We've been in Palawan Island in the Philippines 3 months and have almost circmnavigated the island. We are currently anchored in front of the Abanico Yacht Club at Puerto Princesa, Palawan's capital. Not our original plan. (Originally we planned to travel up the west coast to the Calamian group (the islands to the north of the main island of Palawan) and then strike east for Boracay, Romblon and Tablas islands and maybe then north to Puerto Galera on Mindoro Island or south towards Cebu....depending on the weather.
A few typhoons in the month of May, overcast skies making coral navigation with dodgy charts a bit stressful and the need for new batteries changed our mind to come south to Puerto Princesa, the Big Smoke. We now plan to do some travelling from here, but not on the boat.
Because I haven't yet got my act together with some words, I'm posting these photos in the interim.
If Palawan looks poor but gorgeous, that's because it is. The cruising grounds here are challenging (lots of coral, poor charts, deep anchorages, fear of typhoons) but are the most naturally beautiful, isolated and varied we have found so far in all of SE Asia. Watch this space for plenty of rapturous praise in the future but for now..." 'Ave a look at these little beauties!!.."
The photos should be in order of our main anchorages: Balabac town, Quezon town, Fish Bay, Port Barton, Sabang, Malampaya Sound, Liminancong, El Nido area, Calamian Islands, Puerto Princesa...The map below isn't very accurate but gives a general impression:
Balabac town's main street.
The guy sitting on the roof is steering with a long bamboo tiller.
Spotted in the main street of Balabac. Note turned ballister.
Balabac transportation - a tricycle.
Using two sets of charts at once - neither very accurate!!
At Quezon town we visitied the Tabon Caves by banca....
...and the museum.
The inhabitants of Tabon Caves lived here 40,000 years ago.
The Maritime Office at Quezon.
Hot hearse at Quezon town.
After Quezon town, we ended up spending 5 days at Tala Odyung bario (village) at Fish Bay, a perfect horseshoe - clear water, 5m over white sand - the beach lined with coconut palms.
Carrying bancas to market...
Unloading bancas on the beach.
Tala Odyung village fish market at Fish Bay.
Weighing and trading at Fish Bay.
Vats and boxes of fish plus ice loaded onto the roof of the jeepney..
there to drip on us passengers en route to Puerto Princesa market (35kms in two hrs by dirt road).
The smooth bit of the road between Fish Bay and PP.
Our first blowout. (See me in the front seat peering through the "windscreen").
The return load to Fish Bay.
Do you reckon this is really a Mercedes?
Philip hoping for salvation at Tala Odyung church at Fish Bay.
Help launching the dinghy from the beach at Fish Bay.
Little visitors at Fish Bay.
Wash day Tala Odyung style.
Philip ensures maintenance is carried out regularly...
Port Barton Beach.
Spotted at Pt Barton - a racing banca for the local fiesta.
"German Island" in Port Barton bay.
Continued in Part 2.
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