Trip Start Aug 24, 2010
Trip End Apr 30, 2012

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Flag of Philippines  , Palawan,
Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Good Ship Gadfly is owned and skippered by an Aussie, Trevor, who is traveling around SE Asia.  He takes up to three paying crew at a time to share costs and adventures.  Some have plenty of sailing experience and others, like me, are complete novices.  But more important than skill and experience is attitude, as ever.

Here's roughly what we got up to in 6 weeks on board..

- Sailed when we could, usually with 10-20 knots across the beam to any islands that took our fancy
- Motor-sailed or just motored when conditions were against us (traveling North and East in the NE monsoon- not just plain sailing)
- Avoided sea sickness, just!
- Learned the ropes, so to speak, and a whole bunch of other bits and pieces about sailing and yacht maintenance
- Dived a load of shipwrecks from WW2 in Coron, straight from the yacht armed with a crow bar
- Found myself almost out of air 37m down in a pitch-black cabin of one particular wreck, hammering away at something..
- ..Stole a complete port hole from a wreck, allegedly
- Swum with the bio-luminous plankton at night in bath-water temperatures
- Marveled at stars and planets like I'd never seen before, including North Star and Southern Cross visible together
- Met and lived onboard with some most excellent people
- Got in with yachtie culture (they're just like older backpackers really!)
- Enjoyed the ridiculously lovely filipinos - utterly humbling-ly generous
- Learned a fair amount of lingo but was told I pronounced it like a retarded ladyboy
- Wore nothing but Arsenal shorts and flips for 6 weeks solid
- Read Here on Earth by Tim Flannery - recommend to everyone

It can be quite hard living in such close quarters with people, everything you do is right on each others toes, but with a bit of tolerance it's a great way to get to know people too.  And a welcome contrast to some loneliness I'd been feeling through Indonesia.

The Philippines is fantastic and seems really untouched compared to other parts of SE Asia.  I felt very lucky to experience it by sea, which felt natural since it is made up of 7000ish islands.
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