Posted by: powellpjc | February 22, 2012

Palawan and the South China Sea

Note to reader:

Made some mistakes with font and pic titles. Will do better next time.

Had lovely sail down the coast of Busuanga and Palawan with Paul and we are in Fish Bay (one of thousands in the world I suppose) because it is right across Palawan from Puerto Princessa where we need to check out of immigration. Will be heading further south to Malaysia, Borneo, stopping at Kota Kinabalu, insha’allah.


Route upwind (damn) from Fish Bay to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia


  • some banca boys at dusk.
  • The coastline is spectacular with high mountains/volcanoes and some good bays, some forbidding stretches and not too many fisherfolk with their nets, balls and boats.

  • I make Paulie do all the work, because I can.

    Leaving Busuanga we ran into a large pearling operation with black (!) small floating balls holding hundreds of pearl lines. I don’t know how deep the lines drop between balls so we were zigging and sagging right proper with engine and sail. Did not snag anything so luck was with us.

  • Busuanga bay.
  •  Our table waiting for us and la Rosa in background.
    Busuanga bay is well protected. Very pretty place.
    Happy days, happy hour(s).
    Leaving el Nido, northern Palawan. Reminds me of Rio without the bandits.
    without the bandits.

    Paulie at the helm in the good weather. For now.
    Sometimes Paulie makes me drive. Hair high and tight for passages.
    This gal paddled up looking for medicine. Gave her a whack of ampicillin because it’s free here and she needs it. Plenty of instructions first.
    Another signature dish whilst cooking in boxers. This time soup with everything I could find to put in it. Delicioso.
    Don’t mess with a fisherman with a bolo (machete) even if you’re a giant.

    There is a yacht club/marina in Kota Kinabalu where you need a holding tank and boat insurance (neither of which I have, but I do have the power of bullshit which is often effective ) and may slip in there or anchor off if there are no slips available. That should be a 4 day sail if no bad shit happens.

    My main genoa is ripped and unusable but I’m finding my small jib works just fine and I have a storm jib backup so not too worried about getting the big one fixed until I get to KK.

    We rented a Jeepney today for the ride across (2 hours) to suss things out and will return tomorrow to get the stamps for pasaportos.

    Also need to get 4 jerries of diesel as we have been doing some all day motoring. The wind is nice and steady now, though, off the port quarter at 15 kts so life is good. No fish although Paulie is a fearsome fisherperson.

    Fish Bay port captain, his wife and the usuals.
    A few Fish Bay kids not really too sure about the white dude. I guess I do look different.

    Good supermarket facilities here so eating will be real top shelf for the next passage. We were going to stop at the bottom end of Palawan but too many stories from locals about bad boys down there so fuck it. It will be the South China Sea all the way, about 70 miles offshore.

    Current home in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Nicest marina I've ever been in.



  1. I hope Paul finds the winches are ‘signature’ ———like Pete’s cooking.?

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