Jan 07, 2006-Magalawa Island
A big swell runs in the South China Sea tonight and we're anchored behind a low island, named Magalawa, encircled by reefs, hoping for a quiet sleep.
But in this place we are only yards away from the rawness that is the ocean outside. Off to the left a half a mile the major reef between us and the sea broils with grey fury and we can hear the roar.
Behind us a low swell which rolls into this protected spot though we cannot feel it, causes a small wave to break on another reef maybe 150 feet off our stern. Both farther ahead and astern other waves break. So we're surrounded. The path into this place, while not tortuous, was not straight either. Getting out at night would be a neat trick, but we hope we don't have to; however, the boat is ready.
And the wind blows. The wind whistles in the rig and the halyards are rattling and maybe I have to go move them forward.
The boat rocks and bobs gently, because we are mostly protected here, but we are sensitive to each motion, because if it changes then we may need to be concerned. We are protected for this particular condition, but maybe not from some other condition which nature may throw at us. So we wait, and listen, and we have the electronics, which never sleep, watching for us also.
Our own rest may be fitful.
Today we sailed from here from Caiman Point, and we had 20 knots of breeze out of the NW, nice for sailing, which might still be blowing outside though it is less in here. On departure a man in a blue banca told us the sea was rough, but I said it would be no problem.
Why are people always asking us if we are going to be OK out there?
He then offered us a fish. Tuna, I saw, and at first I was not interested. I don't like the common skipjack tuna caught around here and sold in the markets. A flash of yellow caught my eye, "Is that yellow fin?" I asked.
"Yes, yellow fin", came his answer.
I offered P200 and he was happy with that and came closer and held out the fish. Judy got out our long handled net and he dropped the fish in. Then he held out a net of his own and I dropped in two one-hundred peso notes and two cold cokes. He said something about the lure we were towing, maybe he wanted to buy it, though from my perspective he probably had a good enough lure already.
We sailed on down here and made good time, then found our way into this place, which looked like the only spot to be in a NW wind, with no event other than the anxiety of going into harm's way in such close quarters. Judy told me it wasn't her idea of a good time. But we're here and it is a quiet spot, relatively speaking.
As we get ready for bed the wind is shifting to the NE, but it is down slightly, and maybe we are going to be OK tonight.
We'd better be since we drank half a bottle of gin with our tuna sashimi.
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Luzon
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