Really, Really Windy Days in Amami
Approaching Takeoff -- Amami Ooshima, Kagoshima, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 17mm — 1/100 sec, f/4.5, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Approaching Takeoff

As I mentioned on my Amami Islands post, it was really really really windy for the first few days of our New-Year's visit to Amami Island (奄美大島) in the East China Sea in the far south of Japan. The airport is near the Kasari-cho area (the north-east part of the island) where Fumie's grandmother lived until a teenager, and in exploring that area after we arrived, we found ourselves at a deserted lighthouse at the most northern tip of the island.

View from the End of the Road -- Amami Ooshima, Kagoshima, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 20mm — 1/200 sec, f/4.5, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
View from the End of the Road
Whipping Wind -- Amami Ooshima, Kagoshima, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 55mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Whipping Wind

I don't suppose that the picture above really shows the whipping wind very well, but it was truly impressive. There weren't the torrential rains and crazy-large waves as with a typhoon... it was just really really REALLY windy, and you could watch the wind carve ever-changing patterns on the surface of the slow-moving (relatively speaking) waves.

The wind wasn't particularly gusty... it was just there, like sticking your head out the window of a car. A really fast car.

Most-Northern Outcrop as seen from outside the lighthouse -- Amami Ooshima, Kagoshima, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 17mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Most-Northern Outcrop
as seen from outside the lighthouse
Looking Back Toward the Car -- Amami Ooshima, Kagoshima, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 17mm — 1/160 sec, f/4.5, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Back Toward the Car
Daisies in the Wind -- Amami Ooshima, Kagoshima, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 17mm — 1/100 sec, f/4.5, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Daisies in the Wind

The little two-story lighthouse building had a walkaround on the outside. The pictures of me leaning into the wind were taken by Fumie while she was standing in the (relatively) calm southern side protected by the building. Besides offering the ability for Fumie to stand unassisted, that location also offered the largest area for us to take a picture in.

Walking forward (North) from where I am standing in the picture was a considerable task without the aid of the little concrete wall. But the worst wind – far far stronger than where I'm standing in the pictures – was at the next corner of the building 20 feet in front of me. It's at a point where the wind is rushing up the side of the cliff from the ocean and pounding directly into the face of the lighthouse, thereby getting forced at molten speeds around that edge. When I tried to make my way around that little corner of the walkway, the wind got under my eyelids in the same way you see it puffing out the jacket in the first picture above. I felt as if I were sitting on the wing of a jet at 30,000 feet.

The extremely odd (and fairly painful) feeling of wind under your eyelid aside, the whole visit was really fun.

As we were leaving it started to rain, which turned “really fun” into “really awful”, but once we proceeded a few steps down the path from the lighthouse, the wind was less of a physical danger and we could get back to the car pretty quickly, especially with Anthony going piggy-back on me (while I held onto his shoes, lest the wind take them: that was a real concern that we discovered moments after the last picture above was taken).


All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

I’m enjoying your Amami-Ooshima series.

I suppose the weather is par for the course at this time of year, but your photos convey the extreme wind really well. It’s quite fun to try and photograph weather, but I don’t find it at all easy to do so.

I slightly expected the scenery to remind me of Yakushima, but it looks bleaker (no trees to speak of?) in spite of being more southerly and presumably more sub-tropical. It does look similarly mountainous, so I suppose access to the hinterland is limited. My short time on Yaku provided the most lasting memories of my visits to Japan, because of the scenery, the food, the range of climate/vegetation types and inevitably, the plants!

These photos were taken at the most northerly point of the island, exposed to all the winds, which perhaps explains the lack of trees. There’s certainly no lack of trees and interesting vegetation on the island, as subsequent posts will certainly show. —Jeffrey

— comment by Peter on January 10th, 2008 at 3:28am JST (9 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Hello Jeffrey!

I was looking for windy day pictures on Google when I came across your website.
Your pictures are amazing. Nice to see that you had fun with your family!
I’m from southern Brazil and will probably keep on reading your blog from now on. 🙂
Can I please share that picture where you’re leaning alone agaisnt the wind on my Facebook page?
Thanks XD

Guilherme

— comment by Guilherme Levinski on February 2nd, 2012 at 11:04am JST (5 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink
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