While I could have taken a jeepney, a ferry, a tricycle, a bus, another ferry, another bus, another ferry, another jeepney, another tricycle, probably a motorcycle, and a dinghy to get back to my brother's boat in Tambobo, taking just one boat seemed like a much better idea. I didn't have a boat, so one had to be built.
Ngolos is about 250 miles northeast of Tambobo. Northeast is a good direction. From about September to April the winds blow from the northeast. This would make it easy to "run" in a sailboat all of the way from Samar to Negros during the winter months, which was the time of year that it was. Didn't you see all of the snow in those previous pictures??
While the islands are fairly close together there are some reasonably long stretches of open water where large waves can be built, and the currents in the Philippines are always tricky. For a trip of this size you would normally want a fairly substantial boat. Of course that would never do. If the Polynesians were able to make it from where ever they came from to Hawaii in boats made out of weeds, then surely I could make it from Ngolos to Tambobo in a boat about the size of a normal bangka, or die trying.
The locals generally regarded me as being slightly nuts, and I could think of no good reason to disappoint them. There were no shortage of stories floating around about how the trip would go. Most of them contained some level of participation by sharks. It became apparent that there was only one name to give to the boat:
Some of the parts for a bangka can be bought, and some can't. I made a seven day trip to the largest city in the area, Tacloban, Leyte. I was only there a few days. The rest was travel time. The point of the trip was to pick up a few sheets of marine plywood, some hardwood 2x2's, nylon sail material, nylon line, copper nails, and some marine epoxy. Almost all of the stuff you need to build the boat of your dreams.
As luck would have it I was in Tacloban on October 20, 1994, fifty years after the return of MacArthur. Me, Mary Ann, and about 500,000 of my closest friends crowded into the area around the town of San Jose, Leyte where the Philippine government put on a reenactment of the Leyte invasion by American and Filipino forces. The weather was hot, and the show was a pretty impressive.
DIRECT LINKS TO PAGES:
HOW TO BUILD A SMALL BOAT
I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!
THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
FIRST THE RIBS
THEN THE SIDES
THE LAYAG. OOPS.
TARIK AND KATIG
ALL THAT WORK