Samal Island, Philippines

Hard to believe it’s been over a year since our last post. We arrived at Holiday Oceanview Marina May 6, 2019 with an extensive boat project list. We never intended to stay this long. However like everyone else our plans have been put on hold due to Covid-19. Some of the pictures below are from before the virus.

We have been in lockdown since March 18. One person per household (or boat) is issued a QR pass and allowed to go into town for groceries. The marina provides a shuttle service. The pass is scanned at various road checkpoints into town, as well as in and out of the grocery store or public market. Masks are required at all times when we leave the marina, and a temperature gun is used on entrance to the grocery store as well hand sanitizer.

There have been a total of seven cases on the island, however no community spread. We are happy to be on an island, separated by ferry (now restricted) from Davao City with a population of 1.8 million.

Blelow is a screen shot Navionics. The red triangle at the top of Samal Island is our boat position at the marina. At the narrow point there is a car ferry service that runs back and forth to Davao City.

All in all, we feel fortunate that we are here during the pandemic. We are both healthy and life has gone on pretty much the same here with our group of cruisers. Boat work projects continue and social activities such as exercise (Liliane runs aerobics and karate classes), music jam sessions, movie night, etc. A lot of people are a lot worse of than us.

They did however stop selling alcohol a few weeks ago. The ban is supposed to be lifted the end of June. That really sucked. Being resourceful cruisers, we have started making our own rice wine (Sherry on Soggy Paws recipe). Pretty simple; water, rice, sugar, yeast, lemon slices and a few raisins. In two weeks you have something drinkable. Tastes a bit like a wine cooler. Don’t know the alcohol content, but it doesn’t freeze and has a bit of a kick. Liliane making a batch for fermentation. Chateaux Meikyo June 27, 2020.

When we aren’t busy making alcohol, we do work on the boat. We hauled out early August and splashed in April this year. Eight months living on the hard. Not fun. We did rent a condo for two months during the fibreglassing, sanding and painting. The major items we have completed are:

  • Removing the old teak deck
  • Refilling all the bung screw holes
  • Laying a layer of fibreglass cloth
  • Epoxy primer then fairing and painting the deck
  • Spraying on anti-skid sections
  • Painting all the top sides and hull above the waterline
  • Removing and painting the mast and boom
  • New fuel tanks
  • Additional solar panels
  • Botton anti-fouling
  • And numerous other improvements and repairs

Hauling in and out of the water is an elaborate process here. Takes quite a few guys. They need to change the cable to a pulley on a post to make the turn. While they do that chocks hold us from rolling backwards! This is us coming out last August.

Next was preparation before starting the deck work; building a stairway to the boat, storage boxes, removing the mast and making a bamboo structure for the vinyl cover.

Then ripping up the old deck. That went quickly, about five days. A layer of fibreglass cloth and painting followed. Removing all the deck fittings was the most time consuming job. And then re-bedding!

Our new Korean washing machine and fuel tanks. Instructions for the washing are all in Korean. Liliane trying to figure out the cycle.

After 8 months of hard work, we are going back in the water in a new looking boat, yes we are on board during the process.

Not all work of course. Have had plenty of time to party.

And of course the “Marina Amazones”, Liliane’s friends doing Self Defence, Karate , Aerobics, Swimming, and PARTYING!

Not sure what’s next. We are hoping by the end of the year borders start opening up, allowing us to continue our journey.

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