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the voyage 9 year report

Once again, I ponder the wonders of my life as we enter the tenth year of cruising full time in paradise. This past year brought us to many familiar new places and a few new ones. Easy living and great new adventures. We started working on the boat and enjoying Subic Bay where we sit in the marina for the ‘rainy season’. This gives us time to do some land travel and enjoy the decadence of civilization. I even found a spa with sauna and jacuzzi nearby.   November sent us on a new and most won…
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The Great Selene Rendezvous

It was a chilly day at the 2003 Seattle Boat Show when Kathy and John Youngblood boarded their first Selene.  I greeted them aboard, and we began the journey that would take us both half way around the world. The Youngbloods had not owned a boat nor had much experience but they had dreams, big dreams, of taking a trawler to the far reaches of the globe, dreams they shared together for years. Both had done their homework, studying all the facets of long range voyaging under power.  We wrote the…
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8 Year Report, the Captain

This is the report I save until last, and it has the least real information, but it is my favorite to do, and the hardest. I look back at the last year and go wow! The things I have learned and experienced in this life changing year.   We have centered our cruising range down quite a  bit, the central part of the Philippines has become our home, marina bound half the year and cruising the other half. This has brought back some missing grounding.  Now I have friends I see often and regularly, no…
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8 Year Report: the Boat

The year for the boat started with leaving Subic Bay for the Holidays and a six-month cruise.  We soon discovered an unsolved drain in the DC side, causing havoc with our battery storage.  We replaced the last of the older batteries and after sure it was not more, added two more 8d Trojan AGM batteries for a total of 6. We are now officially a middle-aged boat, twelve years of very hard service.  We often put on more hours in a year than most do in ten.  Knowing there are things with specific …
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The Crew, 8 Year Report

This was Donna’s third year on the boat, in which time she has mastered most of the procedures and ways of life afloat. She has also developed a real love for our life style. Fact is she gets antsy when we stay in the marina too long, she likes cruising. She had truly become my first mate.   We did have several crew members join us, the one thing I really need to have is a good dive partner, so now I only take experienced divers. Again, we were blessed with a couple of great gals who fit right …
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8 Year Report, the Voyage

Each year, at this time, I reflect on the Furthur Adventure and where it has gone, the boat, the crew and the captain.  8 years ago, September,  a scared shitless, nervous, excited and thrilled guy left his lifelong home, a place he loved, and set out to the unknown. Eight years later I have never regretted a thing and keep living the adventure. This year our adventure started in a familiar place, the Subic Bay Yacht club, where we do boat work and sit out the rainy/typhoon season.  We left in…
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Balls Birds Boxing and Babes

Each culture is marked by its favorite events and sports. One cannot think of the USA without an image of raging football fans with painted bare bellies or the World Series.  Europe has its football, Australia has rugby and so on.  Here in the Philippines four very different events make the culture what it is and divines its people.   I was not a tall boy, that has not changed, so I assumed basketball was not my game, never learned the basics, leaving that for my more elevated buddies. But her…
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The Sound of Music

One of the few things I truly miss not living in the modern world, live professional musical theater.  I have always had a passion for musical theater, even in my youth.  My folks took me kicking and screaming to see Yule Brenner in the King and I and I have been hooked ever since.  If I had to list my favorites, West Side Story and the Sound of Music would be at the top of a long list. So, when I read a real London production of both shows was coming to Manila, I jumped and bought ticket months…
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All You Need is Love

As most know my motto, and one I have strived to live by, is Make Your Dream Your Story.  My life is a testament to the metamorphosis from dream to reality. I also preach that we should not be ruled by our fears. Ah but my life experience created a significant and justifiable fear of being married. Frankly it has been the single worst experience of my life, so why on earth would I want to do it again?  Ergo the conflict I have been dueling for the last year. To understand the conflict, one mus…
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Fiesta Time

This is my 3rd year returning to Donna’s village for their Fiesta, honoring the patron Saint, San Ignacio.  I look forward to this every year. We take a 3 day motorcycle ride getting here, which forces us to go thru Manila, the traffic Hell on earth.  This year we out smarted the traffic, did the first leg getting right to the outskirts of the massive city, then transitioned at 4 am on a Sunday, albeit in the rain.  It worked, zip and thru we went.

The rest of the trip to the southern reaches of Luzon Island is fairly pleasant. Riding here is a trip, busses, trucks and big cars ignore you if they are in the oncoming lane. They must know how much I love life as they pop right out in front of you assuming you will head for the side and miss them, yikes!

The last stop is my favorite, a wonderful hot spring carved out of a mountain side. We arrived in the afternoon and could enjoy the morning as the last leg is short and so we did.

We arrived, to great cheers from Piam and the family. After the initial greeting, we headed to our hotel. We found a picturesque place to stay right on the Pacific Ocean, actually a surf destination in the season but we are in the off season so pretty empty. Our suite faces the ocean, has air con and a large separate bedroom, for $26 a night. The manager has become a friend.

in front of Rizal Beach Resort

Ol Arlo Guthrie, in Alices Restaurant opens with “Let me tell you about Stockbridge Massachusetts…. His small town,, well let me tell you about Gubat, Sorsogon.  There are no cops (usually) no ATM, I looked in the 3 stores for mustard, French’s would have done fine, nope that is in the city, haha.  I am the only “foreigner” here, so I stick out.  First day all the family knew I was in 3 stores and what I bought before I got back to the house!  Small town.  And the village of San Ignacio is tiny, about 4 blocks, there are 42 such villages tied to Gubat. 

This is the real Philippines, not the westernized Subic Bay but the real thing, English is barely spoken, families are paramount as is community. The people redefine friendly with a shy twist.

each graduating class has a “batch”

The Fiesta goes on for several nights, the events are in the public court next to the family house. Night one is Ballroom dancing, where pro male instructors take their prize student to twirl about, like Dancing with the Stars Filipino style. It is quit an unexpected show in this setting. The following nights are for: alumni, where all the classes of the local school have tables, then seniors then teenagers, all dance all night long.

Karaoke is a must

The actual Fiesta Day is Monday and a neighborhood party, starting at pre-dawn with the “killing of the pig”. The main families, Donna’s included, raise a pig just for this day, it is a great day, ok for everyone but the pig.

We strolled from house to house where copious amounts of food were put before us. Every house is jammed with visiting relatives, most related to Donna. As we strolled she would point out “this is the house of my cousin, this is the house of my uncle” up and down the street. I have never seen such open, warm and friendly people. People living in small packed primitive houses sharing all they have.  I hugged ancient rugged skinned grannies, kissed babies, danced with teenagers, and sang Karaoke. 

Karaoke goes on and on in about every 5th house this gleeful day. I just read a piece by an Irish chap who lives here, he nailed it, the Filipinos sing! Whether they can sing or not they sing, there is no holding back, no self-consciousness the just love to sing. 

stone deaf and no English Grandma seemed to know what I was thinking, and brought out her 1953 wedding picture #2

So normally this ends the Fiesta and all relax, eat left overs and get back to normal life, not this year.  After about a year of contemplating, debating, praying, and soul searching, I came to the conclusion that fear was holding me back, not my normal stance. My history with marriage is a dismal train wreck, as it is with most my family. Swore it off! But I find myself in love with a wonderful girl who loves me and my lifestyle. PLUS she comes with a kid I adore.  As with all Filipino girls, even more so than other cultures, the wedding is the pinnacle of their lives, they are raised to dream about it as are their families.  So, for the first time in my life my decision to marry was not a selfish one, it is for those I love.

Add my “go big or go home” dogma to the huge family forces here and I had to do this right.  The sisters and the two ladyboy friends and I started planning this caper weeks before I arrived. By the time I arrived the whole village was in on it, we had secret meetings, always telling the somewhat fearful (she knew something was up) and curious Donna to “go away” when we met, drove her nuts.

The resort has an excellent venue, and they went the extra mile to make it spectacular.  Thirty relatives and friends showed up. When we sent Piam to get his mom, who had been banished to our room, she walked into a huge surprise!

I love the traditions here and respect them so my first move was to ask Donna’s Papa for his daughter’s hand in marriage.  He beamed like a light house and said yes. then I got on one knee and proposed to my love in front of everyone, gads she better say yes!

Well Yes was the answer, the room exploded in confetti and loud poppers, the banner was rolled out “SHE SAID YES” and the cake presented, with Mickey and Minnie Mouse and inscribed SHE SAID YES. The cake also had a Spiderman for Piam, I am marrying a package deal you know.

my new family #9

We all had a feast, drank, sang and danced for hours, it was a wonderful time! I am very blessed! 

Make Your Dream Your Story

Capt. Brian Calvert

M/Y Furthur

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