Philippines 2018, passage from South Korea We left South Korea late February after an unusually cold winter, where we had to take care of some frost damage onboard. It cost us all our starter batteries etc. At this time of the year it is important to pick a good weather window. They may only be available every 2 – 3 weeks. We picked one, knowing that we might get quite a bit of wind, instead of waiting for a possible later better chance. If waiting too long the yearly prevailing south going current may also fade out.
The boat had been docked in Yeosu for 5 months and we were eager to leave. The first half day we had to motor out through very large oyster farms and narrow sounds before reaching open water. The first 4 days we had westerly winds veering to northeasterly of 20 – 6 kts of wind speed. Then we got 3 days with winds from NNE of 30 – 40 kt with many stormy gusts. The rest of the passage west of the Philippine islands was done in winds of approx 10 kt from various directions.
In general it was a difficult passage, because of the strong wind and waves in the middle of the passage plus the many fishing vessels which we had to avoid. It was therefore often necessary to motor sail just to make sure that we could get clear of the trawlers which seemed to erratically change course just in front of us without any reasonable signal or warning.
South of Taiwan we had quite big waves and was reefed down to 3 reefs in the main sail and stay sail only. In spite of that we occasionally logged 14 – 16 kts.
The passage took 10 days and the distance amounted to 1542 Nm with 94 hours of motor sailing.
We checked into the Philippines in the commercial harbour of Batangas, where it was difficult to find an anchor spot and a landing for the dinghy. The formalities in and out were done with efficiency and without costs.
A couple of hours sailing from Batangas is a beautiful bay called Puerto Galera where we anchored during the rest of the stay in the Philippines. I waited for crew and made repairs after a couple of unintended gibes, broken sail battens, and a broken bolt in the goose neck. There was a busy ferry traffic between Batangas and Puerto Galera with a lot of tourist activity. The people were very friendly and the restaurants at the ferry landings were very good and well visited.