Things to Bring in Batanes and Preparations for the Boat Ride from Batan to Sabtang Island!

With the coming of the New Year, I've come across one overused (but true) piece of advice from one of my fav writers Jeff Goins. He posted "The best way to create new opportunities is to start saying "yes" to opportunities that excite you, even if you're not sure how you'll pull it off." This is very timely to this new post as I am going to tell you about the dreaded boat ride from Batan to Sabtang Island and how to prepare for a Batanes trip in general based on my experience. Surely, the circumstances will vary because of the extreme weather conditions Batanes is known for which you won't know until you get there but there are commonalities applicable to almost all kinds of travel that I'd like to point out. Preparing your travel gear (as well as reading up) and conditioning yourself mentally by taking note of special ordinary-looking things are just some of the things you can do before your trip to the most remote (northernmost) tip of the Philippines! I'll show you our Day 2 where we headed to Sabtang Island in 3 parts (picture-heavy) and what not to miss during the tour ;)

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We got up early to get to the boat at the Ridawan Port of Ivana. This is the jumpoff point to Sabtang Island (the 3rd largest island in the province) - I liked the sites here better than Batan Island. You take the same boat going back (P150 per roundtrip transfer per person) so don't be late as the tides are no longer that friendly around late afternoon or there will be no more boat to take you. I would recommend already having a list of all the names of your group in the tour with age for faster registration purposes. If you don't like the sun like me, bring a thin long-sleeved shirt or jacket or windbreaker (mine was light-colored), pants and dark-tinted eyewear like my Oakley Transitions XTRActive lenses (see first picture above, can be other brands)! A reactive dye is imbibed into the lens and it reacts fast to sunlight turning from clear to dark in an instant to protect my eyes. Click here to learn more about Transitions photochromic (adaptive) lenses available in the Philippines. Everybody needs to wear a lifevest (provided) over your clothes and they may slightly be damp.

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It's nice to be early as you also get the best seats ;) I sat on the second row that faces forward with shade and some views haha. The motor was roaring behind me so earplugs or earphones might be a good idea. The boatride was only 35 minutes (Sabtang is situated 15 kilometers southwest of Basco) and the water was calm. I don't know why people dread it. Some of our mates took Bonamin before the ride for biyahilo. One tip Roger gave was to look out and breathe according to the movement of the waves like if it's up then inhale then down exhale. A cause of vomiting may also be an acidic stomach so maybe steer clear of those for breakfast. As for me, I live for amusement parks so this is one constant and enjoyable Anchors Away for me (was busy clicking the camera and appreciating the rhythm of the waves ;)

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At some point, the boatman stopped the boat so that the others can haul in their catch. Pretty ingenious to have a net at the back if you ask me so maybe staying at the rear might not be a bad idea too hehe. If you see the Sabtang lighthouse then you're near the port :)

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Our guide took care of the open-aired jeep rental for the day. It accommodated 10 of us comfortably. I think you can also rent tricycles for the not-so-far but it might not be able to handle hilly areas in my opinion. We made a stopover for visitor registration at the Municipal Tourism Office (Hotline - +639391988558). I was able to go into a viewpoint and take a picture of the lighthouse and Sabtang port. Maybe you've heard about the Honesty Cafe in Batanes (near the Port of Ivana when you dock) and here in Sabtang (near the Sabtang port after you dock), there's a Conscience Cafe which is so much bigger and also interesting! Haha. The store is being run by the local priest and you can go have coffee outside.

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We passed by the Morong Beach with this natural formation called Nakabuang Arch (Ahaw). There's a Nakabuang cave just a few meters away. I wasn't fond of climbing, straying too far or posing since we had limited time so I got closer to the beach. You should go see the incredibly crystal clear water (or go scuba diving in the summer months) when you're here... 

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A topic of conversation were the endangered coconut crabs or locally known as tatus. Whereas turtles lay eggs on the beach, these inland crabs (that taste like coconut they say) make their way to the ocean to give birth so maybe you'll be lucky enough to witness this phenomenon in Batanes :) We didn't get to see any but it's forbidden to catch them already except maybe for some locals. We did see this white crab and some hermit crabs.

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1 comment:

  1. This sea is pristine and natural truth. It is very suitable for a trip away! In general my feeling the Philippine a lot of Sea and so beautiful :)

    ReplyDelete

Hi. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you =)