Alright,.. after leaving the harbor behind us it was finally „Hoist the sails!“ Big words – if you have no idea what is actually meant. These lines, strands and cables (later linen) which wind throughout the whole ship are important to understand. Half the crew started suddenly to talk „sailorlanguage“, the other half, to which I belonged, was trying to wittily derive expressions such as jib, leech, mainsheet, fenders and lanyard. No chance! The yacht silently began floating without motor across the water and we teared with 3.5 knots at about wind force 1 direction Lemkenhafen.
The first thing that needs to be planned with a good cruise is to bring sufficient food, alcohol and junk on board. After everyone has written down his desires and idiosyncrasies on the later no more really legible shopping list, a part of us made a move to search food. Then we were allowed to fall in for the safety briefing. Aye aye, Captain! Henning enlightened us landsmen with the use of warning flares, smoke pots and liferaft, which were disguised as a plastimo box on the foredeck. At this point I expected someone tearing the sails into the air.. but no, not really.. but already „cast off!“ Unparking a yacht is not as easy as one thinks. But we cheated, grabbed in the gimmickry and let the board engine do all the work. Newschool style. I already felt like a true pirate though. After mastering the first turn on the water, but still not yet out of the harbour, the well-deserved first maneuver sip was served. Enough rhum for the crew saves from mutiny!
Thanks god i arrived in one piece on the way to the danish sea in Heiligenhafen, even though my crazy driver from the car pool didn’t care about all the accidents we passed by and kept driving way above the speed limit. Our top skipper Henning, who is considered as „young sea bear“ has already more than 30.000 sea miles on the clock and looks quite waterproof. A proud achievement! Bit by bit the rest of the motley motley crew arrived in dribs and drabs. It’s the first time for me to sleep on a sailing ship. Although we are laying in the calm water of the harbor it’s a very different feeling than the usual bed. But the gurgle of the water cradles one quickly and gently to sleep.
After i re-cultivated myself in Munich, it went off again – to the land of the Pharaohs, Egypt. Actually, just for taking pictures of kite surfers. I’m in El Gouna, which is near Hurgada and I have to admit in all honesty that I’ve seen up to now not quite a lot more like sand and water and it will probably remain so. I feel fit as a fiddle anyway.
I said farewell to this fully active, vibrant country. The beauty of unspoiled countryside, the isolated loneliness, the unfamiliar silence, the acceptance and unconditional trust, the remarkable selflessness, the living faith in the good things, the contentment and satisfaction with minimalism, the lasting coziness of countless moments and the welcoming warmth of the people combined with the hustle and bustle in streets and snickleways, the wild, so different chaos, the timeless intense activity and the unbridled, adventurous disorganization aroused a great deal of interest and sucked me into a maelstrom of unexpected human fullness, divergence and complexity, handcuffed me, took me under it’s spell and burned the experiences infinitely deep into my heart. I let myself get carried away, started to love it and want no longer to be unleashed. The white sand islands surrounded by turquoise sea, which pile up fruit palm-lined avenues give the perfection only its deserved context.
Unfortunately, we left the Robinson Crusoe Island to my taste far too hasty. A few hours later we arrived at Secco. A crescent-shaped, white sand strip in the South China Sea. While we pitched our tents in the sand (mine was a thin blanket and a backpack as a pillow), the boat crew was already busy preparing fruits, salads, tuna, shrimp and chicken for the BBQ. The captain who became a chef – or better – the cook who turned into a captain. His food was definitely divine. Bloated with food and surrounded by the sea in the sand under the stars next to a warming fire i felt more than satisfied asleep..
After about an hour inclement pitch and toss, another sailor passed, towed us and brought us to his island . Whether we have been the first „aliens“ here? Our captain, who turned out to be an zealous businessman, exchanged his nutshell for a still floating boat, which was just smaller than the first one, but we were safe for traffic again. Meanwhile, I wandered around the island as a child magnet and enjoyed the delightful sight of self supply households. A rice field as basic food source plus fish, pork and chicken, mango trees, coconut palms and banana shrubs. Delicious. Hmmmm … masarap! What with perplex views begins, converts quickly into warm greetings. Everybody is immediately willing to give a smile. I love this country and the people. Mahal nito!
We began our trip before sunrise early in the morning with the tricycle, switched on the boat and transfered to a minibus, which took us for a few hours through philippine plains until we reached a small village, where we finally started. The boat,.. rather, the nutshell broke the first time after assumed 50 feet creeping-sprint. The „captain“ and his „crew“ remained unfazed and brought the engine by cable after several attempts back to life. „Overheated“ was his implausible analysis, that made me smile a little though. After the boat began moving and we’ve sailed two hours over the sea the engine died again and „Overheated“ sounded somehow rather plausible. However, this time it was completely broken, which made moving on impossible. The scenario let me reminiscing a bit about the movie „Open Water“ – lost somewhere in the sea. But thanks god, it didnt happen.
I was just on one of the nearby islands of Boracay when I got to know some filipino children who came along the beach walking home from school. As hospitable as filipinos are they wanted me to bring to their village. Off course i didn’t hit this invitation off and followed over rice fields and trails to their small village. Once there, they proudly introduced me to about forty family members. The grandma of the association tried to catch the fish (me?!), showed me four girls and told me i should pick the prettiest for a marriage. The four filipina lined up standing in front of me I must have looked a a proper charlie bit – declined politely – and was fortunately dragged out of the misinterpreted folks by the children to explore the rest of the village. They showed me their favorite things, pets, homes, washing, – and cooking places, presented me their pastor and church and gave together with him a charming concert for me. A few hours later and a bunch of kids in tow, who accompanied me, I went back to get another boat transfer back to Boracay.
I flew to Palawan, a region in the west of the Philippines. From the airport in Busuanga I took a ride over rain forest-like countrysides and provisionally applied villages and wooden house areas to the port town Coron. From here we transferred on a petite boat with which we cruised over to beautiful, unspoilt island groups. The steering filipinos brought me skillfully to the long-awaited „Banana Island“. The dream island consists of a few bungalows, palm trees and white sand banks surrounded by turquoise sea and coral reefs. If I had not seen it with my own eyes, I would doubt its existence. I am thinking whether there are still more beautiful places on the planet or my feet are right now on the best piece?