Anchored Position: 07°53.62N 117°04.4E
Dalawan Bay, the Philippines
As planned we departed from the Malaysian island of Balambangan this morning. We had a planned destination of Clarendon Bay at the south end of the Philippine island of Balabac a distance of 35 miles. We got a last minute weather report, winds predicted to be 15 to 20 from the west and possible squalls. Our first few miles were to be a motor as we needed to navigate through some shallow reef areas.
Once out in the open we had a westerly wind of about 12 kts. and hoisted a double reefed main as we were expecting squalls. 15 minutes later the first one arrived. The wind stayed westerly but at 30 to 35 kts for the next hour. It's always great fun to go up to the mast and tuck in another reef. Needless to say Kathy is kept busy with things in the cockpit and steering while I'm at the mast.
The remainder of the day kept the excitement level high, as the wind continued in anywhere from 12 to 28 kts. along with 2 meter seas for most of the passage. The good news was we were SAILING! Due to the wind angle and perhaps a bit of set from the current we altered our destination to here in Dalawan Bay, only about 6 miles further. Once we reached the lee of the island the seas calmed but we kept a nice sailing breeze. After perhaps only five sailing days in the last 2 years we did not at all mind the blustery conditions.
Dalawan is a very deep protected bay from these conditions, the southwest monsoon. A short time after anchoring we were approached by a local fisherman in a very small dugout canoe. He just wanted to chat a bit and find out where we were from and headed to. His catch was one small, about 7 inch grouper and a number of other small fish. He asked, in very good English if we would like some coconuts, yes! He returned a short time later and with 8 large drinking coconuts, we gave him a couple of fish hooks along with a hat and a bag of sugar and flour. There was no begging on his part just a trade.
We have already started to see the friendliness of the Philippine people, such a nice change from Malaysia. We plan to stay here tomorrow and make a trip to shore, more on that in the next installment.
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