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Stuck on the reef in Boracay

The last day of our stay on Boracay I decided to go sailing with Charlie one more time. We met up right after lunch, but made a small mistake with the tides. The low tide was quickly coming in and we had to hurry to get the boat off the beach and get out of the laguna. It turned out we really were too late and had to get the help of some local fishermen to get the boat into deeper water. About 10 minutes later we came to the reef, but here we really faced a problem. Some parts of the coral almost came out of the water and the waves had white foam on top of them showing that the water was extremely shallow.

Charlie knew a place where the reef was a bit deeper, but we could not reach it anymore due to the low tide. But going back wasn’t an option either, we had to continue. So both of us jumped off the boat, but not before attaching ourselves to the boat with ropes (you don’t want to be stuck on a reef with the boat sailing away on its own). We then climbed over the reef, trying to push the boat over it. Luckily the boat was only about 50 cm deep (it is a trimaran), otherwise this would have been impossible. It was very difficult, the coral was very sharp and we got some cuts from it. Due to the surf it was difficult to see where the coral exactly was, and the height difference between the coral and the sand below was up to about 1.50 meter. When we almost were through I managed to step into a sea urchin. Luckily I wore slippers that protected me from most of the needles, but some ended up in my heel. Quite painful. Sometimes you hear stories of people getting very sick because of these needles, but I was lucky. Except for some pain and some difficulty walking later I was fine.

Not longer after this we were through the reef and had a nice afternoon of sailing. We went far our into the sea, and had some pretty big waves (2-3 meters). Charlie let me sail most of the time, and I was impressed how well the boat handled the waves. We ended the afternoon with a beer on a remote beach. Just before sunset we sailed back and arrived back at the beach in total darkness. A great afternoon, but next time I will make sure the tide is high enough to get over the reef!

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