Amarula - Bye bye Philippines, Hello Indonesia!

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At Port Carmen we were slightly north of the eye, and we were securely tied up. Communities in its path were flattened; all this a week before Christmas, after almost 2 years of dealing with the pandemic. It was humbling to experience the incredible resilience of the lovely Filipino people, most of whom simply smile and move forward with their lives in the face of such devastation. Few people have insurance, nor savings, so they rely on community help and support, which is hindered by the lack of power for internet and cellphone communications, and the lack of basic needs such as water, fuel, and food supplies. After 20 years of living onboard Amarula, sailing around the world, our plan was to put the boat up for sale and move ashore with our dogs, but the typhoon changed our plan and after much consideration, we decided to sail back to Indonesia. We started to sail south, back to Davao, where we checked out of the Philippines. Our passage took us through remote areas that were in the eye of the typhoon. As we sailed close to shore, we could see the impact of the incredible force of the storm. It’s heartbreaking to think about the numerous people who have been affected, but the overriding attitude of the people we crossed paths with on our travels through the region was truly amazing. Meanwhile, it was a challenging passage and in 20 years onboard we had never actually had glasses fly out of our glasses rack in the galley and smash! Anyway, if not exactly a comfortable sail, it was fast with boat speeds of up to 14 knots at times with just the headsail! After a couple of days of crazy winds, the forecast was for winds anywhere between 12 – 23 knots, however in reality we didn’t even have enough wind to fill the sails, so we ended up motoring around 40 miles to clear the southern tip of Mindanao to get to a protected anchorage. Of course, when we finally anchored, the wind blew up with occasional gusts over 30 knots! Ah, the joys of sailing. We got some sleep and oh yes, the wind died right off again by morning.

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