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Old 22-03-2013, 11:58   #1
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Palau to Kota Kimabalu

In November we plan to leave Palau and sail to Kota Kimabalu passing through the Philippines.

What route would you take?

Thanks,

Jim
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Old 22-03-2013, 17:53   #2
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Re: Palau to Kota Kimabalu

i suggest you should keep a very close eye on the situation in Sabah - Sulu Islands, before contemplating going via there. The situation is currently very tense. The official death toll last time I looked a week or so ago was around 75. (Malaysia is almost certainly lying about this, and the true toll is higher) The Malaysians have closed off the main trouble area, expelled all foreigners (I think), and no foreign journalists allowed. Its not clear what is happening there, but from reports from refugees trickling into the Sulu Islands, it appears the Malaysians have embarked on a campaign of terror against Filipinos in Sabah. The waters there are very tense....refugee boats, and heightened presence by the navies of Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines. I don't think the Malaysians would like you there, at all.

The Sulu Islands are an area of Muslim unrest and "no go" at the best of times, in my opinion. Prior to this current situation some boats had been stopping at Tawi Tawi, in the extreme south of Sulu Islands. I wouldn't, at any time. In the north of the Sulu Islands, Basilan is the stronghold of the Abu Sayef. Google for more info.

For me, the only viable route would be through Indonesia, up the east coast of Mindanao (safe), around the top of Mindanao, across to Palawan, and down to northern Borneo from there. Some of the scenery through the Philippines on that route is spectacular.

Lee
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Old 22-03-2013, 18:01   #3
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Re: Palau to Kota Kimabalu

Sorry, just re read your post and see you plan to leave from Palau, not Australia. So disregard most of my previous post.

Pick up on my suggested route anywhere in the Philippines. Davao, Surigao and Peurto Princessa are all ports of entry/exit.

Lee
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Old 23-03-2013, 17:32   #4
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Thank you very much!
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Old 23-03-2013, 21:44   #5
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Re: Palau to Kota Kimabalu

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Originally Posted by jim_thomsen View Post
In November we plan to leave Palau and sail to Kota Kimabalu passing through the Philippines.

What route would you take?

Thanks,

Jim
We are doing this route at the moment SY Sophia and know several other boats currently doing the same route.

It depends how much time you want to spend in the Philippines, you can basically do any route through the Philippines you want with the exception of the Trouble spots around the southern Sulu Sea. Why not just decide when you get here, that's what cruising is about.

Most boats came thru between Mindanao Island and Leyte and went to Cebu to check in (Surigao City can't do a proper check in and you have to goto Cebu anyway). One boat only bothered checking in when they got to Puerto Princesa as it seems to be the only place the officials won't try and get a bribe.

Some cool places were Gignate Islands, Romblon and the Calamain Group is very nice.
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Old 24-03-2013, 02:42   #6
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Re: Palau to Kota Kimabalu

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_thomsen View Post
In November we plan to leave Palau and sail to Kota Kimabalu passing through the Philippines.

What route would you take?
Jim
Hi Jim,
From Palau, I recommend approaching Hinatuan Pass via south of Bucas Grande Is. N9°32 // E125°57

This offers quickest lee protection from prolonged wind against strong currents, whatever the weather system may be doing at the time. (Still variable and affected by late Tropical depressions and storms in November)
Also the shortest run at over 510nm if you depart on W side pass of Palau

There is even now a resort tucked just inside the entrance, but I have not been there. However might be a good place to anchor and rest before setting up favorable tide run towards Suragao City
See google earth
FOR LOVE OF THE SEA: HIDDEN ISLAND RESORT IN BUCAS GRANDE

Kestrahl’s advice is pretty much same as mine but check with Cebu yacht Club first about space available as it is small and not a good place to anchor out
https://plus.google.com/114803047018...O7CQiAenx4CwBQ

If on the other hand you want the option to bypass the Philippines and get to Sutera Hbr, then list that as your next port after Palau…. You can then just go thru the islands towards KK and play it by ear.

I have done that before a few times on my way to Hong Kong and as long as you don’t linger in any place for more than an overnight rest, no one bothers you.

Re the problems in Borneo,
This is a political game prior to upcoming national Malaysian elections, required to be held before July.
Sabah has a separate constitution with the rest of Malaysia and their votes usually call the election.
So the timing of this blowup to rile mostly illegal Filipino squatters to claim sovereignty is both quite obvious and sad.

Keep an eye on this local paper as Sabah is a very friendly, rich and well managed State.
Intelligence on involvement of third party | Daily Express Newspaper Online, Sabah, Malaysia.

Below is how I would do a delivery trip from Palau to KK if NE winds were happening.

Regards and fair winds… Nick
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Old 24-03-2013, 05:09   #7
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Re: Palau to Kota Kimabalu

We checked out Sohutan Bay on Bucas Grande but couldn't find anywhere shallow enough (35m +) It was getting dark so headed over to Iapinigan Island, the south side. A local guided us in and had a very warm reception and tour of the village the next morning, It was still windy but no swell and excellent holding. You can't go around the west side as power lines go between the island and the mainland now.

We anchored of the Cebu yacht club with about 5 other boats as the marina was full. The dinghy dock is a rip off and its a pretty horid place but wasn't un-safe.

Port Carmen futher north is another option and get a bus to Cebu. Although you mite get stuck there for a few years, marry a Filipino and build a alloy catamaran.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Hi Jim,
From Palau, I recommend approaching Hinatuan Pass via south of Bucas Grande Is. N9°32 // E125°57

This offers quickest lee protection from prolonged wind against strong currents, whatever the weather system may be doing at the time. (Still variable and affected by late Tropical depressions and storms in November)
Also the shortest run at over 510nm if you depart on W side pass of Palau

There is even now a resort tucked just inside the entrance, but I have not been there. However might be a good place to anchor and rest before setting up favorable tide run towards Suragao City
See google earth
FOR LOVE OF THE SEA: HIDDEN ISLAND RESORT IN BUCAS GRANDE

Kestrahl’s advice is pretty much same as mine but check with Cebu yacht Club first about space available as it is small and not a good place to anchor out
https://plus.google.com/114803047018...O7CQiAenx4CwBQ

If on the other hand you want the option to bypass the Philippines and get to Sutera Hbr, then list that as your next port after Palau…. You can then just go thru the islands towards KK and play it by ear.

I have done that before a few times on my way to Hong Kong and as long as you don’t linger in any place for more than an overnight rest, no one bothers you.

Re the problems in Borneo,
This is a political game prior to upcoming national Malaysian elections, required to be held before July.
Sabah has a separate constitution with the rest of Malaysia and their votes usually call the election.
So the timing of this blowup to rile mostly illegal Filipino squatters to claim sovereignty is both quite obvious and sad.

Keep an eye on this local paper as Sabah is a very friendly, rich and well managed State.
Intelligence on involvement of third party | Daily Express Newspaper Online, Sabah, Malaysia.

Below is how I would do a delivery trip from Palau to KK if NE winds were happening.

Regards and fair winds… Nick
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Old 24-03-2013, 05:50   #8
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Re: Palau to Kota Kimabalu

Don't worry about Sabah if you are going to KK. Just avoid the eastside of Sabah where Sandakan and the Sulu Archipelago is. Kudat is nice, there is a hidden basin where, in 2006, you could anchor in total protection.

For the Philipines, we went in at Dapa, south end of Siaragao Island (09 44.3N 126.04.2E) anchored in a calm place. Later moved behind Abanay Island to the town of Dapa itself, delightful!

Some boats anchored out at General Luna where there is a Surf Camp, looks like a lot of fun there, but we found it difficult to find our way through the reefs.

We checked in at Cebu, no problem, no bribes.

We checked out one time at Subic (going to Hong Kong), another a Puerto Princesca. Stay on the West side of Palawan, don't miss El Nido, its one of the all time highlights of our cruise, and to check out you can find an anchorage at Ulagan Bay (maybe Oyster Inlet if the military says OK) and take a Jeepney to Puerto Princesca from the town at the head of Ulagan Bay. No problem.
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Old 24-03-2013, 11:20   #9
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Thanks for the excellent information! Thanks Nick once again for all the help!

I'm getting excited to do this trip.
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Old 25-03-2013, 06:28   #10
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Re: Palau to Kota Kimabalu

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We checked in at Cebu, no problem, no bribes.
We were there with 4 other yachts this year. The Customs and Immigration have a document that states they are allowed to charge a fee for costs incurred coming out to you which they are trying to use to get extra money. Customs wanted US$ out of a couple of American boats and pecos out of others, we avoided this by going to see them instead of them coming to the yacht club( a 5 minute taxi ride ). Immigration were also trying to get this fee (asking everyone for 2500 pecos) even tho they weren't leaving their office and you have to go see them, and got quite aggressive with a couple of cruisers who refused.
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Old 25-03-2013, 06:41   #11
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The scuttlebutt is ... For what it is worth ... That one can skip customs on check in. They are either crooks or don't care. Boats have checked in and out at Puerto Princessa when leaving and there seems to be no problem. Plus, Malaysia is the next stop and they ... Again reportedly ... Don't care about a Philippine customs clearance ... Especially so in Sabah's Kota Kinabalu I would guess because of the Sulu political situation.

Here in Puerto Galera the immigration office said a customs check in was unnecessary. So I have none. Whatever...

That's what I've heard here. Worth what you paid for it.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:06   #12
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Re: Palau to Kota Kimabalu

Hi Jim,
Plenty of advice already on offer especially clearing into Surigao. The cruising guides say you can, the Immigration officer in town says you cant. We made this mistake and technically became illegal aliens until I came to an arrangement with officers and unlike the other ports they would not accept a cash donation. Cebu is the first clearance option, Subic and or Manilla next. Re Palau, if you email Dermot at Sams Tours pre arrival you will find all the help you need. Watch out for the $25 fee for each bag of rubbish and if you think you can stack 3 bags of rubbish in one big bag you are mistaken as they will charge you by weight ($75).
Regards Michael.
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Old 20-04-2013, 01:30   #13
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Re: Palau to Kota Kimabalu

When checking out at Pureto, if you jeepney in from some other town it pays to tell them your boat is just down in the harbor. I can confirm the customs in Kudat couldn't care less about Philippines clearance.
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Old 27-08-2013, 19:59   #14
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Re: Palau to Kota Kimabalu

i Know this thread is a year old now. But I spend three weeks in saba recently (June 2013). So this post is for others that search the region at a later time. All I found was Happy people, no problems. I was at Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu. I was aware that there was a filipino village that was a recomended no go zone. Aside from that, I felt safe all the time. And found the local muslims to be nothing short of wonderful.
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Old 28-08-2013, 23:52   #15
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Re: Palau to Kota Kimabalu

from the straits times today...
KUALA LUMPUR: Gunmen from the Philippines briefly abducted 11 Malaysian fishermen this week near the internationally-renowned scuba diving destination of Sipadan island, officials said on Thursday.
The incident late Tuesday highlighted continued security concerns along the coast of the Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo island, which was wracked by an incursion by guerrillas from the adjacent southern Philippines earlier this year.
The 11 armed men were believed to be bandits or smugglers from the Philippines, said Mohamad Mantek, an Immigration Department official who oversees police and army security in eastern Sabah.
Gunmen briefly abduct fishermen near Malaysian resort - Channel NewsAsia
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