So after checking out the cavorting cetaceans (dolphins, that is), out trusty pumpboat made its way over to Manjuyod Sand Bar. The sand bar is actually pretty big – 7 kilometers long at low tide and nearly 600 hectares in area. We arrived when the tide was still going out, so the nice white sand wasn’t above water. Still, the skipper anchored the boat’s bow right over the shallow water, letting us float right above the crystal clear sandy bottom. My fellow shipmates were all a bit hungry by this point, and it was decided that the picnic feast was to commence. The paper covering was pulled from the lechon baboy (barbequed piggie), the pancit, siomai, rice, cakes, fruit salad, and other dishes were uncovered, and everyone dived right in. I was sweating like the climate-maladjusted American that I am and not too hungry, so I chose to change into my bathing suit and dive in the water.
Ahhhhhhh……. heaven. The water was lovely, clean, and the sand beneath my feet was butter soft. I didn’t have much sunscreen on, so I strategically maneuvered myself alongside the banca to stay in the shade while everyone else was eating. I do this thing where I scoop up water in my hands and can squirt it like a squirt gun, so I amused some of the kids during lunch by sniping them from the shallows. They find this simply hilarious and it was a good way to communicate since I don’t know bisaya (the local Cebuano dialect).
Still not low tide but the sandbar is under there somewhere…….
Pre-picnic piggie and other goodies.
After lunch, my shipmates turned out into the shallow water in their bathing costumes while the crew retired to the stern to eat their own lunch and consume about five bottles of cheap local brandy. Woo-hoo! Frisbees were soon flying over the water and the kids were splashing around under their parent’s close supervision and everyone was having a good time. A number of folks on the boat couldn’t exactly swim, so the shallow water over the sandbar was ideal for some hot weather play. And it was hot – VERY hot. Summer was in full swing and the sun was beating down without mercy. I slathered on more sunscreen and eventually put on my jungle hat, but even then, it was just too hot. Still, I got some good video and was able to enjoy the day fully. At some point, I suppose I will adjust to the heat a little better. Until then, I will just curl up into a ball every now and then and whine piteously – usually through my blog. 🙂
Thankfully, some clouds rolled in later in the afternoon and a cool breeze kicked up. It was refreshing, but the wind pulled the bow away from the sand bar, leaving some of my ship mates unable to get to the boat’s boarding later. Not to worry though – the (inebriated) crew soon jumped in the water, grabbed the anchor rope and pulled us back into the shallows.
Clouds and wind rolling in. Boat already drifting from sand bar…..
Our fearless crew pulling the drifting boat back to the sandbar……
We motored back to the dock without incident and loaded up into cars, motorcycles and jeepneys for the ride back to Dumaguete. The ride back for me was kind of a pain as I was very tired and sunburned and suicidal askals (wild dogs) kept on jumping in front of my motorcycle. Phew. Arriving home, I took a shower, collapsed into bed and took a nice little nap.
See the video of us cavorting about the shallows on my Youtube channel:
Thanks to Global Office Works for sponsoring the trip and inviting me along!
Local fisherman selling really big squid.