11-Sep-2005 -- This is an incomplete visit. We did not have the chance to have the boat trip to ride out 7.12 km offshore because of the big waves created by the tropical storm Khanun. This is the full story:
The target destination from where we could rent a boat is San Narciso, Zambales and it is approximately 170 kilometers from Manila. For a while, I had been planning this trip but the west coast of Zambales is notorious for its big waves created by southwest winds coming from China Sea. The unsuccessful visit of Jeffrey Brown of 15N 120E in January 2004 is a lesson unlearned by me. The presence of typhoon in the northeastern part of Luzon can create a temporary calm situation in the area. I thought I had this situation with Tropical Storm Khanun still approaching north of Taiwan, neutralizing the southwesterlies and shielding its effect by the whole island of Luzon so I took the chance to try to visit 15N 120E this weekend.
I took off 5 AM, Saturday morning from my house in Pasig, MetroManila and had a comfortable trip with the newly rebuilt North Luzon Expressway exiting San Fernando Toll Gate. Then we proceed to Dinalupihan and turn right towards Olongapo City. Soon after I finally reach San Narciso at about 8:30 AM after passing through the small towns of Subic, Castillejos and San Marcelino.
We parked under the shady Magtalisay trees and walked to the boats and asked around if anybody is interested to go out the sea for a fee but all that we have asked refused to go out with the big waves created by the unusually strong southwest winds. Their worry was in landing with the big waves that can damage their boats. They said it was calmer the whole day before and even in the early morning when some fishermen managed to go out to the sea to fish. We were just unlucky to arrive at the exact time the waves are building up. They suggested waiting for the next morning when it is usually calmer.
Santah and I decided to sleep through the night. I pulled off the portable cot on the ground while Santah slept in the car. We had befriended the storeowner nearby and arranged to cook us a fresh fish and rice we bought from their marketplace. We slept under the sound of constant boom of thunderous waves hitting the shore that became more prominent in the early morning. To our dismay the waves are bigger early morning even though the wind had died down. It looked like the storm has moved further north towards China mainland and the effect of the storm wind circulation had leaked towards China Sea from the wide gap between northernmost Luzon and China. At this moment we decided to head for home. We were willing to take the chance but the boatmen did not. Common sense told me that they knew their sea better so it is always on the safe side to respect their decision.
We promised to come back to make another attempt anytime when the sea is calmer. We took the cellphone number from the San Narciso storeowner and we will get better firsthand information of sea condition before we go back.