I delayed publishing this blog because I was hoping my sister was going to write something. She hasn’t found the time yet so I figure I’d at least share some photo’s and a few words about our time together sailing in the Philippines.
I was super stoked when Tamsin said she was interested in sailing with me for the final leg of the Pacific Ocean crossing from the Philippines to China. I was also a bit nervous because we hadn’t spent that much time together since we were kids, and even then we had the freedom to escape for some breathing room. Living on a small boat together in the tropical heat is far from the most comfortable situation to figure out a sibling relationship.
The fact that we would be sailing through some busy waters with challenging navigation issues, without the luxury of motoring towards comfort, made things all the more interesting. I was a bit surprised when Tamsin expressed interest and confidence in joining me. Did she understand what she was getting herself into? I was happy to find out.
After parting ways with Dave in Surigao City, Tamsin and I lifted the hook and set sail into the Bohol sea. Over the next month we sailed to Bohol, Siquijor, Negros, Panay, and Boracay. On a number of occasions we lost the wind and I took advantage of having crew with me. I would jump on the paddle board and paddle into an anchorage while Tamsin took the helm and motored Dolce to a good spot. She was understandably nervous to do this at first but I had full confidence that she would be fine handling the boat. I think she had troubles responding to my lack of stress or sense of urgency. She wanted me to express more concern. :)
I was still battling my undiagnosed flesh eating bacteria and Tamsin was happy to spend more time on land, so we did not make much progress towards Hong Kong. After one particularly rough crossing from Negros to Panay she informed me that her window of opportunity to sail all the way with me was closing fast. It was decided that Boracay would be a good place for her to disembark and begin her journey home. I let Dave know that he was welcome to join again for the final leg to Hong Kong.
I’m good at limiting expectations but I have to admit I definitely wasn’t expecting the time with my sister to go so smoothly. She proved to be an excellent first mate and we didn’t fight at all! She smiled through sweltering heat and cramped living conditions with an inexperienced captain. She took the helm without issue and survived a twelve hour violent roller coaster ride. I was super proud of her. I was looking forward to sailing all the way to Hong Kong and I didn’t want to say goodbye. I felt sad and a bit empty when she left.