Brian Calvert, surely one of the most experienced powerboat cruisers around, just wrote his Nine Year Report from his Selene 48 Further in the Philippines. It was a busy year on many fronts. He married his long-time first mate, Donna, (see picture above) in a local ceremony with 124 guests. They had a “soft start” to their charter business. And they decided to make their base in Coron, a diving mecca in Palawan in the center of the Philippines. “Coron, he wrote on furtheradventures.com/blog, “is simply my favorite place on earth – or at least the half I’ve seen.”
A former delivery captain and whale boat skipper, Calvert retired in 2009 and left Seattle to cruise the Pacific, most recently Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines. He’s put more than 8,500 hours on Further’s single Cummins QSL diesel. And he loves the Philippines. “With 7,000 islands, the Philippines is a cruiser’s paradise,” he wrote, “even though it is somewhat undiscovered by cruisers.”
Calvert and Donna have worked out a happy cruising schedule. They spend the summer rainy season in Subic Day, where it’s easy to work on the boat “and enjoy the decadence of civilization,” he wrote. “I even found a spa with a sauna and jacuzzi nearby.” Then they head for Coron, the site of a naval battle in the Second World War, resulting in many sunken ships for diving. (Calvert is a PADI-certified Dive Master with more than 1,000 dives in 19 countries.)
They decided to share their experiences by starting a charter business last year, taking advantage of the area’s world-class diving, anchorages and white sandy beaches. Plus the fact that it offers a new destination for most charter clients. In addition to diving on the wrecks, charter guests can snorkel, kayak, and have candlelight dinners on secluded island beaches – or take hands-on lessons in powerboat cruising.
For his part, Calvert loves the long-range cruising life, writing that it has “exceeded my wildest dream. The richness of the experiences is immeasurable by any standard I have ever known. This is living life in another plane, another reality, another standard not known in the ‘real world,’ and it is actually easy. Cruising takes diligence and discipline and has risk – but no more than driving in Seattle traffic.”