Canoeing at museum of maritime science Tokyo
Museum of maritime science at Odaiba is a complex combining both indoor and outdoor attractions. The main building itself is shaped like a giant ship. It houses exhibits on marine science especially on development of ocean transportation. But it has been undergoing repairs due to which it has very few exhibits at the moment.
Soya Maru and the submersibles
Nevertheless the main attractions here perhaps lie outside, in the form of real ships, catamarans, submarines and submersibles. The permanently stationed Soya Maru is a research vessel that used to ply to the Antarctic. One can step in and explore the entire ship. The captain’s cabin, the officers cabins, the cabins and mess halls of non-officer staff, the engine room, the communication room, the top floor deck for helicopter landing, the lifeboats, the navigation room with its gyroscope tachometer telegraph anemometer radar and steering wheel all together create impression deep in the mind of a curious soul.
The other exhibits like the submersibles also allow for having a first hand impression of how men and machines brave the elements in pursuit of science.
Canoeing for the very beginner
The permanent exhibits aside Maritime museum also arranges seasonal activities like learning canoeing for kids, in its open pool. Mostly for free these activities offer a unique opportunity for kids to experience adventure and gain confidence in outdoor sports.
That one day in summer team couchflyer happened to find themselves at the gates outside of the pool. The aquamarine pool is visible right from the platform of Yurikamome line Fune-no-go-kakukan station.
We thought we were before time. But there were quite a few families with perhaps more eager kids. So we got our place in the queue snaking outside. The summer sun bore down on us. We stood wondering if all this was worth it. But as the gates opened and the colorful canoes came into view all doubts disappeared.
Canoes,Sail boats, ready steady go
There were two seater and three seater canoes. Meant strictly for beginners the canoes always had one instructor on board. Then there were sail boats. Again intended to expose beginners to the pleasures of sail boating. Keywords were beginners, and enjoyment. So age barely was a bar, ability was not questioned, parents were in fact encouraged to join in.
Names of sailors were noted, boat type and possible in-time were distributed. We went out for a stroll next door at the museum. But sailors in the team were in no mood to undergo lessons in geography and marine science. So we soon headed back.
Each team when called are given a quick theoretical lesson in how to oar. Oars matching heights of sailors were distributed. Everybody put on their life jackets. Sensei instructed which way to push the oar when intending to go left or right. Students followed. Heads nodded emphatically when asked so do you feel you can now canoe on your own?
The real fun
When time came it was a different game altogether. Who knew water would be so hard to push? And as for the sail boats, managing wind and water at the same time seemed impossible! Thankfully instructor on board was more than willing to lend a helping hand. So 15 minutes of theory and 15 minutes of practical later, a beaming posse of sailors reached shore.
Learning facilities abound
In ocean bound Japan water sports is particularly popular. Each school has its own canoe club. And on 1st summer day every season the canoeing facilities are opened to every body to encourage beginners. Earlier we participated in such an open day in KueNakagawa river canoeing training area.
But the one difference,from that day to this one at Maritime Science center was that here the facility is in extremely clean shallow water. It is suitable for the very young ones as well. So if you have a superman planning to take a plunge,er learn to float in a canoe, head straight for Maritime science. We are sure it will be a wanna do many time experience!