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Old 07-05-2013, 00:36   #1
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Palawan Island, the Philippines

I have received so many great suggestions from my previous questions I thought I would ask another. Also, with a little free time and a good Internet connection I'm having fun planning our route for the rest of the year.

From another thread it was suggested we sail down the west coast of Palawan island, stopping along the way. I just got "Tom's Cruising Guide to the Philippines" and he recommends the East coast.

We hope to have enough time to stop along the way. Which way would you go?

Once again, thank you!
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Old 07-05-2013, 01:58   #2
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Re: Palawan Island, the Philippines

Hi Jim,

Can you be more specific what time of year this will be now and assume you are still on passage from Palau to KK
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:48   #3
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Re: Palawan Island, the Philippines

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_thomsen View Post
I have received so many great suggestions from my previous questions I thought I would ask another. Also, with a little free time and a good Internet connection I'm having fun planning our route for the rest of the year.

From another thread it was suggested we sail down the west coast of Palawan island, stopping along the way. I just got "Tom's Cruising Guide to the Philippines" and he recommends the East coast.

We hope to have enough time to stop along the way. Which way would you go?

Once again, thank you!
We cruised down the East coast and found some fantastic diving in front of where they harvest the bird nest soups noodles, which are actually the nest made by a specie of birds that live in the eerie sandstone cliffs. Undersea was magical. Puerto Princesess wasn't all that far away. Wonder if the same oil rig supply ships are in that area. I'll look for photos if you like.
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Old 07-05-2013, 03:12   #4
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Re: Palawan Island, the Philippines

Definitely spend some time in the North around Coron / Busuanga / El Nido. Some nice beaches, spectacular cliffs, good diving, caving, hiking. If you are big into diving then Tubataha has a good reputation, but not sure if private yachts can go, or if you must go on a liveaboard. The dive shops in Coron should be able to confirm.

I haven't been further south, so can't be sure about east vs west, but looking at maps I suspect east would be more interesting and possibly better protected depending on the time of the year.
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Old 07-05-2013, 21:21   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions.

Pelagic, I believe it's best to leave Palau late November. Make sense? I think we will follow your earlier suggestion for a route through the Philippines maybe to the east of Palawan. But if we have time I would like to visit nice places along the way. Another boat that just was there (Totem) I believe went down the West coast.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:30   #6
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Originally Posted by jim_thomsen View Post
Thanks for the suggestions.

Pelagic, I believe it's best to leave Palau late November. Make sense? I think we will follow your earlier suggestion for a route through the Philippines maybe to the east of Palawan. But if we have time I would like to visit nice places along the way. Another boat that just was there (Totem) I believe went down the West coast.
We went down the west coast because it was going to be an extra 100 miles from el nido to go the east coast. Plus it was blowing easterly. Had a great trip, navigation a bit sketchy in places with shoals and charts aren't so good but some lovely spots. Talking to all the other cruisers we are in the minority, I would say most of the more local cruisers go the east
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:09   #7
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Re: Palawan Island, the Philippines

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.....If you are big into diving then Tubataha has a good reputation, but not sure if private yachts can go, or if you must go on a liveaboard. The dive shops in Coron should be able to confirm.
......
I believe I read on noonsite that you can get a permit for Tubataha from Puerto Princessa.
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Old 08-05-2013, 20:25   #8
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Re: Palawan Island, the Philippines

Hi Jim,
By November, NE’ winds are prevailing but generally not that strong yet, being influenced by passing systems and the south bound ITC. Expect rain and short duration thunderstorms at that time

Jan to April is the best cruising season with glorious sailing weather and very few typhoon incidences
You will find a 52 year monthly Typhoon frequency table listed here.
Typhoon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Those of us who live and sail in SE Asia know that Typhoons can occur in any month so always plan based on monthly predictions and prevailing weather systems at the time. Not a problem as you have many refuge points and at least 12 days of warning.

For general trend, I monitor this link which will be updated in July Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) for long-range forecasts of hurricane, typhoon and cyclone worldwide
For the earliest alert I look at :: Typhoon2000.com® :: The Philippines' First Website on Tropical Cyclones (Since 1997)

Kestrahl is correct… West Coast is the shortest and coming from Subic towards KK with a delivery mindset, is the preferred route

Now the fun part. After spending time in Palau, you will be spoiled by pristine anchorages, diving, fishing and beauty. Really consider a trip to Yap, it is magical and try and read a copy of ‘His Majesty O’Keefe’

If it were me, I would explore more of Palau/Yap locations and delay passage towards KK till mid-late Jan 2014 when TRS frequency is quite small

So what does PI have to offer that is different?

Calamian Group (just above Palawan) is the best cruising area. Lots of protected anchorages, yacht friendly dive resorts and people. Plentiful Seafood.

Consider Caluit Island Game Farm and Halsey Harbor for fresh wild Prawns on your way south.

I think what you decide in November will be more weather dependent.

I will be in Palau for some diving and deep sea fishing this month, so will talk to Sam and Dermot about lay-over options in Palau or Yap
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Old 09-05-2013, 17:02   #9
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Once again, thank you Pelagic! Great information, as usual. I like the idea of a longer time in Palau and Yap. I tried to see if I could get a copy of His Majesty Okeefe, but it's long out of print and not available for kindle. But I will get the movie ($3 download from Amazon)
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Old 09-05-2013, 17:09   #10
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Re: Palawan Island, the Philippines

Palawan is spectacular!
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Old 09-05-2013, 17:59   #11
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Re: Palawan Island, the Philippines

jim_thomsen

Not sure where your at, but when we went through Micronesia years ago, we found Wolleai to be a great stop. Palau too was spectacular.

Sorry no luck finding those photos of el nido and the cliffs, and I've got some great U/W shots of the cliff and critters. I'll look on another machine.
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Old 10-05-2013, 00:45   #12
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Re: Palawan Island, the Philippines

Thanks Jack & Jude! We are in Pittwater and will head north when the wind comes out of the south. Maybe we will see you somewhere.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:30   #13
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Re: Palawan Island, the Philippines

Hey Jim,

I am keen to go to Palawan, although we actually haven't been there yet. We're looking at heading that way, possibly, in the coming months as we go from our current position (Bali) up to Malaysian Borneo...might continue the trajectory up to Palawan, might not. TBD! There's just not much wind in there, and we're really pretty tired of all the motoring we've had to do in the last 8+ months of PNG & Indonesia.

Help me out, though, I'm a little confused. Looking at Palau --> Palawan, that's a pretty circuitious route. You'd skip Raja Ampat which is AWESOME underwater life. With that in mind, let me throw this into the mix: Palau --> Raja Ampat (Indonesia) --> N/NW from Raja Ampat via Halmahera/Ternate & islands off N Sulawesi --> E. coast of Sabah (Malaysia)...although that puts you right in the Sulu Sea area that's all in a tizzy right now. Since the Malaysian military actually did get their guns and airplanes out recently it's worth watching closely. But it's easy hopping from there (or from Ternate/Sulawesi) up to the Philippines.

Possibly I'm misunderstanding the bigger picture of your plans because I haven't read your other posts although I've traded some email & info w/ Katie. Feel free to PM about our experience if you want more details. Actually, ask Katie for my email if you want because I honestly don't get on here that often... bandwidth rarely good enough for "play time" in the interwebs!

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Old 13-05-2013, 03:53   #14
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Hi Behan,

"Maybe you are misunderstanding the bigger picture of our plans"......I'm afraid there is no bigger picture and any of these plans may ( and probably will) change. But our current plan is to come across the top of PNG to about the Hermit islands, then head up to Palau for awhile. The diving there is supposed to be incredible and it's a cheap place to have anything we want shipped from the USA. We may include Yap in our plan (even if it is only to see multi-ton rock wheels that are used as money.) we would wait there until Dec (or maybe use Palegic's suggestion of January) for the good cruising season in the Philippines. I have only visited Manila so I would enjoy seeing other parts of the country, including Palawan.

This will have us arriving in KK Dec/jan/feb to stay through May or so before heading to Africa.

That's the plan, but Katie and I just had the map out looking at your suggestions. As always, too many places we want to visit and not enough time (and it's taken us 7 years to get half way around the world) so we will see.

Anyway, we plan to leave here tomorrow (Pittwater, near Sydney) and sail up to at least Mooloolaba, but if the winds stay out of the south we'll go to Gladstone. So probably no Internet for 6 days or so.

Thanks or the suggestions!
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Old 13-05-2013, 21:40   #15
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Re: Palawan Island, the Philippines

It's true- you can't go everywhere! We're on the "take it slow" path too.

If you're big into diving, it seems a shame to skip Raja Ampat. Whatever you do, whether it's a dip down to dive in Indo or cutting across through the Philippines, be ready for a whole lotta motoring!

Hope we get to meet you out here this coming year, that should be my incentive to talk you out of R.A., but it quite frankly blew us away. Stunning. On the other hand you may get your fill of stunning in Palau!

all the best, Behan
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