8 Year Report, the Voyage

 
Donna at Boracay
Donna at Boracay
 
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 October for one of our homes away from home, Puearto Galera. 

We spent the holiday season at the mooring at the PGYC, and even sat out our first typhoon, the day after Christmas.  My normal response to a typhoon warning would be to dash back to safe harbor at Subic Bay, a 14 hour run.  This time all the models showed the storm heading directly to Subic, se we stayed put.  The moorings at PGYS are well tested and typhoon safe plus the harbor is protected. Well we got tricked, during the night the eye of the storm took a left and headed right for us.  We saw strong winds (higher than my meter reads) and absolute white out rain.  I sat at watch, engine running in case the mooring broke.  Ah technology, we watched the eye on the computer.  I told Donna, in ten minutes the wind will shift and it will be over, it did exactly that and bam it was gone.  Within an hour the sun came out and we played in the dinghy, amazing.

 
the new house under construction
the new house under construction
 
One of the great lessons of the Filipino people unfolded next. Many with houses flattened and roads a mess they awoke the next morning and went to work. I saw kids cleaning up the school yard with no adult bossing them. I saw neighbors taking in those left homeless. The most amazing thing is they all did it singing and smiling!  We found a family t help, single mother of 5 whose house had been smooshed. After a quick visit I ordered all the materials needed to rebuild their house, all for a couple hundred bucks. The next day the older kids and the neighbors were at work and soon the house was back better than ever.  Once again proving what I often say, it is easy to be a nice guy in the Philippines!  

Next we returned to Coron, heaven on earth.  We did a month of great diving and playing with old friends. Furthur was plagued with electrical issues, dramatic voltage drops with no visible source, something it took a while to figure out.

The great plan for the year was to go to Palau, diving Mecca, which meant a 3 day ocean passage and weather to allow it. We began our trip towards this end and returned to PGYC. There we worked on the battery issue with little success, but could make it all work.

Next stop was Cebu, where we would fuel up, re supply and wait for a weather window for the passage.  When we got there, we met the crew of a 180’ expedition mega yacht who was also heading to Palau, and also waiting for weather, for 2 months they waited.  They finally found a short window and left but not what we wanted. I eventually scuttled the Palau plan, another year.

So, this gave us time to explore the Visayas, the central area of the country and home to endless wonderful anchorages. We left Cebu and hit a few new islands, all short hops. We found crystal clear water, white sandy beaches and made some new friends along the way.

We stopped at Malapasqua island to dive with the famed Thresher Sharks, found a place we could buy fresh scallops right off the boat, yum and many isolated anchorages where we were the only boat. Donna finally got to visit Boracay, the hottest tourist spot in the country, the Waikiki Beach of the Philippines, a place a avoid usually.

We took the boat up to the closest town to Donna’s village, Sorsogon. The bay is miles long and very shallow. We anchored with less than 5 feet under the boat.  It is also exposed directly to the Pacific side of the island so the wind howled.  We attended Piam’s graduation from Kindergarten and Donna’s sister’s graduation from university, quite a week.

 
the town truck
the town truck
 
A couple nights of bouncing over the bottom in 40 knots and I was done so I moved Furthur to a bit more distant but comfy anchorage. We must have been the first cruising boat to drop the hook in this picturesque place as the locals including the town mayor came to visit.   Donna went back to her village via jeepney and I went exploring.  I wanted to visit a nearby hot springs, so sought a motorbike rental and looked up the head of tourism, what must be an unchallenging job as I was the first tourist.  He could not find a bike after quite an exhaustive search, so he offered the town dump truck! I jumped in the tiny truck and off I went, Only in the Philippines!

Now with Piam aboard we headed back to Puerto Galera, where we participated in another sailing regatta, a wedding, and playing with kids. After Piam’s vacation was over and the “summer” coming to an end we headed back to Subic Bay Yacht Club for the rainy season.

 
She Said Yes
She Said Yes
 
After setting Furthur up for a make over, we jumped on our motorcycle, headed back to Gubat and Donna’s village for their Fiesta. This year I had a surprise up my sleeve. With 30 neighbors and relatives attending a surprise party, I proposed and she said yes.  So, the Furthur adventure now officially becomes the adventure for two.

 
I Shall Return!
I Shall Return!
 
Our travels took an historic bent this year. We visited the island of Corridor, a pivotal site during WWII. It is the place where General MacArthur (one of 4 sites that make this claim) proclaimed, “I shall return” as he was evacuated from the island as the Japanese invaders defeated the Filipino/US troops.  The Allies later retook the island ending Japanese occupation. The site that gave me the chills is the Japanese memorial where thousands of Japanese troops took their own lives rather than surrender.

 
the death march markers
the death march markers
 
The area is ripe with historical sites, one of the most chilling is the Bataan Death March trail. The march is marked each kilometer. The atrocities played on the Filipino peoples by the Japanese go largely untold, but they were horrid.

Moving up a to another war we visited the UN site where more than a hundred thousand Vietnamese refugees were given cultural training and language skills before being shipped to new and foreign homes. As the refugees had varied cultures and religious beliefs, the area is still marked with specific Buddhist Temples, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnamese. The site is still maintained by the UN, lets hope it is never used again.

Thus ended the 8th year of the great adventure. We visited many familiar places and old friends and some new ones along the way.  Furthur is standing tall with new work done, and the captain is a happy fellow for sure, more to come on all of that.

Make Your Dream Your Story

Capt. Brian Calvert

M/Y Furthur

www.furthuradventures.com

Comments

"it's a wonderful life".  Always happy to get your updates.  Looking forward to visiting you and Further sometime in the future, as well as getting to meet the enchanting Donna.

 Brad Lefton  1/30/2018

 Reply

Comments

Your story is beautiful.  Much Love and Many Blessings!  

 Cheryl Klein  11/17/2017

nice travelling mark. you can visit bali island , indonesia. it's very beatiful place and much tradition in here

 

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 superhero  10/20/2017

Australia 2 is currently located in the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Perth.  Most of the Challengers and Defenders in the 1987 Australian Defence series were fitted with winged keels so might be one of these.  

 John  5/20/2017

Brian, so sorry to hear of your loss, and another Angel arriving in heaven. 

Thank you for sharing your heart and story.

 June  4/6/2017

Great story!  Love that part about the brown skined/black haired Jesus "the way it should be" Haha - Kepp ém coming Captain Brian!  Jonas.

 Jonas Lundström  8/19/2016

Great job, Brian!  I can only imagine how difficult of a position who had.. It is totally amazing all these great opportunities that you have received!  Keep up the great attitude and continue to enjoy this awesome venture!  You make me smile every time I read one of your adventures.  I pray that they will continue to be all good!  Keep us posted..

 Sandy Joski  8/8/2016

Most excellent review! You captured the magic the love the rainbows..…  Loving this!!!

 Carol DaBrescia  6/10/2016

Your words ring true and flow perfectly to describe the adventure we are all on. Miss you! I see a boat trip in my near future as we continue to "Go Further!" One Love! 

 Spirit  6/9/2016

Brian,

Thank You for sharing your "stuff on Further" article!!  We live in Maine and are prepping our new (to us) 46' Trawler for living aboard and cruising, and this information is very helpful!! 

I've been following your adventures for several years now and I can't thank you enough for all the inspiration you've given us!!  Plan to toss off the lines June 2016. 

I hope some day we will cross paths.

Jim

 Jim Mac  11/18/2015

Wow sounds like your living life and having a great adventure all in one the wife and I have thought about upsizing our boat and trying cruising. We enjoy all your updates stay safe and happy 

 Gerald Jackson  11/9/2015

Just read all of this Brian, what a good life for you, so happy for you. I could and should do this too about my life, it's pretty happy ever after as well.Ha Ha world, & good for us:) Stay safe out there on the high seas, there used to be modern day pirates ya know? I was the crew for about a yr. on a 40 ft. Valiant sailboat with my boyfriend who owned it, way back in 1980.  XOXO Linda

 lindahoxit  11/6/2015

Congratulations, great to find a partner in crime to share the adventure with.  I wish you both much happiness.

 Chris French  6/24/2015

Almost 7 years I working at the puerto galera white beach ,, and Barbie he the one of my best friend and I know he meet a lot a coustomer from others place and out of country and thank you so much for a lot of tourist they from my country also my place puerto galera, I hope you injoy and relax;) mowahhh good day

 Icey  5/12/2015

Gr8t

IM

see you

guitar

in hand

 Dev Gottesman   5/5/2015

Nice place i think, i dont know when i can go there, thankyou for this share, i very like it

 boni  3/22/2015

It was a great story, right up to the point where the ping pong story gets introduced  (female crew taken along ). From that point forward, the story becomes watered down, repetitive, exploitive ( so much for Buddhist values ) and lacking the kind of character the story had through the first few years.

Women are more important than whales, yet whales in this adventure obviously get top billing while women seem to be a source of entertainment. Something to have along to please the eye, satisfy urges, make good photos, cook and clean. At least that is how it reads as time goes by.

As for value in other nations (boat work). I find it difficult reconcile how one is willing to pay low labor rates in countries/people we claim to love so much, while paying high labor rates in countries we are not so sad to leave (Oz). Could it be we love those who we can exploit, filling our "needs box" easily? What is not to love? Imagine if we paid those we love the same high rates in other lands? How much better would their lives be?

While it started well, this is now less a story of adventure and a great boat and crew, "usual suspects" and exotic places, dinners on a beach. Sadly the story has taken a turn. One that no longer holds my interest, for reasons stated. No need to read the book.

Should have continued on to the Med.....

 Sparks  1/6/2015

A very well written story ourhigh sschool teachers would grade it a A. Gladto see you going 

FURTHUR   AND SAFE  RECALLED all our high jinx  God  blessed to you ROY

 Roy Christopherson  12/31/2014

Very concerned for you Brother, the Typhoon has wrecked havoc all around you, it looks like.  Hope you are dry & floating my friend.

 SaltyDawg  12/9/2014

Enjoyed reading your adventure. 

 donna olson  12/3/2014

Brian and Christie, Really v glad to meet you both at Kota Kinabalu with Dive Below yesterday and thanks again for showing me onboard Further. Being a "city-person / corporate-warrior", your experience and attitude towards life truly inspires me... It takes a lot of courage and a "dare to be different" mindset to embark on this incredible journey. I m very humbled after listening to your story and amazed by how you managed to touch the lives of people that you meet at the various ports. Wishing you all the very best for all your trips + Rescue diver course and may you always be safe and joyful. Will be following your blog and maybe we have a chance to meet again somewhere , somehow .... Cheers Justin

 Justin Lee  11/16/2014

Great article in Sea Mag. Congrats !

 Kerry  9/20/2014

So glad you were there to celebrate with us--I loved your speech :)

 Lua  8/30/2014

Cap't, it was a pleasure to share the journey with you, and I hope for a time again to be in your bright and energetic company. Derek

 Derek  8/7/2014

Love it man! It was great meeting you in Madison and wishing you all the best! Flowpoetry

 Flowpoetry  8/5/2014

Brian it was wonderful meeting you in Madison at the first Furthur Test in over 50 years. What a ride!!! Looking forward to the adventure of life and I have a feeling that our paths will cross again. Doc and Bertha Bus Productions would love to work with you when your ready. Stay in touch! Hope to see you at Phases!

 Spiritmentalist (Ashlee)  7/28/2014

Well done (Pops)! :)

 Jonas Lundstrom  5/19/2014

Ulterior motives! Nicely done ;-)

 Ken  4/13/2014

I have friends and family similarly afflicted. Your message brings hope. Thank you.

 unknown  3/19/2014

Wow, Brian! Thank you for sharing your life story! I stil think you should write that book, and I no more think you should "drop the anchor" to do it; you are doing excelent writing under way! Radoje MY Kitri, Selene 5498

 Radoje Micic  3/18/2014

I would of loved to engaged the aux.

 troz  10/22/2013

Brian I have one question for you, Is there ever NOT a smile on your face ?

 Kerry  8/1/2013

Thanks Brian for the lovely tribute. You were a good friend to him and he loved the fact that you shared the same birthday. I am so glad we got to see you at Pangkor Island...what can I say it was just such a shock. He was not complaining of feeling ill and was so happy that we had crossed the Singapore strights. The night he died he said to me "the adventure begins tomorrow." I know that he is still with me even though my life has changed drastically. I am presently back in Melbourne staying with my best friend but will go back to Malaysia in a month or 2 to sort out the boat. I truely hope that we meet again somewhere along the track and he really loved you Brian xxx

 Lorraine  5/17/2013

Hey Brian! Wish we were there with Totem and you at the Freedom Bar! Very cool you got the privilege of hanging with Naill, an amazing guy. The girls are fantastic, too -- I'm sure they'll be Furthur crew in due time! Big hug to you! A2

 Alison and Allan  5/13/2013

Hello Captian Brian! Loved reading about your most recent journey. Thank you for all the details about the different marinas and the shopping. Bonne journèe

 Brenda  4/4/2013

Brian: Linda and I have enjoyed your blog this past year since meeting you at Seattle Opening Day last year. Are you coming back again this year?

 Tom Pickens  3/25/2013

Brian, I will forward your latest post to my American friend JonLee who is currently teaching in Salalah, Oman. She has some insights re the Muslim women, their attire and life style. She also taught in NE Thailand for quite a few years so has that experience to compare and contrast. Thank you for the thought provoking blog and beautiful photos. Keep strumming!

 Brenda Prowse  3/20/2013

Happy Year of the Snake, Pappa hero!

 Brenda Prowse  2/11/2013

Excellent account, Brian. I really like the way you related your experience to "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." Robert Pirsig would be proud!

 Brenda  1/23/2013

que impresionante ju!!!!!!!que hermosa experiencia!!!!!

 unknown  1/10/2013

I've said it before but I'll say it again, YOU ARE ONE LUCKY DUDE !

 Kerry  1/2/2013

Awesome blogpost & story Brian! We are coming for our first visit in Thailand early November & will use some of your dive blogpost for ideas. Cheers, enjoy and will meet on the road someday. That's us if you are interested www.free-to-dream.org

 David  11/13/2012

Hola July!!!!!!! Estoy con Mari y con Adri en mi cumple!!!! te estamos viendo estas hermosa y felíz te quiero Muuuucchooooo!!!!!!! Un beso enoooorrrmmmmeeeee te mandamos todas

 Silvia  10/20/2012

Idea for you, Brian: drop the anchor for a while and write the book! Me be the first in a list of pre-orders! Radoje, wanabe in your wake

 Radoje  9/19/2012

WOW just WOW ! That was scary to read, I cant imagine what it was like in person. Stay safe.

 Kerry  8/26/2012

Kitty from Thailand remember me Brian and me work in chalong

 Kitty  6/27/2012

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