English cruising notes:
Cebu, Philippinerne den 15.
When we sailed from Boracay, we made a stop at the estuary into the village Batan on the north coast of Panay. Also called Port Batan. The river water was muddy.
We followed navionic chart on Bob's cell phone. But here came "Murphy" visiting!
The map was not accurate enough, so we came too close to the side of the channel and ran aground on the sand bank. Normally not a problem, but exactly when it happened, the engine stalled. Shit!
So we could not just slope of the sand bank. Bob jumped into the water to see if we had anything in the propellar, but no, nothing wrong. Shortly after I found out that the diesel supply from the day tank was stopped and had caused air bubbles in the system.
Bob tried to push Anaconda of the sandbank with the dinghy, but failed.
It was fortunately Low Tide, so we would get free again automatically within a few hours.
The fuel system was bleeded, but when the starter had taken a few cranks, it stopped. What! The solenoid was burned off.. Reserve starter was found and installed, but it was not as powerful as the current starter , so it could not start. Start solenoid were replaced, but the engine still would not start.
Meanwhile, we came off ground and with the dinghy attached on the side of Anaconda, we maneuvered into a safe anchorage. At one point, we suddenly saw in the lamp glow from a man on the beach, just 10 meters from us. UPS!
the cards are not quite accurate. However, we came in nicely and threw anchor for the night. I continued to work with the engine. I do not like that you can not start the engine at any time. Bad weather, tides, etc. could do that we had to move away quickly.
All diesel filters were replaced, fuel lines bleeded again and eventually the engine started.
The cause of the engine stopped was that Racor pre-filter directly from the day tank was completely clogged. But a typical example of that: When something goes wrong, everything goes wrong. Murphy follow us all the time like a shadow!
We continued the following day and came safely out of the Delta, when we used CM93 cards at Open CPN. As usual, almost no wind, so it was motor sailing down between the islands of Panay and Cebu. We were heading down to Moalboal for diving. We stopped for the night in Toledo, but was not ashore.
On arrival at Moalboal we anchored inside the city and went to town to have somethimng to eat. The tide was 2 meters, so pretty inconvenient to get to and from the beach with the dinghy. It constantly had to be pumped because of the bad seams. and I patched almost every day.
The next day we sailed to Pescador Island and had a dive. But the water was filled with stinging jellyfish, Seawhasp that burned us all the time. Bob was pretty burned in the face and I on the arm so that was the only dive there. We had a few more dives in at the beach with all the resorts and the next day we continued towards the southern tip of Cebu. Here we anchored in the very strong tidal current that ran around with us all night, so the anchor chain was very noisy. We wanted to see if we could find whale sharks, which live in the south of Cebu. First we sailed to Sumilon Island and dived, fine dive. Then we sailed north towards Oslob, where local fishermen had found out that feeding whale sharks, would make them stay all year. Usually they migrate year round from place to place.
We did not find the place and spent the night out of Oslob, but the next morning we sailed southward and could remotely see that there was much activity and many Tourists about 5 miles south of Oslob. We anchored close by and from the dinghy we jumped in the water with snorkel equipment and GoPro cameras.
The place is like fenced with ropes from a number of buoys. Small outrigger canoes with Tourists sailed from small fishing canoes that feeded whale sharks.The Whale sharks were there, but we got no time to count them, local security men came swimming and would chase us away. If you don't pay 1000 peso (kr. 150, -) in the resort, you can not swim with them. We ignored them a bit and took some footage of the whale sharks, but since there were more and more guards and they were aggressive, Bob and Morten swam back to Anaconda. I continued to argue with them and said that they could not just draw a line in the surface and then say that you could not swim on the other side.
The sea is a free area where you can swim where ever you want. They did not agree with me. It took half an hour and we saw whale sharks all the time.
Some of the guards were aggressive and would push me away, but they did not succeed. I threatened them that he would not do again while I threatened him with a fist. It all ended with that they called the police.
A policeman came out in a canoe and explained that we could not swim on the other side, so we got into a discussion and he became more and more aggressive. Finally he said that i had to go to the Police Station with him to pay a fine for violating the rules. I would not, of course, so I switched over to say, OK, I go up to the resort and pay the 1000 peso. But I went straight back to Anaconda, hove anchor and started to sail away.
The Policde man shouted, No I could not, You must come to the Police Station to pay the Fine. At the same time he kept his hand on his gun, to emphasize that he meant it. Yes, yes, but I ignored him.
Luckily Bob and Morten already on board and Oscar also down on the platform aft. The policeman rowed fast-paced and shouted after me. I Told him that I had changed my mind. We are sailing now, bye, bye! I therefore withdrew the anchor up, but he managed to get in the boat and threaten his hand on the gun, but I ignored him completely and soon after we sailed.
But alas, when Oscar was standing with his hind legs on the ladder, he fell into the water when Anaconda started sailing. So we had to turn around again and get him back to the aggressive police officer.
Same time came a big whale shark swimming under the boat, so it was all a total chaos. We constantly looked back while we both filmed and tried to get away in a hurry. The policeman shouted at us while we disappeared. We looked constantly backwards to see if they came after us in a speedboat. But nothing happen.
A little unfortunate departure, we will of course return another day. But then we make another plan.
But a good experience again to see whale sharks.
The tour then proceeded to Balicasaq Island, south of Panglao. We had some really good dives.
We sailed then up to Cabilau Island, west of Panglao. We had again a couple of really good dives with big Frogfish and more. We were here two days and met a large German catamaran, Bavaria, which we had previously met in Puerto Galera with Heyko and Rose.
The following day we sailed up to Mactan Island, located just off of Cebu City. Here we tried to find a 40 meter deep cave, deep down in 30 meters of water, but failed. I had dove here 30 years ago, so here I could again see the big difference that occurs when time goes with age. At that time the water was crystal clear with lots of fish and corals. Now it seems like a dead desert. Overpopulation, many Tourists and pollution, turns it all to death. And still the fishermen do not think about what they are doing.
They still use dynamite and cyanide poison to catch fish and anyone can imagine what is happening to the coral reefs then. Too bad!.
Because of corruption at all levels, it is impossible to stop. Everyone is aware of this kind of fishing, but when paid corruption all the way to the top, the mayor and governors, there is nothing that can stop it.
We decided to sail directly to Cebu Yacht Club, where we arrived on July 28. in the afternoon. We anchored outside the marina and in the office we were told that Anaconda had already spent 10 days at low rate when we were here in January. It cost 5,600 pesos (820, - kr) for 10 days. Subsequently now it would costs 4,800 pesos A DAY !! (720 -kr) Completely insane! TGhey do not want strangers here. So we were anchored outside the marina. Next year we start over again with the low rate.
We met with Kim Borck Johansen and Juv from Amazing. We did some shopping and toured around the Ceby City. On August 1, Bob went back to Thailand and Morten back to Denmark. Bob had the last days "surfed" the internet for a new boat. He wanted a Catamaran, which he would use to diving and sailing here in the Philippines next year. The he had fallen in love with one Mumby 48, built of aluminum just in Carmen north of Cebu. The holder of the yard Tim Mumby was impossible to contact as he was work all the time and was around many places.
So Bob did not meet him. When I finally got hold of him, it turned out that he just had resold the last Cat he had built. It was called "Meercat" and was ordered by a Dane Jens R. a few years earlier. It was now finished, but Jens had no time to sail in it because of a new job. So it was now sold to a new owner. Too bad for Bob, Tim had completed production, for now and want go sailing himself.
Another Mumby 48 were sold in Langkawi for 327.000 USD.
On August 4. arrived Laura Foster as planned.
She brought two large bags with various equipment that I had ordered in the United States. It's great to have her back.
After a few days in Cebu, we sailed northward up to Carmen and we are now in the Shipyard area by Pinoy Boat Services, which is owned by Zeke Stefanski, which I have visited several times before.
The dinghy I ordered in Hong Kong has gradually come to Cebu, but it's a hell of papers and countless amount you have to pay to get it delivered. Until now I have spent 40,000 pesos (6000, - kr) in customs clearance and further payment of a large amount when it is delivered next week. Thieves and robbers !! But there is nothing to but pay and forget it all. It will be nice with a new dinghy.
The final amount is a price that you can buy a good dinghy for around the world. (Approximately kr. 20.000, -) The advantage of buying in China has disappeared. We should have waited in Hong Kong the last two weeks of delivery. It had saved much money. You become wiser with time: o)
Yesterday we talked with a Philipine girl who we had met in Davao a year ago. She told that Oscar, the shipdog had been visiting on her boat several times. She had a small white dog and it suddenly became pregnant! It ended with a puppy that completely resembled Oscar :o)
We are now starting to work on Anaconda. The engine is hauled and reviewed with new piston rings and gaskets. Roller furling be repaired, two new solar panels to be fitted, new dive compressor engine, a Honda 6.5 HP, is purchased (Kr. 1.500, -) The freeboard should be painted all around, teak deck in the cockpit must be repaired with new rubber.
A local blacksmith to manufacture a 40 kg "Rocna" anchor Anaconda about 2000 - kr.
We must do everything before October 15, when the next guests show up. During the autumn, we must dismantle the rudder and repair the base and mount it again.
Happy late summer to everyone in Denmark.
Many greetings from Jan and Laura