FOLLOW THE VOYAGE:
Journey to Japan
Yap to Tokyo | 8 September 2023 to 22 September 2023
Master: Matthew Fryer, Expedition Leader: Cara Cavanagh, Guest Lecturers: Mike Sugden & Ian Herford
Day 1: Sorol, 8 September 2023
This morning our divers were able to have the first dive of the trip and reported a fantastic dive.
In the afternoon we enjoyed some snorkelling with 20-30m visibilty. Although the corals were smaller as they were exposed to ocean swells the fish life was unbelievable it felt like we were swimming in an aquarium.
Back on board we had captains welcome drinks and after dinner held games night.
Day 2: Ulithi, 9 September 2023
We had 30/35knt winds and rain this morning as we made our way inside the Ulithi Atoll.
The first excursion over to the Ulithi village was very well recieved with the village being very open and welcoming.
Some guests decided to stay onboard out of the rain and enjoyed a morning of games in the dinning room playing scrabble and puzzles.
After lunch we enjoyed some more diving and snorkelling. Mike also gave a presentation on colourful bottom dwellers for those staying onboard.
After dinner we screened amazing quest stories from micronesia.
Day 3: Fais Island, 10 September 2023
This morning, we arrived at Fais Island. Our first excursion was snorkelling and diving from the Xplorer, followed by a scenic cruise where we could tuck up inside a sea cave.
Back on-board, we had a delicous lunch then it was time for our afternoon excursion to the main village of Fais.
Once on shore, we were greeted by the village with fresh coconuts and set off for an 800m walk through the jungle. We made it to the next village where Thomas gave a welcome speech on behalf of the chief. We were guided around the village, visiting the school, the medicine dispensary and the mens house. There was time for a little souvenir shopping, and we also collected the Crayfish that the village had collected for us to serve for dinner on-board in the evening.
It was then time to say goodbye to Fais, and we made the zodiac transfers back to the Xplorer and finally back to the ship.
Day 4: Deep Challenger, 11 September 2023
This morning we arrived at Deep Challenger, the Mariana Trench’s deepest part of the ocean.
Captain Matthew gave a speech as we launched a time capsule containing the signatures of every guest and crew member to the depths of 11,000 meters below the surface.
It was then time to launch the Xplorer for a swim in this Iconic part of the North Pacific Ocean. Marie, Cai, and Luke were our lifeguards as we sent small groups of guests and crew to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Following our breakfast Ian gave his presentation on Deep Challenger and some of the strange animals that lurk below the surface.
After lunch, Nigel and Luke hosted a High Sea Ti CHI session, offering a blend of relaxation and rejuvenation.
To finish the day we began the first part of Mike’s wine appreciation course.
Day 5: At Sea, 12 September 2023
Our morning began with a revitalizing session of stretching and meditation, setting the tone for the day ahead.
Following breakfast, Mike delivered an engaging presentation on the subject of ‘Turtles of the North Western Pacific.’
Soon after, we enjoyed a delightful Morning Tea in the Bridge Deck Lounge.
Next up, Ian gave his presentation titled ‘Red Hot Rocks and Exploding Mountains,’ a fascinating exploration into the world of volcanoes.
The afternoon was filled with activities with Luke teaching us about the world of photography with his presentation ‘Depth of Field: A Photography Crash Course.’ Not long following was his at sea salsa class.
To finish off the day, Mike returned with his ‘Wine Appreciation Part 2,’ an evening session sure to satisfy.
Day 6: At Sea, 13 September 2023
Our morning at sea began with an insightful presentation by Ian about tomorrow’s expedition location, Iwo Jima.
Afterward, we participated in a wellness session at sea, where we learned how to make body scrubs, hair masks, and lip balms.
Following the wellness presentation, we stocked up on samples for the voyage and enjoyed watching birds diving into the water in search of food.
Later, we partnered up for a lively salsa dancing lesson and then attended part 3 of Mike’s wine appreciation course, which provided the perfect way to unwind after an eventful day.
Day 7: Iwo Jima, 14 September 2023
Our day began with yoga, meditation, and brunch as we pulled up to the first of the Ogosawara Islands, South Iwo Jima.
This huge vegetated volcano rose from the sea to around 800m high. The Coral Adventurer was able to pull up close to it, where we observed this true wonder of nature from the outer decks.
We snapped some photos as clouds formed at the top of the crater, evidence of the heat rising from the caldera.
We arrived at Iwo Jima and moved to the Vista Deck, where Ian started his epic reenactment of the WWII battle.
Day 8: Nishnoshima, 15 September 2023
This morning we came across Nishnoshima, a very active volcano in the middle of the ocean.
We made our way to the outer decks of the ship to get a closer look at the volcanic ash clouds surrounding the top.
Onboard, we had morning tea, and then it was time for Cai’s Japanese culture lessons, which were popular with everyone onboard joining and agreeing that it was the perfect way to learn more about our expedition destination.
After lunch, we enjoyed a bridge tour, origami lesson, and part 4 of Mike’s wine appreciation course.
Day 9: At Sea, 16 September 2023
This morning, we started off with a stretching and meditation session.
After breakfast, Bronwyn gave her presentation on an introduction to the Japanese language, where we all tried our best at learning basic greetings to use once we arrive in Japan.
After lunch, Paul gave a cooking demonstration on a Japanese-inspired Calamari and Soba noodles dish that paired perfectly with Mike’s Japanese Whiskey and Sake appreciation course.
It was a day filled with learning about Japanese culture and cuisine.
Day 10: Shimizu, 17 September 2023
This morning, we sailed into Shimizu port with the foothills of Mount Fuji all around us. After clearing into Japan, we boarded the buses and met our two wonderful guides, Yumi and Hide.
Our first stop was the World Heritage Mount Fuji Centre with its futuristic design, depicting the upside-down Mount Fuji.
After exploring this interactive center, we headed to a bustling local market.
Today was a public holiday in Japan, and the streets were filled with food, performers and handicrafts.
We also visited the Fujisan Sengen Shrine, built over a thousand years ago to protect the people from Mount Fuji’s eruptions.
Day 11: Oshima Island, 18 September 2023
This morning, we arrived at Oshima Island, where we received a warm welcome from the island’s mascots, dressed in vibrant and colorful costumes.
Our journey continued as we boarded the bus for Mt. Mihara, an active volcano situated at the island’s center.
The morning conditions were perfect for hiking, so we embarked on a walk around the crater’s rim and the western lookout.
Upon reaching the summit, the clouds lifted, revealing the entire crater’s interior and Mount Fuji in the distance.
After lunch, we boarded the bus to explore the island further. We had the opportunity to visit the historic buildings of an old port town, savor some local croquettes, and discover geological formations displaying layers of volcanic ash from past eruptions.
Back at the port the locals bid the Coral Adventurer farewell with traditional dancing and drumming. It was a memorable conclusion to our visit to Oshima Island.
Day 12: Hachijojima, 19 September 2023
Our day started with brunch on the ship’s vista deck, with the dramatic hills of Hachijojima as the backdrop.
Onshore, we had the chance to purchase local handicrafts and witness traditional performances.
Our next stops were the lava flow at Nambarra rocks and the botanical gardens.
There, we watched a documentary and visited the deer enclosure.
Day 13: Miyakijima, 20 September 2023
Today we arrived at Miyakijima and began our morning with a visit to a Shiitori Shrine which plays an important role in local mythology and had been completely covered in a lava flow.
We then visited Mount Hoyotan, which was created in 1940 in less than 22 hours from a volcano eruption.
We learned all about it’s creation and took a picture on the rim of the crater.
In the afternoon we enjoyed a scenic cruise exploring the natural wonders of the region.