The sixth year of the Furthur Adventure took us once again out of Thailand, the Land of Smiles, and back to Borneo and the Philippines. It was an unremarkable and familiar trip with a long stop at our favorite marina in Kota Kinabalu. After a month of decadent living, swimming pools, expansive exercise room and my favorite, a sauna, we headed back to the Philippines. There had been a report, that later proved dubious, of a pirate attempt along our path so we contacted the Malaysian Navy to keep an eye on us. They did radio checks along the way but we saw no one, evil or friendly. When we came to Puerto Princessa to check in all the anchorage was abuzz of the impending typhoon. We watched intensely as it built and collapsed then made our way north. Back in the oh so familiar and friendly waters of Coron and Puerto del Sol for Christmas, i connected with old friends. The dive center there was swamped and asked if i would assist guiding some dives, sure i said. I spent the holidays and a few months there after diving the WWII wrecks by day and playing music at the two resorts by night, ah the life. The need for fuel, repairs and change of scenery took us back to Subic Bay. A adverse weather pattern settled in which extended our stay before we could venture to the next destination. I used the time to do more boat work and have some fun.
From Subic we set out for a new destination, Puerto Gallera, a favorite with cruisers and now mine too. With new crew onboard we worked south to the Filipino party hot spot Boracay Island. This is where all the Filipinos want to go, epic white beaches and constant party. I found the anchorage so unpleasant that my stay was not one i would repeat soon. We did have the extreme pleasure of buddy boating with our friends, Peter and Rose, on Lost in Asia, something we will hopefully do again. Both Lost in Asia, a multi circumnavigation veteran and Furthur are featured in the latest edition of Voyaging Under Power.
We completed the circle with a return to Coron, a place i keep going back to and never sorry i do. Round and around we repeat the circle, Subic Bay, Puerto Gallera and then head south.
riding on a water bufflao cart to an enchanting waterfall
Now we are in new terrain and enjoy exploring the zillion islands and anchorages. We do the compulsorily swim with Whale Shark experience then down to Cebu. From Cebu we head back into the Pacific Ocean and follow the eastern Filipino coast to the city of Davao and Oceanview Marina. It is there that i made a change of plan as we had intended a short stay before heading south to Indonesia. Delayed paper work put our departure too late in the weather scheme of things. We had learned about the Sail Tamili Rally which headed to Raja Amput in September and decided to join that group. This put us in the marina for 3 months, the longest Furthur has been tied to the dock ever i think. We fell in love with the small resort island and the marina and developed great friendships with the group we would join on the next adventure. The first of September we left the marina in full dress, parade flags flying with 15 boats. As i write this we are a third of the way around the rally and all is well. We will hit two of the world’s most notorious dive area, Togian Islands and Raja Amput then back “home” to the Philippines.
Jamming with a great local Band at Samal Island
We plan on returning to Oceanview in November which is a tough call after the recent events. The marina was the scene of a recent terrorist raid and several of our friends were taken hostage. We will evaluate the situation next month but i think the security in the area will now be so extreme that it will be very safe. Our prayers go out to our friends and we hope for a speedy resolution and swift justice.