Monday, September 23, 2013

A Day of Island Hopping!

We scheduled our 3rd day, actually our last day, in Palawan to island hopping in Honda Bay. We did not make a prior arrangement for the tour, we just hired a tricycle to the get-off point and hoped for some people to accomodate us in their boats. Six to eight people plus the two boatmen can be accomodated in small motor boats. We are fortunate that a family group of five willingly allowed us to join them. 

Honda Bay frames the expanse of Palawan's capital of Puerto Princesa.  The laid-back atmosphere, very clean waters of the bay with many islands scattered within it, make it one of the country's premiere destinations. It is best for snorkelling, swimming, scuba diving and even just plane picnics. I and my friend went there basically to see the place and some photo shoot. 

Above is a shot i took from the plane on our arrival. I am awed by the so many small islets scattered randomly in the bay. No two islands have the same characters, some are even just plane sandbars that might even be invisible during high tides. 

Some islands are thickly covered with mangroves, while the above has very sparsely growing mangroves and yet a nipa hut we locally call 'bahay kubo' is nicely braving all the storms passing these areas. It was installed in the highest portion because this island is partly covered by the sea during high tides and during typhoons. 

 We landed only in two islands, Starfish Island and Pandan Island. The photos here are all in Starfish Island, where we had our lunch. The beach is not of very fine sand but still lovely for snorkelling and swimming. Big areas at the back are covered with mature mangrove growths and the front is just newly planted with mangroves. These are very slow growing trees in sea water, but very useful in protecting the island from strong winds and waves. Moreover, they provide the best sanctuary for marine animals and fishes.

 This is the expanse of sandbar occupying the wider area in the island. Some people are in the islands, approved by the local tourism office to cater to some needs of tourists like cooking their food. They also sell some seafood for tourists to cook by themselves. There are also young coconuts as thirst quenchers, which nothing from any bottle can rival in taste and quality.

Some tourists, locals and foreigners alike come here to swim. 

Even just strolling along the expanse of the island is a wonderful activity.

We are extremely awed with the layers of colors of the waters which continue to the equivalent layers of colors of the mountain ranges. We even count the number of colors we can see. How many can you count?

Not many can resist the call of these very clear waters for swimming. But I and my friend are contented enough with observation and pictures. The few hours we spent there is not enough to do our shoots.

 We were both delightful in searching for the unusual in these mangrove forest. The trees are each supported by complicated root structures that seem to propel them up and hold them fixed at the same spot. They seem to be tiptoeing on the sand or are perennially standing on stilts. Their root system is obviously very different than their terrestrial counterpart.

 Look at those complicated, intensive proliferation of roots and root system. They seem to be twining ang gripping whatever they can hold on. Maybe they help each other by entertwining their roots among themselves, that way they are more resistant to the elements.

  
At the left are propagules of the mangroves. They are structured that way for easy self planting in sand. The rooting tip is heavy to easily anchor itself. I gathered some scattered propagules and intentionally planted them through the crab holes on the sand. Maybe i planted around 20 of them, i wish they can withstand the tides and winds and that at least I was able to contribute some live mangroves in this island. 

Above right its the map of Honda Bay and its relationship with Palawan's capital, Puerto Princesa. After lunch we boarded our boat again for another island. Our experiences there and my photos go to the next post. 






42 comments:

  1. Honda bay looks so remote, tranquil, and beautiful!

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    1. You should go there sooner, i suggest not during the dry seasonr because there's a lot of people by that time.

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  2. totally envious. what a trip; beautiful earth.

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    1. It is a bit, shall we say embarassing, when you've been to a lot of far countries but not yet on your own! LOL, that is also very me, as i haven't been to the island only 20 min from our place.

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  3. What a wonderful place.You live in a beautiful part of the world Andrea. I am fascinated by mangroves. They are such interesting plants.

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    1. Oh yes these mangroves also fascinates me, and i am so happy that i was able to walk among them. That was a long time dream, because i just see them before without walking on those roots.

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  4. Looks like a great time. Lovely photos.

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    1. Thanks Linda, yes we had a great time, far from the city life.

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  5. Beautiful photos from paradise islands - very different from my part of the world.
    But both places has their advantages and drawbacks.
    Northern Sweden has four seasons - spring, summer and autumn is mostly warm and delightful.
    In wintertime it can be cold - but we have warm houses and clothes. so - no problems!
    But of course we long for sunny, warm days in the darkest period. Then we go to Asia, Canary islands or somewhere else where we can find that for some weeks.
    Arvidsjaur is situated about 870 kilometers from Stockholm. Takes about 9 hours if you go by car.

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    1. I was really awed by the vegetation and characteristics of the landscape in Sweden. But the farthest north that i reached from Lund to Stockholm is Uppsala, and i can say it is a wonderful contrast to my own tropics. I was there at 6-10C and that was freezing cold for me! So Arvidsjaur is really very far and very cold. I am actually awed when the laboratory we visited said that they are storing the seeds at the Nordic Gene Bank at the Arctic. Incredible task.

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  6. Great photos. That water is extremely clear and the roots of the Mangrove trees are something else.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. yes Cher the water is incredibly clear and inviting!

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  7. So beautiful! I want to go there, no, I want to be there - now. Lucky you - thank you for sharing with us!

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    1. HI Katrin, thank you so much. Come and i will personally take you there, let's have some fun.

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  8. What a beautiful spot. I live on a tiny island but we are connected to the main land by a 2 mile peninsula so we don't have to fly in.

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    1. Hahaha, our country is archipelagic, meaning composed of so many islands. I am living in the biggest island named Luzon and it takes 1 hr plane ride from Metro Manila to this place.

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  9. I would have LOVED to go strolling along the beach with you. What a joy. And such beautiful image shares.

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    1. It would be a pleasure to be strolling there with you, thanks so much for the appreciation and visit.

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  10. Wonderful shots from the islands.

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    1. Thanks Carver for the visit and appreciation

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  11. What an adventure! Beautiful shots!

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  12. Oh my..what a stunning area and how clear the water is..I would love to visit. Thank you for linking into Nature Notes Andrea...Michelle

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  13. I hope the mangroves you planted will do well and will be there next time you get to go to this beautiful place :)))! The water is just absolutely amazing.

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    1. Sallie, i deeply wish that the few plants i planted will reach their full potential. Thanks for visiting.

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  14. I think I know now where to spend the winter! Wonderful pictures!

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    1. Yes Chai, when winter is too difficult to bear you can freely frolic and enjoy the waters and food in our tropical paradise!

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  15. I really want to go there now. Beautiful. thanks so much for your comments on my blog. cheers.

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  16. What a beautiful place, lovely photos. Thanks for sharing your trip!

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    1. Eileen, you've been a seasoned traveler, i hope you enjoyed these photos.

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  17. It sure looks like a great place to spend some time. Thanks for sharing!

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  18. I really like the visit you took us on...and the mangrove forest is so different.

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  19. The mangroves are very interesting. I have never heard of them before until today. :-)

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    1. I am glad i introduced something for you today. Mangroves are marine water trees, and there are also many species of mangroves. They are really interesting.

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  20. Yes, Andrea, I was also very pleased to see the mangroves here. And the colours of the water. Thank you for visiting my blog. It was indeed a big beetle by UK standards.

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  21. The mangroves are really an interesting plant.

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  22. Looking at the pics, I had to control myself... wooh, so pretty... I should be heading that way sometime in the future...

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    1. Hi Lrong, long time no hear from you, i hope everything is doing okay! Yes you should consider going there next time, but El Nido and Coron are more recommended for you!

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  23. Your assistance was lucky for the mangroves ... not so much for the crabs!

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    1. hahaha, yes b-a-g, i guess the crabs will have a difficult time making their caves again. But i only used those with big openings, maybe they are much capable of coping. Sorry crabs!

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