North West Palawan
06 February 2010 | Teodore Point, Inlulutoc Bay
We only spent one night in Fish Bay in the end which was a lovely anchorage and had an early start to do the 33 miles to Ullagen Bay where Marida & Kelaerin caught up with us the following day and also a Canadian couple (Cliff & Ruth) on Icicle whom we met in Sebana Cove and were also on the Eastern Malaysian rally. The following day Dave, Roger & Mark did a trip on the local jeepney bus to Puerto Princessa to get a few supplies and the latter two to renew their visas for another 38 days. When Dave got back, we had a big discussion and decided that we would renew our visas, even though we only wanted another 2 weeks, because if we didn't we were going to be so rushed as we would have to be back in PP (Puerto Princessa by 11th February). So next morning we dinghy into the local village and catch the jeepney to PP along with Icicle, Kelaerin and a French couple on Neros who were checking out. These jeepneys are loaded up to the hilt with boxes of fish, timber, chooks, roosters and people. The fish is loaded on to the top, as well as people sitting on top and hanging off the back. Cost 60 pesos ($NZ2) each way and the trip takes an hour and a half. From the jeepney station we had to get a motor cycle jeepney to take us to Immigration and then back to the centre of town where we had lunch and did a few things before catching the jeepney back with Neros. The other two came back separately a bit later. On the trip back we went up a few different roads to drop people off and one was to a village which all its houses had been built by Habitat or donated by a South Korean Rotary Club. I had a box with a rooster in sitting in front of my legs and we discovered when someone got off that Dave had a chook under his seat with just its legs tied - it was a wonder it never nipped his legs.
Sowelu, Vulcan & Marida headed off that morning but Kelaerin, Icicle & us ended up staying another day before heading off to Marofinos Bay, stopping on the way and anchoring off a Subterranean River just north of Sabang. This navigable river winds under limestone and marble cliffs through spectacular caves out to the sea on the other side of Palawan. It winds its way underground for 8.5km but you pay 200 pesos for a guy to paddle you up the river for about 1.5kms with the trip taking about 40 minutes. One could see all sorts of shapes from the stalactites, such as various types of fruit, animals and people. It was quite amazing and something not to be missed.
We spent two nights in Marofinos Bay, which was a beautiful spot and were also joined there by two other yachts - Arnak & Koru (kiwis but live in Australia). While there we had a girls afternoon with the five of us ladies on our yacht playing Mexican train dominoes. Also had a tour of the local village with the head man on the council Very interesting and although poor the village was very clean and tidy. Their main income was from fishing and coconuts (copra). There are no roads into the village so all their produce has to be taken to Sabang by their spider boats as we call them. The local who gave us the tour just catches sharks. The village was predominantly Roman Catholic and that church the next morning was at 9am so several of us decided we would go. The service was to be taken by a lay preacher as the Priest only comes once a month. However, when we got there, there didn't seem to be any service and there was no one there. Upon investigation found that the lay preacher had had to go to another village.
Along with Kelaerin we up anchored at 10.30am last Sunday and motored 18 miles to Mayday Point, which was a beautiful cove with a single, English guy, Mark building a resort there called 'Secret Paradise Retreat'. It was a truly beautiful spot and he hopes to have part of the resort opened by the end of the month. A fabulous place to go to, at reasonable prices and if one wanted time out at a quiet, relaxing, beautiful spot. His website is:
Next morning Kelaerin & us started out on a so called 20 minute walk to the local village but ended up after 40 minutes or so back at the bay we had come from. We left there late morning and motored the 9 miles around the point into Port Barton.
Port Barton is a beautiful spot with lots of accommodation, eating out places and a relaxing place for a holiday. Saw a few European tourists there and the locals are all very friendly and we were later joined there by Icicle, Koru & Arnak. We spent four nights there, dinner ashore for three of those nights and one breakfast. Stocked up on fruit and a bit of diesel. The mangoes here in the Philippines are just beautiful and they are my favourite fruit.
We left Port Barton early yesterday afternoon (Friday, 5th Feb) and motored 12 miles to Village Bay on Boayan Island for the night along with Kelaerin & Icicle. Left there this morning at 9.45am, motor sailed for an hour and a half and then had 2 ½ hrs of great sailing, with no motor - wonderful, had just about forgotten what it was like to sail without the iron horse! We are now anchored in Inlulutoc Bay for the night.
As we have travelled up the West Coast of Palawan the anchorages etc. have just got better and better and it is truly lovely up here. The sea is so nice and clean and clear with no rubbish in the water and the villages/towns are all clean and tidy, including the poorest of houses.