Posted by: powellpjc | July 15, 2011

On Dry Land Again.

Around the World in Unknown Number of Days. Well, that’s the plan.

Ok, end of Phase Two complete. Phase One was to buy boat,
get it ready for sea and sail down to Chile for the paragliding competition. I
did it all right (not without issues) but missed the start of the competition
by one day. All competitors breathed a sigh of relief at my non-start. If you
can believe that…

Phase Two was to get my bones across the Pacifico in one
piece and I arrived in Mindinao, Philippines after 10,000 miles and one year.
After some lovely sailing in the archipelago and visits to small and large
islands and towns/cities/villages I am now safely on the hard in Subic Bay,
Luzon, Philippines. On the hard for non-sailors means lifted out of the water
and parked on dry land. The boat is supported by steel struts which are welded
together with rebar and since there are typhoons in this area of the world (3-4
per month at this time of year) la Rosa is tied down as well to large cement polyhedrons
buried in the ground and I hope she will be safe.

Nearby tropical storms have been hammering us with rain.
Flooding, power outages and landslides for Luzon but I am particularly
well-situated because I’ve rented a house in the Subic Bay Freezone, up on a
gentle hill with no threats that I can see. There is a ‘Caution­-Monkey
Crossing’ sign but the only place I’ve seen them is up on the power lines.
Maybe they know something I don’t.

So the plan is to do the necessary work on la Rosa and enjoy
the countryside from a clean, dry, rock solid night’s sleep. No more terrifying
noises in the middle of the night; no more falling asleep as we sail closer and
closer to the reef and no more sea water ruining the latest laptop. To be sure,
these are minor deals when one considers other and scarier situations and I am
thankful to have arrived with most body parts intact (some brain cells long
gone) and having used only two boxes of bandaids, gauze and hockey stick tape.

Subic Bay is an interesting place. It was the largest U.S.
Navy installation in the    Pacific and
was the largest overseas military installation of the United States Armed
Forces after Clark Air Base in nearby Angeles City. It served as a satellite
‘Costco’ for the military during the Vietnam War. Both facilities were both
closed in 1991/92 after negotiations between the Philippine and U.S.
governments collapsed with the final straw being the eruption of the nearby
Pinatubo volcano.

There remains now the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. It reminds me
of an abandoned mining town in Canada. Townhouses, good roads and weeds. Quite
a few of the residences have been rehabilitated—former enlisted men and
officers’ quarters—and it is a clean, secure and quiet/no traffic area and I’m
liking it here.

A few pics of the work in progress.

Cabin furniture apart to get at the engine, prop shaft, bilge pumps and other greasy, sweaty work.

This is a muffler box. Engine exhaust and cooling water go in one hole and out the other to spit out the end of the boat. Except when the weld lets go (where I'm pointing) and then the boat fills with steam and diesel exhaust. Always gets your attention.

This medieval device breaks apart the rusted/seized prop shaft from its connection to engine output flanges. Took me 3 days to free the shaft. Needed to remove shaft to get muffler box out and also must replace the cutless bearing. You don't know what that is and you don't need to.

la Rosa on the hard in Subic Bay.

You travel the world you see some strange signs.

Track from Palau to Subic Bay, Philippines.

I’ve bought a scooter to get around, found the machine
shops, the upholstery shops, the stainless steel welders and the anti-fouling
paint so I have no excuse to malinger anymore.

Well, wait a sec, I am back to Canada July 13 for a
visit to Charlie and Claire and of course family in Thunder Bay so I continue
to put off the hard jobs for a bit. Two years living on a 42-footer encourages
one to enjoy the house experience. Flat screen tv; large fridge; aircon; BBQ; wifi;
fresh market nearby; cleaning service; aircon; hot water; aircon and there is
NO noise at night. None of those wailing rigging moans that give you the
heebie-jeebies and the jim-jams too.

Hope to get underway again at the end of the year.



  1. est possible to post track &/or map of trip ——-palau to subic —-por favor

  2. Hey My Friend

    Sending you Christmas wishes and a safe and healthy 2012


  3. Hey,
    I’ve been following your blog since early in the journey. I hope to do the same type of trip in the future. When will you be returning to the sea? I’m dying to read more of your adventures.


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