Cruise to Dapitan, Mindanao, Philippines (22-30 July 2004) Back to Valhalla's Adventures
We departed from Port Bonbonon at 0800 on 22 July for a leisurely cruise to Dapitan, Mindanao, some 30NM away.
Following us in company were two other yachts - SILMARIL, with Rob and Deirdre Rowley, and BRIGHT STAR, with John Campbell and Marife.
Conditions were excellent ... 10-12 kts on the beam and we began what was to be one of the best sails VALHALLA has had in a long time.
SILMARIL passed us .. remember that it is written somewhere that wherever two or more yachts shall gather they shall race? .. but we were content to enjoy the easy sail.
Our reward was sighting a pod of short finned pilot whales. Though members of the dolphin family they did not show much interest in VALHALLA by swimming along with us ... they obviously had a schedule to keep!
The 30.3NM was done at an average speed of 4.4 knots.
We made our way into Port Taguilon, a few miles north of Dapitan. We anchored at the position shown in 30 feet of water over sand. A seaweed farm of bamboo poles and nets prevented access near the shore but we were content with the location.
A reception area for the Dakak resort lies on the bayside of the peninsula and we were to later use it for access to the resort, a pleasant 10 minute walk over the grounds.
Our first visit to Dapitan was a delight to find the city clean and nicely maintained. Also, we learned that the annual Senor Santiago Fiesta would be held that weekend.
Hiring a tricycle for a 'Cook's tour' we visited the Rizal Park and Museum. The hero of the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish, JosÚ RÝzal, was the Filipino patriot whose writings inspired the nationalist movement, was exiled in Dapitan from 1892 to 1896. The dwellings in which he stayed survive and are a well-maintained park and museum. He was later executed and became a martyr ... sparking the foundation of Rizalist cults. Among many peasant cults it is commonly believed that he is still alive and will return to deliver his followers from poverty and oppression. Rizal has been identified as God, as the second, or Filipino, Christ, and as the god of the pre-Spanish Malay religion.
The Dakak resort was well worth visiting for a lengthy lunch and some COLD beer (notice the ice?) It rated a second visit before we left.
The Senor Santiago Fiesta was held under cloudy skies with only occasional light rain. Didn't dampen the spirits of the participants, however, as the street dancing and contest in the stadium were colorful and lively.
A visit to Dipolog by bus (30 minute ride) for shopping and lunch filled one day. We weren't impressed with the city but the lunch at an Italian restaurant was excellent!
Delivery of coconuts to the boat gave Rose an opportunity to make 'buko salad', a specialty of her home island of Bohol.
When the weather seemed right one morning (30 July) we make a quick decision to get underway for a return to Port Bonbonon. Unlike the sail down, the winds were a bit more boisterous .... 17-18 knots and a bit on the nose, giving a lively close (sometime VERY close) reach and a rocky, wet ride. WONDERFUL SAILING!!!!
We had to loiter just before arrival to let a huge squall pass over the island then picked up our mooring late in the afternoon. The 30.6 NM was completed at an average speed of 4.5 knots.
It was an enjoyable cruise made even more so by the camaraderie of the fleet.