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Old 30-04-2016, 21:02   #91
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Re: Leaving from Seattle to San Francisco then across the Pacific

Awesome to hear your update! I just arrived back at 35,000 feet after diving in the Philippines. Wish I were there with my boat.
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Old 01-05-2016, 15:32   #92
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Re: Leaving from Seattle to San Francisco then across the Pacific

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Awesome to hear your update! I just arrived back at 35,000 feet after diving in the Philippines. Wish I were there with my boat.
How was the diving there?
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Old 01-05-2016, 16:24   #93
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Re: Leaving from Seattle to San Francisco then across the Pacific

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How was the diving there?
I was on a liveaboard at Tubbataha Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a Philippines National Park. What an amazing week of diving with such beautiful and healthy corals and tropical fish! There was not as many large fish as I would expect to see, so there's probably a lot of illegal fishing during the other 9 months when diving does not occur there. Still, from past reviews from a decade ago when they didn't see any sharks or large fish at all and the corals were cratered from fishermen bombing the reefs, we saw small sharks on just about every dive and schools of jacks. It was also curious to me that we each paid $110 US dollars to the National Park, with probably more than 300 divers visiting there every week, yet the young soldiers stationed on a very, very tiny smudge of sand, don't have much more than the very basics. Our boat brought them ice and sodas at least a couple of times that week that I noticed. We also visited the ranger station where they stay and it was really sparse, but apparently, it's a great gig for them. Wikipedia says there were plans in 2013 to build a better facility that would help with poaching issues, but that it would cost 50 million pesos (just under $300,000). The 3-month diving window probably brings in about $100,000 each year. Based on my week of reading the Manilla newspaper, corruption is still rampant in the Philippines and the people continue to be the ones to suffer from it, so I wouldn't be surprised if the new station is forgotten without some pressure to bear on them.
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Old 23-06-2016, 08:05   #94
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Re: Leaving from Seattle to San Francisco then across the Pacific

Hello All,

I apologize for not updating for awhile. I have been spending time with my wife here in the Philippines for the last 2 weeks.

After casting off from Hawaii in March. I sailed 18 days to Majuro, Marshall Islands.
Majuro was a good stop for me and meet some great people that I am now good friends with.
While I was there, I made some necessary repairs to the rigging and repaired a intermediate shroud that unraveled from the staylock fitting.
Majuro has several hardware stores with marine paint, epoxy and some fittings.

After Majuro, I sailed 7 days to Pohnpei and anchored in Mangrove Bay. The owners of the resort there built up the place very nice and created a very protected small marina with about 10 slips for yachts. But I anchored just in front of the Hotel with good holding.
I paid $10 for week and got free wifi, showers, garbage disposal, and fresh water. They also have a fuel dock you can side tie to fill up your tanks.
Pohnpei is a beautiful island with lots to see and nice people. No issues with the authorities there and the charges are minimal.
I believe the port charged me $100 and quarantine was $13. Anchorage is free.

After Pohnpei I sailed to Chuuk Island group and arrived in Weno port after 5 day sail. I was warned not to go to Weno, but being the rebel I am, I went anyway.
My experience there was ok with no issues. The Customs officer was a little over ambitious about looking through my boat but I just let him do his thing and acted friendly to everyone. The charges there are $25 a day at the dock and $10 per day at anchor. I was only there for 3 days so was not much for me.
I did go over and met With Bill, the owner of Truk Stop Hotel. he is very welcoming to sailors but also understands that Weno is not very safe place for yachties. I went to get fuel and some provisions while I was tied up at the pier with no issues.

After Weno, I sailed out of the Chuuk island group and after 4 days arrived in Lamotrek Atoll. Some yachtie before me was kind enough to install 2 mooring buoys and so it was easy to hook on after arriving inside the lagoon near the beach.
This is where I had the best experience of the trip. The lamotrek people are very warm and friendly. After a few hours of introducing myself to the chiefs and some of the families there, they treated me like their own.
I was able to help teach the kids computer classes and fixed some things for the men.
Also after trying to fix their radios that they use for fishing, I discovered all of them were broken, so when I arrived in Yap, I ordered them new ones, so hopefully they have received them already.
I also took about 20 of the kids out sailing and had a blast, they really loved it. I already miss the Lamotrek people.

I then sailed for 5 days and arrived in Colonia Yap. The bay there is very protected and they do not charge anything to tie up at the pier if you want to stay there overnight, or you can anchor in the bay for free also.
Colonia is a small town but nice quiet place to hang out at. The Manta Ray Hotel is a great place to eat also. but there are other good restaurants near by the port.
There is not much on provisions or supplies for your boat in Colonia but they do have a Napa auto parts there with some supplies like oil filters and belts.

After spending a few days in Yap, I then sailed the 750 miles and arrived in Surigao, Philippines where I met up with my wife.

The whole trip from Seattle to Philippines took almost 9 months. I had 2 crew from California to Hawaii, but sailed alone from Hawaii to the Philippines. My best time of the whole trip was sailing through Micronesia and visiting the islands there. Also the weather was great after I got to Majuro.

If any of you have questions on sailing in Micronesia just let me know. All the web sites like Noonsite need to be updated as the info there is somewhat outdated.

Happy sailing to all

Rob
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Old 23-06-2016, 08:50   #95
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Re: Leaving from Seattle to San Francisco then across the Pacific

Rob,
Thanks for the update on your great cruising. I would definitely consider going the north route after reading your stories. The island people can be the best in the world. A few bad apples here and there of course but mostly just wonderful.

Nice to get your updates as you go.

Fair winds, and more good friends,
Joe
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Old 23-06-2016, 08:57   #96
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Re: Leaving from Seattle to San Francisco then across the Pacific

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Rob,
Thanks for the update on your great cruising. I would definitely consider going the north route after reading your stories. The island people can be the best in the world. A few bad apples here and there of course but mostly just wonderful.

Nice to get your updates as you go.

Fair winds, and more good friends,
Joe
Interesting......I've been reading mostly about South Pacific cruising. Sounds like the North Pacific was a great cruise for the OP.
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Old 23-06-2016, 09:32   #97
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Re: Leaving from Seattle to San Francisco then across the Pacific

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Interesting......I've been reading mostly about South Pacific cruising. Sounds like the North Pacific was a great cruise for the OP.
The South Pacific is great but even better if you take the road less traveled(most folks stay on the milk run) by default the North Pacific is all on the road less traveled so it is a great place to cruise. I prefer the North Pacific but there are areas in the South Pacific that are less frequently visited that are every bit as nice.
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Old 24-06-2016, 20:54   #98
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Re: Leaving from Seattle to San Francisco then across the Pacific

Yes maybe next year we will sail some of the south Pacific and find the islands that are not frequently visited. My experience was definitely better on the islands that were less visited and more true to their culture.

Also sailing alone was a good experience for me but its not something I would want to do again for any long passage if I do not need to, especially crossing all the reefs would have been handy to have someone at the bow just in case.

My Ipad with Jeppeson charts and Navionics loaded on it was my best friend through out the trip.
Navionics had the wrong position on Lamotrek, but when I switched to Jeppeson, it was dead on, but that was the only place I had an issue with Navionics.
I think with the electronic charts, its good to have them updated continually.
I have paper charts on everything, but fortunately I never had to use them.

Happy sailing!



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Old 24-06-2016, 21:15   #99
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Re: Leaving from Seattle to San Francisco then across the Pacific

More Pictures


1 mile out heading to the NE Chuuk pass in a gale, but didn't last long as it all went flat after passing through the reef, but going right past a wreck on the reef was a little nerve racking hahaha.Fueling up at Mangrove Resort and Marina in Pohnpei just before leaving for Chuuk



My anchorage at Mangrove Bay Pohnpei




My mooring in Majuro near Tide Table Hotel and Restaurant



At the Port in Weno, Chuuk

Will post more pics later
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Old 24-06-2016, 21:22   #100
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Re: Leaving from Seattle to San Francisco then across the Pacific

Welcome to the Philippines Rob.....great journey, great job.....it is a shame you rushed through Micronesia, but I understand it has become more commercial to yachties since GPS became available.

Some old photos from 1982
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Old 24-06-2016, 21:24   #101
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Re: Leaving from Seattle to San Francisco then across the Pacific

Others from the Thorfinn
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Old 24-06-2016, 22:03   #102
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Re: Leaving from Seattle to San Francisco then across the Pacific

I enjoyed reading your post. Your voyage and your experience with the locals sounds nice, and your singlehanding it is admirable.

That boat (white hull, blue trim) tied up at the dock at Weno looks familiar. Is that Thorfinn?
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Old 25-06-2016, 07:48   #103
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Re: Leaving from Seattle to San Francisco then across the Pacific

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I enjoyed reading your post. Your voyage and your experience with the locals sounds nice, and your singlehanding it is admirable.

That boat (white hull, blue trim) tied up at the dock at Weno looks familiar. Is that Thorfinn?

Thanks, Thats my Mariner 40 ketch Windrush II
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Old 25-06-2016, 09:06   #104
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Re: Leaving from Seattle to San Francisco then across the Pacific

Windrush (and others),
Your photos bring back good memories. We found the less visited islands the best as well, so much that we are hesitant to "advertise" them so they become too visited. We tell close friends of course.

I don't know if I would singlehand unless I had to. Doublehanded is tough sometimes when things get rough. The mate did have to go out to the bow to find our way through a few interesting spots. Pucker spots.

Please keep the update coming on the Phillipines. They have a mixed situation there from reports.

Cheers
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Old 26-06-2016, 20:46   #105
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Re: Leaving from Seattle to San Francisco then across the Pacific

More pics of Lamotrek Island visit



My mooring


My boys showing me around the island



Wreckage of a Japanese zero



Taking the kids out sailing



The girls singing songs in the cabin


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