The Cruising Yacht Club
of the Philippines
March 2007
Puerto Galera
Hosts 2nd
Puerto Galera
Hosts 2nd
Humminbird GPS Fishfinder Sonar Chart Plotter Cebu Manila Subic Bay Philippines
Commodore’s Letter
PGYC Board of Directors
Commodore: Peter Stevens
Vice Com: Mike Tucker, Jurgen Langemeier
Treasurer: Geoffrey Cannell
Directors: Michel Bigot, Carl Broqvist,
William Moore, Owen Stull,
Andrew Wrightson
Secretary: Carlos Garcia
Philippine Copyright 2003 - 07 by The
Puerto Galera Yacht Club, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Commodore’s Letter 3
Seen on our Moorings 5
Nature News: Snakes Alive 6
Calamian Island Cruise 9
Puerto Galera Hosts:
2nd Windsurfing Regatta 16
Round the Island Race 22
Puerto Princesa Mayor’s Regatta 25
The 2007 Most Excellent Adventure 28
Sales & Distribution: DeBe Enterprise &
Service (+63 917 846 3388)
Design: Terry Duckham/Asiapix Studios
Layout: Aira Fernando/Asiapix Studios
Front Cover : Martyn Willes
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
It seems a long time ago since I wrote the last Commodore’s Letter, on behalf
of Jurgen, who, you may remember was stuck in Manila as Typhoon Durian headed
our way. I was getting ready to prepare the boat and to spend the night aboard. It
was a wild night with winds around 100kts (120mph) in the bay and higher outside.
Eight yachts broke their mooring lines and ended up in the mangroves or among
the wrecked bancas ashore. The good news is that all but one of the moorings held
firm under appalling conditions. There was one partial failure of a privately-owned
mooring. This year’s annual mooring inspection is already underway and will be
especially rigorous to spot and repair weaknesses exposed by the typhoon.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thanks the members for entrusting me with
the Commodorship of the PGYC. It has been my honour to serve as a Director for
several years and now its my pleasure to take the helm of our exciting, busy and fun
club. Its going to be another hectic year, with the hoped-for continuing expansion of
our dinghy sailing fleet and sail training programs (which have injected a real sense
of purpose and excitement to the Club), as well as bigger and better regattas and a
more efficient food and beverage operation. On top of this we have to consider the
development of our real estate to give better access to the club from the National
Highway and enhanced water-front use, afforded us by the acquisition of the land
adjacent to the club. We have just secured the funds for the purchase of the land and
are now planning the development, which will require a further 600,000 pesos.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Board
members who chose not to stand again this year. We have Martyn to thank for
the excellent news letter, a great web site and the best yacht club magazine in the
Region. To Mal, Vincent and Nick, thanks for your support in the past and for
your anticipated help in the future. To the new Board members, Bill Moore, Michel
Bigot, Owen Stull and Andy Wrightson I extend a warm welcome and thanks for
coming aboard. Bill is ex-US Navy and has been resident in PG for three years or
so now and is an experienced off-shore racer from the West coast of the USA. It
is natural, therefore, that he takes over the reins of the Sailing Events Committee
and will be the main man for this year’s regattas. Good luck, mate! Michel is a local
restaurateur and has already brought a little French panache to the kitchen. He will
be overseeing the F&B side of the house, assisted by the Executive Committee.
Owen is a resident of Manila who is in PG regularly overseeing the restoration of
ISLA, the old Jardines company launch from Hong Kong and will be our link-man
with the Manila members and Martyn. Andy is the skipper of the large Azimut that
you can see in the bay from time to time. A PG/Subic resident he brings a wealth of
nautical and practical experience to the board. We are all looking forward to seeing
you here for the Easter Regatta on the 6-8th April, the Notice of Race for which can
be found on the website.
And finally a big thanks to the outgoing Commodore, Jurgen Langemeier, who
has done great work over the past two years and who is still involved on a daily basis.
It’s going to be a hard act to follow.
Best wishes and fair winds
Peter Stevens
15th February 2007
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
The majority of yachts are fitted with ’drip trays’ which
sit under the engine to collect oil drips, so that this oil can not
get down into the bilge water. However accidents can happen.
The Marine Operations Committee was therefore very
pleased to receive a sample oil absorbent pad from member
Joy Smith some time ago; after testing, a supply was obtained
for the club by member David Balman and these are now
available for purchase at the club office.
Our aim is for all vessels using our moorings to be
fitted with an oil pad, then end of problem: absolutely no
more chance of oily bilge water coming from yachts. So if
you haven’t yet fitted one of these economical pads, drop into
the club office and buy one. If only we could do the same for
Recent visitors include:
Our long time cruising friend Chris Russel left
’September Song’ on our moorings while he visited Australia.
We are glad to see him back cruising again.
Member David Endsley brought ’Sea Feather’ his Cheoy
Lee sloop en route from Port Bonbonon, Negros to Olongapo
and is back here again.
’Valentina IV’, an Azimut 64,
skipper Kurt Konzelmann, on route to
Cebu waited out the stormy weather.
Member John Carruthers returned
from Labuan with his refitted Cheoy
Lee ’Surprise II’.
Cruising catamaran ’Canowie’
owned by Canadian Peter Irwin came in
after a major refit in Subic.
’Victory’ a 42 ft Bob Perry sloop,
with owner Victor Roman G. Santos
dropped by.
Gordon Andersons, ’Alchemy’ a
trawler style motor yacht by Seahorse
Marine spent a few days with us.
’Kuroshio I’ with Canadian
Clement Martinez cruised by.
’Omni’ a 30 ft Crowther multi-hull with owner Paul
Artenbichler on the way to Palawan.
’Marica’ a 38 ft James Wharran catamaran with
French owner Mougenot Didier who has applied for club
’Freewheeler’ a Ted Brewer designed 33 ft with owner
David Wheeler on the way to Manila.
Canadian Dennis Heppner sailed his Ta Chaio built 36
ft ’Serendipity’ on the way to Subic.
The Hallberg Rassy 39 ft ’Tojai’ with owner Simon
Latham spent a few days with us between the winter
monsoon surges.
’Ann-Kristin’ 43 ft with Swiss Bernhard & Ruth
Edardo Yu’s ’Sabrina’ 44 ft Beneteau with skipper
Arman Talo.
’Strewth’ , a 49 ft Lyons, with Australian skipper Ben
John Blay’s ’Windseeker’ 36 ft on the way to Busuanga.
S&S designed ’Happy’ with owner Dieter Bedke from
Punta Fuego.
To those who visit us for the first time, please use the
’Manila’ (West) channel. Yet again the ’Batangas’ (North)
channel has claimed a yacht. In the North East Monsoon low
powered yachts can easily be swept onto the reef. The recent
victim suffered extensive damage. If coming from the east, it
may make your journey a little longer but the Manila channel
is a far easier approach.
By Mike Tucker Photo by Terry Duckham
Seen on our Moorings
With the enormous increase in banka usage in
Muelle Bay, due to the weather making it unsafe to
unload or to moor bankas at many places, we have
seen an increase in the amount of water pollution
and in particular oil from engines which drips
into the bilge and often gets pumped out at the
beginning and end of each trip.
Words by Peter Stevens
Photos by Mario Lutz
Believe it or not this edition of Nature
Notes started with a text from my shooting
buddy, Mario, to say that he had White-
bellied Sea Eagles building a nest very close
to his house up the hill on the way to the
Ponderosa. This got me thinking about Mario
and his hobby/business/obsession involving
snakes, so up I went, ostensibly to check out
the eagles but with other things on my mind.
Unfortunately the eagles weren’t where they
were supposed to be when I arrived but I’m
happy to report that everything else that lives
on the property was exactly where it should be,
that is safely behind glass or in compounds.
Because ’everything else’ is hundreds of snakes and reptiles of
every type and degree of lethality that one can imagine, not
to mention pythons bigger than a municipal water-pipe and
crocodiles with teeth bigger than Little Red Ridinghood’s best
friend. Welcome to PARADISE ZOO and HERPAWORLD,
home to over 1000 species of snakes and reptiles and to the
REPTILEMAN himself, Mario Lutz.
So, what’s it all about? It’s about conservation, scientific
research, rescue, release and an all-consuming passion got
slightly out of hand! Mario arrived in Puerto Galera in 2000
as the resident manager to oversee the construction of the
Garden Of Eden resort and restaurant. True to its name he
wanted to build something exotic, tempting and that involved
snakes and other reptiles, in which he has had an interest
since a small boy growing up in Germany. He found that the
so-called pet shops and suppliers in Manila were all selling the
animals illegally and that there was absolutely no literature
on the snakes of the Philippines. So he started doing his own
research and building contacts within the various Government
Departments responsible. He found that there were many
obstructions in the way of foreigners getting involved with
animal research, possession, transport and breeding. Over the
ensuing years he gained the trust and respect of these agencies
who now rely on him to rehabilitate seized or surrendered
animals of all descriptions; to spearhead the scientific research
into Philippine snakes and reptiles, including the production
of anti-venom; to pioneer the captive breeding of critically
Above: Batanes Pit-Viper; all but extinct
Below: Butaan Lizard; rediscovered in 1974
endangered snakes and
reptiles and to produce the
first definitive field guide to
the identification of species.
He is also closely involved in
producing basic guidelines for
regional hospitals on how to
best treat snakebite victims.
With around 264 species, 70%
of which are found only in
the Philippines (i.e. endemic),
including 2 species of cobra
and 7 vipers, he has his work
cut out.
One of his early discoveries and successes was with the
BATANES PIT-VIPER. This beautiful little snake was all
but extinct in its native forest habitat on the island for which
it is named. It lives high in trees in primary rainforest and,
as is the story with many bird species, was being driven to
annihilation by habitat loss and collecting. Mario established
the only successful breeding program in the World; galvanized
Government officers and departments and succeeded in
having the forest protected. The species is, for now, safe.
Snakes are not his only passion, however. He has a soft-
spot for reptiles too, particularly the BUTAAN. This is one
of the few fruit-eating monitor lizards in the world and is so
restricted in its range that I’m not going to tell you where it
lives. Suffice to say it’s a small island in the Philippines. For
130 years it was believed to be extinct in the wild but was
rediscovered in 1974. The captive population in zoos around
the world refused to breed. There had never been a BUTAAN
bred in captivity. Mario succeeded where all others had failed.
He still has the only successful program. He attributes this,
perhaps, to the very oily fruits, such as pandanus which is an
important part of their diet in the wild and to which overseas
zoos do not have access. He now has a plan to export pandanus
oil! I attribute it to his intimate knowledge of critters,
instinct and drive to succeed. As with the pit-viper, he has
succeeded in getting the habitat protected and has erstwhile
hunters working as rangers. With a retail value overseas of
US$10,000 an animal it’s been a hard-fought battle. Mario
firmly believes that a successful captive breeding program
will eventually take the pressure off the wild population as
collectors prefer healthier, cleaner pets to the diseased and
parasite-ridden originals. With this goal in mind, he is the
only facility in the Philippines with a permit to export wildlife
and has established exchange programs with zoos around the
world. All of this in our own backyard - amazing. He also
has a hunch that Mindoro Island might be home to its own
endemic species of BUTAAN, up in the forested heartland,
and plans to lead an expedition there soon to find it. I wonder
if I can tag along?
As if all this success wasn’t enough I haven’t even got
round to Crocodilus mindorensis. From its name I think you
have an idea of what’s coming. I was not surprised to hear
that the most critically endangered species of crocodile on
Earth is our very own Philippines Crocodile, with maybe
only 200 individuals left in the wild. The last one seen on
Mindoro, in Lake Naujan, was many years ago. Fishing nets
Right: Crocodilus mindorensis;
most critically endangered
species of crocodile on Earth
Below: Mario with Big Bertha
Portofina First Class Resort Lalaguna Sabang Puerto Galera Mindoro Philippines
March 2007
and persecution saw him off. Once
again our own Super Mario has a
successful breeding program, with
13 of the toothed-tykes, out of the
maybe 1000 in captivity. While
he and I were chatting about their
plight I came up with an idea. Why
not develop an ADOPT-A-CROC
scheme? For a donation of, say
P5000, you can have one named after
you, get your name in the Crocodile
Hall of Fame etc etc. There is no
doubt that funds thru donations
are needed and are put to good use.
Each seized or miss-treated crocodile,
mammal, bird, turtle, snake or lizard
brought in for rehabilitation and
release costs over 5000p in feeding,
veterinary services and housing
and Mario gets no help from the Government, even though
they rely on him. Last year they released over 400 animals,
(including the sea-eagles that had eluded me) back into the
wild. Or maybe you’d like to sponsor
a day trip by a local school? Let the
kids have a chance to learn about their
environment, handle friendly snakes,
pet lizards etc. He promises to have
fed Big Bertha before they arrive.
For more details visit his great
web-site at
As for me, I had a great
afternoon with the Snakeman of
Ponderosa. He has turned a hobby
into a passion and commitment to
conservation and biodiversity that
benefits hundreds of species, not only
his beloved reptiles.
In the next Nature Notes I’ll
reveal what happened on my own,
personal tour around PARADISE
ZOO with Mario. Ever been spat
at by a cobra............rattled by a
rattlesnake????. smiled at by a
croc? Watch this space.
Remember - don’t cut and suck.
Pete q
Mario wrestles with his python
In this pre-dawn hour, the seas are placid and a slight
mist hangs over the still air as we silently pull out of Puerto
Galera harbour. Embarking on our very first ’cruise’, my
college-aged daughter, Chelsea, and I feel a mix of excitement
and apprehension. As residents of the land-locked American
Midwest, ocean boating is about as obscure to us as a Chicago
winter without snow. But this round-the-world journey with
my daughter is about seeking adventure and experiencing new
cultures. A few months ago we left our comfort zone in the
United States and set out to see the world before Starbucks
invades every corner of the globe.
Sean Manley, a friend from Buffalo, New York, who
Words and photos by Roberta Attenhofer
currently works in
Manila, will be our
captain for the next
four days. He easily
persuaded us to come
along with him to see a
part of the Philippines
most tourists never see.
Our vague itinerary
includes poking around
the Calamian Islands
in North Palawan and
ending up in Coron
Town. Sean’s sturdy
looking fishing boat,
an AsiaCraft 32’ Center Console, and his ’no worry’ attitude
instills confidence, but I make sure I know where the life
preservers are.
Along on board are Gigi, a Filipina friend of Sean’s from
Manila, and Nelson, our local hired deck hand. The evening
before, we drove down from Manila, crossed over the Verde
Island Passage, and arrived into Puerto Galera well after dark.
While Gigi, Chelsea and I hustled to purchase provisions for
our trip (most importantly, beer), Sean chatted up some tried
and true salty dogs down at Sharkey’s Pizzeria for advice on
how to navigate the tricky Calavite Passage. The plan was
made to pull anchor the next morning at the ungodly hour of
4.30 AM to take advantage of the (hopefully) calm seas.
So here we are, slicing through smooth water, leaving
Previews page: Club Paradise, Dimakya Island
Left: Maricaban Bay
Below: Sean’s Aircraft
sleepy Puerto Galera behind. The
calmness doesn’t last. Soon the sea
becomes choppy, and errant waves
jump over the hull drenching those of
us naive enough to sit up front. After
several unsettling hours we round
Cape Calavite and skirt the western
coastline of Mindoro, passing coastal
villages of thatched huts and children
running along the beach. Once again
the seas are calm and amazingly
beautiful. Colorful sea life is visible at
a depth of over 50 feet in clear water that spans
the full spectrum of blue - from light turquoise to
rich cobalt.
Clipping over towards North Pandan
Island, we pass a pod of dolphins, which eludes
us every time we try to get close to them. We
also disturb schools of flying fish, reflecting the
morning sun as they skim across the surface
of the sea like silver darts. Arriving at Pandan
before noon, we jump overboard and snorkel
ashore. Staying at the eco-resort on this island is
a desirable place to savor the tranquility of the
Philippine Islands. A handful of simple two-
story bungalows are situated on the sand behind
rows of towering palms, with hammocks strung
here and there, inviting relaxation. The spacious
bungalows are constructed of palm fronds and
bamboo, low-voltage light bulbs are powered by
solar energy, and the shower dispenses unheated
Big Apple Dive Resort Scuba Diving Sabang Puerto Galera Mindoro Philippines
salt water (a dipping pail provides a fresh-water final rinse).
Security is obviously not a concern; windows and doors roll
close for privacy, but locks are non-existent. As a staunch
environmentalist it is a treat for Chelsea to stay here, where
conservation is not only a necessity but also a chosen way
of life. Just thirty feet out from the beach lies a coral reef,
abundant with multi-colored fish, sea slugs and quirky marine
life we’ve never seen before.
If it is possible to tire of swaying in the hammock; the
more adventurous can participate in a PADI certified diving
excursion or trek through the interior jungle to the windward
side of the island. The trails lead to Spanish Nose Point and
White Lagoon, a rocky inlet populated by thousands of
hermit crabs, each carting a unique shell they call home. The
resort’s well-stocked bar provides cold San Miguels -- a perfect
accompaniment to the extensive dinner buffet, including
loads of fresh fish, garlic rice and banana pudding. Flickering
candles, strategically placed in the sand illuminate the path
back to the bungalows after dark.
After being rudely awakened at dawn by large squawking
birds we enjoy a breakfast of mango pancakes and regretfully
sail off, leaving North Pandan Island behind us. Cruising
across the Mindoro Straits and past Apo Reef, we see nothing
on the horizon for hours except the vast blue South China
Sea. Eventually, off in the distance, we spot what looks like a
lone banca. Upon closer inspection, we realize it is a ’fish
magnet’ -- a steel drum with palm leaves attached to the
bottom -- which the fish feed upon. Sean, a passionate
fisherman, wastes no time in casting out his lines. It
seems a bit like cheating to me, but a few passes by the
fish magnet hooks a fifteen inch Dorado. After giving
the poor thing a hard whack on the head with a steel
pipe, Sean announces that fresh fish will be on the menu
tonight. He reels in a second Dorado but it is too small
to keep, so this lucky fish gets a second chance.
Approaching Dimakya Island we decide to have
a look at a couple of gorgeous resorts - Club Paradise,
and her sister resort, El Rio y Mar on Maricaban Bay.
Both are classy joints for those who want to indulge in
a premier tropical get-away. We belly up to the bar at
Club Paradise and order a halo-halo -- a classic Filipino
drinkable dessert that includes a dozen ingredients,
everything from red mung beans to corn flakes and green
coconut gelatin. It is a most unusual concoction, but
surprisingly quite tasty.
At the bar, we meet Tequila Mike who decides his
schedule is flexible enough to join us on our journey for
the next few days. An avid yachtie Tequila Mike knows
his way around, allowing us to explore more remote
and serene areas. He guides the boat to a secluded area
where we meander along a brackish waterway. Massive
mangroves form a canopy above us. Mesmerized by
the change in scenery, we neglect to remember that
fishing rods are anchored to the roof of the boat. This
North Pandan Island
March 2007
March 2007
realization occurs suddenly when one of the rods makes solid
contact with a low hanging mangrove branch, causing both to
come crashing down onto the rear deck of the boat. Luckily
no one is hurt and after clearing the debris away we cautiously
continue along our way. Around the bend, out of nowhere,
appears an older local man punting down the creek on a small
bamboo raft. He stops to watch as we pass just a few meters
away from him, keeping steadfast as the wake from our boat
bobs his raft up and down. Our eyes meet and he breaks into
a beaming smile, revealing quite a lack of teeth. I’m sure he is
just as amazed at the complexity of Sean’s boat as we are at the
simplicity of his.
Our destination this evening is Pier House Lodge, a
small family-operated place run by Swedish Mike and his
Filipina wife, Liz. Other members of Liz’s family help her out
to keep this low-key place running smoothly. Located on the
water at the edge of Concepcion, on Busuanga Island, Pier
House’s front patio is the perfect place to tip a few back and
watch a marvelous Philippine sunset. On the second floor, two
open-air guestrooms look out upon the sea, with beds draped
in mosquito nets to fend off the risk of malaria. Pier House
Lodge is a congenial place, where guests and owners quickly
become friends. Here we meet Iwon, a student from Holland,
who enjoys semester breaks biking on the island. As the sun
drops below the horizon, dinner is announced. In addition to
exquisitely preparing our fresh-caught Dorado (the best fish
I’ve ever tasted), Liz and her crew have cooked up a delicious
array of dishes including a scrumptious tuna pie. Served
family-style, this wonderful meal is washed down with a bottle
of rice wine we picked up a week earlier in Sagada. Good food
and good drink lead to jovial conversations lasting for hours
around the dinner table.
As I’ve discovered, people rise early in the tropics to take
advantage of the cooler morning air. Or maybe it’s because of
the roosters that start crowing long before sunrise. Peering over
the shaky bamboo railing to the patio below I notice the guys
are toasting the rising sun with their first San Miguel of the
day. Out at sea locals are attempting to wade through low tide,
pulling bamboo barges piled high with bags of fresh-water
sand gathered near the mangroves.
On a stroll through Concepcion to the popular waterfalls
a keen eye can spot a variety of orchids that grow abundantly
in gardens along the road. Village homes are constructed of
local materials with thatched roofs, bamboo woven walls and
lacey curtains adorning the glass-free windows. Many of the
side yards contain roosters tied to individual poles, each with
a personalized little hut. Could they be prized cockfighting
With Iwon joining us on our seafaring journey, we are
truly becoming quite the motley crew. We discover that pearl
farming is big business in this section of the Calamian Islands.
Row upon row of pearl net floats are strung together across
acres of water. Our boat zips among these rows, cutting across
at given breaks in the chain. Although tempting slowing
down for a closer look is not a good idea, as armed security
guards keep watch in floating shanties nearby. Far from
the pearl farms the sea bustles with local fishermen in their
bancas. I wave to everyone we pass. Some wave back while
others seem to just throw a fist into the air. After noticing a
number of these peculiar responses, I suspect that this gesture
must symbolize something other than a friendly greeting.
Confirming my suspicion I am told this gesture is used by
members of The New People’s Army, a Communist-based
revolutionary group whose tactics are based on Maoist theories
of guerilla warfare. The American government considers them
a terrorist organization. I stop waving.
Today consists of a leisurely cruise around Busuanga
Island popping into various resorts on different islands, so
the guys can wet their whistles and we girls can do a bit of
snorkeling. Our first stop is at Sangat Island Reserve where
a fantastic coral reef lies just off shore. While admiring the
variety of fish darting through the reef, we avoid the tentacles
of a beautiful but dangerous blue jellyfish that innocently
glides by. We also stop at Popototan Island to have a look at
Coral Bay Resort, but the bar was momentarily dry so we
didn’t stay long. Circumventing Busuanga, we maneuver
around dozens of small islands that jut up from the sea. Many
are uninhabited, while others support small coastal villages.
An abandoned US Army base is clearly visible on Black Island.
While passing Calauit Island, we try to get a glimpse of the
African animals that reside at the Marcos Zoo.
This evening we dock at Vicky’s Lodge in Maricaban
Bay, at the edge of a coastal village. Behind the lodge,
chickens and pigs run free. In what is now appearing to be
typical Filipino hospitality (combined with the lack of any
nearby restaurants), Vicky prepares a feast of chicken adobo,
sweet and sour fish, and garlic rice, which I now realize
accompanies every meal. The chicken tastes so fresh I believe
there is one less strutting around out back. Tonight we are
the only guests in this lodge. Relaxing in the simple dining
room, which sits on stilts overhanging the water, we notice a
luxury liner anchored across the bay. Through the binoculars
we spy groups of people milling about, while men patrol the
perimeter of the boat keeping watch for unwelcome intruders.
Or so we imagine.
In the morning, the mystery ship is gone. After a
breakfast of eggs, fried Spam and the obligatory garlic rice
we head towards Coron, passing sea turtles that occasionally
pop up for air. Venturing around the sheer limestone cliffs of
Coron Island, we come upon a hidden lagoon with emerald-
colored water so clear it beckons us to dive in.
Coron Town shocks us back into reality with its bustling
fish market, jam-packed jeepneys and loud videoke bars.
Down the street from the market, Bruno’s Bistro is a great
little restaurant serving up delicious French fare, sans garlic
rice. Dive Link Resort, with its brightly colored cottages and
inviting pool, is a cheerful place to stay. Located just a banca-
hop across the bay on Uson Island, it is a quiet retreat from
the chaos of Coron Town.
On our last morning of paradise, we bid adieu to our
newly acquired shipmates, hop a jeepney to Coron airport and
fly off on a South East Asian Airlines puddle-jumper towards
Manila. Flying low over the islands, we get a bird’s eye view of
Apo Reef with its jagged contours of coral reef and stunning
shades of blue and green. Dozens of islands dot the landscape.
Touring the Calamian Islands aboard Sean’s boat
allowed Chelsea and I to visit memorable places we never
would have seen on our own. Our initial apprehension was
replaced with self-assurance as we quickly acquired our sea
legs. Once we tuned into that relaxed island way-of-life,
we came to appreciate the pristine beauty of the Philippine
Islands and the simple pleasures that are an inherent part of
everyday life in this part of the world. By eating local food
and observing the island culture, we were exposed to treasures
we never anticipated and knowledge that opened our minds.
Leaving the Philippines, our next stop on our round-the-
world journey will take us to the United Arab Emirates,
with its stark landscape and a culture vastly different to what
we have experienced cruising through these lush tropical
islands. Without a doubt, our Calamian Island cruise will
be a highlight of our adventurous trip, and is certainly a
recommended journey for both a first-time cruiser as well as a
seasoned yachtie. q
Previews page: Top: Coron Island Limestone Cliffs
Bottom: Conception Homes
This page: Below right: Sangat island Reserve
Below left: Pier House Lodge
Chandlery Yacht Sail Boat Cebu Manila Subic Bay Philippines
Amazzonia Hotel Bar Manila Malate Paco Philippines Swimming Pool Great Food
March 2007
Words by Martyn Willes Photographs by Bernadette and Martyn Willes
You could have asked for a better breeze
but you could not have found one.
The usually neatly trimmed lawns and raked beach of
the Sandbar Resort was strewn with clear, high-performance
plastic sails, as if a flock of giant butterflies had discarded
their wings rather than face the blustery winds; carbon-fibre
masts and fins attached to foam-sandwich boards filled the
spaces between. A clash of brightly coloured wetsuits, T-shirts
and shorts completed the spectacle of energy and passion
for one of the fastest growing water sports for all ages in the
More than forty competitors (noticeably increased from
the first event held last year) pitted their wits and muscles
against the unrelenting breeze to produce some of the fastest
course times on record.
With the youngest starter at 10 years old and the eldest
at 66 the field of competition represented the full spectrum of
youth and endurance.
The first race on Saturday was a washout for the novices
and juniors, and their understanding of the racing rules
Competitors at the 2nd Puerto Galera International
Windsurfing Open enjoyed 12 to 20 knot easterly winds
across Boquete Bay for the two days of the event -- ideal
conditions for sailors and spectators alike.
Rocketing away at the re-start
Front Cover: Cory Paz ’I like windsurfing because it’s fast’
required a refresher course before race two - in the heat of the
moment and with a tempest in their teeth they had over-sailed
the limits of the start line. Fun too as a pile-up in front of the
start boat caused the final race to be stopped and re-started
for everyone, once the entwined boards and masts had been
In the Junior class 10 year old Yan Cy from Anilao put
in a board-and-sail breaking performance just behind 12 year
old Aryzx Garcia from Puerto Galera and 13 year olds, Miguel
Lazo from Manila and Ivan Gio also from Puerto Galera.
In the Novice class 61 year old Gary McLean, originally
from Colorado, chose Puerto Galera as the venue to launch
himself, ’against doctor’s orders’, upon an unsuspecting field
and sailed himself into first place. ’My doctor said ’no racing’
because I was recovering from a bout of pneumonia but
after the first race yesterday I felt OK . . . when I awoke this
10 year old Yan Cy, a board breaking
Sponsors happy with the breeze
Leaning out for a close finish
Raul Lazo taught his son to windsurf
Focused on the finish line
Novice Gary McLean
wins ’against doctor’s
Age no barrier - 66 year old Manfred
heading for the start
Continued on page 19
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morning I felt strong’ . . . further support of the growing body
of evidence that the sport of sailing is good for your health
and helps you live longer. Before his victorious final race Gary
admitted that he had only sailed occasionally in the past and
never competitively so he was somewhat surprised that was
doing so well.
The ladies were well represented with Anilao’s Cory
Paz out in front from the start. 20 year old Cory started
windsurfing four years ago at the behest of her brother and in
July 2006 was selected to join the Philippine National Team.
She freely admits, ’I like windsurfing because it’s fast . . . one
day I will win (international) gold’.
This year the event, sponsored by San Miguel Beer and
Starboard Philippines and supported by a collection of Puerto
Galera’s bodies responsible for transportation and tourism,
brought the cream of Philippine windsurfers to The Most
Left: Ivan Gio (13), ’most times I win . . . that’s life’
What is it all for?
13 year old Ivan Gio, also
an accomplished dinghy
12 year old Aryzx Garcia,
disappointed with second place
13 year old Miguel Lazo
’my father taught me’
Puerto Galera Hosts... continued from page 17
March 2007
Beautiful Bay in the World to be filmed and interviewed by
the Solar Sports channel and the Cruiser News magazine.
The Puerto Galera Open is the second of a series of
windsurfing events that takes place every year at various
locations around the country. The series starts in January on
Boracay Island. Puerto Galera hosts the second event every
February, followed by Anilao, Batangas, in March.
If you want to discover if windsurfing is something you
can do then come down to the Puerto Galera Windsurfing
School at the Sandbar Resort. For only Php3,000 (US$65),
you can take a six-hour course that will have you sailing across
the bay at speed. If you know how to windsurf and just want
to rent equipment then the school offers that too. Telephone
+63 43 442-0047 Email: q
Top right: Climbing on the
Above: Winning batch of
Below: Skippers’ briefing
Right: Pile-up at the start of
the last race
The Sandbar Resort’s neatly trimmed lawns invaded
Yan Cy (10), not happy with the
sail-ripping breeze
’It’s a good feeling to be in front’
Maya Maya Yacht Club Navman electronics Aquapro Batangas Manila Philippines
March 2007
In the days leading up to the race the wind was a stiff
15 to 20kts and we were concerned about the wisdom of
taking the boats out into the Verde Island Passage, but on
the day, Wednesday 24th January, the breeze had settled to a
gentle 10kts in the morning so preparations were made. All
ten dinghies were readied by Ski, our instructor, and taken
to Boquete Beach, where at around 2pm the participants
The normal Wet Wednesday crowd of myself, Russ,
Jurgen, Rob, Andy and Marina were joined by returning Wet
Wednesdayer Kevin, who had just got back from wintering (or
was it summering?) in Oz, and visiting yotties Ben Johnson
and Ailsa Angus down from Hong Kong and up from Cebu
on STREWTH, a 49’ Lyons. Ben is a full time, professional
skipper and Ailsa was (or had been) the sailing manager at
the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. I found all this out after I
had asked them if they had any sailing experience! Oh well.
The final contestant was our own Batman (Dave Balman) of
Sharkeez fame who forwent his normal Hobie 16 to try his
luck with the LAWIN.
Andy and Marina paired up on one boat and the rest
of us went single-handed. With Ski along too we had all ten
boats crewed and ready to go. The compulsory pre-race beer
was downed, the briefing given. Out to the start line by the
Locsin buoy. In the 15 minutes it took to get out there and
ready, the wind started to ease and by the gun was just about
five knots. A close start saw seven of the fleet across and on
their way safely. Me? On a race that was going to take maybe
a couple of hours I managed to arrive at the far end of the line
two seconds early and had to hang a hard left so as not to
hit the committee boat just as the whistle went. By the time I
had gybed, hardened up and tacked back across the line most
of the fleet was well ahead and the wind was dropping by the
minute. Kevin started slowly too while Andy and Marina were
just having fun.
I concentrated hard and was able to learn from the
lessons of the boats ahead in terms of where the wind was and
by the time we reached the entrance to the Batangas Channel
I has crawled up to fifth place and was dueling with Russ.
Ben, Ailsa, Batman and Ski were ahead, with Ben clearly in
the lead. Russ and I played down-wind cat and mouse along
the channel and I just managed to squeeze past on the outside
and then gybe across to get the inside track heading for the
turn. Russ chose to stand out and that was the last I saw of
Words by Peter Stevens Photos by Donna Penman
Well, England has one, Hong Kong has
one so why not Puerto Galera? We don’t have
anything as grand as the Isle of WHYTE or
as spectacular as Victoria Harbour but we do
have pretty little MEDIO ISLAND, which
is the one between the Batangas and Manila
channels. It has 1½ hills, some beautiful
beaches and lovely reefs. On 15th March last
year a group of members led by Russ Hughes
made the first circumnavigation of the island
in our LAWIN dinghies so we thought it time
to have another go, this time as part of the
Peter Stevens employs yoga to balance wind and tide
him! In a failing breeze and, by then, an adverse current, all
the boats behind me stopped dead. I barely managed to keep
going by sailing over
the reef and keeping
the boat well-heeled
to leeward. This had
twin effects. Firstly
it helped the sails fall
into a sort-of proper
shape due to the force
of gravity and secondly
stopped the rudder
from grounding in the
six inches of water in
which I was sailing! At
this point I managed
to drift past Ailsa, who
hadn’t figured out that
by heeling one could
also get six inches of
centerboard down to
slow the inexorable
sideways drift to the
very close beach. A few minutes later I looked back to see the
sailing manager of the RHKYC step out of her boat and start
to push! That, too, was the last I saw of her.
Ahead I
watched as Ski
drifted straight for
a very large rock
in no wind and
with no steerage.
I decided that
I had to sail as
high as possible
out to where it
looked like there
was some breeze.
I pinched, heeled,
coached and cursed
and inch by inch
crawled around
the outside of the
rock (by about
two feet) and into
very lumpy water
but still with no
wind. By now any
forward progress was due more to current than to breeze.
In the meantime Ski had squeezed between the rock and a
hard place (i.e. the island) and Batman was behind, doing
the same. I was just ahead as
we rounded the island for the
run past Long Beach and held
the lead until the entrance to
the Manila Channel, where I
sailed into a hole. After 1hr 35
minutes Ski and I were a boat
length apart. Luckily the safety
boat was on hand to provide
some cold liquid nourishment
and we battled on. I don’t
know if it was skill, luck or
just the beer but I got the best
of the fickle winds and slowly
put distance between us. By
the end of the channel I was a
couple of hundred yards ahead,
in a steady breeze and running
for home. I hit the beach 1
hour 55 minutes after I started, in second place 8½ minutes
behind Ben. Ski and Batman were the only two other boats
to finish, the rest having given up and had a fun afternoon’s
sailing in the bay.
At the post-race
beer, snacks and awards
party round the bar at
the yacht club, I found
that Ben had helmed
the yacht that won this
year’s Sidney to Hobart
race! So I didn’t feel too
bad about coming 2nd.
It just goes to
show that the original
boats sail just as well
as the newer ones.
Ben was sailing one
of the first boats to be
built, donated by Steve
Zadkovich of STEEL
It was not the
most exciting thing that
I’ve ever done but it had its challenging moments. Another
10kts of breeze would have been perfect. Today the wind is
just right?..
Below: From around the Pacific they came to conquer Medio Island
Bottom: Ten crews ready . . . only four will finish
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Words and Photos by Donna Penman
The PGYC party: Carmello (Ski)
Escanillas, Gabriel Fetizanan, Don Jhon
Carbales, Kevin Bunquin, Roland Cepillo.
Donna Penman.
A mere three weeks later we were thrilled to receive a
letter from Judes Echauz of Standard Insurance. Judes was
offering full sponsorship for a PGYC team and management
to participate in the inaugural Puerto Princesa Mayor’s Regatta
in mid-December!
We set off at noon on 13th December to Manila for an
overnight stay on Judes’ motor cruiser ’Examex’ at the Manila
Yacht Club. Dressed in our PGYC uniforms, we joined
Judes and the Philippine Sailing Association (’PSA’) team for
dinner. Over dinner we discovered that the PSA team was not
joining us in Puerto Princesa (’PP’) to compete. Instead they
were to conduct a race training clinic for all the youngsters
from PG and PP, a much needed activity!
With a 5am rise to make it to the airport for our 8am
flight, the morning was a bit of a rush, counting heads and
luggage. The excitement of four youngsters who had never
’We hope we will see you in Puerto
Princesa’ were the departing words from
the Puerto Princesa (’PP’) competitors in
Octobers’ National Lawin Regatta in Puerto
Galera (’PG’). Little did we know how soon
that was to be.
Optimists: different rig and handling characteristics
The PGYC crew say thank you to Standard Insurance
Floating dock with Sunfish, Tinas and Optimists
Floating dock with 420, Sunfish and Tinas
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March 2007
flown before was electric - remember your first flight?
Upon arrival at our hotel in Puerto Princesa, we quickly
unpacked and had lunch. While we left the young sailors to
help paint sails with some of the PSA crew, Ski and I headed
off to the Abanico Yacht Club (’AYC’) to meet Cissy and John
Leader to receive an orientation of the next days’ activities.
As our youngsters had never sailed Optimists before,
they were anxious to have as much practice as possible before
race days on 16th and 17th December. Up bright and early on
Friday the team rushed back to AYC. What a hive of activity!
Ten Optimists needed to be prepared. A number of other class
boats would sail also including the ’Tina’ class, which PGYC’s
Roland would use as the race organisers had decided to place
an age limit on Optimists racers of 15-years and under.
The PGYC children took to the Optimists with ease
and soon got the hang
of the different rig and
handling characteristics.
Saturday morning couldn’t
arrive soon enough for our
youngsters and elimination
rounds got underway.
Sunday was the
real race day and what a
sight the bay was, with
Optimists, sailing Paraws,
Tinas, ’City Dinghies’,
Hobies and ’420s’, all
under sail. We competed
in five races in each of the
Optimist and Tina classes.
Light to moderate winds
prevailed, until after racing
when the wind come
howling in!
Race one saw PP’s
Anselmo Colarte Jnr, a participant in our National Lawin
Regatta, quickly take the lead, with our own Don Jhon ’DJ’
Cabarles placing 2nd. The following races saw both youngsters
jockeying for the best start, with DJ clearly determined to take
the lead. DJ went on the place 1st in all the remaining races,
while Anselmo and our own Gabriel Fetizanan battling it out
for 2nd and 3rd in each race. Our lad Roland meanwhile was
mastering the Tina he was sailing with a local youngster. While
he breezed in first in race one, Ango and his crew managed to
beat him in the remaining races.
The regatta was an unqualified success. Top marks go
to Cissy and John for organizing and full marks go to Mayor
Hagedorn for his full support. Our team was once again
going home with trophies, new racing skills and new found
friendships! q
Above: The Abanico Yacht Club landing
Left: Tinas add a splash of colour
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The resort’s other well appointed amenities include
a secluded pool embraced by exotic flora and the adjacent
Mezza Lounge, the Sands Cafe all-day dining mecca offering
a sumptuous selection of grills, seafood and international, and
the unique, three-tier 720 bar - the perfect place to wind down
after a hard day basking in the sun.
The Lighthouse Marina Resort’s Admiral Function
Room can cater to intimate functions or business meetings for
a group of 20 or more, or large receptions of up to 200 people.
The Lighthouse also offer a regular sunset cruise that can be
booked for group cruises or on an individual basis. Internet
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The resort’s high level of personalized service is helmed
by an indulgent and attentive Resort Host who is ever-ready to
cater to the most discriminating of needs.
Special introductory rate of Php 5,000 + / person is until
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This is a brief introduction to the first
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ultimate of luxury. Ed.
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Sprawled at the west-end water-edge of Moonbay
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the resort’s Aqua Rooms, Suites and Spa Suites offer stylish
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March 2007
In 1933 Denis Waitley wrote, ’The essence of life is
finding something you really love’. In 2007 two PGYC
club members will embark on a most excellent adventure
filled with the essence of a life that they love; they invite
you to join them. Ed.
The 2007
’Most Excellent
By John Smart
Sunset: reserved for relishing the events of the day Photo: Sean Manley
’Mike and I were drinking one day’ offers Sean Manley,
fisher of fish, consumer of beer and owner of one of the fastest
get-you-there power boats in the Philippines, ’and when I told
him that I wanted to go to Cebu, he said he wanted to go to
Kota Kinabalu.
’Sometime later that day the idea of ’Most Excellent
Adventures’ came to us and we knew what had to be done.’
Not quite in the genre of ’Indiana Jones’, searching
for ancient treasures, or ’The League of Extraordinary
Gentlemen’, saving the world from impending doom
(although someone does need to step up to that particular
plate). Sean Manley and Tequila Mike will be laying the
foundation for what they hope will be an annual gathering
of like-minded-souls on boats and beaches along each year’s
chosen route; where to grab some rays, drink some beers and
share in the bounty of life’s rich harvest.
As with this inaugural event, each route will be divided
into a series of legs; each leg will terminate close to an airport,
to facilitate those leaving and joining the adventure. ’We
encourage anyone who likes the idea of island-hopping
from resort to resort and seeing all the stuff that you would
normally fly right over and miss, to get in touch with us
now’ continues Tequila Mike, ’Adventurers can join us half-
way through a leg if they want . . . by chartering the Subic
Shakara, Sean’s 32 foot Asiacraft built, Volvo Penta
A chance to discover new friends Photo: Sean Manley
You can join the Adventure anywhere by seaplane Photo: Ross Haerle
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March 2007
powered, super-fast, red-and-white, T-top power boat, will be
their craft for the adventure. With a top speed of 38-knots and
a cruising speed of 32, she emulates the fast forward on a TV
remote - any boring bits can be bypassed without interfering
with the overall experience.
What of challenges, hazards and pirates? ’We have heard
nothing of pirate activity along our route . . . down near
Balabac we will have to be a little more careful, amongst the
small islands and reefs, between Palawan and Borneo’ offers
’Our main defence against pirates and the like will be
flares and empty San Miguel Beer bottles’, grins Sean, ’and
twin, green Volvo Pentas combining for 400HP of get-out-of-
there-fast power.
’Our biggest challenge will be getting clean fuel . . . we
have developed a filtering system that should protect us from
dirt in the diesel.’
When asked why they chose this particular route for
their inaugural adventure they acknowledged the ancient
Chinese trade routes but the more likely reason is that it
combines day-sailing - too many obstacles at night, such as
fish aggregating devices (’FADs’) without lights - with areas
of mostly flat water - for maximum speed between areas of
When asked what the next ’Most Excellent Adventure’
might be, Sean responded, ’Mike wants to drive a Rolls Royce
from London across Siberia to Mongolia, so I may join him
for a few legs’.
This Adventure officially started on 3rd March when
Shakara joined the Manila Boracay Race as support boat and
is scheduled to continue until 16th April. If you want to join a
leg then contact Sean or Tequila through their website today: If you just want to keep
up to date on their progress then visit the website also. q
Fresh fish en route is expected Photo: Tequila Mike
Tequila Mike: Loch Ness monster pose Photo: Bernadette Willes
Left: ’San Mig’ Sean as seen by Tequila Mike Photo: Tequila Mike
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