Mar 25

Cruising the Palawan/Bacuit Archipelago (Tao Philippines)

Traveled Nov, 2011

The next 5 days would be one of the best things I did in my life – a 5 day “cruise” with Tao Philippines.

Day 1 – We met the group at the office in El Nido to take care of last minute details (i.e. buying beer for the cruise and packing the boat).  The boat was locally built, in the style of traditional Filipino fishing boats.

We had breakfast and then set out to some of the islands just outside of El Nido.

Later in the afternoon, we stopped at “Tao Village”, a private beach on an island.  Some ladies came over from the village and we had turns having an included 1 hour massage.

For dinner, they roasted a pig for Jack’s birthday (the owner of Tao)

Day 2 – We stayed in Tao village until 10 am to enjoy the beach.

The showers at Tao camp.

I did some solo snorkeling and saw a small shark.  We rode the boat for another hour and stopped at another amazing beach where we were the only people there (this would be a common theme of the 5-day trip).  After lunch, we sailed most of the day, stopping at a snorkeling stop where I saw a school of about 30 tuna fish.

We grilled a Jack fish for dinner and then went to a home with a generator and karaoke machine to karaoke with the local fishermen.

Day 3 – We had a very long ride on stormy seas until our first snorkeling stop.  We saw a lion fish and bought an octopus from the fisherman.

Then we stopped at a small village for a walk and to buy more fish before stopping for the night at an even smaller fishing village.

As the sun went down, I watched 100s of bats fly across the sky.

Day 4 – I got up early and kayaked to a large lagoon to watch the sun rise.

We spent some time at the preschool that’s sponsored by Tao.

We took the small boat thru a mangrove passage followed by a hike to a wonderful waterfall and natural pool.

After more snorkeling, we had a feast of a lunch with fresh crab, fish, and shrimp cakes.

We spent the afternoon motoring to our night stop on Pass Island – a small private island with amazing snorkeling.

Day 5 – HAPPY THANKSGIVING to me, the only American on the trip.  Won’t be having turkey today…more like fish!  Had a couple chances to snorkel today, including in nice light off of Pass Island.

Then later on a large WWII shipwreck.

Later we arrived in Coron town.  The whole group from Tao met up for dinner in town.


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