Holiday Ocean View Marina
There is a gate and two ropes with floating elements blocking the entrance for waves and unwanted visitors. I have to call Ruth in the office via satellite phone to arrange the gate to be opened.
The workers of the marina come and move the elements, then they wave at us throwing both their arms towards us. We understand the sign as “go away”, keep waiting and wonder what the problem is. After 15 min I call Ruth another time and she tells me “ they are waiting for you to come in”. Ok, so we slowly enter the marina and attach to our berth.
Shortly after we learn that the local sign for “Come” looks like our European “Go away”, no wonder we are confused…
The marina is situated in the north end of Samal, an island just across from Davao, the capital of Mindanao.
Easy Check-in into the Philippines
The next morning we take the Marina Shuttle to the ferry, then the ferry over to Davao and a taxi to Immigration and back to customs. The officers are both efficient and friendly and the fees are acceptably low, especially after Micronesia. Hazel from customs excuses herself for taking so long, even though she was working super efficient, even running through the building to get our fees paid in and our receipt collected.
The cost for a Taxi ride an hour across the city is about 4 Dollars, a bit longer it takes in the local open minibuses, but there you pay only 0.20 per person.
Shopping Paradise Davao
But we only visit the city if necessary, because many things like fresh veggies and food and some hardware stuff we already find in Babak town on Samal.
Here the main public transport seems to be the motorbikes and the trikes, which are motorbikes with a side car attached for the passengers.
Maintenance and Sozializing
After the first shopping tours our priority shift to the engine maintenance. A total of 4 days Reto spends in the engine rooms, where the temperature is an additional 5 degrees to the already felt pretty hot 36 degrees outside.
He calls it Engine Yoga because of the interesting movements he has to do to access, but when he comes out it looks more like Engine Sauna and his clothes are soaking wet every time.
But also the socializing is pretty much fun here. Already our first evening we spend on Allen’s Screensaver doing an extensive sundowner together with Rick and Jen from the Foxy Lady and Liliane and Micheal from Meikyo. Then there is Pizza night, BBQ and Potluck but we skip the Sunday lunch, as we prefer to do out boat work during the day…
Getting ready for Indonesia
Major event is to get our visa for Indonesia in the embassy on the other side of Davao, which goes well all the documents are prepared as requested.
Already since days we see that a slot with Easterly winds comes up, this we want to use to cross over to the first island in the north of Indonesia.
Leaving south to the Golf of Davao
After provisioning, a last run to the malls and checking out again we leave the marina on Saturday, May 25th.
The first 20 miles we engine down south to to the beach of San Remigio on the southern side of Samal. Only once there we realize that is Saturday, the beach is crowded with local weekend guests.
We are the attraction of the beach, our She San as well as ourselves end up on many photos and selfies.
In the morning before 7 am we head to the beach intending to have a good walk around, but a group of friendly young people invite us to share a beer, a bit later to share their breakfast of fried noodles with pork salad. Yummy, we are hungry even from the short walk and have fun talking to our new friends.
We are lucky that day and get some wind from almost the right direction, so we manage to sail the larger part of the 25 miles to the Baksal bay.
Once there it doesn’t take long and we are surrounded by the teenagers of the little village, they are curiously looking at She San and happy to get some lemonade and cookies.
A bit later Lorre Cortez comes out with his family, as we understand mainly to apologize for the kids and to make sure that we are ok.
He’s embarrassed not to speak a better English (although his wife does know more, but tells it to him to tell it to us..) and I am embarrassed that my Bisaya is not existing, but I do understand a few bits from Spanish of Indonesian words.
In the morning we move a few miles south next to Sigaboy island for the last internet duties.
The weather forecast for tomorrow is still promising Easterlies, so we have to soon say “Bye bye friendly Philippines!”, we really enjoyed our short stay here!