The Cruising Adventures of Seventh Heaven with Charlie and Betty

Cruising on Seventh Heaven

The last 30 days, Years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 or view the entire archive.

01 Mar 2013
The passage from Tuba River to Puerto Princesa was 130 miles which we completed over three days.
Leaving Tuba River the wind was light but within an hour had picked up to 15/20 knots with lumpy seas. Despite this we decided to push onto Brookes Point. A long day motoring into a headwind averaging just over four knots.
Brookes Point has a small port that services the south east coast of Palawan. We anchored off the jetty protected by a small sea wall. There was a village ashore but we had no visitors.
Better conditions greeted us next morning and we headed for Rasa Island passing many fishing Bangka’s along the way. The anchorage on the western side of Rasa Island was very peaceful and uninhabited.
Light conditions prevailed for the final leg to Puerto Princesa.
Photo:
Fishing Bangka




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09 Mar 2013
Puerto Princesa is the capital of Palawan with a population of 200000 predominately Christian (catholic) and very clean compared to other SE Asian countries. As a tourist destination Puerto Princesa has not much to offer it is more the stepping off point for other parts of Palawan.
Puerto Princesa Bay is a large deep natural harbour accommodating  large cargo ships, cruise liners, naval base and many water villages.
We anchored off the Abonica Yacht Club two miles past the town. The club is basic and very laidback run by John and Cissy who go out of their way to make your stay enjoyable. The club has all the usual facilities bar, restaurant, library, WiFi, showers etc. Every Sunday Cissy does a splendid buffet lunch or dinner and sundowners are partaken each afternoon around 5.30 very easy to get trapped here and not sail on.  
The major mode of transport is the tricycle (motor bike with sidecar) and there are literally thousands of them. There seems to be no limit on the number of passengers or goods as long it can fit in or on. A ride into town from the yacht club which takes about 15 minutes cost 50 pesos ($1.25) for two people.
Shopping comes in various forms from modern western style shopping malls to traditional produce and wet markets (meat and seafood) with everything except fuel being very cheap.
There are also a large variety of food outlets the national dish being ‘Adobo’ (meat or seafood stewed in vinegar and garlic) unfortunately it is not quite up there with Thai and Malay cuisine though they do bake better bread. For those who enjoy a drink wine is around $5 a bottle rum $4 and beer $12 a carton.
The one notable difference when shopping in Puerto Princesa is all the larger stores, banks and restaurants etc have armed guards even the traffic enforcer at the shopping mall was armed.
Photos:
Abonico Yacht Club
Singing traffic enforcer
Tricycle




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14 Mar 2013
Puerto Princesa to El Nido
The weather forecast for the next five days was for NE winds 5/10 knots so finally raising the anchor and made for El Nido in company with ‘Two Up’ and ‘Wings & Strings’.
Day 1.   Distance 22nm
In calm conditions we motored out of Puerto Princesa Bay and north to Snake Island in Honda Bay. This was a small uninhabited island with a sand spit that went to the north for miles. We anchored in the lea of the spit in 20m of clear water after which we gave the hull a scrub and went off exploring the spit.
Day 2.   Distance 50nm  
Flat seas and clear skies ideal for another day of motoring to our destination Reef Island in Green Island Bay.
During the afternoon we sailed through a large pod of spinner dolphins that put on a display of aerial acrobatics spinning many times as they leapt out of the water.
Reef Island is small with a reef extending to the south east and has a low key resort. We had a nice snorkel along the reef (first in the Philippines) and walk around the island.
Day 3.  Distance 55nm
Again calm conditions prevailed as we motored though the reefs and shoals of Green Island Bay to the Dumaran Passage. The passage is a navigators nightmare though the charts are accurate the passage is littered with pearl farms for about ten miles.
After exiting the passage our course was more north and we were able to sail for the last ten miles to Acadambanauan Island. We anchored in a well protected deep bay (24m) dotted with fishing villages.
Day 4.   Distance 37nm
With the wind from the NE at ten knots and our course north we were able to sail all day to Darocotan Island. The anchorage was tricky to approach and had a bit of a roll but it was an attractive island with a neat and tidy fishing village and backpacker facility for overnight stops. Bangka’s do five day budget cruisers from El Nido to Coron and vice versa stopping off at islands for the night on the way.
Day 5.   Distance 29nm
The weather remained light and we motored around the tip of Palawan and down to El Nido greeted by spectacular scenery of limestone islands. The anchorage at El Nido was a bit rolly so we went around the head land to Corongcorong the protected anchorage on the southern side.
Photos:
Reef Island
Seventh Heaven under sail
Anchorage at Corongcorong





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15 Mar 2013
Something I forgot to mention the sky is very clear in Palawan and the sunsets are stunning as are the stars at night.
Photo:
Sunset in Palawan



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06 Jul 2013

10th Borneo International Yacht Challenge
Time to race.
The race from Miri to Labuan is always interesting we started with a lovely reach at 7 knots for the first four hours then as the wind lightened we were ghosting though the Brunei oilfields. Midnight thunder storms all around us tacking backwards and forwards early hours of the morning nice land breeze reaching to the finish line. At dawn with the finish line only eight miles away becalmed such is yacht racing.
The Labuan bay races were held in light conditions and Seventh Heaven and the crew performed well gaining a 2nd and 3rd place.
Labuan is a duty free port and our last chance to stock up on vital supplies such as beer, wine, rum and gin for the passage back to Australia so we were a little lower in the water for the race to Kota Kinabalu.
The race to Kota Kinabalu was a mixture wind, storms, no wind though we managed to keep Seventh Heaven moving and picked up another 3rd place.
The bay races in Kota Kinabalu were cancelled due to lack of wind.
We had a great time racing our home and were a respectable 3rd overall.
Photos:
The windward mark ahead of Bewitched though not for long
Seventh Heaven’s pretty sail
Dinner Labuan to KK in light conditions




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07 Jul 2013



10th Borneo International Yacht Challenge
In SE Asia they have fantastic regattas and the BIYC is no exception.
The regattas are truly gala events with fantastic dinners and presentations by dignitaries and VIP’s all being followed by the mass media. Even the humble cruising yachts are treated like super stars.
The regatta starts in Miri (Sarawak) to Labuan then onto Kota Kinabalu (Sabah). There are six races two passage races Miri to Labuan (105nm) and Labuan to Kota Kinabalu (70nm) with two bay races in both Labuan and Kota Kinabalu.  Seventh Heaven was entered in cruising division A and this year we had the luxury of crew our new friends Ray and Patsy from Miri.
Photos:
Winners are grinners
Still friends (Ross off Bewitched overall winner cruising A)
Welcome dinner Miri (Ray, Patsy and Kevin)





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The Seventh Heaven Story
Click for a short history of Seventh Heaven



Seventh Heaven
Dehler 41DS

Charlie and Betty Preen
PO Box 373
Cannonvale Q 4802

Charlie: 0408 182 822
Betty: 0427 481 342
www.charlieandbetty.com

Whitsunday Guide
Visit the Cumberland Charter Yachts Site for the most comprehensive online area and anchorage guide. Second only to "100 Magic Miles".

  www.ccy.com.au/area



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