Monday, October 27, 2008

Ferry Crossing to Siquijor

The pontoon’s waiting area seats are cooled by a number of electric fans continuously rotating by the ceiling and there are three boarding gates but only two are generally used (one at the left and one at the right)/ While there are no public address systems to call out on your boarding, never fret, the man’s voice and your co-passengers’ actions will be unmistakable. So board with them!

It’s generally the same as at airports and other boat stations. You present your boarding pass to the gate crews and you trickle in to the boat and find your seat. Yep, in here, they’re rather strict with the seat numbers, as the small craft usually gets full. Its unlike the ferries to Cavite, Corregidor, Tagbilaran, Bacolod, Iloilo or Ormoc that you could get away with sitting just about anywhere since they’re usually not full to the brim.

Hey, this is Dumaguete, a highly urbanized city and you’d think the waters by its pier are murky teeming with pollution. I was wrong here, so if you’ve got a chance, look down to the water. During my time, I was surprised it was a clear emerald thing where I could see the silt at the bottom.

Pushback. Am not too sure if I haven’t been as observant on my other ferry trips but this time, the ferry pushback was rather quick and faster than usual. I liked it. It was as if I was in a car backing up. Am not even sure if it was an error or just the driver/pilot/captain/whatever playing around but the boat interestingly swerved to the left first then to its right as it pushed away from the dock – oh yes the pontoon. Well, he could do everything hehehe, this is such a wide body of wter anyway.

Cruising speed was fine enough for me. I would think we were running at somewhere between 50 to 60kms per hour – even less. Yeah yeah, they call it another way in the seaman’s parlance but I am no seaman hehe! Is it measured in knots? Whatever, am more familiar with km/hr or I’ll go nuts! I just felt like the speed at which we traveled was comparable to how the speed when I ride the LRT or MRT. The waters crossing to Siquijor town (in the island of Siquijor) was not at all bumpy during this time – even if it was not a very clear day. The leisurely pace and the comfort of the ferry’s gentle bobbing made me think I could ride those smaller boats like the Jaylann and Island Cruiser. But then again, it was probably just because the day’s weather was ideal where the sun kept hiding and popping out of the clouds. I’ll see if I can muster the courage next time!

Now that we touched on the smaller boats, they have an advantage – and this was one of my disappointments. The smaller boats are not closed like a shell. Fact is, they’re open on all sides. Directly opposite, the Delta’s cabin is enclosed on all sides by something like a fiberglass or hard plastic. It is tinted. It is dirty too with grimes or stains or both on all sides – and there are scratches. So I could not shoot a descent photo to record the memory of this part of the trip. Gosh! Now compare that to Jaylann and the other smaller boats. When on board, everybody has virtually a 360-degree view of the unfolding sceneries – in its natural color. I should really consider this next time. I also heard from other passengers that there is another boat company that uses a bigger though slower craft where there is an open-air second level that would be most ideal for taking photos of the trip.

Hey on coming back, it was the very same craft I took with majority of the very same passengers I rode with going to Siquijor. So most of us were day-trippers! The waves were bigger this time but it was not (yet) bumpy for me. I even liked it since it felt like I was riding a hammock. It drizzled along the way so all the more that the afternoon became darker and I had no way of shooting anything. When we arrived back at the city, the skies cleared just enough for me to take a photo or two with the orange and blue colors of the heavens above! Nice trip! By the way, this 4PM trip back to Dumaguete costs more (atP200) than the opposite way (at P160 - which they say is a promo fare).

For a chronology of stories on this trip, click the following article numbers:

01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18
19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35


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