Looking at Boracay during the pandemic

For almost a month, I’ve been looking across a couple miles of the Philippine Sea directly at the island of Boracay. 

It’s where we were supposed to be staying back in March. Instead, due to the coronavirus, we were denied access and quarantined here on the ‘mainland’ island of Panay – with a nice Boracay view from our balcony, rooftop and beach.

Looking at Boracay during a pandemic

Boracay is said to be THE most touristed island in the Philippines. Barely a half-hour flight from Manila, over two million people visited last year. And the renowned White Beach, which is straight across from us (and is now deserted), has been rated tops in the world. 

But we remain under ‘enhanced community quarantine’ and Boracay remains closed to anyone who is not a resident. Still, the more I look across, the more I want to get a peek. Especially while no tourists are there!

Now granted, normally we aren’t too enthralled by the most “touristy” places on the planet. But at the same time, we do try to visit the popular and well-known places if we are close by — at least briefly. Besides, we love beaches!

Eventually, once this pandemic crisis has passed, I’m sure we will get over to Boracay: me, Ellen, and mom. But with little else to do currently, I’ve come up with a plan involving the kayak we have here at our resort.

The plan to visit Boracay — from afar

I’ve noticed on some days, when the winds are light, the sea between our Panay resort and Boracay’s White Beach is quite calm. Other days there are whitecaps and strong breezes. My idea is to paddle the kayak over to White Beach on one of the calm days.

In preparation, I took the kayak out for a test ride this afternoon. No problem. It’s one of those thick, rigid, plastic sea kayaks designed for two people. It’s the first time I’ve messed around with the thing since our confined quarantine ended over a week ago.

Today at about 4:40 p.m. – with the sea and winds calm – I dragged it into the water and hopped on with the paddle. Within about 10 minutes I was probably a quarter of the way to Boracay! And I wasn’t really even trying.  Very easy.

I took a few photographs, bobbed around a bit, even laid down flat on the seats to relax. Nice! I was probably a half-mile off our shore. I gotta believe I could get to White Beach in 45 to 50 minutes?

Today, however, I cruised back to our shore. I went up a small river that dumps into the sea not too far from our place just to check it out. Then I was back on the water in front of our resort for sunset at 6:00 p.m.

Maybe the best part of the tour, however, was noticing Ellie up on our rooftop as I returned to shore and put the kayak away. I didn’t acknowledge her, but I saw her watching, making sure I was OK. And I was thankful and glad that she to got to see yet another fabulous sunset here. After all, it was a very important day for her – as she described in yesterday’s blog post.

Anyway, with confidence I can physically make it across to White Beach, I conferred with our hostess, Yolly. She said, yes, it is possible to kayak there in less than an hour. And more importantly, I shouldn’t have any issues doing so during this ‘enhanced community quarantine’ period. Boracay is part of our Malay ‘municipality’. And I have a pass allowing me to be out and about within our municipality.

So sometime in the next week I plan to give it a try. Of course, I will wear a life jacket, and sunscreen, and my face mask as required (at least have it with me), and carry my pass — and Yolly’s cell phone number in case of any problems with authorities. 

Still, I intend to stay on the water, in the kayak; not venture onto the land  which is technically closed. Yolly says that should be ok. So stay tuned for that report and some photos of one of the best beaches on earth.

As always, be thankful and generous, happy trails, & more beer.

Life is NOW!

Thanks for reading, “Looking at Boracay during a pandemic.”

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Looking at Boracay during the pandemic

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