Umi no Hi

Jul 20,2011

It was actually the day before the official holiday, but everyone and their brother was at the beach. Strangely, or perhaps predictably, no one seemed to want to venture too far out from the shore. That might have had something to do with how close the motorboats were coming.

We actually went to Iwami to try to rent kayaks, because we did it last year, but it turned into something quite different. I made an appointment by telephone to pick up a certain number of kayaks, and then proceeded on a wild goose chase to find the place where a kayak instructor was waiting to give us a lesson and take us on a 'kayak tour'. Despite the impression he conveyed on the telephone, he doesn't actually rent kayaks. (I believe part of the problem might be that Japanese people often say, 'Sou desu ne' when they mean, 'No, no, not that at all--but I'll let you go on believing what you like so that you'll be in for a bitter surprize when the truth is revealed'.)

Needless to say, we didn't acquiesce to the man's expectations, and simply betook our bad selves for a dip in the brine.

I put sunscreen all over myself, but after a few hours my face and arms were a bit ruddy. I was told that my skin would hurt by the next day, but I managed to forestall it by covering myself with calamine lotion after taking a shower, and by the next morning all the redness had faded and I was none the worse for wear.

The next day being the official Umi no Hi, or Marine Day as it is sometimes rendered, our office here was closed and most folks should have been at the beach or doing something sea-related.

But it rained all morning and was overcast for the rest of the day.

We're told a typhoon is on its way, but we haven't felt much more than a drizzle thus far. The positive slant to the dreary gloom is that a bit of the summer swelter has subsided, if only momentarily, and walking outside is not quite pure torture. We'll see how long that lasts.

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