New Friends, New Places

Glenn and Eric, the Orca Conservancy donors, with the Furthur crew

We spent a month in Puerto Galera, a wonderful place that combines diving, wild nights and real Filipino life. We followed our good friends on Lost in Asia to the small natural harbor, we were lucky and got the only Puerto Galera Yacht Club mooring suitable for our size. This is a big plus as it puts us in a very protected harbor and avails us the use of the treasured “service boat”.

The yacht club provides a shore boat from 8 am until 10pm daily, all you do is pick up the radio on channel 68, say “service boat, Furthur” and instantly a friendly boatman appears, he will even take rubbish and deliver laundry. We befriended two of the guys and had them drive my dinghy for our dive trips on their days off. The “turn into a pumpkin” hour of 10pm we a challenge a few nights, but we always made the boat.

The new member of our crew, a Filipina from Manila, Jenny introduced me to her friend Jing, a local shop owner who played music. Within no time we were jamming together and did a few gigs with his band. We also picked up Carmen, a lovely girl from South Africa who is taking to life on Furthur very well, once again i am blessed with great crew.

Puerto Galera has two distinctly different party areas, Sabang and White Beach, both make for a wild night out. Sabang is the dive shop/restaurant/girly bar area. The narrow streets are pedestrian only bordering on the banka boat covered beach. We joined friends for a few nights out there, great meals and a bit of bar hopping. Bar hopping is a Filipino experience, each bar has loud music, colorful lights and from 30 to 60 scantily clad girls all wanting to be your friend, haha.. It is common for couples to bar hop as just watching is good fun, so is playing!

White Beach is another phenomena, the crystal white sandy beach is lined with bars and restaurants. This is the ladyboy part of town, few waitresses are real girls. After dark the bars open stages right on the beach and elaborately costumed ladyboys do exotic dance numbers to canned music all along the beach while fire dancers perform at the water’s edge. It all makes for a bizarre if not enchanting evening.

Bill reluctantly posing with our lovely ladyboy waitress

I had the pleasure of meeting one of my blog readers and future long range passagemaker. Bill came to visit and we spent two days talking about boats, passages and his plans. So good to be able to help a future adventurer.

motorbikes to the waterfalls

Adding to the list of guests were the winners of the cruise i donated to a fund raiser auction for Orca Conservancy. Eric and Glenn bought the cruise almost a year ago and finally all the stars aligned and the joined us for three great days. As there is not much cruising in the area, kinda a one anchorage place, we took them on land trips and one diving expedition. We gave them the total PG tour, Sabang, White Beach, and the waterfalls. A great time was had by all, and all while helping our beloved Orca Whales.

diving with the boys

Furthur does not like to sit! and when forced to she often rebells. This is one of the longest stays at an anchorage without moving i have done, one month. i know better than to let things sit that long without firing up the engine, but i didn’t do it. The day we were to leave i arose at first light and experienced a horrid silence when i hit the start button, zippo. All the terrifying things that go through ones head at this point, being far from anyone who has a clue about electronic engines. Putting the worst case scenarios aside i followed my “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” procedures and went to the upstream most of the system, the batteries. I found them dead, only 8 volts. I had switched to using just the inverter charger at anchor, which it seems does not charge the starter batteries, also it seems now, neither do the solar panels. This may be a failure of the Pathmaker system. I switched chargers and the batteries came back to life. After a bit, varoom the engine started. Fortunately the batteries recovered and the problem seems to be solved or at least circumvented. Several lessons learned.

So we are merrily off to Borocay, the party central of the Philippines, famed for perfect white beaches and wild night life. We are meeting some cruising friends there and will get there for a huge sailboat regatta, should be tons of fun.