Chanceschmerr sails the world - 2nd Half (Vietnam/Okinawa/Guam)


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Well, as mentioned - After leaving Dubai at end May, the second half of the deployment has been pretty busy from an operational side (for anyone interested, pop in "Regina" and "Neon" or "Regina" and "Vietnam" into Google News), and the port visits have been pretty tight/short.  That said, I did get a bit of time to myself, and even a cigar or two!

First was Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam.  A newly overhauled international port, this was an interesting visit for me, as it was 11 years ago that I sailed up the Ho Chi Minh River to Saigon in 2008 aboard the same ship to another Vietnamese port visit.  This time, we weren't exploring much of the port, but nearby Nha Trang was a very fun town.  I enjoy Vietnam greatly - the chaos of the city, the beauty of the countryside (that I could see) the excellent and varied cuisine - so it was a lot of fun. Not much of anything to be found in cigars, but I did enjoy a few of my own at a sea-side brewpub, including my one and only 2006 Por Larranaga Lonsdale RE Alemania (a lovely, nuanced cigar - I would take it over the Encantos!).  Unfortunately, the experience was clouded by a bad case of food poisoning upon departure.  Had to happen some time.....

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I'd like to think that a "T&A Wedding" would be a pretty good time.....

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Next up, after some interesting work at sea, was a couple of days in Okinawa, another place i'd been to before but was eager to revisit.  It didn't feel all that different to me, particularly when visiting the "Okinawa World" cultural/amusement that I had last seen 11 years ago.  The highlight of this visit (and one of my highlights of the trip) was the discovery of "I's Ale House" in Chatan, Okinawa.  Here was a perfect confluence of two great interests of mine - whisky and cigars.  A un-assuming Cigar bar from the outside, the owner/manager (who goes by "i") has a very fine and well-stocked humidor, including some harder-to-find sticks not on the menu, but you can also smoke your own (I enjoyed an excellent '12 RAG that I brought with me, among others).  The bar specializes in Craft Beers on tap, but also had a very fine selection of Japanese Whisky, including some drams I've waited years to find and try, including aged bottles of Yoichi (10-12-15 yr), Miyagikyo and a few different bottles of Ichiro's Card series of Hanyu whisky.  Let's just say I closed up the bar both nights, and tried more rare old Japanese whisky than I ever thought I would do, particularly in one location!  "I" was a generous host,and knows his cigars and whisky alike.  If you're on Okinawa and love your cigars or Japanese whisky - go there.  I know I will again...

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Lastly, it wouldn't be a trip to the Pacific without a stop to Guam, so of course we dropped on by for my 5th visit to the island (I think the 6th one is free).  Not too much more than a day here, but it was enough time to get on down to the beach, and enjoy a very fine '01 RYJ Corona Grandes from Dubai, in front of a traditional Chamorro sailing craft.  Can't beat it!

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Now...off to Australia!

 

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