Last days

Duika here: Our last days were no different, still  there were unexpected suprises at every horizon. We spent our last expedition night on Selanka with Pak Joseph, our host during the period we were ‘winded in’.  We left early to ensure we did not experience the afternoon waves and it was indeed a beautiful calm sea all the way back to Tasik Ria. We had freshly caught tuna sashimi and all screamed in delight when a pod of dolphins chose to play in the bow waves of Tropica. We arrived back at Tasik Ria safe and happy. That night we heard of the 7.8 richter earthquake off the east coast of the Philippines and the tsunami warning that had been issued for Sangihe group. We stayed awake and watched the news, packed bags with passports, water and snacks in case we needed to make a hasty departure. The warning was called off. But the next morning when I went down to the jetty early and it was clear we were experiencing the effects – the waves were breaking over the jetty bar, the port was filled with fishing boats and anxious looking fishers facing the sea, and the water was licking the ends of the kayaks above high water mark. The fishermen reported they had been at sea in calm waters and the waves just ‘appeared out of nowhere’.  I felt their desire to be by the beach and watch for the water sucking out – knowing that it would be too late if that happened. But I also felt that the worst was probably over, the earthquake was east coast Philippines and we were  protected by the Sangihe islands between. We might not have been in such a safe place had the earthquake happened the night before when we were on Selanka. But that was the trip in a nutshell. We had our share of adventures, but more than our share of good fortune. At every hurdle there was someone, some event that made it all ok. I will never forget this trip or the wonderful wonderful people we met along the way.

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