Magayon II: Easter Cruise 2015

The Plan

We wanted to sail Magayon II to Pandan Island this Easter and had booked a cottage there starting April 1 to April 6. Martin took 2 weeks off from work assuming that this would leave enough time to sail down and back. For the route to Pandan we intended to sail the first day to Arthurs in Batangas, stay overnight there and then cross the Batangas channel the next day. From there we would take it as it developes.

Moving Magayon II to Maya Maya

On March 28 we sorted out the tow hook which in the meantime was shipped from Germany and moved to Sta Maria Resort in Talisay to disassemble Magayon II and do some minor repairs. The next morning we loaded the first hull and the cross beams on the trailer with some help from the resort, in the process we found out that some of the plywood boards of the trailer are already rotten and will need to be replaced. We then went on the adventurous trip to Maya Maya, following the Taal Lake's shoreline on the Tailisay / Laurel road and then climbing up the hill to the ridge, which had some very steep sections. At the junction of the national road we could not turn north because the turning circle of the our vehicles was too big so we had to follow the road southbound a couple of miles to find an opportunity for turning around. We arrived around 3:00 at Maya Maya Marina and with the help of the Marina staff we were able to unload the hull very quickly.

Sailing Easter 2015  Sailing Easter 2015

We went back to Sta. Maria resort to fetch the second hull and stayed overnight. The next morning the second hull, cockpit and mast were loaded quickly and we made the second trip to Maya Maya. We had booked the only available cottage there for the night. While Martin, Kata and Miriam stayed on to start assembling Magayon, Mavic and Edwin went back to fetch the outboard motor, tanks and all the other bits and to do some shopping for supplies.

It took 2 hours to assemble the boat, but we did not raise the mast yet because there were bad news. A Typhoon, the first in the season, and far too early in the year, was developing in the Pacific and was forecast to hit the Philippines on Easter. It looked very much like bad luck again, one of the four forecast was going straight over Mindoro, exactly where we wanted to be on Easter.

Sailing Easter 2015 Sailing Easter 2015

 

Typhoon Maysak

We stayed overnight in the only rennovated cottage of the Maya Maya Marina and has some SMS exchange with Pandan Island about shelter for boats during Typhoon there. Radek's Response was "Ab in den Fluss damit." and he did not seem to be too worried. Since this would be the first trip on Magayon II on the sea we decided during the following morning against sailing and went on to Plan B, Pandan Island by car. Motor, tanks and fittings were stored in "Joseph's dormitory", the mast removed again and placed on the trailer, and back we went to Los Banos to re-pack. Martin also put in half day of work into a project proposal that needed some immediate attention. It turned out that the Typhoon, which was announced as becoming a Super Typhoon lost its power and also turned north crossing Northern Luzon as a tropical storm only on Easter Sunday, and we had the best weather one could immagine with often mirror like seas.

Pandan Easter 2015 Pandan Easter 2015

 

Getting to Pandan Island

We left Los Banos at 4:00 and were at Batangas Port at 6:00 where a huge queue was waiting for us before the port gate. It took 3 hours to enter the port and another hour to get on the ferry to Abra de Ilog. Unbelievable. Halfway through the wait in the line a convoy of balck SUVs was passing on the other lane with a lot of police escort. The guards Martin talked to to find out what the reason for the delay was were extremely nervous. Later we read in the newspaper that the President had decided to visit Batangas Port to check it out before the Typhoon, as if it would make a differnce. It just made the life of hundreds of motorists miserable. Once on the ferry everything went smooth and we arrived on Pandan in the early afternoon.

Pandan Easter 2015

 

Easter on Pandan Island

We spend 6 days on Pandan chilling. A trip to Apo Reef was cancelled due to lack of divers, most of the diving visitors had joined a liveaboard trip to Busuanga. Martin did two dives, otherwise we had some very nice and relaxing days. Every day there were several turtles, blue spotted rays and lion fish at the snorchkelling beach.

 Hier

Pandan Easter 2015 Pandan Island, Easter 2015

Video here

Sailing

One night rest in Los Banos, re-packing and then Martin and Miriam went off again on Tuesday, April 2 to Maya Maya. This time everything went well. With the help of Joseph and a few other guys from the Marina we managed to raise the mast and launch the boat in the afternoon. Mavic had to work and Kata to work on school projects so there was nobody there to take photos or video. In the evening we tried to find the right angle for the mast, filled and tested the fresh water tank, and equipped the boat with all essentials. 

Sailing Easter 2015 Sailing Easter 2015

Wednesday

The next morning (Wednesday) we went to Nasugbu for breakfast and to buy last minute supplies, finding alcohol for the cookstove turned out to be quite difficult. Then, around mid day, we left the marina. Navigating inside the marina with the outboard motor under heavy wind turned out to be quite difficult since it does not create flow against the rudder. But we made it safely outside the marina, set the main sail in the bay with first reef tied in, and since everything seemed all right, set a 180° course but soon had to tack. We raised the gib and then had to tack most of the time since the wind was blowing from south easterly direction. The tacking took us pretty far out to the sea, around 2 nautical miles, an exciting feeling on a brand new boat. The waves started building up over time and became so high that we then seeked a course closer to the land with shorter distances before tacking. After around 17 nautical miles (without tacking) we reached Talin Point around 5:00 and decided to look for a place to anchor and stay overnight. The big fiberglass bangka that once belonged to Atlantis resport in Puerto Galera was anchored in the bay so we thought it would be safe there, but a fisherman we asked whether it is allowed to anchor there did not speak English and this part of the bay was completely deserted. So we decided to move around 1 mile further north and anchored at 4m in front of a small fishing village at N13.999882, E120.623087. We did not put the depth sounder sensor into the hulls because it would require to attach some sort of appendix to mount it horizontally which would reduce the cruising speed. But we can just hang it in the water easily and connect the cable to the instruments. This works actually much better than expected. It is reassuring to have a depth reading even if one can see the ground easily.

During the bay maneuver the motor suddenly died. We quickly found out that the gasoline hose had detached from the Italian made tank. The fittings are made from plastic and not too stable. Martin shifted to the second tank and re-started the engine, then fixed the first tank. Lesson learned: Don't buy cheap equipment.

Martin spent half an hour to tighten all the cross beam lashings. Some of them had stretched a bit and were a bit loose, which was expected, but overall everything had worked very well.

After anchoring Miriam did a quick dip in the bay for refreshment and then we cooked delicious goulash from Sänties and San Miguel beer. Exhausted from the day we were in the bunks before 9:00.

Did 18 nautical miles (without tacking) of which 1 was under motor.

Thursday

Today we wanted to get up early and sail all the way to Arthurs and stay the night there. Mavic had already contacted them to check for anchorage and they had offered their buoy. Initially it went well. South-easterly wind took us south well and the waves were small. However, the wind got stronger and once we passed the special beacon at N13.840072, E120.605247 the waves build up quickly and we had to tack against the wind. Magayon II sailed very well and rode over the waves, the better the bigger the waves became. We felt save all the time. However, after moving up a wave and then diving down into the wave valley the mast always moved forward a bit, hitting strongly into the stays. So obviously the stays were not tight enough for the strong wind and high waves, although they had felt all right yesterday.  Taking the gib down took some force out of the mast but made tacking less efficient. Another problem was that we could not lift the motor all the way out of the water because the main sheet cleat is on the center of the aft cross beam and therefore the motor would be in the way of the sheet. As a result the motor was always hit by larger waves and put a lot of impact on the aft crossbeam, which made a bit of a creaking sound. We need to shift the cleat sideways but this can not be done on open sea. 

We expected that the wind would get stronger and waves higher after Cape Santiago and we would have to tack against the wind for at least four hours to reach Arthurs. Without being able to tighten the stays we made the decision to abort the trip to Arthurs, turn around and sail a bit nort to explore the cost there instead. After turning around we were flying with 6 knots (with main with 1st reef alone) back, very enjoyable sailing.

Sailing Easter 2015 Sailing Easter 2015

Since we then had the full afternoon and no time pressure we tried to anchor at a reef that had some nice breaking waves so that Miriam could try some surfing there, it is great to have no keel and two hulls with very shallow draft because one can easily get very close to the shore. But in this case the swell was building up by the minute and we decided to leave. 

We then sailed further north and at 16:00 found a quite busy bay with lots of resorts lined up at the beach. We did not have a map on deck but I assumed it would be Matabunkay. In addition there was a large catamaran anchored inside and after the very lonly last night we appreciated to have another boat around so we lowered the sails and set course into the bay. We anchored close to the shore at 6m around 20m off the bigger yacht. Must have belonged to some rich people, they did not show any interest for our tiny Magayon II.

 

 

We went for the usual after-anchor swim and Miriam took the chance to wear her beach dress. When Martin checked his phone a message had come in from Bill. He managed to get us tickets for the Rolling Stones in Summer. Miriam got very excited screaming extatically and repeating "Life is soo good". Then she went on the phone and told Kata.

Sailing Easter 2015 Sailing Easter 2015 

Martin checked the chart and it was indeed Matabunkay. We were too tired to inflate Butanding, so we passed the opportunity to have a nice dinner and opened a can of Ravioly, the all time Camping Classic food and a bottle of red wine. Sleeping was a bit difficult with very lound Karaoke performances from various diretions. 

Did 24 nautical miles today of which 2.5 were under motor.

Friday

Initially we had good southeasterly wind and small waves. The wind turned very quickly and came for most of the day from northwest, only to turn back to southeast in the late afternoon. That meant that waves started building up in the open sea and we had to go against them again. We could avoid tacking by sailing very close to the wind but therefore only made 3-4 knots most of the time. By midday we passed Fuego Pt. and somehow overlooked that we already had passed Maya May, from now on sailing up north as planned. The waves became so high again that we decided to go for a swim and seek shelter in the next bay, which turned out to be Looc Cove. We found this island just at the cove's inlet with a very niche sandy beach, ideal for snorcelling and wanted to drop anchor there for a while but a guy came out of the bushes on the beach onto the sand and chased us away saying that this is private property. We did not even want to go on the beach. How can people here own the water? So we went further into the cove and ended up in a very nice and remote bay south of Hamilo point. We anchored there on 6m, Miriam took her surf board and went to the shore to explore and after hiding from the sun for a while under deck we decided to stay the night there.

 Sailing Easter 2015 Sailing Easter 2015

Some fishermen who were in the bay when we arrived disapperead one after another and then we were alone. Half an hour later new fishermen arrived with very nasty looking spear guns. One guy was always looking over to our boat, why is left to interpretation, but it made us feel a bit creepy and we decided to raise anchor and go back to Maya Maya. We left the bay at 5:00 with one hour of sunshine left. The way back along Fuego Pt. is quite impressive, lots of very posh houses and some "keep out" signs on the beaches. One wonders.

We made it back to the Maya May Marina just before the sun set and managed to moore Magayon safely with a bit of fiddling with the mooring line and the heavy sind. 

Sailing Easter 2015 Sailing Easter 2015 

After securing Magayon II we took the car and went to Nagsugbu to look for a place for dinner. On the way running almost out of gas, too many things to think of during the week, but we made it to the next gas station. Then, because of lack of nice restaurants in Nagsugbu, we decided to drive to Matabunkay and closed the day with a very nice German dinner at the Coral Beach Club. No Karaoke tonight, the beach was reasonably quite. 

Did 25.5 miles today of which 15 were under motor.

Fuel consumption was approximately 2l/h or 0.8l per nautical mile.

Saturday

We want to sail her a couple of times more before the Typhoon season starts, and therefore paid a month fee for the Maya Maya Marina. We were given a nice slot protected from the usual Southeasterly winds. It took around 2 hours to remove the sails, outboard motor, and clean her up. 

Sailing Easter 2015 Sailing Easter 2015

All in all a very successful and enjoyable cruise. Magayon II has proven to be very seaworthy. Of course there are things to improve, but that was to be expected.

Saturday afternoon we drove back to Los Banos via Santa Maria resort to drop some gear and to pick up the Dax. 

 

 

 

 

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