We crossed a typhoon (almost), were saved from a non-sinking boat and were hoping to be stranded on a deserted island.
Ok, I’ll detail a bit more. The other day, we took a ferry from dream island one (Coron) to dream island two (El Nido, main island Palawan). An easy trip of around 7 hours that turned out to be as nightmare of 14 hours (ok…I may be as bit over dramatic).
We arrived at the port in the early morning and were waiting in the waiting room for the ferry to depart. A woman comes and says:
«el nido: terminal …ee»
DD: Terminal B or Three?
DD: Terminal number 3 or letter B?
Woman (clearly annoyed): Yes!!!
So we give up and follow the locals walking away from the waiting room and it turned out to be a Terminal Fee…
We then walk to the only boat of the port, a big imposing ferry (The same morning, Merce had told me to wear my swim suit in case there was a swimming pool on the ferry). But we then see that none of the locals stop there… They all stop 50meters further, where there is no boat…at first sight at least. We get closer to see that our ‘ferry’ is actually a small crappy boat looking like a can of sardines made of wood… Ok, we get on the boat… and 2 hours later, the boat departs ( the two hours were used to do…well nothing…. but at least they didn’t forget to keep the motor on, so we could enjoy the casi-aphrodisiac smell of gasoline.)
After leaving the port, we sail nicely through the Chinese sea until the wind starts getting stronger… And within half an hour half of the people on the ship start comparing what they had for breakfast by throwing it up on the floor or in plastic bags (As a Swiss shy person, I was able to keep my breakfast well hidden in my stomach thanks to some contortionist position… Merce was happy as a fish (yes, fishes are known to be happy…) and she felt like in an attraction park.).
An hour later, we understand that we won’t be able to reach El Nido because of the bad weather, but we can’t reach another port either the ship is apparently too big (what???). Merce and I were all happy (as fishes) thinking that we would maybe sleep on the amazing deserted beach just 100 meters from us… But it never even crossed the captain’s mind to do that… He just waited… 50 people on a stinking floating wooden sardine can in the middle of nowhere.
Thanks to some French tourists complaining to the captain ( for once, French complaints were brought to a good use), we hear that there will be a larger rescuing ship coming 2 hours later. I told Merce that outside of Northern Europe and Northern America, 1 hour means ‘sometime today’ and 2 hours means ‘never’… Seems I was right as this rescue ship never arrived… In the meantime, the wind had almost disappeared but the captain strongly refused the repeating urges of a German to turn off the motor… It was apparently a security measure… I didn’t get this one either…. So we enjoyed some more aphrodisiac gasoline smells…
After another few hours of inactivity, when we had prepared to spend the night on the ship and I had thought about the pricing I would apply the next day for 10 minutes use of my solar charger, the captain changed his mind and decided to bring us into the nearest port… Thing he refused to do during the previous 5 hours of good weather and daylight… Smaller 2 people boats came to ‘rescue’ us when we were close enough and bring us onshore…
We heard afterward that there had been a typhoon alert (I didn’t lie, we kind of survived a typhoon and were kind of rescued by these little boats).