REUNIONS, Friends, Places and Trawlers
We left our new yacht club and friends for one last voyage of the season back to Coron. We made the passage north to Punta Fuego to fuel with our Selene compadres and parted as they headed north. It had been fun cruising with another Selene, this one a 38 Archer, the boat I promoted and helped design, my pet project so I take some pride in seeing one.
Waving adios to the Selene and with full fuel tanks we backtracked to one of the greatest dive sites on earth, Apo Reef.
cruising with another Selene
On our flat water calm day at sea we encountered massive pods of dolphins. The rule on Furthur is it is ok to wake up every one when dolphins appear, the call “dolphins” get the crew scurrying for cameras and even sometimes clothes! I never tire of seeing these magnificent creatures in the wild and each time I do my heart aches for all those in captivity. This encounter was a banner one, over 100 dolphins came from every direction to play with Furthur. What really made this encounter special was the crystal clear flat water. We could see dolphins at different depths probably down to 70 feet at least. One group would be jumping at the bow, another a few meters below and way down deep another just flashes in the depth, truly stunning.
Donna ready to pick up the mooring at Apo Reef
Anchored in the reef we met up with our Canadian friends on another trawler, a Diesel Duck. Sandra and Chris, had not dove Apo so I showed them around. We anchored deep inside the reef on a clear calm night. This is an amazing phenomenon as there is no land to see yet flat calm protection from the massive reef. Apo Reef is second only to the Great Barrier Reef in size. In daylight on can see the green glow of the reef but at night is disappears. No land in sight, no lights to dim the star filled sky, and yet dead calm at the anchor.
We have made this trip many times before so this time changing course to do some exploring of Busanga Island. This is a very sparkly populated island and very dry and arid with rugged peaks shooting straight out of the sea. We found a new anchorage in a well-protected inlet and dropped the hook. Again little sign of life, just a few pearl farmers pass by close out of curiosity.
We all wind up at Coron Town, the epicenter of this area and we head for the hot springs the first night. i love these springs even on a day that hit mid 90’s. The next day we found our great friends David and Suzie after some internet misses we just passed right by the boat they were on and heard them call on the VHF, so much for technology. David and Suzie had been on their boat on the Raja Amput Rally last year. Their trip had been plagued with engine troubles and Suzie had suffered a big fall in rough weather. This all prompted them to change their cruising plans and send their boat home to California with a young eager delivery crew. Not having seen any of the Philippines they set off on more conventional modes of transportation.
With our friends aboard we headed back to one of those places I call home now, Pearl Bay and Puerto Del Sol. I took David on several wreck dives; an experience he had not had before. We had all played music together in Davao and had a grand time playing at Al Faro resort. It was a blast jamming with them again, Suzie on drum and David on blues harp and both adding to the vocals. At Davao I had dug up the lyrics to the old Sonny and Cher tune, I Got You Babe, and we did a somewhat comical rendition that night. instead of “don’t let them say your hair is too long— we sang, don’t let them say your hair is all gone! Haha
After a whirlwind tour of Coron including diving at the famous Barracuda Lake, where the temps hit over 100F, we ended our reunion with a birthday celebration for Suzie. They will meet their boat in the Pacific Northwest, my old stomping grounds. I enjoyed prepping them for the experience, we wish them well and hope we cross paths again someday.
As I have written about many times, the cruising life brings forth a cornucopia of new friends, both locals and fellow cruisers. Sometimes we depart knowing we will not see them again and sometimes that we will. This is the bitter sweet pill of the cruising life style. If I had not left the dock that September night in 2009 the list of friends whom I would have missed is staggering. There is no measurement for the enrichment and lessons these comrads have brought me. So when we leave a friend, one we have shared great times with and go our separate ways, I always recall the wisdom i gained from the back of a T-shirt that made it all ok; “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”
(photo credits; Sandra Tretick}
Make Your Dream Your Story
Capt. Brian Calvert