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3-Day Circumnavigation of Coron Island by Kayak Nov 17-19, 2016

3-Day Circumnavigation of Coron Island by Kayak

Location: Coron Island, Busuanga, Philippines
GPS waypoint: 11°55'43.8"N 120°14'21.5"E

Wanna Come?
It was daunting when Outback Greg tagged me to come along in taking a Dutch couple to a 3-day kayaking expedition around Coron Island. I am not a skilled kayaker and this expedition group is highly skilled - including Bobby, the tour guide. It was a tall order I couldn't say 'no' to - some things are simply too good to pass-off.

Boat-Supported Expedition
It was originally designed to be an unsupported expedition - the kayakers will be self-contained, equipped with their own hammocks, food and water as provided by the tour guide, who is also on his kayak. But the 6-foot angry swells on the southern tip of Coron Island could leave even the experienced kayaker out of his comfort zone. Cautioning on the safety side, a fully manned support boat shadowed us.

Beach Camping
Aside from the adrenaline, beach camping was a highlight. We pitched tents with air mattresses and proper beddings. Dinner was served by Bobby and the boat crew - usually grilled big fish. We would eat under the stars and have the soothing waves and gekko calls for music backdrop.

3-Day Circumnavigation of Coron Island by Kayak
getting just enough clearance to enter the Secret Lagoon, accessible only on low tide

Spinning My Wheels
Early on, I already realized I would have to paddle the hardest just to keep up. While the group motions into steady fluid cadence as they sliced through the water, I was frantically using might and power to inch forward - the technique wasn't there. Mind you, I was using the fastest kayak already, albeit the least steady one - I could tip over on the slightest swell. How long can I keep this up before fatigue sets in? These were my troubled thoughts the entire time. Keeping pace is one thing, balance is another. On another occassion, the swells were high and I could barely keep my balance. Outback Greg yells if I was still good. I asked if it would be this rough the entire time. He said, "it gets worse!" and with that, he gestured me to go back to the boat with him. We would be on the boat until after the bigger swells on the southern tip of Coron Island. I'm glad he gave me a fig leaf otherwise I would have dared that section.

Callis Point
Nearing Callis Point, the southern tip of Coron Island, the swells got bigger and nastier. Even though they weren't breaking, they were cresting up to 6 feet. When the boat captain mis-time the motor and a big swell hits the boat, it felt like it would shatter. On the boat, we were jarred and banged-up. It felt nerve racking, I decided to put the dive mask around my neck - just in case. I realized why Greg pulled me out of the water early on. I would definitely capsize under the turbulence - and rescue in that condition would have been very difficult.

Bobby together with the Dutch guests rode the swells like gangbusters! They were so skilled that they later said they were glad to be on the kayak than on the boat on those angry swells.

Calm Waters Again
As soon as we came around the bend, the water was placid again. That's the time I joined the crew on the kayak. I would be with them all the way to Secret Lagoon where Greg and I boarded the boat again on the way back to Coron and eventually, SandCastles.

Ending Thoughts
Tribal Adventures' 3-day kayaking expedition around Coron Island entailed beach camping, low-tide entry to limestone lagoons, snorkeling on coral reef and paddling on angry swells - an adrenaline adventure package for the intrepid soul. For the novice, it can be a boat-supported expedition on more placid waters. In this expedition, itineraries can change depending on "what's more exciting" at the moment - it could be beaching the kayaks and spelunk a limestone outcropping to view an inland lake or a cave. It could also be parking the kayaks to snorkel a tempting coral reef. The spontaneity of the moment becomes its own excitement. The overall experience is primal with the right amount of adrenaline to make it memorable and exciting but within safe limits.

Having the option to tailor-fit an adventure package suited to your preference and skill level in a Robinson Crusoe format takes it a notch higher compared to the standard joiner-type party boats with cookie-cutter templates. Tribal Adventures spans a broad spectrum in comfort offerings - from fine-dining dinners with cathedral-like tents in the wild to castaway survivor-type island escapes. Your derring-do is your own limit.

--- TheLoneRider

Next stop: back to lazy beach life at Palawan SandCastles

ps - having realized how much I didn't know, I researched on YouTube how to paddle on a kayak. Only then did I understand the many things I was doing wrong.

loading up provisions on the 4X4 for the expedition at the market buying food provisions for the next 3 days loading up gear, equipment and provisions on the support boat first camping stop
kayaks are beached while the boat heads out to deeper water in anticipation of low tide a crumbled edifice of the limestone cliff wall reveals most of these outcroppings are not just porous, they are hollow tents are all in place waiting for Bobby's dinner treat
waking up to another day approaching another island beach to explore an inland lake after a few spelunking, the lake is stop getting back to the kayaks via jagged limestone edges
respite from the heat walking and stretching hammocking takes new meaning on cliff face overhangs overhangs can go 20 feet deep and on low tide, you can kayak underneath
back on the kayak for more paddling the  support boat is always nearby, shadowing us miles to go before we sleep exploring a tempting coral reef

Google Map > Busuanga

Google Map Busuanga, Palawan, Philippines

tourist attractions in Busuanga tourist attractions hotels in Busuanga hotel, beach house and accommodation expedition in Busuanga tour and expedition
  • Tribal Adventures Tours Tribal Adventures Tours - multi-day kayak expedition, day tours, island tours, mountain biking, snorkeling, hiking
    +63 998.999.3049 |
  • Calamianes Expeditions & Ecotours Calamianes Expeditions & Ecotours - island tours, community based ecotourism experience
    +639193054363 / +639202546553 / +63 9152543246 / 02 984 7795 |

Great Things Going for Busuanga

  • beaches, islands, snorkeling, scuba diving, wreck diving
  • you want to add some more? please submit on the form below

Not So Great Things Going Against Busuanga

  • slow and unreliable internet
Coron Blogs
  1. Beach Life at Palawan SandCastles Oct 31-Nov 22, 2016
  2. Mountain Biking the Trails of Busuanga with Outback Greg of Tribal Adventures Oct 31-Nov 22, 2016
  3. Yoga at Palawan SandCastles, Busuanga Oct 31-Nov 22, 2016
  4. In Search of Dugong Nov 21, 2016
  5. 3-Day Circumnavigation of Coron Island by Kayak Nov 17-19, 2016
  6. Exploring Culion Nov 5-7, 2016
  7. Traveling with Cheng Oct 31-Nov 8, 2016
  8. Tribal Adventures in Coron with Outback Greg Jan 13-17, 2016
  9. Chillingout in Coron Town, Busuanga Oct 23-29, 2012
  10. Camp Life in Camp Calauit Oct 18-23, 2012
  11. Mountain Biking Fund Raising Event in Cheey, Busuanga Oct 20, 2012
  12. Salvacion-Cheey Traverse Oct 19, 2012
  13. Into The Black Jan 31, 2012
  14. Blurring the Lines of Work and Play Jan 30, 2012
  15. Free-Diving Calumbuyan Reef, Coral Garden and Lusong Gunboat Jan 14, 2012
  16. Exploring Dive Link Resort Jan 13, 2012
  17. Coron Island Tour - Malcapuya, Banana and Bulog Islands Jan 10, 2012
  18. Wreck Diving in Coron with Rocksteady Dive Center Jan 8, 2012
  19. Diving Barracuda Lake and Kogyo Maru Jan 4, 2012
  20. Banol Beach, Barracuda Lake, Calachuchi Reef, Siete Pecados Marine Park, Alcatraz Reef Island Tour Dec 27, 2011
  21. Coron Ultimate Island Tour by Calamianes Expeditions Ecotours Dec 24, 2011
  22. Life's a Beach at Camp Calauit Dec 17-31, 2011
  23. Traversing the Northern Coast of Busuanga Island Dec 14-16, 2011
  24. Skin Diving and Beach Camping at Calumbuyan Island Mar 10-12, 2010
  25. Sea Kayaking, Beach Camping and Skin Diving with Outback Greg on his Tribal Adventures Tour Mar 9-14, 2010
  26. Coron Skin Diving Mar 30, 2008
  27. Coron Kayaking Mar 31, 2008
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Reader Comments:

Greg HutchinsonOutback Greg Australia
Tribal Adventures
(Nov 26, 2016) You don't need YouTube to get kayaking or anything right. You have the right stuff, Gigit!

Gian Paolo CheangGian Paolo Cheang
(Nov 24, 2016) Wow gusto ko yan

Nov 17-19, 2016

»» next story: In Search of Dugong
»» next Kayaking story: White-Water River Kayaking at Kayak Inn
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Cheey, Busuanga


Coron Tribal Adventures    SandCastles beach resort Coron Busuanga
tribal adventures

Busuanga Essentials
Tribal Adventures Tours - multi-day kayak expedition, day tours, island tours, mountain biking, snorkeling, hiking
Expeditions BnB - grand opening, all new, Coron Town location
Calamianes Expeditions & Ecotours - island tours, community based ecotourism experience
Palawan SandCastles - beach house, house reef, rustic beach environment away from Coron Town