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Old 26-09-2010, 20:35   #1
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pirate Sailing from NJ, USA to Cebu, Philippines

Hello,

My husband and I are planning on cruising to the Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines from NJ, USA. We have 3 years to plan our trip. World Cruising Routes and forums like this are some of our sources of information. What is the best route? Has anybody done this? What islands to stop in between?
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Old 28-09-2010, 18:55   #2
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I've never sailed the east coast.

My Pacific crossing was from the PNW to Cebu, Philippines. So I'm afraid I'm not much help on the trip planning, except to say that pre-typhoon season in the trade winds is generally an absolute gem. I had a ten day stretch where I never touched the sheets except to prevent fray.

Why did you choose Dumaguete? It's a nice tourist spot, for sure, with plenty of amenities and an (apparently) abundant night life, but I'm curious how you came to choose it as your end point.


I hope you can get your dream in full swing sooner, rather than later!
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Old 28-09-2010, 20:53   #3
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Dumaguete is the port of entry. Tambobo Bay in Siaton (1hr from Dumaguete) is our final destination. Tambobo Bay, officially Bonbonon Bay, is a great place for sailing, surfing, and relaxing. It is well known as a safe harbor for yachts during typhoon season. It's across Cebu but not as crowded and busy. It's near Mt. Apo for scuba diving.

I have family and friends in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental and Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, which is just around the corner.

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Old 29-09-2010, 07:58   #4
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I know Bonbonon Bay I've sat in my runaround sailboat there sometimes. Plenty of interesting yachtees hanging around there, and there's always something going on. Best wishes on your voyage!
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Old 29-09-2010, 20:17   #5
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Salamat.
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Old 30-09-2010, 12:54   #6
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WE ARE FROM NJ, LIVING IN PI

... And would love to hear from you folks.

We have been down to Tambobo bay and can recommend the place and the folks down there. Sounds like you have already spent signifcant time there yourself and know the place well.

Had a question that hopefully you can help us with. We have our eye on a MacGregor 26 for sail in NJ, and would like to ship it out here to PI. Wondering if you know how much of a hassle that would entail?

The official line is that "importing" a boat to the PI means paying 70% customs levies, 10% on VAT and another 10% on related taxes. I have also heard, however, that, if the boat is registered in the US and considered a "household item" that the levies technically do not apply.

Any info on what is truth and what is fiction? Not much available on the official websites out here except for the official "import" line, so any advice would be truly appreciated.

Thanks and great to hear from some NJ sailors on their way out here.

Regards,

Goner
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Old 30-09-2010, 20:21   #7
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So you are an expat?

We have not been to Tambobo Bay yet. We are planning to visit in March 2011. My sister in Dumaguete told me about it. She and her husband are good friends of the owner of Antulang Beach Resort.

Tell me about Tambobo Bay. Do they have marinas? Is it full service? Do you know anybody that can service or fix sail boats. Any information that will help yacht owners in Tambobo Bay would be appreciated.

Have you sailed anywhere in the PI? Where and what islands? Have you been around Negros Occidental? Are charts readily available in Tambobo or do we need to go to Cebu or Manila?

Had a question that hopefully you can help us with. We have our eye on
a MacGregor 26 for sail in NJ, and would like to ship it out here to PI.
Wondering if you know how much of a hassle that would entail?

Shipping our sailboat to PI is our PLAN B. Chartering is PLAN C. We are still doing some research. I want to have some options. That is one of the reason why we are going to visit the Philippines. I will let you know as soon as I get some information regarding shipping.

Where in NJ did you come from? Our primary residence is in Mercer County. We have a shore house in Ocean County where we spend our weekends sailing, kayaking, fishing and riding the bike. Our shore house is right in the lagoon where we dock both our motor boat and sail boat.

Are you near Tambobo Bay? I heard there are a lot of expats, mostly sailor in that corner of the world.
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:16   #8
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HELLO OPTION TAKERS ...

... Hi again,

Wow, lot's of questions and it's 2am here in the Philippines, so, for the moment, I will just say hello and thank you for your response.

Some of your questions I can answer and some not, but I know folks who probably can tell you just about whatever you need to know, so I will pass on the links.

Give me some time on all that however, I am somewhat swamped with work at the moment. Will try to get back to you in the next 24 hours, but if it takes me a few days, don't worry, I will not have forgotten you.

More as soon as I see daylight.

Best regards,

Goner
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Old 01-10-2010, 16:53   #9
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Regarding Your Questions ...

Hi again,

Stole a moment or two more here to talk.

I spent a couple of weeks at Tambobo Bay, but I did not visit all locales. I stayed at Nigel Robert's place right at the mouth of the harbor. Nigel's an Anglo/Australian and something of a hippie type who runs the Tongo Sail Inn at http://www.tongo-sail-inn.netfirms.com/. Nigel is also a very well-travelled, hospitable and intelligent guy who builds 44 foot cats in glass over wood, and who knows the PI and boats inside and out.

The Sail Inn accomodatioins at Tongo Inn are adorable but rustic. All are well maintained, hand crafted, traditional Philippine bamboo cottages set right on the bay, with toilets and showers. However, given the lifestyle you describe, you might consider them a bit primitive.

While you may or may not want to stay with Nigel, you should visit him to have dinner, drink a beer, and pick his brain. Before doing so, visit his site, which will tell you almost everything you want to know about Tambobo, including coordinates and waypoints for entering the harbor. It's all there, so do take a look.

Regarding Tambobo itself, the power is not reliable, but the resorts have generators. You must realize that the area is off the beaten track, so you are dealing with all the typical discomforts of the provinces - on and off power, on and off transport, on and off wireless phone service, no lan line telephone service, etc., etc.

If you want to go there, hire your own car in Dumagete, and be prepared for a bumpy, stone and dirt cruise (the road is said to be originally built by the Spaniards) in from the main highway.

Regarding Marinas, they exist[ but, I doubt there is anything one may call "full service" south of Cebu or, perhaps Dumagete. But, don't take my word for it. As I mentioned, I did not check out all of Tambobo, but "full service" does seem like a bit of a stretch.

Regarding charts, the only ones you will find in Tambobo are the ones that are glassed into Nigel's dining table. Also, some cruiser will undoubtedly offer to show you his, while sipping beer at a local resort bar. To BUY charts, you will need to go to MNL, or perhaps Cebu. There is a Marine supply store right behind the main Cathedral Square in Intramuros (Manila) that sells them, but I cannot recall the business' name at the moment. Do a Google search and you will find it.

That's about it for now. My folks are in Somerset County, "right next door" to you guys. I haven't been back that way in years, however. More personal stuff in a private message when I can get around to it.

In the meantime, keep in touch, and tell me what you learn about shipping to the PI. Check Nigel's website, but I wouldn't bother calling or emailing him, unless you want to stay at his place. He is kind of swamped with the boat building and running of the Inn, and he's not exactly the writing type.

Don't tell him I sent you, or he may not answer your inquiries at all. Last time I was there, I got drunk and gave him a bunch of sh^#$%. Not sure he has forgiven me for it just yet. : 0

Hope this has helped,

Goner.
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Old 01-10-2010, 17:18   #10
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PS - For Everything You May Want to Know About Sailing in PI ...

... check these sites as well:

pinoyboats.org - Home of the Philippine Home Boatbuilders Yacht Club - boatbuilding and all else on sailing in pi

The Puerto Galera Yacht Club - The Best Sailing and Water Sports In The Philippines In Equator Asia - puerto galera yacht club with many good links

Taal Lake Yacht Club - taal lake yacht club, as above

Enjoy your planning,

Goner
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Old 01-10-2010, 21:36   #11
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Hi Goner,

YOU ARE INCREDIBLE!! Thanks for the information.

Wuthering Heights Resort in San Juan (north of Dumaguete) - are you familiar with this place? Have you sailed around that area? Is it safe for sailboats/sailors?

Nigel's Inn: I think we will enjoy "roughing it" at Tongo Inn. As long as he serves San Miguel beer, my husband will have a blast.

Power supply & wireless service: I do not think I will be able to put up with the inconvenience long term - more than 2 days ...but then again it could be worse. Few minutes ago, I was talking with my sister in Dumaguete on Skype and all of a sudden it got disconnected...oh well it is what it is...
With regards to wireless connection - I'm happy without my Blackberry while on vacation... I wonder if there is a satellite phone service available in the PI...for emergency purposes only.

Somerset County is right next to Mercer County. Wherever you are in the PI you are just a few islands away from Bacolod City or Sagay City Negros Occ...havent been back in years either.

My husband is more excited about this cruise to the Philippines than I am. Since I am the helmsman, it is my responsibility to plan a safe trip for the crew, which is my husband. Any information is welcome to make our trip safe and enjoyable.

Thanks for your help and we are looking forward to having a beer or two with you in the Philippines or in Somerset (my husband prefers PI).

Godspeed.

Optiontakers
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Old 02-10-2010, 02:16   #12
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Cruising the Philippines...

I've traveled the Philippines quite a bit, the weather's mostly really good, prices mostly very reasonable and there are some really nice places to stop.

My big reservation about the Philippines is when the stay starts becoming extended. Remember the old saying about a moving target being hard to hit.

There's only a few places that I know of where it would be possible to live aboard for an extended period.

Port Bonbonon (Tambobo Bay?) comes to mind as do Carmen in Cebu, Puerta Galera and Subic Bay (others may have more suggestions) but outside of that not much.
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:48   #13
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Hi Boracay,

Thanks for the information regarding Carmen in Cebu. I'll add it to my "Things To Do" list.

Interesting..."My big reservation about the Philippines is when the stay starts becoming extended. Remember the old saying about a moving target being hard to hit." - I'll keep this in mind.

Godspeed.
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Old 02-10-2010, 16:55   #14
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Regarding your latest post

Hi again,

I don't know San Juan or the area around it. However, the guys on the Pinoy site's cruising forum might be able to provide some reliable information.

Got no idea about sat phone "service" in the PI, but, to my knowlege, satellite orbits don't discriminate regarding the terrain below. : )

Regards again,

Goner
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Old 02-10-2010, 17:10   #15
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Originally Posted by Gone2long View Post
Hi again,

I don't know San Juan or the area around it. However, the guys on the Pinoy site's cruising forum might be able to provide some reliable information.

Got no idea about sat phone "service" in the PI, but, to my knowlege, satellite orbits don't discriminate regarding the terrain below. : )

Regards again,

Goner
My Iridium is perfectly functional here in the PI, and I remember seeing that the other two networks I was looking at would have been fine for around here, also. Was it Inmarsat and Globalstar? I can't remember off the top of my head, sorry.
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