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Date Posted: 04/11/10

Malita to Digos (April 8, 2010)

By: Arturo Valdez

April 8, 2010 - 8:30 AM
Departed Malita for Digos 50 kms away. Balangay moved to fishing village late afternoon yesterday away from rough open seas. Team made evening presentation at Municipal Hall and called it a day at 10 PM, April 7. The seas today is more settled. Hopefully the roughest part is behind us. Going to Davao City is tough and expensive after the damaged suffered by Masawa and Diwata in front of Sarangani Strait. But we're all in high spirit for the 'durian' treat ahead.

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After receiving real battering from the rough seas along Sarangani Strait, I tapped the
services of our Everest weather man, Dr. Voltaire Velasco for some advisory of the sea condition of our travel route. Here is Voltaire's advisory April 9.

Hi Art,

It's great to hear you made it through those very tough conditions. And thanks for the updates on your side.

Actually, I knew of your success to reach the Davao Gulf from the SPOT page since yesterday. I'm glad you made it. Those winds and waves were real boat killers!

A quick look at the weather at your location indicates rain for Friday, April 9.

Winds: from E, NE at 1-4kn.

SAT:
Clear skies in the afternoon.

Winds: E, NE at 0-2kn.

SUN:
slight chance of rainshowers in the afternoon.

Winds: E at 1-3kn

Mon: almost same conditions as for Sunday, slight chances of rain at
mid-day otherwise clear skies in the afternoon.

Copy of my email to Voltaire 8 April:

Thanks for the updates. I am sorry that I hardly open my emails these days. No signal also for us. Anyway here is the latest from us.

Today, April 8, Balangay finally made it in Digos, Davao del Sur, after negotiating the roughest waters we encountered so far along Sarangani Strait all the way to Caburan, Jose Abad Santos, Davao del Sur, exposed to the easterly waves of the Pacific Ocean, the pull of the Celebes currents and the strong Northeast monsoon wind that mixed up and creating swirling sea conditions.

The Balangay of our forefathers will not survive the battering we had encountered. I checked this with the archaeological and historical experts and they agreed, that they don't have records that our forebearsnegotiated these waters nor there were ancient wrecks to attest this travel.They skipped this route and circled the Zamboanga peninsula on their way towards the Pacific Ocean thru the Strait of Surigao. They avoided the continental shelf south of Sarangani Island, not to far away from the Marianas Trench in the vicinity of the Philippine Deep, the world's deepest. It is already our adventurists spirit that pushed us not to give up towards Davao City although we could just turn back and continue our voyage in 'harmony with nature.'

Our present Balangays made it because I added more structural vertical and horizontal beams during our two weeks of repairs in Gen. Santos to give them a good chance of navigating the rough waters plus I started early, at 1AM to make the most of the calmer seas in the early morning.

For the first time since April 2, we are relaxing at a beach fronting the port of Digos and will spend another 2 days before we move closer toDavao City for the grand welcome prepared by the city and other agencies, Monday morning, Aprril 12.

Then, we will have a week of repairs and rest before we start going backthrough the same  route to Zamboanga City before the onset of the southwest monsoon or Habagat.

The respite is brief but enough to re energize us through the tough days
ahead.

Art


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