Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Zealand v Australia

Brian Homan has had a very successful career diving on wrecks and recovering artifacts, hence the name Pirate Brian. We are currently tied to his bar/restaurant, which is a lot cleaner and more fun than being in the Subic Bay Yacht Club Marina. But we all know that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and once a treasure hunter, always a treasure hunter.
We came back to Charioteer the other day, to find that we had been "arrested". Pirate Brian and one of his staff had woven yellow construction 'keep off / danger' tape over the duckboard ladder and hung a Philippine flag and a (very well done) "arrest warrant".
Oh no, what are we to do...Oh we know lets organise a Kangaroo Court and have a fun evening. And so on Saturday evening the "court" will convene...should be a fun evening. We have four counts to answer to .....insufficient consumption of alcohol, damaging the dock and mooring, failure to fulfill cooking lesson contract, failure to talk good old aussie bullshit........
Will let you know next week what the outcome is, but one thing we know for sure is that it will be a great evening.
until next time

Monday, January 26, 2009

The boys will play

But Cruiser Brian and Pirate Brian went out to play and guess what ?????? they needed the services of something big and grunty to get them out of the sandpit......
No matter where we are Brian usually manages to find 'heavy' equipment. Diggers, concrete mixers, big trucks...these bring a gleam to his eye. Where we go walking we have to pass a huge, and I mean huge yard full of diggers, trucks, front end loaders, etc etc....all second hand from Japan. Every few months this place has an auction and I am thankful that we have a small yacht and not something big enough to take this digger.
Kids and water...no matter what country we have been in our dingy is not only our favourite method of travelling to shore, but it is a magnet to kids.
The weather is still great, the people are till fun and friendly but we are getting itchy feet. Once the part for the auto pilot arrives we shall look at starting to head slowly north. 'What part for the auto pilot' you ask...' oh just the part that allows us to go where we want rather round and round in circles.
Love you all

Saturday, January 17, 2009


if I can figure the system out this blog will include more than one picture. So here goes.

oops I pushed the wrong button

now where was I.....oh yes
plus other nationalities. The place is huge and the exterior is painted in corporate colours which happen to be a very vivd blue.
We were the guest of a Polish guy who is overseeing the manufacture/quality of the boats his company is purchasing. We were driven around the factory site and then we had a lovely lunch with senior Korean Personel. After lunch and the obligatory bowing and thank you's Carol was handed a gift of a beautiful wooden mother of pearl inlaid jewellery box.
Subic Bay presents a slightly seedy appearance to us. The USA legacy is interesting to see in the hands of the Philippine. The security guards at the 'gates' which cut Subic Bay of from the rest of the area, the policemen at the traffic lights...who have been known to shoot people who run a red light.....the buildings that were once kept to a high standard are now sporting broken windows, droopy eaves. And then there are the buildings built and being maintained by the new 'invader' the Koreans.
From what we can see if it wasn't for these people and their money this part of the Philippines would be no different fromany other Philippine city.
The marina was built about 15 years ago and maintanence done on a 'oh look something has fallen off, lets think about fixing it' basis it is a sad, dirty, expensive place.
We are really lucky to be tied to Vasco's private dock.

We have met some super people......Christmas day was spent in the Company of many nationalities...French, Norwegian, Australian, English, American, Polish, Korean.
We ate more than our fair share of ham, turkey,fruit salad, salad.
To return the hospitality Brian and I cooked a Roast Beef with yorkshire pudding, roast vegetable, brocolli in cheese sauce, beans dinner for 20 people. I was able to use the restaurant kitchen and with lemon meringue pie or trifle to finish the evening was a great success.
We have been lucky with the new friends we have made....Ben the new comer to sailing who on his first ever trip connected with Typhoon Frank between Hong Kong and the Philippines, and survived....he did need encouragement to disconnect the security lines attatching him to the marina but he is now out there enjoying life,and windsurfing,
Captain Jerry who is in charge of a REALLY BIG SHIP,who has the unusual habit of smoking a pipe when on shore leave,and a fabulous sense of humor,Crafty who owns the biggest supermarket in Borocay and dishes up a great Indian Curry, Bryson a fellow Kiwi who is currently cooling down in NZ while his lovely Lady Emma chaffs at her ropes awaitng his return,Pirate Brian and his wife Rose,Micheal and Jannet, Slawek and Inna and their adorable daughter Alexandra, Chriz,...the list goes on and on

Brian has been busy varnishing and doing general boat maintainance....oops the auto pilot is playing up !!!!! damm ...the bike has a pucture.....bother i can't find clean clothes...... while I have been making a quilt, reading, cooking at Vasco's
Life is good. Take care
Brian and Carol

Staying put in Subic Bay

No matter what you may all think we are not here for ever, but only until the wind and currents are right for us to head to Taiwan. In the meantime this is a pretty good place to be. We can't give our actual location...but we can give clues.....
1) we are tied up to building that houses a bar and a restaurant.....
2) the owner of the bar is a 'pirate treasure hunter'...now retired

The costs of staying here are many and varied.....we eat here once a day, Carol is intiating the kitchen into the delights of self saucing chocolate pudding, lemon meringue pie, lamingtons etc etc.

Subic Bay area was originally set up as a Pacific Naval Base by the Americans to compliment Clark Air Base. It is a natural harbour about the size of Wellington NZ with much to-ing and fro-ing by tugs as they lead in petrol tankers of varying sizes. The USA closed the base approximately 13years ago, but there is still a fair amount of USA activity.
On the far side of the bay is a Korean owned ship yard.We were fortunate enough to be invited to tour this huge, in fact monstrous, business. There are approx 12000 Philippines employed here, plus other nation

Monday, January 5, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009


This is a country of 7107 islands. We have anchored in 98 diffent places and visited 30 different island. We have seen four actual 'cruising' yachts, the number of european women we have met can be counted on one hand. I can not buy fresh coriander, eta peanut butter or marmite.......but we are not complaining...this place is fabulous.

5 star restaurants, markets,street stalls,private homes,restaurants over the water,over mangrove swamps,over drains,with expat Europeans,Filipino families.

buildings made of coral blocks two metres thick,or made of roofing iron,or bamboo and banana tree leaf or concrete blocks and tiles

churches with the most incredible stained windows, full of treasure- sliver or gold jewellery/tiaras for the statues to wear,clergy vestments embroidered in gold and silver, churches with no walls and only termite eaten benches and a fwe flowers for decorations and churches that are so 'special' that they are fenced in and the gate is locked!!!!!!!!!!

air conditioned buses, jeepneys, hubal hubal,trycyle,taxis,horse and cart,chauffer driven private cars, diplomatic vehicle, motor bike and of course our own pushbikes.

anchovy drying 'factories',jellyfish processing 'plants', marble factories (with child labour and no safety equipment)rubbish recylcling done by the people scavenging at the dump site,schools over flowing with children, but lacking resources and maintainence.
men in small canoes having to go miles from land trying to find fish in an ocean that has been overfished, outrigger ferrys, licensed to carry 50 people, crammed to the edges with well over that number,oil tankers, barges, tugs,jet skis,rafts,container ships. Actually if it floats...we have seen it!!!
Water buffalo working the rice fields and the people doing the backbreaking planting,
harvested rice spread on tarpulines on the side of the road to dry

giraffes,zebras,wildebeest,tasir,crocodile,boa constrictor, a USA Bald Eagle, Philippine Eagle,Swallows,a few dolphins, mangy dogs, pampered dogs,mangy cats, water buffalo, Asian cows, ducks being herded through the traffic,buttlerflies of assorted colours and sizes,gheko's,emus,turkeys.

meat and poultry from upmarket supermarkets, from markets where someone fans the flies away!!!!!!, where yesterdays meat is todays sausages,vegetables that are familiar and those that are not.

supermarkets that make the ones at home look old fashioned and dowdy and supermarkets where you can not move because the stock is all over the place..in department stores with as many mezzanine floors as regular floors, in malls the size of small towns, in local markets where the owner is so proud if you chose to buy there produce

places where they have night time curfews, where electricity is available only if there is diesel for the generator, and places where lights are left on 24x7.

This is a country of beauty,poverty,riches and friendly people. If you get the chance to come here, grab it with both hands