Saturday, January 24, 2015

Coconut Grove Siquijor Philippines 2014

Lots of these experiences will look the same as we did this last year and its a place where you tend to wake up, eat breakfast, go to pool, snorkel over the reef, kayak, pool, lunch, pool, snorkel, dinner, sleep, repeat. A few events thrown in here and there - some the same as last year but a few different ones this year which were neat - waterfall trip with the boys and then Emmerson and whale shark feeding excursion which was bizarre.

I am not going to even try and organize these images chronologically so it will be really random. Here goes the first batch that I guess I downloaded and organized over a month ago, but not sure how I organized each folder. Anyway, here is random folder one.

Testament to the name of the resort. Lots of coconut trees on the compound and every once in a while you will come across one that fell from the tree and wasn't scooped up by the staff or delved into by various creatures. Emmerson came across one of these and the pool guy offered to process it so Emmerson could have a taste. He got out his machete and hacked away the husk. Then he cracked the nut and there you go - fresh coconut. It tastes great but is quite dense and filling as it is a nut - lots of oil in it. 

The way to get at the meat is to simply pry it away from the shell as Emmerson is demonstrating here.

Pry and eat.

Enjoying the band at dinner time. One thing I will certainly miss about the Philippines is the incredible amount of really good live music. I can say this confidently without the hint of a stereotype that the Philippines are a drama, singing dancing culture - in the states you see kids in a park throwing a football, here you see them prepping a choreographed dance. At ISM, drama, dance and singing are a huge part of the schools culture reflecting this aspect of the Philippine society. 

Ada doing an impromptu split on the beach after sunset.

We opted to go on the whale shark day excursion which involved about a 2/12 hour boat ride - that is if the sea is not choppy and your boat doesn't break down - both of which were an exciting part of our trip so it was more like 4 hours. This is one of many sparsely or totally uninhabited islands in this part of the world. Many of these islands are used by fishermen for make shift domiciles while out on their expeditions.

On the boat finally at our destination which was the whale shark sanctuary. The break downs were annoying but it was kind of cool to see how the crew jumped int action to try and remedy the situation. Several guys down in the engine and one guy over the side with snorkel gear to attend to the outer gear of the engine.

At the whale shark sanctuary. It is an area where whale sharks are protected and "ranglers" (the sanctuary rangers) tend to the tourists and sharks intermingling. The scene was rather chaotic but we did get to swim very up close and personal with a few of the sharks. Ada was game until she saw one open its mouth and realized it alone was as big as her. So she clung to the pontoon and kept a comfortable distance from the critters. They were huge but rather docile, kind of like big cows lolling around in the ocean.

Yes, I am sporting headgear - which I bought in the airport and sure am glad I did. I have an ever expanding forehead and skin that simply can not see sun anymore. Up to this time I would need to lather my forehead with sunscreen that would drip into my eyes because I am perpetually sweating and it was always in the back of my mind if the sunscreen was still working, should I apply another layer - so I opted to simply cover it up with this tube shaped thing sold in one of the airport shops. Great buy - wore it all week - no sun on my head!

So this is this guys job. Every few seconds, he sticks his head into the water which has tiny little goggles over his eyes to see if there are any little fish nibbling on the hook at the end of the line he is dangling below the boat. He would have to come up for air for a breath and then right back into the water. There were several guys doing this and it was quite and impressive choreography to watch. The boat is tiny and basically serves as an inflatable and place for gear.  I watched him for a while and he caught a fish about every 5-10 minutes - and they were tiny reef fish which makes me wonder if these were off to the incredibly huge aquarium market that exists in Asia - and certainly among certain elements of Western society

Emmerson avoiding the sun and Alicia sticking her foot in her face ....

Top deck, enjoying the sun and sea.

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