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Date Posted: 11/06/10

October 21, 2010 - "Hide and Shelter" with the day's weather report

By: Arturo Valdez

2:48 PM - We're back in our "hide and shelter" tactic which we successfully employed to keep us in one piece since we left Manila on September 1, 2009 at the height of the typhoon season.

Meanwhile, the strong winds of Typhoon Megi blew the crew (not the balangays) farther inland towards Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. This is the only good thing that keeps our spirit high lately after hiding from the stormy seas.

We are waiting for word from Janet who went to visit Pho Quoc Island, Vietnam after learning that Ha Tien immigration office only serves local Vietnamese travelers. We hope that this is
correct since Vung Tau Port Authority is slapping $600/boat just for anchorage if we intend to reach that far. If true, that will be the most expensive anchorage we ever experienced and we are avoiding that place at all.

Besides, the seas going to that port is still quite rough because typhoon Megi/Juan is almost stationary and has not made up its mind to leave the middle of South China Sea. Perhaps, the appearance of another weather disturbance per latest weather advisory of PAGASA in the Pacific is causing her to slow down.

DOST PAGASA satellite photo in the very early morning of October 21

Naval Research Laboratory satellite photo in black and white on October 21

Naval Research Laboratory satellite photo in color on October 21

Tracking Report on Typhoon Megi (international code name) or Typhoon Juan (Philippine code name)

4:02 PM - The news that another typhoon is coming before the exit of Typhoon Megi seems depressing. Then there's a report from Pastour that the river systems in Vietnam are all swollen and flooding is everywhere because of continuous rains. Pastour is now in Ho Chi Minh City meeting Dr. Ted who just flew in today. I have not heard from Janet yet about her trip to Phu Quoc Island re: immigration protocols.

The only and best thing to do now is to WAIT until Mother Nature finishes her course, and until the seas and rivers return to normal for the Balangay flotilla to continue and complete our journey up north until Ho Chi Minh City.

Until then, we WAIT just like our forefathers did in the days of yore.

5:17 PM - Janet gave feedback that Phu Quoc island is only for the locals and not for international boats. She is still appealing our case but most likely will be turned down. Our embassy in Hanoi earlier sent an email warning us not to proceed anywhere in Vietnam unless we have travel clearances. If not, we will be accosted.

Weather permitting and if ever we will proceed to Vung Tau, we will be charged US600/boat just for anchorage without even docking in port. If ever we will proceed to Saigon, that will be another cost. I am having Pastour check this and if possible, we will go straight to Saigon to anchor/dock there, and just pay once. Still has not gotten Pastour's feedback in this regard. Anyway, the weather is still bad because of typhoon Megi hovering around. We will wait for word from Pastor.

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