Cruising is a constant making and changing of plans, i find when i fight the forces that be, i regret it and now the forces said, change your plan. I had a great crew all excited to enter into the wilds of Indonesia but they had time limitations. We planned on being in Davao about two weeks then off we would go, but the entrance paper work took longer than expected we had to make a decision. The two crew members had a finite time to be on the boat and the impending seasonal weather change, both did not bode well for my plan.
We drew a line in the sand, if the paper work did not arrive by a certain date, we would change the plan and regrettably but understandably the crew would move on. That day came and no paper work.
With a tear in the eyes we bid Sandra and Chloe good by and Donna and i settled into marina life. My real goal was to dive at Raja Amput and we learned that most of the folks in the marina were joining a rally there in late August, a much better time weather wise so we decided to join in. This puts us in a small marina for a few months.
We have quickly bonded with the cruising community here, some i have known before and many with similar experiences. i met a guy with a 2010 Puddle Jump shirt on and showed him the name Furthur on the back. The cruisers were all very welcoming and invited us to the weekly BBQ potluck. Some brought food, i brought a guitar!
i quickly organized a weekly dive, we hire the marina speed boat with driver, take 6 divers and go to one of the local hot spots. There is some remarkable soft coral, some of the healthiest i have seen in a long time, clear, warm water and just enough current to make us happy we have a boat driver.
We have found a great swimming hole, a series for waterfalls in a nice park, what a treat on a 90 degree day! i hired a motorbike and we have explored the island already. i have also found an entertaining gambling game, won 150p (3 bucks) first time out.
Samal Island sits a ten minute ferry ride from a major city, Davao, complete with several malls and tons of shops. We walk on the ferry and catch a cab, pretty much anything you need is there, even a branch of Costco.
There is a vibrant music scene on the island. We found a jam night at a rockin’ bar run by a Brit. They serve proper Bangers and Mash! I have sat in with the group twice now, they are phenomenal pickers so it is huge fun.
there are things we take for granted that will amaze the folks back home: Donna gets a weekly manny/peddy with wild colors for 40 pesos (80 cents). We go out to a scrumptious dinner with beer and my standard pitcher of ice tea, for four bucks a piece. A taxi ride in the city is a couple bucks. Moorage here is about ten bucks a day. Life is good!
Ok, the big news, as you may have gathered from my posts, Brian has a girl friend!! i met Donna in Subic Bay at a Hash Run, t’was love at first sight! i saw here and told Cynthia, i want THAT one, gathered all my courage and went over to talk to here. She has now been on the boat two months and taken to boat life like a natural. I am a happy man.
So we will stay here, join the cruising community, see the area and probably do some land trips not to mention constant boat work! September will find us headed to one of the most noted dive areas in the world with a group of wonderful people.