The water in the small marina of the Subic Bay Yacht Club is too dirty to swim in which is too bad. But, even if it were clean, there are other things that would give me pause. There is a rather large stingray one sees occasionally and hears more often. And there lots and lots of jelly fish. Dorothy Nagle and I were out with our cameras this morning trying to capture the images as they flowed through the water. Along with the jellies there were small minnow sized fish and several large fish chasing the minnows. The whole school of minnows would suddenly explode out of the water trying to escape. One poor fish landed on the pier so I raced over and flipped him back in. Slimy squiggley thing.
Yesterday morning I went out without my camera. I was going to Olongapo early in the morning solely to buy some eggs. I had just bought 10 last week and that usually lasts a while unless I get an urge to bake. I’d had to buy those eggs to replace the half dozen eggs I had thrown out because they were just too too old. Of those new 10 eggs I broke 2 on the way home. Then I grabbed one that wasn’t one of the hard boiled ones I’d made so that was 3 eggs down. It wasn’t so hard to use up 7 eggs. Apparently unrefrigerated eggs last longer so my newest batch will remain on the counter. They are not refrigerated in the grocery stores or wet markets. We shall see. So you can see that I was really focusing on “eggs” and not picture taking so left my camera home. Darn!!
Rather than walk along the highway I backtracked a bit and took the path that goes along the drainage canal between Olongapo and Subic Bay. It doesn’t always smell so great, but it is prettier and you never know what you will see. That’s for sure, though I am sure I won’t see anything as X-rated as I did back in China as I was approaching the bridge from Jingan over to the boat yard. A different story for another time.
I’d often seen some white birds off in the distance as I walked this path. Even with my zoom lens I couldn’t make out what they were though I was fairly certain they were not the geese I had seen and fed on other walks. Yesterday I found out what they were; white turkeys! They were out feeding on the edge of the path; 3 large males and the rest female or too small for me to tell. They were just so, so odd. If it had been night time or very misty I might have thought I was making them all up so fantastic was their behavior. They just seemed to be gliding along as if their time dimension had intersected mine rather than that we were all from the same place. Like Twilight Zone turkeys in slow motion. My prior meeting with live turkeys came in 2006 while visiting my friend Martha and her daughter Jess who live in Brookline which borders Boston. Not out in the country. But wild turkeys seem to be taking over the Boston area and one flock had taken up residence near the path that led to the T stop and reservoir. I, of course, thought they were neat. And being fore warned, I was prepared with a weapon to ward them off; my large red, white and blue bandanna that when waved in the face of wild Brookline turkeys makes them leave you alone. I am not making this up, I promise. Google Brookline and wild turkeys and you’ll find lots of funny stories. This excerpt is from NPR: “The turkeys started chasing kids and joggers down the street. Neighbors would laugh watching the lawyer or pediatrician who lived next door being chased by a gobbling mob of birds. When it happens to you, it’s much less amusing.” All of this is leading up to my reaction to this docile, spaced out flock or white turkeys. Make love, not war was their motto. As I stood watching in amazement and prepared to wave my bandanna if necessary, one of the male turkeys, Mr. Tom hopped onto one of the little hens who apparently caught his fancy and was attempting to make more white turkeys. That in itself was startling because so public and unexpected. Hey, I’m from Puritan New England where the native turkeys, the Massachusetts state bird, make war, not love…see Brookline story. Then, knowing nothing about turkey behavior, I put a very human spin on what I saw happen next. The other two toms began circling the mating birds as if to be waiting their turn. I looked at the little hen, who was not looking as if this was her idea of a good time. This big old ugly tom had one big old turkey foot on her mashed down wing and one on her back and she made a sound that I thought said, “Help!” The rest of the hens seemed too “scared” to get involved, so I did. I walked over to the three male turkeys and said, “Stop that!” And they did. They acted more dazed and surprised than mad or frustrated. The hen rejoined the flock and seemed happier there. One of the male turkeys started walking towards me, and I’m thinking he wanted food because he had the same look the geese always have since the one time I did feed them. But I had no camera and I had no food, so I just went on my way for the eggs.
I went back to the path today armed with camera and food. First, right across the road from the Yacht Club was the flock of geese. They only have one thing on their minds and that’s food. I broke up some rice cakes and set off a melee! You have to be quick! Throw out food, take photo, run or they’ll chase you down and grab the food bag from you. Keeping on task to find the turkeys I walked over to the canal path behind the park and go karats where I had seen them yesterday. But No Turkeys! I knew they had to be somewhere so I left the path and walked over to the construction site near the go karts and spied them Nothing like barging in where you’re not invited. I just started taking pictures as fast as I could hoping anything would turn out. The turkeys ignored me as did the big white ducks….lot of white birds here, but soon one of the construction crew came over looking at me as if to say, “hmm, how did you get here? ” I took a few more photos, looked at him and asked if it was ok, he nodded sort of, I took a few more photos, said thanks and left. As for the photos, I think you just really had to be there.
Actually it is a goose but he looks like that silly duck.
White turkeys. Too bad they weren’t standing on some green grass rather than light sandy dirt.
Remember the show Designing Women? One episode Julia goes to the ladies room and returns with her dress tucked into her pantyhose in back. That’s all I could think of when I saw those spindly legs uncovered and the feathers stuck up in the air.
Oh gosh, I just wish you had all been there.
I was out taking photos around the Yacht Club and passed the Providore where they sell clothing and souvenirs and cookies and such. This is a photo I took or one of the “models” and me sharing a laugh.
Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera with me this morning when I encountered the flock of white “twilight zone” turkeys. Hopefully they will be there tomorrow morning. If not I’ll try the 1000 words.
One of us has to sign all of the tax forms for 2007 and one of us has to stay here and finish up the work that is needed on DoraMac. Guess who is going home? Alone!!! I am definitely dread the long flight; last time it took 36 hours to get home, this time thankfully it will only take 21. No long layover in Detroit. But still, yuck.
Thanks to my sister Harriet making the calls, I am booked into every yearly medical, dental, optical exam you can name. Well, not every one, just the general yearly ones, thank goodness. And I need a new pair of glasses because I now take mine off to read the small print. From using my nerdy clipon sun glasses, my clear glasses are all scratches. Maybe I’ll get the magnetic kind this time because carrying 2 pairs of glasses is a pain. Either that or some kind of unscratchable lens if that exists.
I will leave here February 20th and return March 12th; be home for less than optimal weather, but that can’t be helped if we are to leave Subic by the end of March and get some cruising done during April, supposedly a really good cruising month.
I will try to see all of my Roanoke buddies and will call you when I get home. I’ll be staying with my sister and brother-in-law and luckily borrowing a car from them. That saves me a trip to the DMV to renew tags and decals. Never a fun chore.
I will definitely visit “my” library to say hello and drive people crazy interrupting their day. I will have to hide when I visit Ref; not sure I remember how to do much. Now I’m the one asking questions.
And Sarah, tell Drake that I am looking forward to our walks around Old Southwest. Such a good dog, Drake!
On my way home I’ll need pesos, for the Manila airport, yen for the switch to JAL in Tokyo, and then dollars. Randal will take me to the airport in Manila and collect me when I come back so, going alone isn’t really a big deal, just a tad lonely. But we have been together 24/7 for a while now, so this is probably a good thing. Actually, this week Randal is going back to China for one last visit and a week of happy hour with Bill Kimley. I think that’s the real reason he is going and not for the boat supplies he will get. But that qualifies as a good reason in my book, or logue I should say.
Back on Doramac I’ll paint some, read some, clean less, and make banana bread that only I will like because it will have whole wheat flour, maybe no sugar, and raisins and nuts. Sounds good to me, but not Randal’s kind of banana bread. I might even buy another season of some tv show only I would watch.
So that is that about that.
A mixture of photos from Puerto Galera. I still have lots more, but this is enough for you to get the flavor of the place.
We lowered the dinghy from the back of the boat, lowered the motor, attached it all together and were off around the cove and then across the way to snorkel. You can see Doramac off in the top right hand corner just next to a sail boat. Even though we were just across the way, Randal brought his phone. Just in case? I was snorkeling away when Randal got my attention to tell me that he had forgotten to take his phone from his pocket. Since this outing was no longer fun, we got back into the dinghy and motored back to the boat. But all’s well that ends ok, and Randal has a “newish” phone and his SIM card still works so he has access to all of the info stored on his soggy phone. Buying a new phone involved several trips to the phone shop that kept selling old phones as new phones. Randal’s first phone said, I love you Frank, or something like that when he turned it on, so it was replaced with another “newish phone” that didn’t say hello to anyone.
New Year’s Eve. Nessie, and Geoffrey and Nancy Cannell. Nancy is my newest art buddy! We spent a lovely afternoon on her boat “doing art.” I learned about pastels and we had a great time. Nancy and I have been sharing our attempts of the same Sabang window and it has been fun and a great way to learn. Nancy is from Maine but is not a Red Sox fan. She is a Yankee fan! I really really like her anyway! See, it can happen. Nancy doesn’t love having her photo taken and this doesn’t come close to doing her justice. But it is the only one I have. Maybe I’ll get her to pose next trip.
A photo of the Puerto Galera Yacht Club bar and restaurant. They do a barbecue every Friday night and new people are introduced and everyone is quite welcoming. We have been to the barbecue 3 times so we are “old people” now.
Along the path from Sabang to Small Lalaguna vendors sell beads and shells and such. I loved how this women looked. I haven’t mixed plaids and stripes since my Outward Bound days when clean and dry, or at least dry was the only fashion requirement. But I like these combinations. You may see me in mixed plaids and wilder colors.
A candy bar and a teddy bear, life used to be so simple.
Sometimes we would see boats not so much bigger than these out, way far out, in the ocean during our passages. Randal is reading Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. It is a history of mankind in about 500 pages. Randal says it is the most difficult and most rewarding book he has read. And he has read Stephen Ambrose and David McCullough and Richard Feynman so that tells you something about this book. Anyway, in the book Diamond tells about tribes in New Guinea that made round bottom dugouts. To prevent roll they added these outrigger arms. You could probably guess the reasons, but that one is official. Diamond won the Pulitzer for the book.
Except when these bancas passed by early in the morning, late at night and so close you could shake hands with the passengers. The really large ones were noisy and created waves. A little nosy too! But lovely!!
Told you I took lots of photos. These are the unglamorous backside of White Beach.
There were jeepneys but we walked to the main street to catch a trike. The man on the left remind me of Marino, our wonderful computer guru at the Roanoke County Public library except Marino’s hair is way shorter.
Everyone went on empty handed. Kids are always asking for money, often it seems like a game. I don’t give them any. I do pay the kids who offer to carry bags at the public market though I carry my own anyway.
Randal had chicken curry and French fries and I had an eggplant omelet and steamed veggies. It was all quite good.
Part of the Philippines is Oriental and part is Muslim
Guess I’ll need a part 3
Randal and I went to visit White Beach. We took a trike for 100 pesos about 15 minutes down the road from Puerto Galera. It was a lovely ride that looked at times like the parkway to Yorktown, VA. This map was painted on a wall near the walk to the beach from the road.
Randal and I both squeeezzzzzeeeed inside.
This is typical of the waterfront. Lots of bancas offering trips to places or just back to Puerto Galera. I like the white umbrellas with the white boat and white clouds. Might have to try to paint it.
Watching their feet fly out from under them was funny since no one was hurt and they laughed too.
Randal and I made a trip to the floating book ship anchored at Subic Bay for a few weeks. The web site is www.mvdulos.org
The following is from their web site but there is lots more info and their perspective on the children of Subic Bay and Olongapo.
Gute Bücher für Alle e.V. (Good Books for All)
Doulos was purchased in 1977 by Gute Bücher für Alle e.V. (Good Books for All), a private, non-profit, charitable organization registered in Germany.
Over 20 million visitors have been welcomed on board for tours, programmes and visits to the floating book fair. With stops in over 500 ports of call, this unique ship has visited more than 100 countries in including Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and many island nations.
Doulos is recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest active ocean-going passenger ship.
Sitting here in our pilot house typing this I can actually see the lights of the ship across the way. But to walk there we have to go out of the yacht club, down Rizal Highway, turn left on Burgos Ave. and then walk to Waterfront Rd. Unfortunately it is too far away to get a good photo of the ship’s lights at night.
You walk up one side and then down the other when you leave. Flip flops or heels would have been treacherous. There were “speed bumps” about every foot along the way making it harder, though probably safer if it had been a wet day.
It is nice that this is available. They are a non-profit so sell books at a discounted price. I just wish the library could buy some of these books and make them available to kids with no money.
We’re going for a jeepney ride from Puerto Galera to Sabang. It will cost you 7 pesos or about 15 cents.
And finally with passengers sitting on the rear door and hanging on the back, it’s time to go…..along the “under construction” road to Sabang. Watch your head over the bumpy part, there is very little head room. Randal and I took the jeepney back and forth to Sabang the first time we went there. I think the jeepneys are fun. You pass your pesos up to the driver by handing it to the passengers closest to him. It’s kind of an honor system, but it seems to work.