Getting to Subic Bay

October 3rd, Vancouver Airport: Fall is here in full force. The winds are up. The air has a certain chill to it. The leaves are falling. Must be time to take our leave.

Dad and I drove Chris to the airport in Vancouver mid-day for his flight via Hong Kong. Now I’m sitting at the airport waiting for my direct flight to Manila. It’s been delayed by two hours…although they assure us we will arrive at the same time. Not quite sure how THAT works.

Chris checked four bags each weighing 70 lbs. Hurray for Elite status. I checked another three bags around 50 lbs each. We each had a little more than our maximum carry-on. Needless to say, excess baggage fees were handed over.

And then there was Nukaat. He got special treatment at the security screening before a baggage handler in blue took him away. Guess we’ll see him again in Manila in about 16 hours.

At least Chris got priority check-in. Nukaat and I waited two hours in line. Gotta run. They just called my rows for boarding.

October 5, Subic Bay, Philippines: Chris arrived in Manila last night just before midnight. My flight got in around 5:30 a.m. We both had exceptional good fortune. Chris was upgraded to business class because they had double booked his seat. I ended up with three seats to myself, which made the long trip much more comfortable in cattle class.

After passing through immigration and picking up my bags, I went on the hunt for Nukaat. And another baggage handler dressed in blue brought him out. He was wild eyed but otherwise none the worse for wear after the flight. Then it was on to quarantine, which took all of five minutes and about $8 for the permit, through customs and outside where Chris was waiting with Onay, our favourite taxi driver.

We somehow managed to squeeze all ten bags and kitty’s kennel and ourselves into Onay’s car and then it was another three hour drive to the boat, located at the Subic Bay Yacht Club. On the way, we made a pit stop for coffee, cat litter, a litter box and beer.

Now fully provisioned, we arrived at the marina, loaded everything into carts and hauled it down to MOKEN, waiting right where we’d last left her. We made a quick push to get everything on board, let kitty out of the cage and celebrate our arrival. No lost luggage, uneventful flights. Success!

Our friend Rich showed up from Manila later in the afternoon, after we went shopping for a few other basics. And we spent the afternoon lazing at The Lagoon restaurant across the street, before going to the Legion in Olangango and dinner at Willis. Reviews were split on the pizza there. I went back to the boat early as jet lag set in while the boys stayed out for a couple more rounds.

Back on board, we were up numerous times in the night resetting the LPG alarm, which kept going off every so often. The first time it happened was before the boys got back. I wondered if it was a good idea to turn it off and go back to sleep or whether I should go sleep outside on the deck, in case there really was a propane leak. But in the end, my pillow won out.

October 6, Subic Bay Freeport Zone: A lazy day! Did a bit of unpacking but most stuff hasn’t yet found a home and it’s spread around the boat.

After his initial exploration of MOKEN, kitty spent most of yesterday and this morning sprawled out in various locations around the boat. He seems to be adjusting slowly. I think he may go a little stir crazy in here once his energy level gets back to normal.

Chris and Rich changed MOKEN’s Canadian flag as the old one was just a little tattered and faded.

Then we made a run to Starbucks, bought a few more groceries, took a taxi to Vasco’s for lunch (slow service, mediocre food) and then popped in to check out the Broadwater Marine store, which was a pleasant surprise. Not cheap, but they can order in almost anything should we need it.

There was a loud commotion going on while we were there. One fellow expat boater was ranting about something. He was yelling and cursing the staff. Even the people working at the shop next door stopped to watch. He finally stomped off when one of the shop gals politely said to him that if he had a complaint, he should speak to her manager.

Now it’s a lazy afternoon. Rich is lounging outside. Chris is working on setting up the Wifi booster and I’m writing. Kitty, as usual, is sprawled out. Maybe I’ll go for a nap too.