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Date Posted: 01/04/10

Monday, Nov. 23 First Landfall in Mindanao

By: Arturo Valdez

The people of Limasawa were again at the shoreline when we left the islands. I can still see the crowd who stayed until we were simply a silhouette as we disappeared from sight after we made a southeast turn at the edge of the island towards Surigao. As expected the seas was calm and the “Amihan favorably brought us at the tip of Northeastern Mindanao. Finally, after 11 weeks and 33 stop-over’s we made our first landfall in Mindanao at Lipata, noontime. Dark, low-lying rain clouds hung above us, a foreboding of an impending stormy weather, but the smiles of the welcome party at the Port more than offset the inclement weather.

We sneak in and made it safely in Surigao before typhoon “Urduja” hit the northeastern Mindanao area in the evening of Nov. 23. As expected the seas started to get rough and big waves started to hammer the exposed Port of Lipata. At 9PM, I decided that our present anchorage was not safe enough. Amidst heavy rains and big waves, we lifted anchor and sailed to the more protected port of Surigao City. The Port was already filled with vessels of all types and sizes when we reached the dock - all seeking protective shelter from the incoming “Urduja.” Through the help of the Philippine Coast Guard, we found a safe berthing place to wither the storm.

We had our sleeping quarters just outside Lipata Port, a good 10kms away after we moved to our present berthing place.  I was in bed past midnight while strong winds and heavy rains incessantly poured the whole night.



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