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November 2008

ŠThe Cruising Yacht Club of the Philippines

Battle for Independence Speed Dash Subic Bay

Action Divers Easter Regatta: Race Report

PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008


Commodore’s Letter

Contents Commodore’s Letter Seen on the Moorings Book Review: Escape from Hermit Island Puerto Galera Webcams Galore The Battle for Independence Action Divers Easter Regatta: Race Report Nautical Dyslexia: A Beginner’s Guide Speed Dash Subic Bay A Kayak on the Binictican

3 5 7 9 11 15 19 22 27

PGYC Board of Directors Commodore: Peter Stevens Vice Com: Jurgen Langemeier Treasurer: Geoffrey Cannell Directors: Carl Broqvist, William Moore, Peter Stansbury , Owen Stull, Jonathan Thorp ----------------Secretary: Carlos Garcia

Production Sales & Distribution: DeBe Enterprise & Service (+63 917 846 3388) Design: Terry Duckham/Asiapix Studios Layout: Aira Fernando/Asiapix Studios Hong Kong Front Cover: Terry Duckham Special Thanks: Martyn Willes Cruiser News is published by Puerto Galera Yacht Club Inc., P.O.Box 30450 Sto Niño, Puerto Galera, Mindoro, Philippines Tel / Fax : 63 (043) 442-0136 Email: Philippine Copyright © 2003 - 08 by The Puerto Galera Yacht Club, Inc. All rights reserved. The views expressed in Cruiser News are those of the authors and not PGYC. No responsibility for any loss is accepted by the authors or by PGYC

Welcome to the November issue of the Cruiser News. Apologies all round for the delay in your favourite yachting magazine. Pressure of work and other commitments of the production team over the summer took their toll. Don’t forget that they are all volunteers who put time and effort into producing our magazine for little, if any, financial reward. Hat’s off to Martyn, Terry and Aira. So much has happened since the last letter that I don’t really know where to start. The Easter Regatta is but a blur, but, thanks to Martyn’s account in this edition, all is brought back to life in glorious technicolour. Thanks to my old pal Roscoe Thompson of ACTION DIVERS, for his support of the event and, as ever, to Stuart and James for the LINDEMANS lubrication. Mark your sailing and social diaries for next year’s event, which promises to be even bigger than anything else we’ve ever done. The Hobie Challenge/Manila-Boracay/President’s Cup are all in February. There is nothing in March before our Easter Regatta on April 10th. Our normal Heavylift Manila and Royal Cargo sponsors of the All Soul’s Regatta have already pledged their support for the event. If you would like to sponsor a race/ trophy/dinner/cocktails etc please let us know soonest. We are also planning to hold a concurrent international LAWIN event, with teams from Hong Kong and around the Philippines competing against our local lads and lassies, for which we also need support. Thanks. After Easter things were pretty quiet during the summer, with the exception of the sail training program, which attracted folk from Hong Kong and (believe it or not) Alaska! You can read about the experiences of the father and son team from HK in this edition of CN. The club offers three levels of courses, from basic to advanced. They are great fun, with maximum time spent on the water, and are suitable for all ages from 7 to 70! I guess the start of our ‘winter’ season began with the All Soul’s Regatta on October 31st. As there were no public holidays either side of the weekend this year we weren’t expecting much of a turnout, especially when we heard that the Manila/PG overnighter had been cancelled. Nevertheless, the Subic boys and girls stepped up and raced 5 boats down on the Wednesday, to be joined by a number of cruisers who came just for the fun of it, plus our local contingent, making for a fleet of around 12 yachts for 3 days of superb sailing, delicious dining and perpetual partying. There were also 4 boys and 2 teachers from the Hong Kong Sea School here to compete against 8 of our local schools in an inter-school dinghy regatta. More details in the next edition of CN. Finally, as there will be a new hand at the helm of the club next year, and this is my last Commodore’s letter, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all of our members for supporting the club; the Board for its hard work, and the management and staff for making it such a great place to visit. I’d also like to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2009. Peter Stevens Commodore


PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008

Seen on the Moorings Words by Mike Tucker Photo by Terry Duckham

Finished! The club’s Annual Mooring Inspection has been completed for another year. The club staff have chipped and scraped away kilos of marine growth from the heavy chains, checking and replacing shackles and swivels. The divers have toiled underwater freeing shackles and jammed gear. The member volunteers have completed the supervision and all the reports. The rickety mooring pontoon (it’s due for a very major rebuild) has been put away for another year. Those resident and visiting yachts can now feel confident that all is ready underwater in the event of a good blow. But remember the mooring system is of no value if you cannot stay attached to it! Check your warps. The club publishes minimum recommended standards for mooring ropes, holds stocks of materials and can make up proper spliced warps with thimbles, shackles and chaff protection. If you are leaving your vessel unattended it is wise to fit a back-up chain to another strong point. It should be slack, not carrying any normal load, let your warps take all the shocks. However in the ultimate storm - if your warps chaff through or your cleats pull out the deck it will give you a second line of defence and may save your vessel from going ashore (as it did mine when in Hong Kong). On 29 April we were motoring through Puerto Galera Bay when a pair of Dolphins were seen frolicking between the reefs. All aboard declared this was the first time they had been

spotted within the harbour. We have a report from a visiting yacht that Turtles continue to be seen amongst the moorings and the chestnut brown / white Brahminy Kites (Lawins) can still be seen fishing for breakfast in Muelle Bay. After many months Puerto Galera Bay beacon light (red flashing) suddenly appeared alight again in April. But not for long, It’s out again! So if you are entering either channel at night take care - there probably will not be a leading light. Does anyone know which authority is responsible for this light? We have seen a number of cruising yachts on the moorings waiting for the monsoon winds to change. These are some of them: Dai Long Wan a 45ft catamaran with Virginia & Iain Macrobert from Tacoban on the way back to Hong Kong. Puerto Galera was back after her rebuild and looking very smart, a 56ft Formosa ketch with American owner Grant Pace. Zambonga a 50ft Lagoon 500 catamaran with owner Freddie Garcia and skipper Robin Wyatt. Old favourite Catbaloo with her new owner Mel Vilarde and skipper Ruben Sta. Ana. White Haze a 40ft Robert Clark design with Dutch owner Ada Kerkstra after a trip from Hong Kong. Tutu Tango catamaran, with owner Jun Villanueva. Kelea a 34ft Cape North with owner Pat Jewell and skipper Gary Plone from Boracay to Subic.


Fantasy II an Easton 42 catamaran with Australians John & Christine Auton from Subic to Carmen. David Ellis a Diesel Duck 462 with owner David & Dorothy Nagle from Dumaguete to Subic. Ichiban a Lafitte 44 with French owner M. Saez from Subic to Rio El Mar. Pembura Laut a Hunter 430 with Elaine & David Foulkes from Royal Brunei Yacht Club. Kirafiki a Bavaria 42 with owner Charlie Munzoni from Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and on the way back to Hong Kong. Harlequin a Bavaria 44 with owner James Fernie from Discovery Bay Yacht Club on the way to Busuanga Sirius a Tayana 55 with owner Andrew Jeffries from Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club on the way to Subic. Windshift a King Legend 40 with owner Steven Calpin from Hong Kong to Kota Kinabalu.

PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008

Adamant II a Roberts 39 Pilot House with Australian cruisers Roslyn & Peter Dlask. Che 30ft with skipper Deolito Nailon from Manila to Boracay. Epicurus a 38ft catamaran with American owner Robert Keitel. Dancing on Water a C-Wind 39 catamaran with owner Anthony Francis from Hebe Haven Yacht Club. Oceanus a Sail 38 with owner James Manzari from Boracay and onwards to Kota Kinabalu. q


PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008

Book Review


From Hermit Island Two Women Struggle to Save Their Sunken Sailboat in Remote Papua New Guinea Photos by Bernadette Villaluz-Willes

In October 2002, Banshee, a 34 foot sailboat, hit a reef and sank within five minutes. Leslie was on deck, Joy was trapped in the flooded cabin; a village fisherman finally pulled Joy to safety. Four days later, with both help and hindrance from the island villagers, Joy and Leslie managed to patch and kedge their boat off the reef and refloat her. Thus started a long and extraordinary ordeal, marooned on a paradise island for more than three months, before they could extricate themselves by sailing to the safety of the North coast of Papua New Guinea. This brief introduction cannot prepare the reader of Escape From Hermit Island for the spectrum of emotions that pummeled Joy and Leslie through the period of the marooning, so preciously described in the narrative. The dichotomy of personalities, values, perceptions, inhibitions and expectations, between the ship’s company of two independent American women and a Pacific Island culture that exalts indigenous males, almost daily created potentially explosive situations that had to be managed at the micro and

macro levels, without outward expression or demonstration. Joy introduces Leslie, herself and their yacht “Banshee” as follows: “We had sailed our boat, a 1971 Bristol 34 (Hull #1), from Palau to Hermit Island to seek the island’s fantastic scuba diving, friendly people and idyllic lagoon. Our stay was enjoyable until disaster struck and our ordeal began. Returning to the village from diving in the lagoon, we hit a reef. The impact rammed a large forward-looking transducer into the hull and tore a massive hole and a six foot long crack. The boat sank immediately. I was injured and a tip of my finger was torn off, severely disabling me. Our survival ordeal


PGYCCruiser CruiserNews, News,November November2008 2008 PGYC

Left: Leslie Brown and Joy Smith Smiling in Muelle Bay; Below: Banshee Happily at Anchor in Puerto Galera

took place in very difficult circumstances, in a primitive part of the third world, where strangers are not always welcomed. “In late January 2003, we finally were able to sail away from Hermit Island on our own in our badly damaged boat using only wind and sails. We made the 300-mile voyage to safety in stormy conditions with no engine, no autopilot, no

navigation lights, limited food and water and one tiny chart. After a perilous week alone at sea, we reached civilization at Madang, on the north coast of PNG, where there was a local marine railway in which we began repairs to our boat and our lives. “We spent two years in Madang rebuilding our boat ourselves on a very limited budget. In February of 2005 we finally sailed out of PNG via the Bismarck Archipelago through Micronesia and on to the Philippines—almost 4,000 miles by the log. We are now comfortable and safe in Subic Bay, Philippines. “Both of us are accomplished sailors. I am 66, a retired teacher, and have owned Banshee for over 37 years, making

three previous Pacific crossings in her. Leslie Brown, 49, joined me on Guam in 1996. She is a scuba instructor who rebuilt and single-handed her own small sailboat in Hawaii for ten years after moving there from New York.” The book is a true story -- from the sinking, refloating and extricating Banshee from Hermit, to finally reaching Madang – written from the perspective of the ship’s company. Detailed and intriguing as it definitely is, having met and broken bread with these two fascinating ladies, the outcome is even more incredible. This book may teach little about seamanship but educates in volumes about the the absolute necessity for tolerance and its application by calculated degree in order to achieve the greatest of personal objectives. You can meet Joy and Leslie personally at the Subic Bay Yacht Club and buy a copy of Escape from Hermit Island complete with autograph or, visit the website: q

PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008



For all those who pine for Puerto Galera when they are far away and for those masochists who want to feel the pain of actually knowing that the weather is just great here, while freezing their bums in some some northern or southern latitude of magnitude, and for all those who simply can’t find anything else more productive to do with their clicking fingers: there is a new website that is connected to no less than four webcams strategically placed around Puerto Galera, designed to show the beauty and variety of vistas available to discerning travellers, sans beheadings, kidnappings or worse:

Anyone who knows Puerto Galera knows that nothing here is like anywhere else so it is no surprise that these webcams are also very different -- they actually store the images they capture for one whole year. Because the images are stored, it is possible to offer the website visitor a forecast of what the weather is likely to be during any month of the year, essential information for travellers who are planning months ahead. But it also enables the use of single click buttons to display the amazingly popular sunrise and sunset sequences (so far the sunrise at La Laguna Beach Club is slightly ahead of the sunrise at El Galleon but the Big Apple’s sunset is catching up fast). Choose any morning or evening and you can relive any romantic moment with your loved one. The website will eventually link together as many as one hundred webcams located at beauty spots around the Philippines – they already have webcams in Subic Bay, Manila Bay and Nasugbu in addition to the ones in Puerto Galera -- designed to clearly illustrate to would-be international vacationers that the Philippines is safe, beautiful and enjoyable for at least 7107 reasons. The website will also expand across Asia with the objective of becoming the World’s most significant travel guide. The Puerto Galera webcams show views of Muelle Bay, Big Lalaguna Beach, Small La Laguna Beach and Sabang

Beach. It is possible in the future that there may be more installed at Ponderosa Golf Club, White Beach or Talipanan Beach. The project is the brainchild of long-time Puerto Galera promoters Terry Duckham and Martyn Willes, they have been joined by Michael Cole who has been motivated by his frustration over the generally inadequate Philippine tourism information infrastructure. Together, the trio expect to change the way the World looks at the Philippines and Asia . . . by creating a real-time webcam travel guide. We caught up with Terry the other day in Manila, between photographic assignments in Australia and the U.S.A., and he explained the true value of this project to the Philippines and Asia as a whole. “With the cost of travel tracking close to the graph of fuel costs it is even more important to know more about where you are going so as not to be disappointed with your choice; most people rely on referrals from friends when considering a new destination. The problem is that, with the possible exception of Thailand, Asia is a largely unknown destination so there are fewer knowledgeable friends to ask. . . . there are also the Top Left: La Laguna Beach Club webcam view; Above: El Galleon webcam view


travel bulletins from embassies that can easily be interpreted as to suggest that it is better to get mugged in New York or London than to risk sunburn on a tropical beach in the Philippines or most other places in Asia. “The solution is a network of webcams that show realtime exactly what you can expect at any time of the year and what is actually available at specific locations. The webcam travel guide is born of necessity because the webcam appeals to the innate sense of self determination that most people wish to demonstrate . . . ‘This is my choice’ “For the business operator at the webcam destination the benefit is that they can now tap into a new market of first-time visitors who have not relied on personal referrals . . . especially important in competitive areas and to a new business or to a business that is expanding its offerings” We thought it might be a good idea to point out the obvious -- that most businesses design and print brochures in order to reach their target audience with a glossy, full-colour, everything always beautiful production – and the response was, “brochures are great and when there was no alternative they were the best way to introduce but new technology offers new opportunities. “We remove the need for expensive photography, design and print production, we remove the need for someone to be paid to identify the target audience and personally mail or hand-deliver the brochure and we remove the risk of turning people off because the brochure looks too good to be true . . . the target audience today, by and large, uses the Internet to make informed choices and by doing so they pre-qualify themselves when they tune in to our webcam travel guide . . . they are interested and motivated to make a choice about travel and we give them the information with which to choose.” So what can we expect as the service grows out of Puerto Galera to around Asia? “The webcam travel guide started in Puerto Galera when we installed the first webcam on Muelle Pier almost three years ago. Over the next three years it will become the most important tool for tourism development in Asia and elsewhere in the World. As the technology and Internet bandwidth expand, so the vistas and detail will move ever closer to television quality . . . at which point we will have accomplished the original goal of bringing the beauty of the Philippines to the rest of the World.” q

PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008

Far Left: Big Apple webcam; Left: Muelle from Sharkeez webcam

PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008


The Battle For Independence Words by Juliet Solar Photos by Cherri Pinpin & Avery Avecilla

Sandoway heading for the “missing” buoy #12

I didn’t really understand how Independence Day celebrations could be related to a sporting activity, unless of course it was the sport of shooting, but I was not going to turn down the invitation to Subic Bay and to get involved with the sport of sailing. A brilliant blue sky greeted us as we descended the twisting road into Subic Bay from the Tipo Road tollbooth, near the entrance to the infamous zig-zag pass. The glazed surface of Subic Bay stretched taught, it seemed to me, between the great arms of the Zambales and Bataan mountains. Not a breath of wind ruffled the surface. At the yacht club there was a buzz of excitement and energy as crews, mostly of men with rippling muscles, tended

to various tasks, preparing their sailing yachts for battle on the water. But there were ladies too, tanned in bikinis and shorts, bubbling with as much excitement as the guys at the prospect of some fun on the water and maybe a trophy or two to take home. The yachts looked expensive. Not because they were covered with the polished stainless steel and glass I was more used to on big motor launches but because, like a formula-one

12 racing car shouts speed through its compact, wasteless and purposeful design, these sleek racing yachts shouted perfection in terms of harnessing the wind and using it to propel them forward to win. The crews too were handsome in their uniforms, which added to the overall sense of occasion and ceremony in celebration of the Philippine Independence Day The yachts motored out to the start line because the bay remained glazed and unruffled, but there was at least and expectation of a building breeze -- the surface was distinctly darker out near Grande Island suggesting that a sea-breeze was arriving. Convenient, I thought, as my wristwatch ticked towards the published race-start time. Since the last time I was in Subic Bay many changes have occurred and most are more dramatically visible from the sea. For example, on the West shore, the long, blue roofs of the Hanjin shipyard were now clearly objectionable and the completed container port facility, adjacent to the airport, now features gigantic, obtrusive orange and white cranes awaiting only a ship for to disgorge. The channel marker buoys have changed also, although this is not so evident without close scrutiny: new buoys have been added to mark the safe channel to the Hanjin shipyard and all of the numbers must be relearned. The wind arrived just in time for the scheduled start. The competition got underway with last year’s winner and local favourite Jun Avecilla, skippering his Beneteau First, making an early charge but with the fresh breeze the winning was anything but easy. In the end it was the boat of George Hackett from the Manila Yacht Club that took the honours on the first day and overall for the competition in the IRC division. What intrigued was the enthusiasm shown in the one-design racing using the boat they call a “Platu”. Twentyfive foot long and with only four crew per boat this looks like the most fun for guys and girls, they are really very fast. Throughout the competition it was the crew of Subic Bay Yacht Club Commodore Ricky Sandoval who triumphed, driving the hired-for-the-event Platu, “Bodyshot”. It seems to me that racing Platus could be the perfect sport in which Filipinos may excel and perhaps where the Government should spend some sports development dollars -- you really don’t want too much weight in the crew but bundles of agility and cunning can easily lead to victory. And it is suitable for both male and female athletes. I was also intrigued, and delighted, to attend an awards evening function at The Lighthouse Marina Resort. The Lighthouse is not only a new landmark in Subic Bay, it is definitely a place for water sports enthusiasts and sailors. Taking a tour of the facilities it was hard not to be impressed with the luxurious, modern rooms featuring spacious bathrooms, very wide & ultra-thin televisions and special views out across the bay. At the Sands restaurant, food and ice-

PGYC Cruiser News, September2008 2006 PGYC Cruiser News, November

PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008


Clockwise fro Left: Butt-end up please!; Rainbow in control of mixing it up with Jun; Challenge tries to slip under Sandoway; Body Shot taking advantage of the light stuff; Jun looking purposefully in the pink steering Selma Star; Steady As She Goes Skipper Jun!; Looking Challenged; Body Shot powers away under spinnaker

cold drinks were just what the active crew needed after a long day competing on the water. The Lighthouse is owned in part by Jun Avecilla, who has joined with Judes Echaus to promot the sport of sailing for all. The Lighthouse’s “720 Bar” features accolades from racing conquests around the Asia region and is full of the camaraderie you would normally expect to find in a yacht club bar rather than in a fine resort hotel. Back to the racing. By the end of the event the honed muscles, loud voice and enthusiasm of George Hackett’s mixed crew brought them victory in the racing class for the

first time in the Subic Bay Independence Day Regatta; in the Performance Handicap class Commodore Ricky Sandoval took the honours in the Platu; and, in the Performance Cruising class it was the Dutchman, Ton van Hierden, who beat his compatriot Jelle Mann . . . both competing with Oceanis 43s. Next year I will definitely be back to mix it up with the country’s elite yacht racing men and women in Subic Bay when the Independence Day Regatta will take place over three days, from 12th through 14th June. Hopefully I will get to crew on one of the yachts . . . sun, sea and testosterone – a lethal combination. q

PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008



Photos by Terry Duckham

It may not have been Cowes Week but it was surely a grand display of passion for the sport of sailing. The Action Divers Easter Regatta in Puerto Galera this year featured more visitors from more countries than ever before. From as far away as Holland, Canada and New Zealand they came to enjoy the magnificent sailing breezes and warm Spring sunshine, and to imbibe the camaraderie that defines our little yacht club, nestled inside one of the World’s most beautiful bays. Kalayaan framed by the rocks at Talipanan beach

PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008


Clockwise from top left: Aragorn slowing in the tack from Talipanan beach; Pemburu Laut (left) and Rags (right) dueling spinnakers; Kalayaan levels her spinnaker; Rags all done for the day; Cocobolo determined to the finish; Aragorn powering along the beaches; Cocobolo gracefully makes her last turn; China Rose beats the cabin cruiser to the line; Pemburu Laut crew enjoying the shade – is that our Commodore drinking!; Sandoway steady in the lighter air Previous page: Kalayaan framed by the rocks at Talipanan beach

Fresh from her refit and refurbishment in nearby Minolo Bay, Gundolf Ahrens’ 60-foot Van Dam ketch, Aragorn, showed that grand old ladies still have a place in modern racing, as her antique lines majestically ploughed the Verde Island Passage with conviction. Thankful for the unusual southerly component in the breeze (topping twenty knots at times), her generous waterline length allowed her to capture first place during the first two days of racing; included in her prize, the coveted Lindemans’ Cup . . . where the fleet set out across the Passage to round Chicken Feather & Bonito islands. The lighter, racing yachts struggled with their shorter waterline lengths and performance handicaps derived from

beating into the more usual northeasterly breezes. Realising that the handicappers ruled, and that the breezes were strong and non-cooperative, Alan Burrell instead loaded Susie Burrell’s Bashford 36, Sandoway, with visitors to give them a taste of paradise, in the hope that they would return next year and maybe charter one of his boats for the event. However, on the third day of racing, with a course set along the beaches of the peninsula, Sandoway faired much better and claimed first place, after a drawn out tussle under spinnaker with Lukas Marquardt’s Macintosh 47, Kalayaan II. One of the reasons that racing in Puerto Galera is so much fun is that, unlike most other sailing events around the

PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008

Philippines (where all the boats start together), yacht racing here is almost always based upon the “pursuit race” format – the only exception is during the All Souls Regatta (which takes places at the end of October) when IRC ratings are used for the racing class. Pursuit racing requires that on the morning of every race-day the “handicapper” makes a judgment-call about the expected weather conditions and defines a handicap-time for each yacht before the race . . . based on historic or expected performance. Each boat then starts its own race at the allotted handicap-time and tries to catch the boats in front, while keeping ahead if the ones that start later. The ultimate objective is to have all of the boats finish together.

17 The benefit of pursuit racing is that, instead of waiting hours for the last boat to finish and then awaiting for the race committee to compute the final results (based upon some etheric rating system defined by an agency in faraway London, who have no way of knowing how much beer, wine and sandwiches is aboard any given boat anyway), everyone arrives back at the clubhouse at about the same time and the party can start immediately . . . because everyone knows who won – it was the first boat to cross the finish line. Of course, this also means that the handicapper can come in for some stick, post-race, if the weather conditions do not pan-out as s/he predicted. To avoid any lasting animosity, the task of handicapping is usually assigned to someone with broad shoulders and robust hide. For the past year, William J. Moore (a.k.a. “<insert your own expletive> Bill”) has been the club handicapper and during this time he has become eloquent in his assertions that the records of the club unarguably prove each and every handicap decision he has made (with the possible exception of the totally unexpected 18-knots of westerly breeze half-way through the last race during the most recent New Year Regatta). And, Bill is equally determined that if you did not win on-the-day then it was because you failed to sail your boat to the levels of performance he knows you otherwise can. Keep up the good work Bill; the winners will always love you. Cobalt seas under blue skies make for beautiful pictures; sad then that on the first race day the only photography accomplished was from the land . . . at the turning mark near Talipanan Beach – Geoffrey Cannell’s motor launch, Starlight Express, was the designate camera-boat but engine problems prevented her from leaving her mooring. Starlight Express almost didn’t make it on the second day, as a problem with her steering meant she was only able to offer a platform to capture the action on the finish line. Not wishing to tempt fate further, event co-photographer Terry Duckham used an alternative power boat for the last day of racing and obtained some of the more memorable shots displayed here and on the Internet. The Action Divers Easter Regatta 2008 was a great success yet again because of the participation of so many enthusiastic and jovial individuals and teams. With the support of our other regatta sponsors – Lindemans Wines and L.A. Café, – this year’s event was larger and more enjoyable. Finally, it is interesting to note that during 2008, Puerto Galera has seen a surge in participation in the sport of sailing from families and under-18s. This is a very positive trend that should be nurtured and encouraged so that sailing fleets around the country can be expanded and can come together more often to revel in the unquestionable beauty of this diverse archipelago. For more information about sailing and water sports events in Puerto Galera and around the country, log-on to www.pgyc. org/events or contact the club directly +63 43 442-0136. q

PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008


Mark Cowley and his 11 year old son, George, came down from Hong Kong and spent 10 intensive days completing the Basic and Intermediate Sailing Courses back to back. The wind was fickle for the first few days but filled in for the last few, with one wild afternoon with around 15kts. That was the day that I split them between myself (George) and Eralyn (Mark). With each alternatively crewing and helming. George managed to capsize us within a couple of minutes, despite my exhortations to ‘dump the main!!’. Mark, however, went one better and fell out of the back of the boat! It was an epic effort to get him back aboard in the conditions, only achieved by him wrapping his foot around Eralyn’s head (or so it seemed to her). By the end of the Intermediate Course they were in racing mode and sailing the triangles and sausages with the rest of us. We enjoyed their company and it was fun teaching them personally. I look forward to their return for next level where we get to play with spinnakers! Peter Stevens, Commodore

Nautical Dyslexia: A Beginner’s Guide For as long as I can remember, I have always had the A very early start was inevitable and I was disembarking desire to learn to sail. It’s not surprising really given that my at White Beach by 8.00. By this time, I had already witnessed father spent 25 years working for the Royal Navy. On his very dolphins skimming across the water. After a little negotiation, occasional visits home he introduced me to the Wheelhouse I was able to grab a ride on a motorbike to Muelle Pier. Once and the Marina (the bitter was much better in the latter) but there and with the help of a local banka, I was first able to he never told me what a bowline was. identify a great hotel (The Buri My school in the Midlands also had Resort and Spa which meant my an active Sailing Club though the lake wife and daughter would be able where they sailed was freezing cold and to join us) and, more importantly, PGYC has an idyllic looked far too murky for my liking. made my way to the Puerto Galera location where you can So I had to wait another 30Yacht Club in time for lunch. odd years before my sailing act came A friendly and immediate enjoy the local rum whilst together. My own son, George, is now welcome was provided by the club’s witnessing a fascinating 11 and sailing seemed an activity we manager, Steve. PGYC has an could learn and enjoy together. Rather idyllic location where you can enjoy variety of birdlife fluttering than taking lessons in our home town the local rum whilst witnessing over the surrounding of Hong Kong, we decided it would be a fascinating variety of birdlife more fun to do it somewhere different. fluttering over the surrounding mangrove. After all, sailing in Hong Kong’s mangrove. My lunch of grilled Olympic summer humidity did not Dorado, no doubt freshly caught seem at all attractive. A simple Google that morning, in a caper, butter and search soon revealed the delights of a place called Puerto Galera. lemon sauce was perfect as was the local company who were all We made contact and took our first step. happy to answer my sometime inane questions. By 3.00 I knew Being a cautious sort of chap, I took advantage of Puerto Galera had to be the place. I left on the 3.15 banka meetings in Manila in April to zip down to PG for a recce. I pleasantly content, Batangas and Manila bound. took the bus and arrived in Batangas at around midnight. I Once back in Hong Kong, I was contacted by the club’s wouldn’t recommend this to anyone. When I did eventually commodore, Peter Stevens, who had the unenviable task of make it to a place that had rooms, I spent most of the night teaching the basics of sailing to George, who has until now crouched under the sheets with one chair firmly placed under the door knob. It was a sleepless night. Continued on page 21

PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008


confident that George and I now have the kind of joint interest every father should hope to achieve. We spent six terrific days learning the basics of sailing. been generally uninterested in sport, and an overweight fortyThere were occasions when there was little wind and it became something who could not really remember the last occasion frustrating but these occasions were soon swept from our when his heart rate had increased as a result of direct contact minds when gusts of wind challenged us to put our newly with a treadmill. Attached to Peter’s email were actual lesson found knowledge into practise. We ended our course by plans and an itinerary. I had hoped for a having a race with other members of the list of interesting watering holes but it was club who generously gave up their time obvious that the Commodore really meant to participate. We finished by being Of course, the real business. George and I were really going to presented with certificates confirming learn to sail under the guidance of someone icing on the cake to that we had passed the beginners and who knew what he was doing. level. It seemed that all all this was the sheer, intermediate If you are reading this, it probably those in the clubhouse at the time were means you are already well qualified to as equally enthusiastic for our new found stunning beauty of sail and have your own tales to tell about success as we were. We cannot wait to being on the water how your sailing career began. Do you return to complete certificate three. remember that cerebral experience I’ve Our flight back to Hong Kong was in what must be one decided to call nautical dyslexia? It’s where spent debating sailing in general and, more of the most beautiful you become swamped in fear as you fail importantly, whether or not it is more to remember, when asked, the name of embarrassing to simply fall off a dinghy places in the world anything relating to a dinghy – even if it as I did or to capsize. The fact that the – above water and has just been explained to you in great commodore was in the capsizing dinghy detail? Port: ugh? Luff: ugh? Stern: ugh? below Puerto Galera. at the time (“first time in five years,” he Starboard ho: OUCH! said) added to the general merriment. In addition, there was also the But if I hear one more mention of that humiliation of finding that my son caught damn bunny coming out of the hole, the on to everything far more quickly than me during the lessons delightful chefs at PGYC will be serving rabbit terrine on a daily and practicals. But if you’re receiving instruction whilst sitting basis. on a sun drenched beach there seems to me to be little chance Of course, the real icing on the cake to all this was the of ever wanting to give up. By choosing the right location, I am sheer, stunning beauty of being on the water in what must be one of the most beautiful places in the world – above water and below Puerto Galera. Despite our sailing schedule, there was still time for scuba, waterskiing and snorkelling. This part of the Philippines is such a natural treasure trove. I sincerely hope it remains that way. Whatever you may have learnt in this short article, I hope you will ignore it and please do not tell anyone else about the wonderful delights of Puerto Galera and its Yacht Club. It is heaven on Earth and George and I want to keep it just as it is. q Nauticxal Dyslexia...continued from page 19

PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008


SPEED DASH SUBIC BAY Words By Juliet Solar

Photos by Martyn Willes

The first three around the mark guarded by Heather Louise

A veritable feast of wind over water filled Subic Bay’s Moonbay Marina to overflowing in July, in what is believed to be the largest gathering of sails and kites ever, in the Philippines. Eighty windsurfing boards were on the beach ready to go, along side a dozen hi-tech kites.

Organized by Windsurfing Subic Bay (WSB), in conjunction with the Philippine Windsurfing Association (PWA) and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), windsurfers came from as far away as Guam in an orgy of speed on the water: after a day of practice and two days of competition, most were deliciously exhausted. Competitive groups from traditional windsurfing centers such as Lake Caliraya, Boracay, Bacolod, Anilao and Puerto Galera were joined by newer teams from Marinduque and a handful of individuals from around the World. While Philippine windsurfers took away most of the first place trophies, everyone who joined in the fun took away something . . . if only a memory of white-capped waves and thunderclouds split by shafts of brilliant sunshine.

The windsurfers and the kiteboarders raced along courses set specifically to provide the greatest spectacle for the largest numbers of visitors -- along the waterfront at Moonbay Marina and out almost to Barrio Barretto. And spectacle was what they saw as, in a blaze of color and spray, the “boarders” flew across the wave tops faster than the chase boats could catch them. The assembled press and media were treated to the unexpected luxury of a five-star camera platform as the M/ Y Heather Louise, with Tony Bradley steadying the helm, delivered them to the penultimate mark from where they were able to CCDise and pixelise the competitors from every angle as the windsurfers turned, or attempted to turn, around the marker-buoy before heading back to the finish. The windsurfing Class “O” Winner and Overall

PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008


Two kites better than one

All enjoyed a mixture of blustery breezes mixed up with a spattering of rain to celebrate the 4th of a 5-leg tour of the 2008 PWA’s annual sailing calendar, the PWA-SBMA Windsurfing & Kiteboarding SPEED DASH Open.

Champion-Windsurfing, was Philippine Team member Reneric “Vingo” Moreno from Anilao, with a perfect set of first place finishes. In the windsurfing Ladies class Anilao resident Cory Paz, also of the Philippine Team, narrowly beat Angela Adrian; both ended the event on equal points but Cory finished ahead of Angela in the last race so took the trophy under the count-back rule. In the Junior windsurfing Miguel Lazo of Manila took the first place trophy ahead of the Arycz Garcia from Puerto Galera. Novices to watch in future will be: Boys/Men - Axel Doruelo (first place), Joebert Macasling and Jonard Tan; and, Girls/Ladies – Yay Hizon, Joana Garcia and Shirley Tan.

In other classes: Peng Hilario won the Masters; Joseph Alagos dominated Class A; and, Mariel Candava proved that securing second place in every race is good enough to win, taking overall in Class B. The kiteboarding was a spectacle all by itself but even more so with the combined windsurfing / kiteboarding starts. Colorful kites filled the sky each day and powered across the stormy sky. Kiteboarding instructor Jay Ortiz (Lake Caliraya) won the Men’s class; Ms Fele Kyamko (Boracay) won the Ladies class; and, Tyron Mangakahia (Metro Manila) won the Novice class. The Overall Champion - Kiteboarding speed event was Doque de los Santos from the Greenyard Funboard Center in Boracay, Aklan. The awards this year were presented by Mr. Judes Echauz


PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008 Clockwise from Left: The mystery of assembly; Kiteboarders are happy to explain their wings; Also sport for the young Next Page Clockwise from Left: From some angels kites dwarf hotels; Registration was confusing to some; The fastest board; Subic Bay offers perfect on-shore breezes for kites

(President - Philippine Sailing Association, Representative to the International Sailing Federation), Mr. Eric Loretizo (Sports Commissioner - Windsurfing) and assisted by Ms. Portia Zabala (Manager-OIC, SBMA Tourism). During a post event review on Sunday evening event organizer, Ms. Ari Bradley, a windsurfer herself, said, “everyone has had so much fun this weekend that even the rain this morning has not dampened their enthusiasm to return next year . . . we have now put Subic Bay in the center of Asia’s windsurfing map. “SBMA have been so supportive of the event as have the hotels, resorts and restaurants and especially The Lighthouse Marina Resort, Sibil, the Scuba Shack and the Subic Park Hotel, that I am confident next year this will become one of the biggest boarding events in the Asia region”. Subic Bay is a natural venue for international windsurfing and kiteboarding competitions because: using the new Subic-Clark-Tarlac-Expressway (SCTEx) it is only around two hours drive from Manila and Clark international airports; and, it offers a wide variety of beach-front hotel & resort accommodations, with ample

PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008


space for a thousand spectators and more. During a cocktail reception at The Lighthouse Marina Resort on Saturday, discussions detailed the serious possibility of developing Subic Bay into an Asian region venue for windsurfing and kiteboarding. The general consensus from all those involved was that the SBMA and WSB should make this a priority objective for 2009. Watch this space for more windsurfing and kiteboarding news as the fifth and final leg of the Philippine Windsurfing Associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2008 5-series tour will be held at Lake Caliraya, Cavinti, Laguna, on the weekend of 13th & 14th December. The PWA tour start every year in Boracay during January, moves to Puerto Galera in February then on to Anilao in March. And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget: if you want to learn to windsurf then the windsurfing school at the Sandbar in Puerto Galera is possibly the most beautiful place practice. q

PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008



Words & Photos by Mark Vickers

After reading the excellent article ‘A Kayak on the Mekong’ by Marc Paillefer, in the March 2008 edition of the Cruiser News magazine I thought there may be interest in Subic’s answer to the Mekong!

I often go out in my kayak around the area of Subic Bay, launching at the slip near the Subic Seaplane and Vasco’s – there was a picture of me out fishing from my kayak in the March edition of the Cruiser News also (page 28, top left). Reading of the Mekong adventure spurred me to check out the Binictican River in Subic Bay. I left the slip one morning at about 7am, just as the sun crept up over the hills to the east . . . this is the best time to be out on the water, it’s usually calm and cooler. Unlike Marc’s year of planning I needed only a bottle of water and my camera. The breeze was light and I soon rounded the fuel depot jetty, which juts out into the sea, and on past a large fuel tanker tied up along the quayside. The inner basin, with its shipyards, container terminal, floating dry dock and designated fishing area, was fairly quiet and I headed towards Rali’s Restaurant; the Binictican River flows into the harbour under the road bridge just by the restaurant. I was on the incoming tide so it was easy paddling towards the entrance and under the road bridge. As you leave the road behind and travel further up the river, mangrove trees along both sides, it gets very quite and peaceful: just the occasional bird calling, the sound of the

paddles on the water, a fish jumping from the water ahead or perhaps even a monkey swinging through the branches. The river twists and turns, still with the thick Subic jungle on both sides; eventually it goes under another road bridge, this one is near the turn for the Binictican Heights residential area. I was soon surrounded in an even larger area of mangrove trees and bushes, with little passageways through them. Exploring a few passageways, I found they closed-in so much that I had to return to the main river channel. A small shack, right on the waters edge, represented the first signs of habitation; as far as I could tell nobody was at home. Continuing upstream with more effort now as the flow of the river cancelled out the positive benefit of the floodtide. Around the next bend I encountered my first significant obstacle: a low bridge, made lower by the high tide. I managed to squeeze my way under it by lying low in the kayak and pushing hand-over-hand on the roof of the bridge. Emerging on the other side, the Subic jungle disappeared – the river banks were of grass, all neatly manicured. I could see wide areas of grassland, which stretched around a wooded area and up the side of a hill. There were people in small groups


PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008 pulling little carts. I was in the middle of the Subic Bay Golf Course! Continuing on, I surprised quite a few early morning golfers who had obviously not seen anyone paddling up this particular river before . . . I hope I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t put anyone off there stroke. Everyone seemed friendly and stopped to wave, particularly when they saw I had a camera with me. It was not much further when I found I had gone as far as it was possible to go â&#x20AC;&#x201C; without getting out of the kayak and dragging it around a very low bridge, used by the golf carts, to cross the river. Turning around, I waved to a group of caddies, and set off back the way I had come. The lure of the passageways through the mangrove bushes was still there and I decided to have one last try up a narrow channel at the side of the river. Pushing my way past the bushes the way eventually opened up and I paddled out into a large lake, right in the middle of the golf course again; fairways clearly visible and a couple of the greens, with staff out mowing the grass.

PGYC Cruiser News, November 2008


Returning to the river I followed a bright blue kingfisher, who would fly ahead a hundred yards or so and wait for me to get close, but not quite close enough for a photograph, and would then fly on again. I was soon back at the mouth of the river and out into the sea, it was a bit more choppy by now with a breeze coming across the water. Once again out round the end of the fuel jetty with the tanker still discharging its cargo and back to Vascoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for a late breakfast. The whole trip completed at a very leisurely pace had taken a little under three hours and was completely enjoyable. Anyone wishing to check out the Subic Bay Golf Course from the Binictican river can hire a kayak from Brian Homan at Vascoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s; the breakfasts are good too. Happy kayaking! q

Cruiser News Issue 18  

Puerto Galera Yacht Club - The Cruising Yacht Club of the Philippines

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