Life Amongst History
We are now back in one of my all time favorite places; Coron, Palawan. History dropped a golden egg on this pristine island wonderland, seven WWII Japanese sunken ships all within diving range. The Japanese supply ship fleet got caught hiding here and was attacked by 119 US fighter/bombers in September of 1944. They had twenty minutes of fuel time here and sunk every ship. Often when diving on the wrecks i imagine the chaos and panic as the skies filled with the roar of those fighters coming over the hills of Busanga Island. Today it is a scuba diving Mecca. The wrecks are all marked with moorings and have easy swim through areas, penetrate baby penetrate.
This is our third year coming to the incredible area, the play ground of our travels. Protected bays, great weather and some of the coolest people i know make this area one of my favorites.
So how does one spend time on Furthur in Paradise? We dive dive dive, for sure. Wrecks, thermal lakes reaching 40C and the amazing Apo Reef are all diving wonders. Between dives we might visit the Coron Hot Springs. A short bumpy ride over rough roads in a packed tricycle takes you to the edge of a mangrove forest where a natural hot springs feed into the salt water. The three pools empty into the sea. We hit is this time with a growing glowing moon, nearly perfect.
soaking in the Maquinit Hot Springs
Much of our time is spent with dear friends at Pearl Bay, a small well protected bay on Busanga Island about fifteen miles from Coron Town. The magical bay is dotted with small, fairytale like resorts. White stucco towers emerge from the jungle at each one. I have made lasting friends with the owners and play music there often. The views are mind altering, the foo sod great and the people a joy.
The bay is a gathering place for cruisers, we are neighbored by boats from Iceland, Korea, Hong Kong and other exotic places. We sometimes take the dinghy to the neighboring village to have lunch at “Tattoo Mike’s”, a small cafe owned by an old Danish biker. i like to spend time with the old timers here, the guy who bought the entire bay for a song years ago, the two original dive shop owners, and a few others with stories of the old days here.
When not diving, playing music or visiting friends we take in some of the other attractions, like the recently visited Animal Safari, (see recent blog) or last night we all packed to an uninhabited island with an crystalline white beach for a Full Moon Party. About 100 people in all sorts of boats joined in the Lunar fun and danced the night away.
hanging out with the old timers here
Coron Island itself is a geological phenomena, massive jagged rock formations jet out of the sea forming some of the most amazing anchorages i have seen. There are two lakes within short hikes of the anchorages, one is just a grand place for a swim, the other is a diving miracle. Barracuda Lake, so named for a lone barracuda who somehow lives there, is a marvel. You descend in warm brackish lake water at 28C (85F) but when you drop down ten meters (30 ft) you hit a thermal layer and the water hits 40f (101f) like scuba diving in a hot tub.
amazing lakes on Coron Island
With all it has to offer, Coron stays relatively unknown. The dive sites have regular visitors but only in small banka boats not more than 6 divers at a time. The resorts are quaint and spread out, the town is small and still very 3rd world. We are anchored with three other cruising boats now, the most i have seen. We hope it stays this way so don’t show this blog to anyone else, OK? hahaha.
diving and playing music, my life at Coron
Make Your Dream Your Story
Capt. Brian Calvert