It is not each and every day you are invited to sail across the Philippines in a Catamaran so when VOPO asked Josh and I to join the maiden Philippines sailing voyage we had been actually on board. The program for the 10-day expedition was to commence in Batangas and sail by means of Romblon, Cebu and finish in Negros with the final 3 days spent at Danjugan Island.
VOPO does environmental consulting and eco-friendly expeditions about the globe and is seeking to launch frequent trips inside the Philippines later this year so this voyage was a test-run/exploration of sorts to gauge timings, destinations and other recommendations for future trips.
I had in no way sailed on a boat for far more than a couple of days so this was going to be a new practical experience. We slept in compact cabins beneath the deck and our chef cooked all of our meals on board. Generally we sailed for pretty much 20-hours straight devoid of jumping off the catamaran, which can be a test of patience but also a excellent time to spot dolphins, take in the islands of the Philippines and dive into a fantastic book.
In this weblog post, I’m going to go by means of each and every place we visited and share the lots of photographs I took all through the journey.
Location 1: LAIYA
We kicked off the journey by driving four hours from Manila to Laiya Beach. Right here we took a dingy out to our catamaran, enjoyed the sunset and had our 1st sleep on board just before setting off to sail just before sunrise for the 1st day of our voyage.
Location two: BANTONCILLO
Our 1st quit of the journey was Bantoncillo Island, which is locally recognized as Gakot Island. Gakot Island is owned by a Filipino loved ones seeking to turn the island into a marine sanctuary and a hub for eco-tourism. It is in its early stages but will hopefully develop into a effective eco-hub like Danjugan Island, an environmental sanctuary we would pay a visit to later in the trip.
The loved ones showed us to their beautiful beach coves, viewpoints, and snorkeling spots. This island absolutely is a gem of the area with excellent underwater channels and pristine beaches. It will be intriguing to watch the progress of this project more than the subsequent handful of years in collaboration with VOPO.
Location three: TABLAS ISLAND
Just after Bantoncillo, we sailed towards Tablas Island exactly where we would park our Catamaran in the north. We arrived in the dark but woke in the morning at sunrise close to the big cliffs of Calatrava. Josh and I didn’t place a second to waste and took the dingy out for a 40-minute journey to Calatrava town and went for a 10km run. Maintaining the operating going whilst on board was hard but exactly where there is a will there is a way. Right here is a quick vlog from that expedition.
Location four: ROMBLON ISLAND
With out getting explored Tablas we set off once more headed towards Romblon Island. With a lengthy route and lots of islands along the way it generally felt a tiny rushed for time to discover areas but the general aim was to attain Negros by a specific time. We traveled by means of Romblon Province to attain the stunning Bonbon Beach. It is an epic sandbar I had visited back on my initial trip to Romblon Province final year.
We had been the only boat at the sandbar and joined only a handful of individuals on one particular of the ideal beaches in the Philippines.
Location five: SIBUYAN ISLAND
Just after Bonbon beach we headed off to Sibuyan Island. It took rather some time to attain and the finish we didn’t even get off the catamaran and just watched the sunset from the boat. It was excellent to see the mountains of Sibuyan once more but would absolutely have been good to discover on land.
Location six: CRESTA DE GALLO
We set sail at sunrise and produced it to the renowned sandbar, Cresta de Gallo. We enjoyed a couple of hours hanging out in the crystal clear waters with not a further tourist in sight.
Location 7: GIGANTES
Just after our refreshing pay a visit to to Cresta we set sail for Gigantes, a area I hadn’t visited however. We produced a quick quit at Tangke Lagoon, which is the most well known spot in Gigantes. It is a hidden lagoon surrounded by the dramatic limestone cliffs observed all through the Philippines.
Location eight: MOALBOAL
This was a big leg of the sail. I consider we spent pretty much a day on the catamaran producing our way to Moalboal. As quickly as the catamaran came to a halt we jumped out and headed for a snorkel. The clarity was outstanding and there had been thousands of sardines as usual. It genuinely is an outstanding spot for free of charge-diving and I consider on that day the circumstances had been as fantastic as I have ever observed.
Location 9: DUMAGUETE
It was back on board the catamaran to continue the journey down the Tanon straight towards Dumaguete. Right here we didn’t pay a visit to something as we had been operating behind schedule. Having said that, in the dark, we headed off on the dingy to place in a further run by means of the town. We slept on the catamaran as we set sail overnight.
Location 10: DANJUGAN ISLAND
Danjugan Island is a marine sanctuary exactly where guests have to apply to pay a visit to rather than a basic booking like a resort. The island has been protected for pretty much 3 decades and it is now household to more than 70 bird species, snakes and some outstanding marine life and corals.
We spent 3 days exploring Danjugan Island from the treks to the stunning reefs that surround the empty beaches. The highlights had been:
- Watching the eagles circle above
- Witnessing a big python consuming bat in the bat cave
- Snorkeling above the big table corals
- The epic sunsets each and every evening more than the nevertheless water at Typhoon Bay
- Hanging out at the lookouts amidst the trees.
Location 10: BULATA CLEANUP
We produced a speedy day-trip to mainland Negros to the Barangay of Bulata, which is proper close to Danjugan Island. Right here we did a cleanup with SWEEP organization and the little ones from the nearby college. It was also the day the 1st single-use plastic free of charge Sari-Sari shop was opened in Negros so it was a excellent day. The group also helped to paint environmental awareness murals all through the town!
Location 11: BACOLOD
We drove up by means of Negros to Bacolod for a speedy lunch just before we flew out to Manila. General, it was an amazing practical experience to sail by means of the Philippines. I consider the VOPO group discovered some excellent lessons to implement in their future trips and could shorten the route or break it up into two separate trips to involve far more adventuring and a tiny much less transit time for guests. Danjugan was outstanding and a highlight of the trip!