Palau - Philippines, Darryl

pos 13:22N 123:44E
Tabaco

We had watched the perfect sailing winds in off Palau for days while waiting for our various packages so naturally when we could finally head out the wind had shifted right onto our nose. Thankfully this did not last long as the trades soon resumed their acustomed force and direction. Indeed the wind was so steady that the only reason any of us actually touched the sheets was to remind ourselves that we were sailing. Other passages had been enlivened with appearances of dolphins or whales even other ships broke some of the monotony, on this passage we did not even see a ship until the third day.

The passage took five days in total and was one of simple pleasures rather than exciting encounters. We had excellent wind and speed throughout and the quiet of the empty sea at night was an experience in itself. That being said it was with no small pleasure that we approached the Philippines on the evening of the fifth day.

Coming into harbour was adventerous enough to make up for the calm of the passage by itself. By ill chance we had arrived just as full dark fell and naturally one of the leading lights meant to take us through a narrow passage was out and we had to thread our way through a constallation of small fishing boats which were either composed entirely of spot lights or were not lit at all. After dodging a dozen or so we would think ourselves in the clear only to realize that a boat was motoring quietly along not 20 meters away from us.

Eventually we did manage to make it into the harbour itself, a rather industrial place, and after briefly dragging our keel in the mud when we lost 10 meters of depth in one boat length we did manage to anchor.

Darryl.

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