There are actually 124 islets (one less at high tide). Long associated with Alaminos, Pangasinan, the Hundred Islands are actually reached by boat from the coastal town of Lucap.
You can also fly over them. 🙂
The inlets and bays of Zambales and Pangasinan are rugged but beautiful.
Coral formations are clearly visible below the azure surface of the South China Sea.
Masinloc Bay, Zambales
Near Iba, Zambales
The Zambales mountain range and western Pangasinan are a womb for cloud and rain. Moisture from the double coastlines of the Bolinao peninsula are uplifted by mountain waves, and a lot of convection activity results — thunderstorms.
A line of thunderstorms from north to south barred me from Lingayen Gulf. I tried to outflank the line, to edge east to Lingayen Gulf then turn south down Central Luzon to Omni.
The storms formed faster than I could fly! In the end I had to retrace my route down the coast, turning east at Iba to Pinatubo and Clark.
Fuel and sunset were factors. This map was downloaded from my GPS, my track in yellow.
I was ready to RON for fuel at Iba, but there was daylight between the scud and Pinatubo.
Airborne for 2 hours and 45 minutes, I landed at Omni with just an hour’s fuel left in the tanks.
The thunderstorms were there, but under the weather visibility was good and we maintained VFR.
Those clouds looked ominous! Sometimes there is turbulence below that, but Carlo claims bumpy air keeps him awake.
Alaminos, Pangasinan, Lucap in the distance
Hundred Islands National Park
I went here many years ago by boat. The drill was to hire a banca to take you to an uninhabited island that you can claim as your own for a day or two.
Hopefully the banca would come back before you ran out of drinking water.
for a three-hour tour.
It was a chance to be Gilligan, relying on your wits and those of a banca fisherman who might or might not remember two days later which island he dropped you off at.
Of course if the fisherman went under a bus in the meantime… . Oh well, the trick was to make sure Ginger and Mary Ann were along for the ride.
Next in the series: A mythical airfield, an encounter with Presidential security, and the reinvention of a Cessna pilot.
Posted from Lausanne, Jan 28, 2008.