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Diary Last Updated: Jun 16th, 2015 - 16:51:13


Stage 7 - Friday 30 May 2008
By Dick and Pip Smith
May 30, 2008, 14:20

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We find the fishermen's wharf

The weather was still windy and overcast when we met Norihiko at the car rental office with a reporter/photographer from one of the Kushimoto magazines. He took us to a bank to change some money and then we drove over the bridge, built about ten years ago, across to Oshima Island. We drove along the narrow roads and down to Kashino – and there was the fishermen’s wharf. There were a couple more journalists waiting to meet us. Dick took his book and lined up his photo with the wharf, the hill and some buildings in the distance and sure enough Norihiko was correct, we had found the exact place. N33 28.304 E135 51.135
Fish farms between Oshima Island and Kushimoto
Lining up the photograph in the Solo book with the shed on the left, the hill and the buildings on the right - they match
Dick holding some fishing nets where DIK had landed in 1983

The wind blew madly with light rain and the waves were pounding on the rocks, similar to when Dick was there in 1983 – except it was much worse then. We all took photos and also checked out another one of Dick’s photos taken up the street of the fishermen’s co-op and other buildings. Most of these had changed in the 25 years but the scenery matched.
Waves were crashing and the wind was blowing round the headland where Dick had flown low and slow along the coast in 1983
Dick holding up the photograph in his Solo book showing where he had landed in June 1983 - you will notice that the huilding on the left, the hill and the buildings on the right all match
The local media interviewing Dick

We visited the lighthouse on the eastern end of the Island. Dick was staggered to find that he had come around the point so low that he didn’t see the lighthouse and then performed a 180 degree turn back to the west, luckily sighting the wharf before a huge cliff. He said he was indeed lucky that day 25 years ago.
Fishing boats moored in the bay built since 1983

Dick also wanted to find the hotel where he had stayed the night. We eventually found the location but learnt that in 1985 the building had been removed and replaced with simple cabins and a camping ground. Fortunately the owner had an old brochure of the Nanki Sunny Island Hotel and Dick instantly recognised it.
Dick standing on the deck of the lighthouse looking out to where he had flown in 1983.
Looking toward the cliff that Dick hadn't seen flying in the terrible weather just before he managed to land on the fishermen's wharf

The rain was falling heavily now so we returned to Kushimoto and enjoyed a very delicious Japanese lunch in a local restaurant. Norihiko helped us purchase our railway tickets to Kansai airport for our flight to Hong Kong tomorrow.
We enjoyed a Japanese lunch

We then received a phone call from the local mayor’s office. The mayor of Kushimoto, Mustafa Shigeki Matsubara, had heard that we were visiting his city and invited us to meet him. He greeted us in his office with a few more media present, and over a cup of coffee told us how he had visited Thursday Island last year to commemorate the Japanese pearl divers who had died there. A few hundred of the divers had come from Kushimoto. Dick was able to show him his own photos of Thursday Island taken during his 1983 solo flight and then presented his Solo book to the mayor for it to be placed in the Kushimoto City Library.
Showing the Mayor of Kushimoto, Mr Matsubara and Norihiko where we have driven the Earthroamer
Dick presented the Mayor with a copy of the Solo book

Our day had been very successful and as the rain continued to fall and the view of Oshima Island disappeared in the cloud and mist, the weather also reminded Dick of the perils of flying a little helicopter around the world!

We have left the Earthroamer in the capable hands of Mark and Jimmy to be shipped to Australia but we do not know how long this will take. It depends on which ship has the room so it may be a month or more before we continue our journey. We will keep the web site updated whenever we receive any news. Thanks for sharing our adventure with us and we really enjoy receiving comments placed on our Guest Book. Dick and Pip

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