Thursday, December 8, 2011

We left Danao Drydock at high tide around noon. We only went out to Carmen bay and anchored next to Shanghai, Greg. Trinda rested, but I dinghy-ed over to Clas and Naneth's trimaran for happy hour. We discussed anchorages on the way to Palawan. A nice evening.

The next morning at first light we headed north toward Malapascua. There was about 15 knots on the nose, as always, so out with the staysail and motored into it at about 4 knots. By noon it was obvious we wouldn't make the 45 miles to Malapascua, so we headed for Bogo. It has a narrow branching channel into the ferry dock. Thinking there may not be room near the dock, we took a side branch that looked wide enough. Maybe 6 boat lengths in 40 feet of water, then only 2 feet over the coral reef. We anchored in the widest spot and I put out the chain to the first mark.

I had asked the guys to mark the chain with colored zip-ties at 100 feet, 150 and 200. Just before dark a rain squall came with 25 to 30 kts of wind and we dragged over toward the coral. We had the anchor alarm and the depth alarm set so we noticed in time. We managed to re-anchor about where we were before. All seemed OK so we finished supper. About 2 hours later the alarms started going again. This time it was dark, but not raining too hard to see some. We leave the GPS track showing, so we used the previous tracks to find what I thought was further upwind than before and anchored again. About 2 AM another squall came with more wind! It was raining so hard I couldn't see the bow but I could feel the rudder in the mud next to the reef. Again we used the GPS tracks to get back in the middle. I put out a little more chain this time. One of us stayed up all night watching the alarms and the depth. No more wind.

At first light we got out of there! Headed north again into the steady 20 knot wind again. About 3 PM we made it into the lea of Malapascua. Very nice to be out of the wind, rain and waves. The first try at anchoring near the lighthouse,left us 'not' where I thought I was. There is an old Japanese wreck from WW-II in the bay and I was too close to it. As I was pulling in the anchor I mentally measured the chain to the marks. The guys had misunderstood! It was marked at 50 and 100 feet. SO!! That's why we drug so easy in Bogo! I had only put 50 feet of anchor chain in 45 feet water. It barely hit the bottom!

We were really tired from sitting up all night, so we laid around the boat for the rest of the afternoon. Bored, I noticed the depth finder was blinking easily and was showing a speed through the water. Since it is installed 'inside' the hull, it can't measure a speed! I got to looking and found the connector in the extension cable dirty and corroded. I cleaned and water proofed it. Now the depth was 15 feet less at 40 feet! I got the hand held meter out in the dinghy and now it agreed with the built-in one in the boat. Thinking back to Bogo, now I see we had a little less water depth and that explains why we drug slower than the anchor just touching the bottom should have.

Malapascua is a tourist resort island. Mostly foreigners come to go diving and swim on the beaches. The resorts are mostly at the opposite end of the 1.5 mile long island. We took the dinghy ashore and started walking through the little village by the lighthouse. It was obvious that few tourists walk through their village. It was mostly the local resort workers and their families. But they did know how to beg. We headed south to the tourist end. Soon a motorcycle came by and offered a ride. I didn't think we'd both fit and wanted tosee more anyway, so we kept on walking. The main highway is just a trail wide enough for two motorcycles to pass carefully.

By the time we found the main village and bought a few necessities, it was lunch. The store clerk directed us to Ging-Ging. It turned out to be a dive shop and tour place besides a restaurant. All the other lunch clients seemed to be vacationers. Then back tot he little store to ask about vegetables. Trinda was wanting chop suey. I needs cabbage, carrots, onions, choyte and peppers. Since it isw a resort island, the foreigners stay in hotels and eat in cafes. No need to buy food. I took a while to find and by the veggies from the tiny market.

The primary means of transport here are the motorcycles. The seat is modified for as many as 5 to sit on. They decided Trinda and I needed a bike each. It was 50P each back to the village where we left the dinghy, $2.50 US. It only took 5 minutes back at break-neck speed for a cow trail highway! Next day we took the dinghy back to the beach just off the veggies store and got more cabbage etc.

We got a call from April. She got off and wanted us to come to Bantayan to meet her so she could say goodbye. Sounded good so we left early the next morning. It was downwind this time, except there was no wind! Ha! So 6 hours later we are anchored off the ferry dock by Santa Fe, Bantayan. April and Lina, her girlfriend, came on the noon ferry. It is not so much a resort town as a favorite island for foreigners to buy and build houses. April's boyfriend is buying a lot to build a house for them. We met Al and his girl, their friend already living there. They all came out to the boat for a swim, chocolate cake and dinner. It was going to be cornbread and mung beans but it got too late and turned to chop suey and brown rice. Some wine and a few bottles Tanduy Ice (premix rum and citrus flavor) and a very enjoyable evening telling lies.

We rented three motorcycles with drivers for the day for April, Lina and us. We went to the larger village on the other side. To the bank, market and saw an old church the Spanish built in 1580. Because we took bikes instead of a tricycle or bus, it rained plenty on us! The max speed limit seem to be less than 30 so the rain in the face didn't hurt too much.

We took April and Lina swimming to the tiny Virgin Island 3 miles up the coast. Nice swim off a sand beach. Trinda and April complained of something stinging in the water so we got out and started back. She got little blisters in a circle that are still itching. They came back and spent the night aboard. It was a little rolly so April and Lina slept in the cockpit where it was cooler and more comfortable. The visitors and Al all went back to Cebu the next morning.
The tricycles in Santa Fe are different than we have seen before.

Trinda and I caught a jeepney to the village again for more provisions. We were in such a hurry to leave the Drydock that we have very little food. More shopping then a tricycle back. They are different here, smaller and none seem to have a muffler. This was the loudest I have ridden! Almost back ahd he has a flat! We all got off and he pushed it on to a filling station. We got a pedi-cab all the way back to the dinghy, maybe 3 miles. He was tired. Arriving hungry, there was a BBQ chicken parts on a stick.We got 3 and headed for the boat. I sat down and started to eat a breast off the stick. I had noticed the cock-fight arena by the dock and not given it much thought. As I tried to chew the breast meat, I began toi think it was too close to the arena. I might have a looser here. After finishing I realized I must have gotten the winning cock! It was the toughest old bird I have ever tried to eat!

Early the next morning, off to South Gigantes Island. Motor sailing in light wind, it took 8 hours. The only people in the bay were crab fishermen from Bantayan, where we had just left. One came by and gave us 8 small reef fish. Trinda fried them up. First fresh fish in a while. We were afraid to eat them in Drydock because of the pollution all around us there. Afterward, I took a bag of mixed nuts to him. He didn't read or even speak English. One of the other guysw asked to open the bag and showed him what they were. He then shared them all around with the other 5 or 6 boats. We tried to talk some but there was no common language.

I forgot to take pictures in Gigantes. Oops.

We made water and charged the batteries and rested the next day. Then off to the port of Roxas on Panay Island, the state of Capiz.

Here we sit in a rolly anchorage in the rain. Met people and staying a few days.

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