Tuesday, October 13, 2015

exploring the Philippines, a few islands at a time

Thanks to wakeboarding, I've started having an appreciation for watercraft and water forms. This, particularly since I've always loved to explore new places (hello, 16-hour drive to Ilocandia!). And so whenever we end up in Mabini, Batangas, I have the tendency to point at spots I've never visited before. And that, for me, marked the beginning of our exploration of the islands around Calumpang Peninsula. 

So, as of today, we have visited quite a few islands. Southwest of the Calumpang Pensinsula, we've driven past Sombrero Island, wakeboarded along the westward coast of Maricaban Island (from Sepoc Point all the way to Bunjar Island, if I'm not mistaken) and in between Maricaban and Caban Islands. Along Balayan Bay, on the other hand, we've gone boating around Ligpo Island (where Matty might have had a turtle sighting), wakeboarded from Anilao Beach Club towards Le Chèvrerie to the southwest of the Calumpang Peninsula and up northwest to the coast of San Luis, Batangas. 

But what kept bugging me was that we were unable to say exactly where we've been because we were not familiar with the landmarks and the names of the places we've been going to. So, I took it upon myself to study the area a bit more in-depth. One, out of curiosity. Two, because just in case of emergency, I would like to know how to state locations for search and rescue purposes. Once, my enough-to-be-dangerous navigational skills were put to the test already, involving a GoPro falling overboard and sinking into the abyss. Three, because I like tracking where we go on maps. 

I started out learning the lay of the land, so to speak, via Google Maps. But then I found out that it probably would be a good idea as well to study dive maps. That was useful because the residents always referred to diving areas; if we didn't know where these were, we wouldn't know what the the residents were talking about.

More recently, since I've been searching for a watch anyway, I opted to get a GPS watch (the Garmin Vivoactive)... now, I can actually track where we went! Last weekend, for example, because I forgot to turn the tracking off, I was able to record where Josh, Soc, and Matty went wakeboarding into the sunset and where I got reef rash earlier in the day... I was the swimming wounded... hehe.