Countdown to Departure

January 1 – February 20, 2018: With the new year celebrations behind us, we suddenly realized we were in our final few weeks in Subic. Our exact date of departure was far from exact, however. Maybe some time in January, maybe early February. It was all up in the air again as Chris was in negotiations on a short-term helicopter maintenance contract, and these things always seem to take longer than you’d think.

In the meantime, Chris kept plugging away at his seemingly endless list of boat projects (see previous post here) and I tried to stay out of his hair. He worked. I ran errands, cleaned, paid bills, shopped and even squeezed in a few fun activities…like a day trip to the local waterfall and a dive, or hashing with Betty.

It was also a time of decluttering MOKEN in preparation for leaving the marina, and then filling her right back up again with food and other provisions. We gave away all sorts of things on board that we didn’t use, including a guitar, old freezer system and dock box, and sold our spare nesting cooking pots, cold water survival suits and second dock box.

Near the end of January, Chris flew to Thailand to work for two weeks and I caught up with a few friends and went to a first birthday party for Merlyn’s first grandson, Zion Gray.

When Chris returned, he was a changed man. The long locks of hair were gone and he was sporting a new, super short military haircut. It created quite a stir at the marina and our usual hangouts.

At long last, our departure date loomed close. Chris was still working full days on MOKEN. We got fresh petrol for the outboard. Nukaat decided to go for one final late night swim in the marina. Our friends – Peter and Betty, Les and Kerry, John and Alice and Tracy – threw us a farewell party on the beach complete with an incredible fresh seafood BBQ by our master chef, Les. I did a run to the big S&R box store (aka Philippines Costco) with Betty, Alice and Tracy to stock up on all sorts of meat, food and snacks. Mathew popped by the boat for one last cuddle with Nukaat. We paid our final bills with our contractors and the yacht club.

Suddenly, it was time.

Extra special thanks to Betty for kindly loaning us her car for a couple of weeks and to Chard, Mylene, Mathew, Charlene and Nina for looking after Nukaat on way too many occasions to count. Additional photos by Tracy.

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