Oct. 17/11 -- A Pair of Stars

Today's Report
Oct. 17/11 JST 

It was a very good week for Saito-san and NBSDIII, as both stars shined in their own ways.

On Friday, he was filmed as part of an upcoming NHK music special to raise money for the earthquake- and tsunami-stricken area of Japan. During a break in the 90-minute charity concert, he was interviewed on stage by two TV personalities in front of a 3,000-person audience filling a large hall in Gunma Prefecture, forty minutes by bullet train east of Tokyo.

Saito-san was the only non-singer in the star-studded night of entertainment that was recorded for airing on Nov. 29. Nonetheless he was a perfect fit, as his "Never give up!" mantra was the theme of the evening while nationally known TV stars and singers voiced their own encouragement for the recovery of the area and its populace, still reeling more than seven months after the March 11 disaster.

Saito-san was impressive. He expresses no fear of the very worst the sea can throw at him, and he was equally relaxed on stage as he described his harrowing circumnavigation to an obviously captivated audience. He handled the questions and comments of his interviewers with cheerful modesty, reciting the highlights of his 3-year adventure that were met by exclamations of amazement throughout the packed hall.

We couldn't have been prouder. We look forward ourselves to seeing him on the country's public television network, when millions of viewers across Japan can be expected to tune in.

Back at home on Sunday, at her temporary quay-side berth at Tycoon Restaurant in Yokohama, Nicole BMW Shuten-Dohji III got some sprucing up from a group of volunteers from the Tokyo Sail & Power Squadron.

The intent at the moment is to keep her appearance basically "as-is" to reflect the punishing rigors of the 28,000-nm, 3-year, wrong-way circumnavigation. But at least the clutter on the deck is now history, thanks to the valiant efforts by Saito 8 Safety Officer Mike Seymour, Saito-san, five TSPS members (Tony Whitman, Chris Pitts, Mike Snyder, Simon Gougis, and David Young), Saito-san's always ready-to-help sailing buddies Kogane-san and Igawa-san, and Arai-san, a welcome new face. 

We invite you to drop by Tycoon (map here) and, as you savor some delightful Thai and Asian cuisine, you can see for yourself the much-tidier "other star" of Saito Challenge 8.

The skipper may be there as well...