La Esperanza is a stylish wood schooner, built the traditional way. On windy days, it is very good-looking with its five sails spread out.
Captain Jacob Bakker built La Ezperaza in 1974. This Dutchman, after crisscrossing the Caribbean, has been based in Palawan for the last 20 years. He knows these waters by heart and is full of stories. His wife Cristina,. who is originally from Cebu, is particularly warm and full of life. She is also a fabulous cook and her bread is irresistible.
The sailboat is 15 meters long and is spacious. The deck allows comfortable movement for the occupants. A table and chairs can be installed under a canopy during meals for sun protection or you can snuggle up in canopy cushions while watching the sumptuous scenery as you cruise. The sailboat has two cabins, one with two single beds. The dining nook, used only on rainy days, can be transformed into a room by simply taking the table down and installing a double bed in its place. On warm nights, it is always possible to pick up your mattresses and sleep on deck under a starry night. The sailboat has an interior bathroom, but showers are taken on deck from buckets of fresh water.
The kitchen is well equipped with a refrigerator and freezer, so drinking ice-cold beverages is possible. You can bring refreshments if you wish, but you can always find beer, rum and soft drinks on board.
The sailboat is indeed ideal way to discover this fantastic region of hundred deserted islets. La Esperanza goes from one blue lagoon to another, and it anchors in different bay every night. You can discuss the itinerary with the captain, as the possibilities are endless. you can limit yourselves to a Busuanga tour if you have little time (count a minimum of 3 days). With more time on your hands, you can take the Coron route to El Nido, and its fabulous lagoons of Coron. (The 3 days can be spend on Coron island alone.) With more time on your hands, you can take the Coron route to El Nido and its fabulous limestone cliffs. (count a minimum of 5 days).
With even more time, you can go up to the National Park of the Sabang Underground River. (Count a minimum of 1 week). In the last two options, the return trip to Coron by boat has to be paid. Other alternatives are, of course, possible. On board, you get this impression of total independence. You hit ground when you wish; you can walk along deserted beaches, swim and snorkel in the most favorable places.
Although the boat is equipped with tanks and compressor for scuba diving, you have to bring your own equipment. These can be rented in Coron. Note that the captain is not a diver. Among the most interesting sites are shipwrecks around Busuanga.
How to get there
By air, land and sea, 65-minute flight on Seair or Asian Spirit; or 9o-minute flight on Pacific Air from Manila to Busuanga. All airlines have daily flights. 45 minutes by jeepney from Busuanga Airport to Bayside Divers Lodge in Coron town. A shuttle van awaits passengers and takes them to Bayside Divers Lodge in Coron. Time of departure from Busuanga airport depends on flight schedules.