Successful kitesurfing at last!

A few kitesurfers pass through and assess the conditions and my equipment. Although a great deal for less than $500 for two (usually they are a thousand a pop), it turns out my kitesurfing kits are from 2001, well before the extensive advances in harness safety. The kites are good, although many of the valves are missing the part which prevents air from leaking once pumped up. Since the kites need to be pumped up tight in order to work properly, I order some used parts from ebay.

The first surfing guest scopes out the island and explains it is not a good one, on either side of it. The beaches are too narrow, meaning there is too much danger of being flown into the trees, ripping up the sails in the process.


Brazilian couple trying out the wind on the other side of the island. 

The second surfers are a Brazilian couple who come to a similar conclusion, mostly in that the wind is not strong enough to lift up their kite. By this time I have contemplated trying out a few other islands in the area, after examining the map and my first surfer guest pointing out a few possibilities exposed to the open ocean. A group of us accompany the Brazilians to a couple of islands across the way and are pleasantly surprised to learn that the conditions are perfect. The Brazilians are ecstatic about breaking virgin turf and spend a few hours cutting across the waters without another soul to interfere. The sailing ship of Tao Expeditions turns up randomly and serves as an excellent backdrop. Ben actually joins us for this event and expresses great happiness to witness what I have been selling all this time – he finally sees the great potential in my overall plans.


Surfing in front of Tao’s original sailboat.

A few weeks later another surfer guest arrives but the winds are now strong enough to launch from both sides of our island (excellent news). We decide to go back to one of the Brazilians’ islands, where the beach is very wide, fluffy and soft, so she can give me a beginner’s course. After all, the future success of my camp hinges on there being a trainer here, and it could serve as a good source of income for me.

She explains to me some basic principles, such as how the lines are aligned, where the danger spots are and how to release the safety mechanism on her new, 9m kite (mine are 12 and 14m and can be potentially dangerous in these rugged winds). Having won sailing competitions during my youth, I grasp the concept quickly and soon enough have the kite high in the sky and under confident control.


Exploring the wide, fluffy beach of Bolina Island.

She then instructs me to bring the sail over to my right, towards the trees and away from the shoreline. In an instant the kite drops down into the danger zone (downwind) and I am swept up off my feet and flying through the air (I was practicing while standing on the beach). My instincts are good and I keep my eyes glued to the kite while I’m rotated upside down and occasionally dropped down to the beach on my back. My eyes remain fixed on the kite in this new position, my head sometimes missing the odd massive seashell as I am dragged across the beach, until I finally bring the kite back under control out of the power zone. At the start of the training she asked if I wanted to wear a helmet, to which I sneered. Thank goodness for my extensive gymnastics and aikido training, giving me the balance and focus to bring the kite back under control, but I cautioned her: next time she decides to train someone, she should force them to practice playing with the safety release mechanism, until it becomes instinctive. In the moment when I was swept up off the ground I completely forgot about this while focusing on the kite, nor was I remotely aware of my back scratching up as I bounced and scraped my way towards the end of the beach and almost dragged out into the open ocean. Once back up on my feet, the crew worriedly runs over asking if I am okay. My trainer gives me a high five and said “job well done”. I then spend about half an hour body surfing in the water with good control of the kite, but my ears start hurting from the water gushing in and I am getting tired in general, so I pack it in for the day and hope to continue my training, preferably with my own gear, the next time an experienced surfer passes through.


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Lou PrataliLou Pratali
11:04 25 Jul 23
This is a must to do!!Super ultimate tour is the best with Kayangan and barracuda lake, twin lagoons (my favorite), coral garden (blue fabulous coral) were the best. It’s really worth it to pay for private tour (3500 to 4000 PHP). You will also have to pay for entrance fees (150 to 200PHP by location) and eventually shopping at the market - must do (count 300 for 2 for fish, pork, fruits and vegetables, water).
16:11 07 Feb 23
I was looking for a personalized excursion to the beautiful Gulf of Bacuit.Seeing the comments, I contacted Mel.Very responsive, very efficient and perfect organization.The flight attendants were very friendly and very helpful.And I'm not even talking about the meal on board...a marvel.In all fairness, this excursion will remain an excellent memory and I cannot recommend Mel and his team highly enough.A big thank-you.
Alyse TarbottonAlyse Tarbotton
23:48 30 Aug 22
This tour went well above all our expectations! I couldn't recommend this enough! The boat crew, captain and tour guide were nothing but amazing, everyone was so kind, helpful and friendly. The crew knew the best spots to visit that weren't overcrowded with tourists, 3 times we were lucky enough to have whole islands to ourselves! It was my partner's birthday while away and everything went above and beyond, bonfire, cake, birthday card, singing and celebrating with us.If you love camping this is definitely a tout you should do, it has been the highlight of our trip!!
Danish KayaniDanish Kayani
10:24 31 Oct 19
Coron is the best place i have ever seen.. picturesque. Beautiful. Peaceful
We booked a 4 days/3 nights private boat trip from Coron to Sibaltan. The organization went very well from the beginning, the owner answered to all my questions, and we were able to choose which islands to visit and where to sleep. The first night we slept in a bungalow in Banana Island, the second we camped in Araw beach and the last we slept in a seafront bungalow builded on a tree in Pical on Iloc Island.The islands in that area are the most beautiful islands I have ever seen, with clear water, lots of coral reef and fishes to see, white sand and almost deserted. The crew was very friendly and polite and they organize every single meal and for camping they give you a tent which was just perfect! This was our highlight in our 2 weeks in the Philippines and I wish I had booked a longer trip. A private trip gives you the freedom to decide where and when to go.

We are a family operation managing private custom boat tours in the beautiful Palawan area, and are happy to help travelers with their plans through the country, having traveled a lot of it ourselves and planning to visit it all.

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