It is a strange phenomenon amongst sailors to ask about “your plans.” Constrained by the idea that your home is mobile, people expect you to have some sort of timeline, for the coming weeks, months or even years. They think there should be a new destination always on the horizon. As if making a plan means it is going to come to fruition.
As if one has any control over what is going occur.
I don’t particularly like talking about our plans, either here or in person. I also try not to ask other sailors to divulge theirs too often. If sailing has taught me anything over the past decade is that no matter what you say, plans will change. The conversation, then, is moot.
Last week we finally decided which way we will turn when we exit our current anchorage. When we left the yard, we were keen to push onto Borneo. After so many frustrating months on the hard we were hungry for change. Big change. The kind of change that feels like a reset. The kind of change that is easily found on the shores of a new country.
Then we arrived in Busuanga.
There has been clear water, and live coral, and a whole lot less people. We found anchorages where the light pollution from the near by community ashore didn’t blot out the stars. We discovered sandy beaches and hidden coves and places that make you feel like you’re the only people left on earth, but in a good way. In short, we re-learned the reason we love our boat life. And we did it without leaving the country.
We are beginning to see the tale tail signs that the seasons are changing; longer days, variable winds and the first tropical storm of the year entering Philippines waters. We know that soon the winds will shift, the favourable amihan (the winter NE winds) giving way to more boisterous habagat (the summer SW monsoon), and our window to sail SW to Borneo will slam shut. It was time to make a plan.
After much debate we concluded that although we have spent over a year in the Philippines we actually haven’t had much of a look around. Of course, with 7107 islands it isn’t hard to feel like we’ve missed a few things, but our time in Busuanga has also reignited our curiosity. What else does the Philippines has to offer the modern explorer? Where else might we find our unexpected paradise?
Now armed with some sort of direction, both literally and figuratively, we prepared to depart our comfy bay. Steve had one job on his TO DO list; to service the transmission that has been slipping gears. While he was away he ordered a rebuild kit and, as luck would have it, a guy who lives ashore in the bay has a press. The job was going smoothly until he discovered this.
And, just like that those grand plans have changed.