We departed Port Bonbonon, Negros early in the morning and had very light winds ... enough to motor-sail through the day and most of the night. Here's the sunset that evening. At 0400 we were hit by a squall line that gave us good sailing wind (at times up to 25 knots) and torrential rain. The rain lasted until just before our mid-day entrance through the wide open south pass to the lagoon. Our passage was of 118NM at an average speed of 4.1 knots.
Three other yachts (all Australian, all Joe Adams design) departed the previous day for the same location. I called them the 'Adams Family'. They were, in the order shown below, COLUMBUS (Fitz and Trish), MAYA II (Hank and Joyce), and SOUTHERLY CHANGE (Dennis and Lilia).
Their passage conditions were stonger than ours ... winds up to 45 knots which blew out the mainsail on MAYA II.
We first anchored to the east side of
the lagoon in the position shown on the chartlet above.
We were joined the day after our arrival
by Kelley (another Aussie) on the catamaran TEAR AWAY.
Checkin with the 'officials (police and/or coast guard) was encouraged by our 'tour guide' Aurelio and we discovered that mainly it was to give us an opportunity to make a donation to their upcoming fiesta in September.
church is in use that dates from the times of Spanish rule in the Philippines.
A local industry is growing and drying seaweed for the Asian market.
The first of two caves we visited was a
SHORT hike to a LARGE cave.
A planned diving trip on a sunken Spanish galleon was aborted due to a lack of communication concerning the size of banca required to transport all of us and the diving gear. Instead, we used our dinghys to go to a nearby beach on the outside of the island and dive the reef from there. The diving was disappointing but the picnic lunch and frolicing in the water was excellent!
After five days we relocated to the west side of the lagoon for a change of scenery.
Our second cave excursion was a LONG hike to a SMALL cave ... requiring some rock climbing at times. The cave is located at the far left side of the island in the first photo below.
The day prior to departure we all relocated
to an anchorage near the north pass from the atoll. The light conditions
gave VALHALLA a chance to dry out the 'drifter' (formerly a mizzen staysail
from a 55' yacht).
The light conditions were to prevail through
our departure the following day and throughout the passage to Panay.
Now isn't this supposed to be the monsoon season?