Thursday, March 31, 2011

Boat work started

Starting the boat work in the yard.

Taking the masts off became a big deal when the crane wasn't tall enough to reach the 60' to the top. That's Jimmy tying the rope. Me on deck.

We cut open the deck and raised it like a car hood. Found lots of little square blocks wet and rotting. New wood and lots of epoxy will fix it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More Rides

We went back to Danao with Denny. We wandered around some so ...
We took tricycle to town, then maybe hubba-hubbas (a motorcycle with a seat long enough for three) across town and finally pedicabs back to a restaurant.

I had the camera so I didn't get in the photos.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Philippine Tricycles and Pedicarts

A tricycle on the left and a pedicab on the right. Either a bicycle or motorcycle with a side car.

There are no taxis in Port Carmen. We took a tricycle to the next village, Danao, just to see it.

The taxi cost about $1US to get in then it has a meter. About 5 miles for $3. The tricycle was PP8 (8 pesos) each or about .20

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Arrived Port Carmen

We arrived in Port Carmen about 11:00AM. Looked at the work yard and all. Looks like we can have a full crew working on the boat for about $6/day each. Even craftsmen, not just laborers.

We have several projects that need doing, The fuel tank seems to have rusted a hole in the bottom. The catch is it is under the floor in the galley. That means cut out the galley, sink stove and floor. Then figure out how to get the bad tank out and put in a new one. It could be made from mild steel, stainless or fiberglass/epoxy. I have no idea yet!!!,
Next the deck seems to be getting soft under the mast steps. ASo take off the masts, cut open the fiberglass deck and see what's wrong then fix it.

Last Trinda wants to finish removing the teak decks and fiberglass over it all. Plus painting it.

All that does not include the finish re-varnishing the interior and varnishing the wood outside.

I guess its only money, but this maybe the cheapest place around to do it. Most of the work is only labor!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

10 Days in a Marina

We checked into the Cebu Yacht Club for their 10 day special, $100 for the first 10 days in the country, then $125 for the next 7 days then $65 per day after that.

We have had guys working on the boat the whole 10 days at $12/day seemed too good to be true. Even got the bottom scrubbed for $15 and it was really bad. We have sanded the bulwarks and toe rail to be varnished (Cetol, Trinda says) and the remaining doors stripped so we can sand and re-varnish them. Also the stainless is polished and the deck scrubbed.

Yesterday we bought a membership in a CostCo affiliate here called H&R Shopping. Even has the orange shelves and the table with the pickle relish and onions for the hot-dogs! We even spent about the same our first trip. PP 13,000 which at 41 pesos/dollar is too much! No wonder we're broke!

We plan to check out of the marina tonight and head up to Port Carmen tomorrow morning.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Suriago to Jau Island, Bohol

It was a long but uneventful passage to Limasawa Island, the first place Magellan went ashore to hold mass in the Philippines.We anchored off the west side near a village. It looked small, but there were plenty of canoes on the beach. These were the same kind with the small motors. Late in the afternoon, they started leaving to go out fishing. Lots of them, by twos and threes but continuously for an hour! must have been 60 of them. I smilled and waved to most as they went by. Most managed to launch so that they came close enough to gander at the yacht! I was surprised that most of the canoes were painted very nice. They seem to have the island name, maybe the village name and probably the husband and wife's names. Very few were nameless or had peeling paint. And nearly all started with the first pull of the starter rope.

We still haven't checked in so I didn't feel comfortable going ashore. That and 'kinda hurring' toward Cebu. I think it would be a neat place to come back to for a week sometime.

The next leg is 54 miles. So about 5:30 we weighed anchor for the next stop. We were told thet there were too many 'fishing things' in the waters in the Philippines to travel at night. So we are stopping to anchor every night. Although we haven't seen that much stuff. Maybe the canoes are everywhere with out lights though. It is better rest too. The tides here are funny too. I haven't been able to predict whether we'll have current against us or not on any given leg.

It was not too bad on the way to Jou Island. Since it is a Spanish word, it is pronounced 'ou' like in ouch. The ancient cruising guide book we have says to anchor on the SE side of the island but you have to approach from the west. It talks about the guy who runs a resort here and is friendly to yachts. So, without thinking much we start this 10 mile spiral course into the island. Then I notice that we started in 30 feet of water and it got shallower and narrower all the way in.

Sure 'nuf, you guessed it! We found the mud again. It was 18 feet. I was in the center of the channel. everything was good at 4.5 knots. Then STOPPED! Max reverse did nothing! Trinda was sitting below at the computer and came running up. She couldn't believe the sound, "Like we hit rocks!". But it was only mud and sand. I believe it was nearing low tide, but I'm not sure my tide program is working right here. The dinghy was still on the fore deck from the passage. So we proceeded to get the dinghy down, aired up, motor on etc. in record time. Maybe 10 minutes. I took the hand-held depth finder and went each way to find the channel. It was only a few yards to starboard. I tied a 100 foot rope to the main halyard and started off to starboard in the dinghy. I pulled as hard as the dinghy would, tipping the boat over maybe 45 degrees while Trinda did max reverse. No soap! So next I went back over and pushed against the side of the bow with the dinghy. Still nothing. I started around to the port side of the bow to try pushing back but I couldn't get lined up. I thought it was current. No It finally broke loose and was running away. Trinda backed well away while I got the dinghy tied along side. We left it out there for the last 3 miles of the trip, just in case.

We got to the end of the channel according to my charts and no sign of the "Laguna Escondido Resort and Yacht Haven" so we just anchored in the middle. While we were aground, a smallish ferry came by and kept on going. It was at least 100 feet long and 10 of draft. I don't know where he went, my chart shows not that much depth the direction we saw him last. If I had known where his channel was earlier we could have saved 3 hours on th e trip and missed the mud!

Since the dinghy was down I started ashore to inquire about the resort. It was really shallow. Even though I saw people sitting in their canoes near shore, I only had about 8" under the dinghy when I got to the first one. He was a "government chaffer" who had brought some folks for a meeting. He said the resort had been closed a long time as the guy in the guide book had died. We chatted a while anyway. His canoe, freshly painted white with blue trim, was 18 feet with a 10HP Briggs & Stratten and 6" draft. Briggs & Stratten is the only American motor they have. Mostly Honda and other Japanese ones, from 2, 5, 10 or 15 HP. They have a scaled up canoe, maybe called a pareau, and they use old car engines. I didn't get the size.

Trinda had fried some chicken for lunch so we finished it off and watched a movie.


We left Palau Wed morning under cloudy skies. The wind was a light breeze as we motored the 18 miles across the lagoon to the west pass. The wind continued to build through the morning mostly from the NNE. It started raining just before we got to the pass of course, when you need to be able to see the most, it squalls. That set the pattern for the crossing.

The wind was supposed to clock to the ENE and the wind die to 15 the second day, but it apparently forgot to read the GRIB! It stayed 25 NNE all the way, except for the rain squalls when it would go to 30 before and to 10 for a few minutes afterward. Since the wind was on the beam, (NNE when we were going West), the auto pilot didn't do very well. We spent a lot of time motor sailing with just the staysail or a double reefed main and staysail up. Occasionally we would get surprised by a squall with too much sail up and run a few minutes at 8 or 9 knots, but mostly we only did 5 to 6. It is safer and more comfortable that way.

The seas were big and confused. With the wind on the beam, we had a component of the swewll on the beam too, but a bigger swell from NE and a smaller one from SE. As each of these added or combined beneath and beside the boat, we had 18 foot peaks and big looking holes all around. It wasn't like a big swell coming from one direction where the boat goes up then comes down, it would go up some then a peak would slam into the side then go up more then surf down into a hole and stay low a while. The period of each swell was quite different so it felt more like sailing in a washing machine. All this made Trinda seasick all the way, 5 days and me for 3 days.

We aimed for Dinagat Island, with Suriago Strait to the North and Hinatuan Passage to the South. We finally chose the southern route. There is an island in the middle of the entrance to Hinatuan Passage, Lajanosa, that I thought we could anchor behind out of the weather to rest from the passage. The crazy mixed up swells wrapped around both ends of the island to make all the areas to uncomfortable to anchor. Me motor sailed on into the passage and around behind the first big island. It was much better protected from the weather, but all the little nooks an crannies were over 150 feet deep. The deepest we can safely anchor with our 300 feet of chain is about 100 feet and I am nervous above 80 feet. We finally found a shallow shelf in a little cove and put the anchor down. It was 75 feet, but as the boat swang on the hook, parts were only 40 feet.

We rested! two nights worth!

Some locals came by in their little boats. The standard here seems to be a canoe, 15 to 20 foot, with two outriggers and an inboard 2HP gas engine. They run about 8 knots. 8 of these came by together and ask for food. We had 7 lbs of rice Trinda didn't like so they got that. They had come for another island to the East ( not sure where or how far) to do some fishing, but they couldn't go home because of the typhoon blowing. I hadn't realized we had come through one, but they thought it was a typhoon!

Next we motored on toward Cebu City. We got as far as the last part of Suriago Strait, near Suriago City when the tidal current hit us at 3 knots on the nose. We decided to anchor for the night in front of the wharf. It was calm but not quiet. I forgot to mention that NONE of these little canoes have mufflers! Just think of all your neighbors mowing their lawns at the same time with no mufflers on the mowers! About 9:00 the settled down to only one or two milling around.

Since we are not checked into the country yet we didn't go ashore. We got visas in Palau, but are supposed to see customs and immigration here. It may have been alright, but Suriago is a Port of Entry, so I was nervous. Anyway a canoe came up to the boat and started yelling. They wanted to sell pearls. White pearls grown locally by a Japanese farm. Trinda couldn't resist so she is the proud owner of a couple strings and some earings.

We have not been successful talking on the HAM radio. I try to talk to Denny each day at 6 AM and PM. I only succeeded about 1 out 4 tries. I can't connect to the winlink either. We weighed anchor and started out of the harbor. I turned on the computer chart program ( and noticed it connected to a free WiFi!!~! When we anchored, I had casually checked for WiFi and didn't notice any. So, I had Trinda steer slowly while I got winlink to send the mail I had already written before we left. It is 30 miles to the next anchorage against the current so we couldn't stay long enough to do any more email. Next time I'll look better.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

In the Philippines

We made it alive and well, sorta. Trinda was seasick the whole 5 days and has lost a little weight! Wednesday to Monday, 587 miles and 70 hours on the engine.

We had a bit of wind, mostly 25 on the beam, which Auto, the pilot, doesn't like at all! Thus we motor-sailed much of the way on the $.61/gal diesel from Palau! We hear it will be cheaper here.

We Tried to anchor at the first island, Lajanosa, but the big ocean swells wrapped around the whole island so we came on in to Sohutan Bay on Bucas Grande Island and rested a day, yesterday afternoon and today! We still plan to go on to Port Carmine, about 20 miles N of Cebu City, maybe tomorrow.

Had a steak for lunch and plan a homemade pizza for supper! This "no-eating-cause-the-waves-are-too-big" is hard on the waist line!!

(by radio: haven't found an internet yet)