January 13, 2013: We are sitting at anchor in Puerto Galera just off the island of Mindoro. It’s a beautiful sunny Sunday morning with a light breeze. Chris just finished scrubbing the waterline and now he’s resetting the snubber on the anchor. Nukaat is snoozing below decks. And I’m trying to catch up the blog. A lot has happened since Christmas.
We scrambled madly to get our new batteries in place. They were finally delivered late in December leaving us just three days to get the old ones out, the box reconfigured and the new ones in before our friends arrived. But Chris and the boys managed to make it happen.
First to turn up was Joan from Calgary. The three of us rang in the new year watching the fireworks extravaganza on the beach in Subic. Unlike Vancouver, where the fireworks are set off on a barge in the bay, here they just cordon off a small section of the beach with a rope. We didn’t expect much of a show, so we were pleasantly surprised when they lasted twenty minutes. New Year’s Eve wouldn’t be complete without a photo shoot in funny hats and wigs and a stop at Seven Eleven for ice cold bevvies and ice cream.
Early in the New Year Bryan and Tara arrived from Rossland making our group complete. After a whirlwind of sightseeing around Olongapo including all five of us crammed into one trike for a trip to the market and a side trip up Mount Pinatubo by Tara and Joan, the day finally arrived when we were ready to depart for our first extended cruise on MOKEN.
We were up at 0500 and underway with the first light of dawn at 0600. It would be a two day crossing to Puerto Galera located on the northeast tip of Mindora. Only 100 nautical miles, but when you are going about 6NM per hour, it takes time.
Day one was sunny with a cross wind coming at us, which made crossing Manila Harbour a little uncomfortable for some, including kitty. Mid afternoon, we arrived at our overnight stop, a little cove called Hamilo Bay. After anchoring in the mud, we all were quick to jump into the water for a swim before barbecuing dinner.
Day two also found us underway at dawn for the crossing from Luzon island to Mindoro island. We’ve heard it can get pretty hairy with rough seas, current and lots of shipping traffic. There were definitely a lot of big ships, but we lucked out with favourable seas and made good time. We arrived in Puerto Galera mid afternoon and selected a place to anchor.
Everybody was pretty keen to go ashore, so we lowered the tender and made our way to the pier. That was a week ago. We spent the rest of the week diving, exploring the area and catching up with our other friends here: Paul, Rob and Snooky, and Richard.
Sadly, we said goodbye to Joan on Saturday morning as she made her was back to Manila for her flight home. And then Tara and Bryan left us the next day to continue their adventure on Boracay.
Now we’re back on our own and we’ll spend this coming week diving around Puerto Galera and playing with MOKEN before we take her back to Subic.
And what a difference half a day makes, weather wise. Now it overcast, windy, wet and cool! A good excuse to stay in and make soup this evening.
*** Many photos courtesy of Joan.