to Album of Peter offered Dian & Bill Dec.19 2002
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to a picture diary No.2picture diary No.3picture diary No.4picturediaryJan 18 2003
to Dian & Bill Pool Dec.19 2002
to Chona Aquino
to Rosemay(peters sister)
to Larry Lesser (uncle to peter)
to mary(Peters cousin)
Please forgive for wrong english grammar and records and mistake spell, if you can correct,please send e-mail.
Remain his memories is only things what I can do.
If someone can add some memories or comments about Peter, Please send e-mail. adress: firstname.lastname@example.org
memories of one sailer Peter Lesser
"Hello, my name is OBATA. I come from Japan"
This is the beginning of this short story.
I went to Bonbonon for meeting my spanish brother Enrique who was anchoring there for a long time,
and found a small steel boat near my anchoring position.
This boat's length is less than 7m, with a aluminium mast standing through the hull, only a main sail, and an outboard engine set on the back.
"Hello, I'm Peter, I come from Hawaii"
"Really, did you come single handed from Hawaii with this boat?"
I apologized about asking so obvious statement.
I had not been inside his boat, but maybe there is no enough space forloading food, water, fuel.
My cruising style is always easy and comfortable going but he can not make even a plan of sailing.
Enrique told to me:
"Peter started for Kotakinabalu, but drifted away during one month ,then arrived inParawan."
Enrique and I, payed respects to him as he has a great brave and challenging spirit in spite of a small boat.
Most boat have 2 crew members in Bonbonon but we (Enrique, Peter and I )are single handed.
I cooked Japanese curry and korean kimuchi sometime , shared with them.
Peter prefered kimuchi with beer.
I always have my shower and wash my cloth at sunset time, on the deck. Peter calls me from his boat,
"Hey, What about a beer?"
"Why not, thank you."
Peter loved this sunset time, always on the deck and drinking a beer.
When I seat on his boat, we are both heavy, so his boat is healing one side, so we must seat on opposite sides.
We had a party of lonely single handed members, buying gorgonzola cheese, spanish hamon, good bread and cheap wine in Dumaguette,
knowing even nothing about each other age. Maybe Peter is 65, I am 55, Enrique is 45 years old.
I do not know a lot about Peter, only a few things:
He was borned and grew up in NewYork, had been to India when he was young,
had worked in salmon fishing in Alaska,
sailed on trimaran which was distroyed during a storm,
got this small steel boat and came here in Bonbonon from Hawaii .
One day, we enjoyed sailing on my boat with beer, wine, cheese, then went out Bonbonon bay. The wind was blowing from north, 12/15 knots,
,good conditions for sailing. We sail east, sailing part is Enrique, drinking and eating part is Obata, fishing part is Peter.
"If you can catch fish , I will operate fish, and make a sashimi",
but I think that my boat is a jinx, as I have never been able to catch a fish.
and jinx still continues, even with Peter.
Peter told me that he wants to get an other boat, so, I contacted Iemura in Japan,.
got information on a 34ft X-racing yacht.
I know an other boat that is scrapped ship in the same yacht club in Japan .
I do not know the price of this boat, but Peter is pleased with this X-yacht.
He asked me when is the best season for sailing to Bonbonon from Japan.
"It is in Oct maybe, after the Typhoon season, but this season is passing fast, with low pressure from west to east.
you should rather take a south course from Osaka Bay to Titijima, Guam, then Bonbonon, current and wind direction are good for sailing, but it's a longer distance.
" Ok, I will go to Japan inJuly, then meet you there if you go back to Japan."
I started for Malaysia to Singapore, Langkawi, Phuket this year.
Peter and Chona started sailing to Kotakinabaru from Bonbonon, this spring, with his small steel boat.
They could see Negros Island for a week.
It took one month sailing , I cruised same route, for only 4?5 days.
I can imagine how hard sailing they did.
Sometimes, Chona looked at Peter:
"Do you want to kill me."
It is too hot, not hot: burning ! like a fry pan.
Peter came down to Kansai airport inJapan in July, took a train and visited Iemura house as he heard the way to iemura from Enrique.
Enrique had been staying in Japan for a long time, about 2 years, so he very well knows here.
I also came back to Kyoto in Japan in July, so I went to Lake Biwako for meeting Peter.
Lake Biwako is the biggest lake in Japan, and I have a 30ft monohull boat in Yanagasaki Harbour inside the Lake Biiwako.
Peter was on his new boat, I shouted at him.
He brought a small inflatable dingy from Bonbonon.
"Hi, Peter How are you?"
"Fine, but some guy over there at the yacht club claimed to me this morning that here you cannot moor"
"Ok, never mind , we move your boat near my mooring ."
I contacted Iemura and asked him to bring his baggage to Yanagasaki Yacht Harbour(that is my mooring placein Lake Biwako)
We picked up anchor and moved to the south: it takes about 40min,
then ,threw the anchor, 100m away from my boat.
I found a good dinghy that Kimura(same club)did not use for a long time,maybe garbage (I suppose)
"Peter, you may use this dinghy, no problem, and bring it back to Bonbonon because Kimura will go to Bonbonon someday.
but it is a little bit difficult so if his dingy could arrive in Bonbonon faster than his main boat(named Oasis) and he, maybe he will be glad."
This evening is the party of Koukyu Oumi Usi(Expensive and Good Quality Japanese Beef Meets), so, many BCYC (I belong to this club)member gathered and
drank beer, wine and ate good beef barbecue, so I was able to easy to introduce Peter to everybody.
Sure, Iemura and his wife Alice joined this party, Alice can speak english very well and also Japanese with a lovely accent,
she is always cheerful and popular with everybody.
When I stay in Japan ,I sleep in my boat half of the week,
Oneday I invited Peter for sightseeing in my car, first,drove up by the road to Mt Hiei which is located in the north east of kyoto city,
arrived to the top of the 800m mountain above sea level. There is an old buddism temple Enryakuji for protecting the old Kyoto capital.
We took a photo, hitting a big bell, everyone after the other. This is in the forest and silence, you only hear the bell sound "Guooon"
Next we down to Yamasina city (between kyoto and Lake Biwako) then take a lunch.
We go to a sushi bar named Kura and eat sushi: many kinds of sushi on the plate are moving in front of our eyes.
Peter likes pink salmon ,maybe it reminds him of the fresh salmon in Alaska.
Next we go in Kyoto city and sightseeing of Nijyoujyou(a castle of Japanese emperor)
The inside work is traditional style of architecture,and famous painter of this erea, 800 years ago, drew many mural paintings.
We tooke a photo here,maybe these photos are the last one for Peter.
Now I remembered that Peter had a camera and he also took a photo, was his camera insidethe cabin?
He said to me and still remains in my ear:
"Thank you Obata, Maybe I will never come back again to Japan, good memories"
and this word is now not "maybe".
The beginning of Aug.. is a customary fireball festival in Otu city.
Many kind of fireball are set off from opposite side, so here Yanagasaki harbour is special site for looking fireball.
Mr.kihara who is a master of party ready barbecue koukyu Oumi Usi and Iemura family bring many kind of food.
Peter and I can eat and drink everything of everyone.
Peter and I discussed and made a plan of presents for Bonbonon village children and people.
We gathered many used pencil, ballpen, rubber, notebook, T-shirts, bags, sewing machine, and loaded insidethe cabin.
Maybe he also loaded a bicycle offered byYukisan and a motobike from Kagisan, a new battery from Fukui and Kihara,
surely a dingy from Kimura, but I had gone already and I do not know.
Another BCYC member presented many things.
One day we took a bath of" Yamato no yu" (big sauna and bath shop ) near the yacht harbour.
This building has 3 floors, we first go in sauna bath, next cold water bath, next bubble bath, last open air bath in a roof garden.
I thought that Peter doesn't like hot water but he loves it and stay inside for a long time.
"Peter, when you return to Bonbonon, talk to Enrique about this open air bath."
Because I and Enrique have a plan( maybe dream?) for making open air bath if he can rent Eric house.
Beginning of Sept. I must go back to Malaysia through Korea Pusan. Many times I have asked Peter:let's go to Pusan with me.
But he doesn't want to give me any worry, so he refuses.
He asked me some information chart to Bonbonon from here.
"I will give you copies of C-Map"
I printed the Chart, south course from Osaka Bay, Titijima, Guam, Bonbonon.
But, He changed to west course to Okinawa, Manila, Bonbonon.
I guess that he wanted to go back to Bonbonon faster, so he selected this short distance course but the boat had to fight against the strong Kurosio current
and many low pressure occured and passed fast over this west course from west to east.
When I go back to Japan, I'll research the weather maps from 18th Oct. to 1st Nov 2002.
It took 14days, and if I take the same course, maybe 5?6 days.
"Peter, you should bring this handy casette kitchen range and blanket to Bonbonon, I will pick them back there someday."
Now, I still have not gone back to my boat in Japan ,so I do not know whether he took these things with him or let them on my boat, but I guess he didn't take them.
No means for "IF", it's too late, but still, I think that's these little casette range wouldn't have consummed gas for such a long time and perhaps Peter would still be with us.
Because he brought a kerosen burner from Bonbonon, and he asked me to buy some white kerosen, about 2liters, maybe he used this as he was cold and wanted to heat his body and cook some potates
I left Japan on Sep. 5th , his boat moved to Osaka Bay beginning of Oct.
Some yachtman confirms that Peter started for Nusima Island ( a narrow channel between Awaji Island and Osaka city in Osaka Bay)on 18th Oct.
He arrived at a small fishing port of north Okinawa Island(Kunigamison) on maybe Oct.30 or 31, boat was tied shoreside safely.
On 2nd Nov. Okinawa police found his dead body in cabin, contacted Peter's sister Rosemary through Naha American Consul.
His body had an autopsy but after many days, it was not possible to clear the cause of his death.
Blood test showed poison of carbon dioxide, police found burned potato in the kettle.
Iemura wife Alice guess that Peter fought alone against waves, wind and current for 2 weeks, then arrived in Okinawa small port,
he was hungry, tired, sleepy, and it was very cold in Okinawa , he shut all hatch and put on fire kerosen burner for boiling potatos in kettle.
He wanted to take a rest for a short time and layd down in his berth, but he slept deep and deep .
I imagine the same story than Alice's.
It is too short time that I had to do with him,
Of course it is no mean to say about length of time, because time was passing for a too much length, 10years is long time? or 1second is long time?
I know ,but too much short.
I send to Peter same word that I wrote on guest note book in Bonbonon.
"I meet you now only one chance crossing time and space.
Someday I must say
"See you again"
but I don't know for certain.
So, I do my best for you to not regrets."
see you again Peter
by Masanori Obata
e-mail from Aice Iemura on 20th Nov.
Dear Mr. Obata,
I read your HP about memories of sailor, it so sad but it also bring joy because his memory is always with us,
I like also to share some memories that we spend with him, but i dont know how to start or where do i start.
Well it goes like this,
We recieve a mail from you in the early February telling that you have a friend american people who want an yacht with a minimun size of 30 ft and have a reasonable price,
That time Kenji my husband have an extra yacht the 3/4 X yachts
it was 34 ft the boat is not bad because it was use in Lake Biwako which is fresh water,
and you give him our mail address and that is the time that every time we exchange mail to get along together
and he plan to check the boat in the middle of spring but at that time he was in love to a pilipina which is Chona,
and they have a plan to sail in Malaysia .
Kenji said that maybe he was no longer interested to the boat, but after we heard that they got a hard sailing on that time
and maybe it was he change his plan that he need more comfortable yachts, but as you know every sailorman have a minimum badget of expenses,
he told us his badget, that he cannot afford the expensive one just he want is more comfortable and fit to his badget,
So Kenji tell him that he had a boat 34 ft and not so old and it is an original made from Denmark and after he visit to us ,
He came here in our house on July 27 2002 about 11:00 , at that time I'm still working and Kenji call me that Peter is in the house ,
so I leave my work in that day , and it make me surprise because every time we exchange a mail
I thought he was about in the middle of 40 years old and my eyes get big when I heard his aged,
I quiet Peter fann at that time because at his aged he was so brave to sail alone and one more thing that make me surprise is that story about his boat that he live in bonbonon,
I told him that now his boat is big he can do more fun in sailing, and he said to me
"Yes Alice, you want to came with me"
and I reply
" Oh no, thank you,I repair catamaran if I want long cruise "
and He laugh on me, after that we have our Lunch in Japanesse restaurant,
He had no Idea what to order and Kenji said that "Why not try Unagi (Ell fish ) set with a tempura ,"
and he love that taste very much.
then he live with us for a while,
I have an habit not to make a breakfast, but when Peter live with us I do my best that every morning I woke more early to make some breakfast
and my son evry morning call him
" Peter san breakfast time "
Jun always call him, we have a very good moment with him,
at night I always make sure to make a hot bath and my son told him
"Peter san shower time "
and he joke to Jun that Jun is good in saying "It's time ",
my son is not very good in English but when he was with us, my son use a little english and it was a very good training to him.
When he started to work on his boat Kenji give him some advise but he said always
" No need, after I bring it in Phillippines I will work on it because it was cheap there than here in Japan,"
we could not blame him in that thinking , because he was always badget his expenses.
and when he change the place for mooring, and he said that he want to stay on his boat we fell lonely but Kenji said it was better so that he can work better and he can make some plan to what to do on his boat.
When he was in Yanakasaki he got a lot of friend on there, and the last day here in Biwako we held a "Sayonara party " for him and everybody have a gift to him,
When he go to Osaka in Izumiotsu where my husband yacht club , Kenji ask favor to the Master to have him 10 days for free
and the Master harbour said
" It's fine, with us "
and Peter have a quiet famous in Izumiotsu
he got a lot of friend also there
Because of his aged he was very brave to go alone (single hand)
Every time we got party over there and always we have a cold beer a good wine on that time.
after he finnish all the paper work in Immegration,of course with the help of Kenji,
and he leave Osaka with the promise that we will meet in Bonbonon this coming Jan.and Kenji told him
" that after he reach Okinawa will you please call us before you leave Japan and we will give you also some weather information".
During the time that he was sailing we always wacth the weather report every time that there was a low pressure we worried for him.
But Kenji said "don't worry there was a lot of iland over there every time he can have a place to rest for a while
I count the day and I thought that in first day of November he will reach Okinawa at that time.
And Nov. 1 is Saturday usually every Saturday we go to Izumiotsu but on that time because as we count the day we fell that he was in Okinawa so we dicide to stay at home to wait of his call,
Then Sunday I fell boring I keep asking my husband
"Is Peter call"
" not yet maybe he was checking the town because I teach him where place is the best to go "
I told to my husband,
"maybe he was busy, because last time the weather is not good, he was very tired and he was resting
maybe tommorow he will call,
In my mind I pray that there was nothing bad happened to him,
And the clock is so slowly to and my son Jun
" Mother let go outside "
" okey but we need to go back ealy because maybe Peter will call us ",
" Mother you are over thinking Peter san is a Professional he will fine "
Me and my son go to Public bath, at that time I fell unease,
I ask Jun to go back home,
When we back at the house Kenji was in phone with a worry on his face
I said his that Peter "
He sign me to quiet, I could not understand my feeling on that moment and after Kenji finnish on phone
" He said that Peter is gone "
and my tear is falling I have no words came out,
Kenji give me water, and hold my shoulder, and Jun came with a surprise face
"What happened "
and daddy said that Peter is gone
"oh my god " is that the first word came out ,
"what happened, is he got accident, is his boat drawing, or what happened "
Kenji said that the Policeman have no idea yet just he reach Okinawa on Oct 31 and some people see him making his boat get it in tight rope, and after a a day he dont go up and when the coastgruad check him they found inside the boat without life.
and rest of the day is like the world is not moving
Kenji could not go to work
,we dont talk so much,and Jun also keep silent,we spend every with a silent time in that moment,
after we know the cause of his death,
it make me also surprise, or it make me angry for while to him,
I could not explain it every well, because the day before that I keep a lot in my mind maybe he got in trouble or maybe ha got an heart attack, or maybe... or maybe.... but .... for god sake ... it was a CARBON DIOXED POISION... Why... like that... or maybe.... I thought that he kill..... or what else.... but for that kind......
Well after i clear my mind maybe.. maybe he was very tired, he was very sleppy or what,,, and He was alone.... Just I could not accept the way he die,
before the last time we talk ,
He has a lot of dream. he plan to go in africa, he have a lot of dream ..
He want to be in Philippines before the big fiesta is starting
He want to join in a race in Mindanao ,
and He promise to us that when we visit to Bonbonon we dont have to worry the place to stay because he got two boat over and we will cruise on his new boat with the name of "FLASH"
I realize that this Peter case, however if my husband plan to go in Phillipines with his yacht , I thought that he need company, and maybe ... I will go with him... wherever he go..and that is promise.....
by Alice Iemura(wife of Kenji Iemura)
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