13 April, 2009

Brillig's first passages

Camotes Islands.

First, I have loved having an engine. We would have gone nowhere for the last few weeks without one.
Second, the Camotes were brilliant. People said, "Oh, it is a convenient stop, good shakedown, ect. ". . . Man the Camotes are Grand! Forget convenient. They were clean and quiet and wonderful. The people were so happy to have us around. A few kids spent the entire day sitting quietly in our Sea Biscuit, our dinghy.
We went for walks down dirt "highways" and drank a bit with the locals.

We made two trips. My mail hadn't arrived in Danao, and it was a long holiday for easter, so we left and came back to the Camotes until after the holiday.

The first trip we did the south side of the islands. The second trip we did the north. Three of the four anchorages were fine. All a bit exposed. Pretty rolly, and all pretty. One was a bit "pecular", anc.ed on the edge of a shallow reef. Too shallow with spring tides. We only stayed a night there.

Highlights were Annabelle riding a buffalo (carabou in Visayan), the kids always swimming around the boat near San Isidro, and then capsizing their boat, breaking the outrigger because of the sheer population of kids aboard.
Actually, at Lake Lanau (a brackish lake that reportedly has crocodiles), the beer was so shockingly cold, it was truly a highlight as well.
I enjoyed the afternoon walks. The streets in the Camotes were so quiet and clean, and shady, you could walk forever, farm to farm, village to village, everyone waves and is courteous and curious. We are always comfortable with the people. There is little to fear here. No dark eyes.

Brillig has performed well. No wind to really get a fair trial, but a little. Herb, the windvane, worked well when asked to do his service. A little surprising for a first go.

So all is well. Still have plenty of little problems, but we are now seeing the last of Danao and gearing up to cross to Palau, a far western Micronesian Island about 550 miles to the east of here, famous for diving.
I have some good pictures and will load them soon, maybe in Negros. The computer here wants to be unhelpful.

Congrats to my niece Marty, who just had a baby girl. Hurray!!!! I'm a Great-Uncle (????).

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