Posted by: catamarantwooceans | February 27, 2012

Philippines With new crew

18.2.12 – Saturday – Just before midnight I took a taxi to the airport to greet my new crew. Rina and Mickey Kuch, Ilana and Moshe Navot; both couples had sailed with us many a time before, on charter cats as well on our previous catamaran "Roughsoda". Moshe and Ilana joined me in the San Blas area in 2008.

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                                                Micky and Rina

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                                                 Ilana and Moshiko

19.2.12 – Sunday – As early as 0630 a Karaoke place just opposite our anchorage started operating, or maybe it was an "After Party". Anyway, sleep was out of the question.

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                                                 Karaoke club

After a provisioning sortie to the "Savemore" supermarket we filled up our water tanks and motored out to the north west of Bohol island, where we found a bay behind one of the small islands dotting the area.

Most of the villages here are inhabited by fisher-folk, who can be seen all around engaged in their trade. This guy had a lot of traps on his little trimaran.

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The whole area teems with fishing activity so we tried too. No luck, no fish, neither trolling nor casting.

As you can see the weather is sunny and nice.

20.2.12 – Monday –  Cruising in the Philippines is not the same as sailing in places that are described by a cruising guide. When you sail in Greece or Turkey, you study the Rod Heykell book and can chose according to his recommendations. There are also small charts of the different anchorages to help you decide. Here, what I do is look at the electronic chart trying to guess the suitability of a bay by the layout of the terrain and the directions relative to the prevailing wind. I then look the place up in a general travel guide for the Philippines. This has not always been successful.

Four islands in a row 17 miles to the south turned out to be mangrove islands and when we went to investigate an attractive inhabited island 1.5 miles away, the bottom near shore jumped from 20 meters to 2, prohibiting anchoring.

Back to the islands just in time before a big cumulonimbus spewed some rain on "Two Oceans".

21.2.12 – Tuesday – On the way to Carcar bay in "mainland" Cebu, we visited a small island, Pangapasan, on which a fishing community lives. As in many islands we were welcomed by a lot of children who followed us wherever we went.

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Approaching Carcar we noticed rows of plastic bottles tied to long lines blocking most of the entrance.

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Slowly I went in, with Mickey and Moshe standing on the bows giving me directions, until we came to a clear spot where we could anchor in safety.

22.2.12 – Wednesday – Back to Cebu Yacht Club, we went in from the south and through the Cebu harbor to await the arrival of Gili later in the evening.

We were reunited at 2330. I love having Gili on board!

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                                                                       pic by M.Kuch

23.2.12 – Thursday – Somebody told me that the anchorage near Santiago on Pacijan island, one of the Camotes, is beautiful and has clear water. None of the places we’ve been in up to now was nice for swimming or snorkeling so this was a good reason to go. We motored five hours against a 10 knots wind and a current that had us pointing some 20 degrees to the right of our target.

I was not happy with Santiago bay. It was shallow and the bottom was mostly rock. I turned west to a sandy beach with a small village we saw on the way and anchored, rocky bottom again but the anchor held perfectly and the promise of clear water became a reality.

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24.2.12 – Friday – We liked the Camotes so much we decided to stay another day, anchoring near Poro village.

We did some maintenance too: a crack was discovered on the Plexiglas of the starboard forward hatch and was covered on both sides with duck-tape; one of the jib furler rope leads pulled out of the deck and was epoxied back into position; Mickey and Moshe tried unsuccessfully to fix the cockpit (new) loud-speakers and lastly we took out the wind instrument which went crazy, showing 42 knots when the real wind was 4 kt. sprayed the electrical connections with contact cleaner and replaced it. Hopefully this will fix it.

On another front – the holiday atmosphere is with us, so we religiously celebrate "happy hour" every day.

25.2.12 – Saturday – We decided to break the trip to Malapascua island and make a night stop in Isabel on the big island of Leyte.

Isabel was a mid-sized town north of a big industrial complex. Moments after we dropped the anchor we had visitors; two vendors on a canoe offered cultured pearls and red coral necklaces. Ilana and Moshe, recognizing their role in the local economy, bought some. Check the headgear of the canoe driver!

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We went ashore and went shopping in the colorful market. Not all the crew liked it. Rina and Mickey found the dried fish smell overpowering and fled.

A popular vehicle here is a pedal operated tricycle and many of them, mostly painted yellow, carry the locals around town.

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Back at the boat we relocated to a less noisy anchorage where we spent a peaceful night.

26.2.12 – Sunday – At 0600 we started out for Malapascua island 33 miles away. This is supposed to be a place for diving and snorkeling. The wind was good so we got there quite early, anchoring in the northeast corner near a fishermen village. Looking out to the east I spied a line of big clouds. It did not take long for the rain to arrive.

27.2.12 – Monday – A brief visit to the village convinced the guys that they wanted to go to the more developed area in the southeast. We motored to a bay where we could see a hotel with its promise of internet and perhaps a place to eat.

Going ashore we saw that there were a lot of both categories, mostly diving resorts with the adjacent bar and restaurant.

We’ll go there in the evening and maybe I’ll be able to post this.

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