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Farewell to the Philippines: Our New Near-Term Itinerary

Posted by Keith on August 2, 2007 at 11:13 pm  

The crew and I have made some executive decisions regarding our stay in the Philippines and our near-term itinerary:

We’re Departing the Philippines As Soon As Possible

We’re going to depart the Philippines the moment the weather permits. Originally we planned to head from Cebu north to Manila, with a possible stop on along the way.

But, frankly, we’ve seen enough of the Philippines. The people are wonderful, the countryside is beautiful, but the population centers are a mess. Flanked by occasional pockets of walled wealth that is protected by armed security guards, the streets are jammed and dirty, with every conceivable form of ramshackle structure along them. People hang from busses, building and bikes.

Meanwhile, a sickening assortment of debris floats in the water around our ship at the Cebu Yacht Club. The great majority of people in Cebu live in squalid conditions (see our Philippines photo album); and everyone tells us that Manila is more of the same — literally times ten.

Palawan is a picturesque island west of the main Philippine archipelago. We may indeed stop there, but now as part of a carefully orchestrated crossing of the China Sea from Cebu. Palawan may be a logical jumping off place into the China Sea. Because this is typhoon season, we also need to always keep in mind Plan B” locations — places we can duck into if the weather turns on us. Using our weather routing service, we’ll carefully evaluate weather patterns prior to departure, and then we’ll hurry as quickly as possible across the China Sea.

I’ll Fly, not Boat, To Vietnam

Unfortunately, we’ve also confirmed that Vietnam is just not boater friendly. Local knowledge is important when you are traveling by private ship around the world. And experienced boaters we’ve spoken to in this region tells us that if we arrive in Vietnam by ship, we’ll likely be boarded, inspected and hit with thousands of dollars (U.S.) in fines if our paperwork is not exactly in order – and probably even if it is.

While the Vietnamese may give lip service to welcoming private ships to their shores, the fact is their navy and local port authorities apparently have not received their copy of the “boaters welcome” memo. Therefore…

We Will Boogie to Bangkok – And Fly A Bit Regionally

We’ve decided to head straight for the Gulf of Thailand and Bangkok. There is an established Yacht Club not far from Bangkok, and we will likely head there. From there I intend to fly into Vietnam and Cambodia, while also touring Thailand. Obviously if we must make landfall along Vietnam or Cambodia due to inclement weather, then so be it; but otherwise, we will likely attempt a straight shot to the Bangkok area. Captain Wolf is consulting charts as this very moment. I’ll update you with details as we make our final departure arrangements from Cebu.



2 Comments so far

  1. Bob Anderson on August 4, 2007 10:43 pm

    Dear Keith,

    You are a brave man and I am following your exploits with much facination. My wife and I look forward to every Sunday morning when we listen to the first two hours of your program before we leave for church at 10:00.

    I’m 81 years old and have seen a few things but nothing like your adventure. We are praying for the safety of you and your crew and your boat. May the lord bless you and keep you.


    Thank you, Sir!

  2. sam on August 5, 2007 1:26 pm

    the first post ive read

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