05.05.2011 – BY BOAT AROUND PALAWAN

EARLIER THE NEXT MORNING I WENT TO CHECK OUR DRINK SUPPLIES AND ORDERED ADDITIONAL 20 CANS OF SODA WATER (SPARKLING OR STILL MINERAL WATER IS OFTEN HARD TO FIND IN SOME ASIAN COUNTRIES). I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE THAT ONE HAS TO OFTEN ASK FOR IT. I THINK THIS IS THE SAFEST DRINKING WATER IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD. IT HAS TURNED OUT THAT ALL THE SHOPPING WAS DONE AT THE GROCERY STORE OWNED BY THE CAPTAIN’S WIFE. WE HAVE PAID 2500 P FOR ALL DRINKS SUPPLIED. ALL OUR LUGGAGE WENT UNDER THE DECK AND THE NEXT LEG OF OUR JOURNEY HAS BEGUN. SAILING OUT OF EL NIDO YOU SEE LOTS OF ISLANDS OF VARIOUS SIZES. THIS IS THE BACUIT ARCHIPELAGO AND THE ISLANDS ARE SCATTERED ACROSS THE BACUIT BAY.

SAILING SLOWLY WE PASS SEVERAL SMALL, EMPTY BEACHES AND ROCKY OUTCROPS. THE WEATHER IS PERFECT FOR TAKING PHOTOS WITH LOTS OF BEAUTIFUL CLOUDS. FROM TIME TO TIME WE COULD SEE RAIN POURING IN A DISTANCE OVER MAINLAND. AFTER A FEW HOURS THE SUN IS GETTING PUSHINESS. OUR CREW CONSISTED OF FIVE PEOPLE – ONE REALLY SHORT WOMAN – CAPTAIN’S SISTER AND FOUR GUYS. THEY WERE QUIETLY WORKING ALL THE TIME, WITH TWO OR THREE OF THEM BUSY FISHING FOR US. OUR LUNCH WAS SERVED AT 12.00 PM AND CONSISTED OF GRILLED CALAMARIES STUFFED WITH FRESH VEGETABLES, GRILLED MACKERELS AND FRESH CUCUMBER AND RED ONIONS SALAD. ALL THAT WAS ACCOMPANIED BY A TASTY HOT SAUCE WITH BITS OF CHILLIES AND PAPRIKA FLOATING IN IT. YUMMY! SIMPLE BUT EXQUISITE FOOD. THE DAY PASSED LAZILY. WE HAVE PASSED SEVERAL PEARL FARMS WITH THEIR FUNNY LOOKING LITTLE GUARDS’ SHEDS. THE BUILDINGS ON WATER LOOKED LIKE THEY WERE HOUSES WASHED OFF THE GROUND.

WE HAVE LEFT PORT  BARTON BEHIND US. LATER IN THE AFTERNOON WE REACHED SHORES OF AN ISLAND CALLED ‘COCOS GARDEN ISLAND’ ACCORDING TO OUR CAPTAIN. OUR CREW STARTED TO SEARCH FOR SOME FIREWOOD FOR A BONFIRE AND WE WENT TO EXPLORE THE AREA. BUT WE HAD TO JUMP INTO THE WATER FIRST TO TRY SOME SNORKELLING. THERE WERE A FEW SETS OF SNORKELLING GEAR ON OUR BOAT. THIS IS A GREAT STUFF. WE MANAGED TO SEE A FEW REALLY GREAT SCENES OF UNDERWATER LIFE BETWEEN SOME CORALS.

ON THE LAND WE COULD SEE SOME ABANDONED REED COTTAGES. I WENT IN THAT DIRECTION, AND THEN ALONG A BARELY VISIBLE PATH THROUGH A TALL DENSE GRASS TO A FRESH WATER SPRING. I AM PASSING IT AND I AM GOING TOWARDS A NEARBY JUNGLE… UNFORTUNATELY THE PATH HAS DISAPPEARED AND THE RAPIDLY FALLING DUSK IS DRIVING ME AWAY FROM THICKETS TO THE BEACH – I ALSO WANTED TO TAKE A FEW PHOTOS OF THE SETTING SUN. OUR NEXT MEAL WAS SERVED AT 6.30 PM AND IT WAS A LITTLE POORER REPRODUCTION OF THE FIRST ONE … WE GOT LESS VEGETABLES AND NO TOMATOES – WERE THOSE TOO EXPENSIVE?

AFTERWARDS WE HAVE RELAXED FOR A FEW HOURS WITH RUM AND BEER BY THE BONFIRE. BEDTIME AT 10.00 PM ON MATS SET UP BY OUR CREW ON THE BOAT DECK …

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