105. Catch and Release of a Different Kind

I only noticed what developed next by being conveniently located when the MPs boarded our ship.  This certainly wasn’t an action to be announced especially if they were trying to be secretive or something.  

I did speculate to myself if they were to sail with us and if so, why?

Not much later I learned why the MPs had two of my fellow crew members in handcuffs and were escorted off of the ship.  It seems these two apparently couldn’t resist some of the ‘goodies’ which they’d come across from their land excursions and so, brought these illegal items on board.  

Clearly the authorities found out and suffice to say, the matter was taken under immediate control.  These two young men sadly would miss the boat.  And that was that.

The remainder of the evening and that night seemed rather quiet.

Our Captain had already left the saloon; the Officer’s promptly finished their morning meal and made way to their posts.  Breakfast -mine included- was complete.  I quickly cleared the dishes and postponed setting up for lunch. 

And I put off my normal routine of cabin tidying in lieu of making an appearance on the outside decks.  I had heard Skip and his Officers speaking of the release from drydocks and it fascinated me.  I really wanted to see this.

It was time for the braces to let loose the Trans Western and set her free into the Pacific Ocean by way of first slipping her into Tokyo Bay.  The Harbor Master was already up on the Bridge with our Skipper and his crew.

We were sliding backwards, very carefully until our ship was completely in the water.  I really couldn’t feel anything.  I don’t know but I expected a different sensation in my legs maybe?  I was told this was due to not having a load of cargo on board.  

And again, me without a camera!  Well, I definitely committed this (and so many other once-in-my-lifetime events) to memory.  Undoubtedly I’d never get to witness something like this, any of this, ever again.

I looked around for a moment at all who assembled -those who could be- on decks and we watched our own departure.  I know I was grabbing at the last eyesights of Japan that I possibly could.  

We shared our farewell with the dockyard crew … they waved us a goodbye and I’m certain I heard them cheering – perhaps for a job well done?  I certainly hoped so. 

The Trans Western was attached to two powerful tugboats by very strong, thick tow-lines on both the port and starboard.  All this time since we hit the water, our engines were idling as the ship was being pulled through the harbor waters within the bay.

I took notice of dozens if not hundreds of fishing boats lined up on either side of us and ready to go out for profitable ¥ fishing trips, I have no doubt.  Tokyo Bay being abundant in fish, I believe sea bass particularly, these boats wouldn’t have to venture too far out to fill their live-wells and purses too!  

Cormorants, some diving at the surface of the water for breakfast and a multitude of Gulls were loitering in the near distance and looking out for their fair share to be sure. 

Very slowly still, we were approaching the part of Tokyo Bay which became the Uraga Channel and that linked the bay to the mighty Pacific Ocean itself.  

It is here that I watched the Harbor Master climb down the rope ladder to board his own little boat (by comparison) for his return to Yokohama.  I intended to stay out here until the shorelines of Japan became fuzzy to my eye.

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