Friday, September 5, 2014

Made it to Sarangani Island

Friday, Sept 5

We continued on down the coast on Weds, and by mid-afternoon we were rounding Calian Point--the easternmost point on the west side of the Gulf of Davao. Up until then, we had gotten some protection by staying close in to the coast.

But once we rounded that point, two things happened--the coast slopes away to the SW, and we no longer had much protection. And the Katabatic wind (afternoon sea breeze) kicked in and started blowing like stink out of the SSE instead of the SW--leaving us on a lee shore with 20 kts of relative wind.

We ended up short tacking down the coast at fairly high RPM and making only about 2-3 knots toward our destination--hand steering and bashing into the waves.

We had planned to make it all the way down to Sarangani Islands (2 small islands 5 miles off the southern tip of Mindanao), but as our progress slowed, we started reviewing our options. None of the intermediate bays looked very good with a SSE breeze. Fortunately, we got close enough to Sarangani to be in VHF contact with our friends on Brick House, who told us we could probably get into their (open roadstead) anchorage at night. We had good Google Earth charts of that bay, and they gave us a couple of waypoints from their way in.

Also fortunately, at sunset, the howling wind just died off, and our speed picked up to 4-5 kts VMG.

Both Brick House and Catamini, anchored next to each other, left their AIS on, so we homed in on them and anchored between them at almost exactly midnight.

As we had been warned, it was a bit rolly, especially when the wind/current laid us sideways to the swell curving around the southern reef. But it was a secure anchorage and we could let ourselves and the engine rest for a bit.

In the morning, Brick House and Catamini left, but we decided to stay the day to fix a few onboard problems (leaks). We moved into a much more protected anchorage (Port Patuco on the NW corner of Sarangani Island), where 4 other boats from the rally were. This is a great all weather anchorage.

We had fantastic Globe (cell) internet in the bay at Balut Island, and marginal internet in Port Patuco. No Smart signal at all.

Anchor waypoints: Balut in 65 feet sand: 05-24.12N 125-25.61E
Port Patuco in 33 ft mud?: 05-28.13N 125-28.57E

We may leave here mid-day today to motor (into the wind) the last 120 miles to Sangihe overnight.

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