Rus Majur, with its fine complement of unsmiling waitresses and sleazy truck drivers. It has been quite an experience. Women are few and far between on these boats and after a few vodkas, the truck drivers obviously couldn`t see staright and made a beeline for us. I was sitting with Rebecca and Lorna who had arrived in Vladivostock on the Trans Siberian express, six days non-stop from Moscow. Rebecca the Kiwi like me, suffers from seasickness and was very interested in my accupressure wrist bands which work really well for me. I have never been sick whilst wearing them, so I made her a pair of home-made ones using a couple of paracetamol tablets and electrical tape from my tool kit. She seemed very pleased with them, but maybe she was just being polite.

Also with us were Mike and Linda - the South Africans on a global fisheries mission, making a documentary and travelling in their Toyota Landcruiser, they have had the longest overland route to get here, all the way from Cape Town.

www.marine-expedition.co.za

is their website.

The Russian guys didn`t seem to get the hint as we sat and tried to chat to each other in the bar and then we saw the way the Russian women were telling them "No" - by literally pushing them away and so that was what we did. 

Not unusually for me I was first off to bed and so missed out on the dancing that happened later, though I'm not sure I could have danced while coping with the motion of the boat.

 

Every mealtime on the boat we managed to get a "Nyet"answer from the waitress for even the simplest request, it became a bit of a joke. Though for those who were desperate just for a spot of milk in their tea, it wasn't funny.

The cabins were like hot ovens and when we asked if there was any chance of the air conditioning being switched on to cool them a bit we got a "Nyet" answer.

 

On the final morning,I awoke earlyto find we were moored in a huge bay and I watched as the sun rose over the mountains- my first in the Land of the Rising Sun.

I managed to clear Japanaese customs about six hours faster than the others- they were properly prepared and have Carnet de Passages (basically a passport for their vehicles) while I had nothing except a name to ask for - Mr Sakai of the FKK cutoms agents. And what a guy, he came onboard to collect me and took me in his car to customs and the insurance office, I was off the boat with Thelma within an hour. What a relief after the prolonged (two days) experience of clearing customs to leave Russia.

A night spent camping in a nearby park- as I had told the others I would wait for them and their vehicles were stuck onboard still, we had a few drinks in a small bar that we managed to find, not realising how few and far between bars are in Japan.

Kirin beer- definitely a thumbs up but the sake, well the jury is still out on that one.