Friday, August 1, 2014

Off We Go to The Philippines

We had originally planned to stay in Palau until September, but the weather in the last month has really been poor. We haven't had one chance in 4-5 weeks to get out and go diving. The "Monsoon Winds" have arrived, and the Monsoon Trough has sat over Palau for weeks, bringing SW winds, rain and squally weather. The monsoon wind blows primarily from the SW--directly on the best part of the reef.

We have also tired of being cooped up in the one anchorage we are permitted to stay in without paying $100 for a 10-day cruising permit.

Anyway, after yet another bout of crappy weather, we have decided to cut our stay short and leave when our friends leave on this weather window. (one boat has been trying to leave for a month, and this is the first good window) We didn't want to take the chance of getting stuck for another month.

The flip side is, we'll be in Davao for their big festival in mid-August, and we have signed up to participate in the first part of the Indonesia Rally leaving from Davao around the 1st of September.

There's a lot of stuff we did in Palau that was blog-worthy. The internet is just so slow and expensive that I never got to it. Hopefully we'll get a chance to back-post, at least with some highlights.

We left Palau 2 days ago, and are now about 290 miles from the easternmost point of Mindenao, the biggest island on the SE side of the Philippines. We are trying to get to a place on the N end of the small island of Samal, off the big city of Davao, in southern Mindenao. There is a marina there called the Holiday Ocean View Marina at approx 07-11.87 N / 125-42.62 E. This is where we plan to leave Soggy Paws for our next trip home.

We are hard on the wind in 10-12 knots of wind, and bucking a .5kt current right now. There is a bigger current coming--the current running south along the coast of Mindenao peaks at 2.8kts!! (Think Gulfstream). To complicate our weather routing situation, just about the time we get to the strong current, we will have almost 20kts of opposing winds. This is not a good situation. So we are looking at t-t-t-tacking around a bit trying to balance staying out of the strong adverse current and the strong adverse winds--and especially out of the strong-current-against-strong-winds situation. (Think Gulfstream in a Cold Front).

So far it's been a very nice sail. But the next few days are going to get rough. Though it's only 295 miles straight to the coast, it's nearly 400 miles to the point we have to round to get up into the Gulf of Davao. And we won't be able to do it in a straight line.

Fortunately the weather in general is pretty settled, so at least we don't have to worry about 30 kt squalls in the mix.

We are in loose company with 3 other boats who left at the same time--Carina, Helena, and La Gitana. Westward II left for Davao a couple of weeks ago, and Challenger is stored in Palau, with Jerry in NC for a little while longer. New friends on Miss Behave set out the day before we did, on their way back to Australia via PNG and Vanuatu.

P.S. Our website was down for a couple of days--we apparently got hacked--but it should be back up now. Also, I think I fixed the position report widget on the blog--so that should be working again.
At 08/01/2014 1:45 AM (utc) our position was 07°26.12'N 131°21.37'E

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