Gigantes Sur in a Nutshell, OK Seashell

Last week we stopped at a little island called Gigantes Sur. Still in the Western Visayas province of the Philippines it is a small island off the east coast of Panay; a dot among several others in the area. There isn’t too much in the way of Cruising Guides for the Philippines, or at least not that we have. Quite frankly it has been nice not to have one, nice not to have some unknown opinion mire our choices. Gigantes Sur was not listed in our almost decade old Lonely Planet and Google Earth only showed a small fishing village, so we had didn’t expect to find much ashore. All of which was fine with us.

Our choice to anchor there was made purely by how it looked on the chart; a wide bay with a slowly shoaling cove that ended in a sandy beach, which probably meant good holding and there wouldn’t too many rocks to snag the chain on. The anchorage was protected from the predicted winds, was within our travel range and we were well provisioned. Really Gigantes was just another stepping stone in our voyage north, not much more a convenient stop over, a place to rest for a night or two.

The thing is about exploring is that you never really know what you’ll find. So we when pulled into the anchorage and saw flags lining not one but two beaches nearby and a parade of boats depositing people on those beaches we were more than a little surprised. Gigantes Sur was not just a sleepy little fishing village, it was a destination. Continue reading

First Impressions; Philippines

We’ve been in the Philippines for almost three weeks now, which for me is just enough time to start to get comfortable in a place. After a few weeks I’ve finally stop comparing our current destination to the one we just left. After a few weeks I have gotten past the shock and awe factor that always comes with exploring a new place and instead I let the everyday happenings inform my opinion about the country and its people. And so after three weeks what do I think of the Philippines?

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Kate on anchor in Surigao City

It’s amazing.

There are 7107 islands that make up the Philippines, so even though we had 13 anchorages at 10 different islands so far we haven’t even scratched the surface of getting to know the country as a whole. That said everywhere we’ve been the people have been friendly. We are greeted with big smiles and enthusiastic waves and since we try not to frequent the tourist spots, so those smiles are genuine. We feel welcome. Continue reading

Gone Livin’

If we had a door knob onboard that is the sign that would be hanging on it – 

“ Gone Livin’ ”

Life onboard for the last few weeks hasn’t been hectic but it has been full. Full of conversation and good food. Full of catching up and slowing down. Full of unplugging and recharging. Full of life.

And sometimes life is not for documenting and dissecting, it’s not for chronicling and comparing. It’s is not for writing blogs about or posting pictures of on instagram or sharing on Facebook. Sometimes life is just for living.

I think sometimes we forget that.

Things are great onboard and we’ll be back soon with more, we just got a little more livin’ to do first.

Love,

H&S

Don’t forget to stop and smell the hibiscus

A man died at the marina on Friday.

I don’t know all the details, I didn’t ask, but I heard his heart stopped. They say he was sitting on shore near his boat at the time.  A woman rushed over when he collapsed. She is a retired nurse and worked on him until the portable defibrillators were brought from the office. The ambulance arrived. No one could revive him.

I did not know the man.

His story got me thinking.

Continue reading