Is it possible to sail a local paraw boat around remote islands with no experience and live to tell the tale? Just about, thanks to the brand-new Philippines Sailing Challenge.
“You OK, boss?” asks Bong Bong.
“I’m OK, boss,” I reply, while simultaneously not being OK.
Bong Bong isn’t his real name. His real name is Machete (I’m actually not sure if that’s his real name, either), and he’s one of three crew spending the week sailing around remote Filipino islands with my brother, Matt, and me.
Jeffrey, our second crew member, is up on the outrigger, whistling for more wind (I’m not sure if it’s working). Mike, our captain, is steering the vessel. Matt, horizontal on the outrigger opposite me, is just kind of sitting there, wrestling with a hangover.
My bones are sweating. The sun has a palpably obnoxious, get-up-and-go attitude today. It’s early, and the clouds and the wind have opted for a lie-in, presumably to avoid the sun who is, as far as I can tell, a psychopath.