Monday, 18 March 2013

The inevitable dunk from the dinghy, motorbike tour and tornado catamaran

After Gigantes Islands we sailed to Roxas on Panay where we stayed two nights. Here the inevitable happened: fall into drink from the dinghy! It's amazing it hasn't happened before now even, well, apart from our other dinghy accident in Tonga, but under different circumstances, where our dinghy was pushed backwards by a big wave when we tried to dinghy along in really choppy sea. Back then it was 'only' the outboard that got wet (besides us obviously) and Phil dealt with that immediately flushing it with WD40.
A long story short, Phil fell into the water as I was getting into the dinghy. We were both at fault, although mostly me, he didn't give me enough space, I 'sacrificed' him, because I had a small bag with wallet, keys and my old small camera (when I bring my big camera with the different lenses, I ALWAYS drybag it, just in case). However, it turned out he had his smart phone in the pocket, ups, why did he need the phone to a supermarket expedition anyway, nobody has his Filipino number? Unfortunately it didn't survive, so Phil had to go back into town a second time and get a new one. We use the smartphone all the time to create wifi hotspot so we have internet. At least he'll hopefully respects drybagging valuables a bit more from now on...

By the way, we're not going to Puerto Galera, Phil could luckily see sense in my arguing, or maybe it was just because he won the last time. We had another route discussion again though, Phil wanted to go to Boracay (a crazy tourist hotspot, a bit like Pukhet or Bali, but on a tiny tiny island). I was more than keen to give that a miss and instead go to Romblon which sounded like a quiet, pretty island well off the beaten track. We went to Romblon, but only because it made most sense to go there first, and then possibly back to Boracay (we haven't decided yet.)

We have now been here three days and have really enjoyed it. It's a small town, but quite nice and with hardly any shanty parts, plus a fort up a hill with a nice view. There are colourful buntings hanging over the plaza and amazingly beautiful orchids growing on houses everywhere. Here is another collage or them, I just can't help it...
We also met a Danish backpacker couple, Ida and Nicolaj, whom we originally met back on Apo Island! So funny. They had spotted Sophia anchored as they came in on the ferry and wondered if that was our boat, they did remember something about us saying the red canvas is pretty unique. They were just sitting at a cafe and wondering how they would find us when we happened to walk past them! We invited them out on Sophia for sunset drinks and dinner and have been hanging out them them these last few days.

Yesterday Phil and I rented a motorbike to go right around the island. We came prepared and wore long pants and shoes (first time I have worn shoes in 9 months, felt soooo weird and not good...) and asked about helmets. We got these flimsy almost hard hat ones, but they were better than nothing. We haven't seen a single other person wear a helmet here on the island, so I sure that accounted for at least some of the staring and laughing at us :-) But it was a fun day and a pretty island. It has a lot of marble and we drove by lots of little marble work places, dusty men chiseling away on these rough white rocks!

On our drive we spotted a tornado (fast catamaran dinghy) and they it was for hire, so today we took Ida and Nicolaj there and had a fun time on the water. It was an old German one the owner's daughter managed to get while she was there working at the embassy, and could therefore import it without the normal 200% import tax, apparently. It was made slightly Filipino with some bamboo rafts, pretty funny, but it was workable. Unfortunately it wasn't very windy, so we never went super fast, but it was still a good time. Maybe we're just silly sailing geeks that while sailing around in our yacht, on the water every day, we're still keen to sail for fun and as a touristy activity.

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