Friday, May 28, 2010

Saturday Morning Bicycle Ride

What a perfect day for a bicycle ride, of course including a pitstop at a far-away 7~11 for a coffee with........

Fruity Friendly Hualien

Here they say it with fruit!
Thank you Karin and hubby! ( of Pony rent-a-car).

The one and only way to eat SUPERB Hualien Watermelon!

Hualien, old busstation. The place has changed since our previous visit (2002).
But the mountains still look inviting...

An other day we rented a car and drove South of Hualien. On the way back we took the coastal road. Nice to be in port.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hualien Adventures

What's happening here?
Well, first of all, we are mobile. Eh?
Yes, we scored some really nice bicycles here in Hualien.
According to the stories, Taiwan is one of the better places to buy a GOOD bicycle. So we went to town to find out. Indeed, and even after a short survey, we agreed and cycled back to the harbor. And the beauty is, these bicycles are soo light, it's a charm to handle them on and off the boat.

Hmmm, only our bums are complaining right now.
What else? Well, yesterday we rented a car for the day, so at sunrise the crew of Tweed and Alishan drove to the TARAKO GORGE. Years ago, Marijke and I had walked the gorge (from top to bottom), now it was time to do it a bit more comfy. Again we enjoyed every turn in the road~river~mountain trails.
Some of the big differences with last time : More digi pictures were taken (over 300!) and +++ buses with mainland China tourists were overloading the place. Luckily, they "don't do mornings" so it was only at the final part of our trip that we had to share the views.

Beside some small boat projects, we enjoy the food, the fruit, hmmmm yummy durian, the people, the scenery, the cycling & running and birding.

Alishan will be in Hualien for 1 more week, then if the weather is good, we will sail to Ishigaki, Japan.


Sunday, May 16, 2010


Finally the weather and sea conditions were okay enough to let us make the 80 mile run from Green Island to Hualien.
Position is:
23 degree 59.7N
121 degree 38.1E
The trip was an overnighter, little, but of course, Nose Wind. A confused and bumpy sea at first but the going was good: by times 8 knots over ground. We arrived at the harbor entrance at 7 am and were alongside this "fine" concrete wall by 8:30.
Here to the officials were easy to us....Don't know how about if they made it easy for Terry ;-))
Terry is one of the local yachtsmen who is so kind to help us with the paperwork and dealing with those officials.
Showing us around and finding the ever needed bits and pieces...and oh yes: tomorrow has a coin laundry on the list.
Again, it's sooo good to be in Taiwan with OUR Alishan.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Enterring the main port at Green Island

Yes the name is Green Island, but there is also a bit of grey concrete...wonder why?
It's a nice place to visit esp on our own keel.

Position at Green Island

Alishan is alongside a nice, okay a bit rough, concrete wall at:
22 degree 39.6N
121 degree 28.3E


Saturday, May 8, 2010

At Green Island, Taiwan

Friday, late afternoon when we had just passed Bashi Channel, the wind changed from SW to NE in a matter of minutes.
Pffff, that was bad going in choppy seas, so we headed for Green Island, only 10 miles from our position at that time.
It was pitch dark, but somehow we managed to find a spot to drop the anchor in nice calm waters. AND had a good night sleep.
Next day, Saturday, it was still blowing from the NE, so No-No-Go. And the sky was gray...finally some rain after months of none.
By 11 am, our friends of sy Tweed hailed a passing dive boat, and the divers told us it would be okay to take Alishan and Tweed into the harbor. So we did...after one of the divers helped us clearing the anchor chain.
Thank you Vincent Yu!
Have a look at his site: The name of his dive shop is: AIRFISH, great name, great people.
Clearance by the officials here at Green Island was all a charm, very friendly and efficient officers.
The weather forecast looks like we might and will enjoy this place for a few days more.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

In Basi Channel

As of 06:30 Friday morning we were at
21 degree 06.5N & 121 degree 05.7E
All is well on board of Tweed and Alishan.
Winds are light, puffing from the SSW. Finally the wind arrows on the Gribfiles are correct!
We are motor sailing, doing over 7 knots. Heyhey, that's some current out here.
An other 175 miles to Hualien and so it looks like
we have an ETA: Saturday PM
Of course if the conditions stay the same.
By times we see some dolphins and BIG ships.
Otherwise not much wildlife.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Making Miles

This morning we (Tweed and Alishan) left Bolinao, PI. Just before we wanted to lift the anchor, the local coast guard man came to check our papers..all were fine and he left us with a big smile.
Our goal is to jump the Bashi channel and make landfall in Taiwan.
Everything is okay on board, beside it is HOT.
Already had some dolphins around us;-). And even a hitchhiking sparrow on board. Luckily, Nori and Wakame were deep asleep.
Wind is light from the SE to the SW, seas are friendly and the sky is wall-to-wall blue.
Postion right now:
16 degree 55.3N
120 degree 02.93E.
About 450 miles to go.


Monday, May 3, 2010

At Abagatanen

Never heard of the place?
Well we hadn't either till the wind turned too much on the nose (NNW) and we needed a hidyho for the night.
16 degree 09.728N
119 degree 45.762E
We had left this morning from
15 degree 28.769
119 degree 55.351
with a nice SE wind that died after a few hours to come alive again from the wrong direction......Oh well, one day.
This is a pretty bay and the very friendly and cheerful local people are keen to meet us. And to sell us some stuff: fish, banana, mango, life chicken and even a monkey, ahum. Hopefully the weather is good tomorrow morning and we can make the last 25 miles to Bolinao.

Oh yes, almost forgot: yesterday we had Mother and Child Sperm Whale alongside Alishan for a while...Marijke was able to take some "close up" pictures...sorry you'll have to wait till we have internet again.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

SufferBig Bay No More

All in all, we did have good time in SufferBig Bay, with all our new and old cruising friends. And yes, it was nice to be alongside a pontoon again, for a while. Ask Nori and Wakame...
But.... the Noise and Dust....
PI has a "name" to be cheap. Well that's for sure not the case if you stay in the (falling apart) marina. And SB Immigration and Customs also wanted their share of our bank account... Okayokay we have been spoiled by Malaysia where marina's are for free or just cheap and I & C don't need extra pocket money.

Alishan left SB Bay yesterday and is now heading along the NW coast of Luzon North. We will make a few stops before jumping the Bashi Channel.
The race with the Sun is still on;-)) About 600 miles to go line.
Weather? Well right now very little wind (land-sea breeze) and calm seas. Yes motor sailing (again).