Snorkel and Head to Subic

We wake up to a stunning day.  We decide to head out to the snorkel spot that we had found during the previous evening’s sunset dinghy cruise. We land on a totally isolated beach, tied up the dinghy, and found a shady spot to leave our stuff.  Donning snorkel gear, we head out.  The coral is fantastic.  Purple and blue colored clams, stags head coral, brain coral, branching coral, sea anemone with clown fish, and sea fans.  The water is crystal clear and a perfect temperature. We snorkel until we are exhausted and return to our shady spot.  Down the beach, a banka boat loaded with about eight fishermen slowly makes its way down the beach dragging a line with rags on it.  We figured out that the line extended all the way out to another banka boat and they were chasing the fish.  Eventually the two boats got near each other and threw out nets. The men jumped in and looked like they caught the fish by hand.

Back at the beach, Julia and Sarah had caught a puffer fish in Julia’s birthday net. It did not like being a victim so it literally puffed up into a yellow prickly ball about four inches in diameter.  The girls thought they had killed it since it was floating upside down at the surface of the water. Sarah grabbed it and immersed it in the ocean, it slowly started to deflate and then swam away.  

We wanted to stay the night but we had not seen or heard weather in four days.  It is still a flaw in our system.  John called the Subic Bay harbor master on his satellite phone, an expensive way to get weather.  The fellow said there was a cyclone on the east side of the Philippines and the weather was starting to deteriorate in Subic.  It was two o clock and we knew it would take us three hours to get back. Even though it was a gorgeous day, John and I decided the safest thing to do was head back.  We managed to get under way in 53 minutes including pulling up the dinghy, the kayak, sealing the port holes, checking the engines, and pulling up the anchor.  The ride home is fairly uneventful and as we pull into SBYC John radios for some boat boys to come help us with the lines.  Docking is a nerve wracking procedure, not easy to do, and John really doesn’t want to scratch the boat (he did it once in Hebe Haven).  All hands are manning the ropes, multiple boat boys are waving instructions, the wind was blowing us off the dock, multiple passes were made, boat boys were laughing, I tell John it’s not their boat, and then we land safely!  Everybody is happy and we spend much time reliving the physics of it all.  

After it all settles down, we go and check the weather.  I must say it is not looking good for our trip to Puerto Galera on Monday.  We will continue to monitor.

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