Posted by: powellpjc | June 6, 2011

Puerto Galera–the Port of Galleons, Philippines.

Dick 'Bubbles' Courtis checking for giant squid.

This is where the Spanish galleon put in back in the day,
hence the name.

Sabang, part of Puerto Galera. The dive shops are everywhere.

A fellow sailor and friend told me about this place when I
was in the Marshall Islands. Said if I got here I might never leave and he has
a damn fine point. Weather great. Check. Protected harbour with heavy
typhoon-proof moorings. Check. Motorbikes for rent $10/day. Check. Food cheap.
Check. Bottle of beer in bar, 90 cents. Check. Litre bottle good gin, $3.50.
Double check. People polite, friendly, very industrious and hard-working.
Can fix or make anything. Check. And in the main, all speak English. Whew.

Mr. Easy Rider on a 125cc 'You have more Fun on a Honda'.

Mr. Easy Rider punishes the suspension on a jitney.

The scenery is quite spectacular with the high mountains,
thunder clouds and tropical seas. I think I mentioned before that sailing here
is like sailing on Loon Lake with steadier breeze and no mozzies. No big
green scary waves. No hissing monsters sneaking up behind you in a 3 a.m. squall.  A guy could do a lot worse than play out the string here
in the Phillies. Hard to buy property but long term renting is the way to go.

Went to the shooting range behind the Montessori school. All
manner of handguns, M-16’s and AK-47’s. Gun rental $10 for the day but the ammo
is a buck a round. I just watched.

The vehicles round here are really something. Except for a
few imports, all are locally made. There is a Jeep knock-off low rider, there
is the Jeepney which is an extended Jeep and there are the ever-present trikes
or jitneys as I call them. Everything is made of stainless steel. Nothing else
will last in this maritime climate.

Homemade SSteel Jeep.

The Jeepneys are unwieldy, noisy, colourful, loaded beyond
belief and they charge down the skinny highway looking like a stainless steel
locomotive. One gives them plenty of room.

The 'Jeepney' at full speed. You, too, would give him plenty of room. Either that, or disocover how much a cow-catcher can make your eyes water.

I am moored in Puerto Muelle and 5 km east is the main
tourist/scuba-dive village of Sabang. Unbelievably dangerous road in disrepair and
all traffic moving at breakneck speed. All except me, that is. I have had two
offs on my 125 Honda. One time climbing a very steep concrete hill in biblical
rain with associated mud runnels. Bike lost forward mo, brakes would not hold
and the unit decided to reverse. Motos are tricky (impossible) to negotiate in
reverse and gravity had its way with me. Few scratches. Other off was
self-inflicted. Alcohol involved and front wheel slipped off concrete roadbed
(no shoulder) and 6 inch drop. Face was uglier than usual for a couple of days
but all well now. So, no more riding in mudslides and no more onboard booze. I
rode 100,000 km on my BMW in N. America with zero offs. I sailed 18,000 miles
with only one concussion. Must be more careful here.

Sabang is very popular dive destination with a lot of
Koreans, Japanese and others doing their thing. I don’t get it. Coral is coral.
Sharks are dumb and bitter and fishes could care less. Not for me.

Coming back from Calapan City (40 km south) I came upon a
field full of motos, jeeps, and jitneys. I slowed and heard a tremendous roar
coming from covered stadium. Had to check it out. Rooster beat-down with crowd
of about 400. All the yelling takes place before the duke-out as the men, touts
and bookies take the bets. No women except for cigarette girls. I can’t
understand what’s happening and that’s my last cockfight.

The rooster crowd. Place your bets.

Rooster taunting. One will be dead in 2 minutes.

The rooster vet is always handy. Warren Peterson would make a fortune here. Even the winners need ICU from time to time.

The killing blades that are woven onto the rooster's leg.$1000.00 worth of steel in a box.

A rice farmer and his Massey Ferguson.

Rice drying by the road. Sometimes on on the road.

Veggie market in Calapan.

The pineapple, spiral style.

Fresh corn on the knob. Does not come close to Ontario product, I'm happy to say.

Hate to leave this place but will let go tomorrow for Subic
Bay, 100 miles north and 20 miles north of Manila. Need to haul boat out and
get some work done. Should be delightful sail. No typhoons skulking around and
the wind is forecast to be favourable. And we’ve all heard that before.



  1. Hey Pink

    I have found safe harbour in the Tuscan Hills. Sipping some fine home local by the jug (and free from our landlords no less!) The sun is setting here and so are my inadequate type skills – I think I have retyped the bigger words at least twice to get them right so you will not scoff when we next meet. Take care Petey Boyo


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