Open!

After literally years of hard work, Eskapo Verde is now fully open! We had our test opening last weekend with a small group of family and friends and with the feedback from that we are ready to take bookings and reservations 🙂

Moalboal has some interesting visitors . . . .

Not directly about the resort this time, more about the people who sometimes drop in :). This time it was Gigit Sulit, a free spirit who has been travelling around the Philippines, Asia and lots of the rest of the world for years. Gigit had lunch with us and came back with a group of friends (Jeanne: the world is indeed a small place!) a few days later. It was indeed a pleasure to spend time with all of you . . . and as you said: who knows where this may go? We hope that the wind keeps you here a while longer, after all Moalboal is full of people that came for three days and three decades later are still here :). I see one every time I look in the mirror!

Here’s a link to some of Gigit’s tales of Moalboal and his visit to Eskapo.

Paddling through the mangroves . . . .

Last Saturday we had a high tide in the afternoon. Since my kayak has just been delivered I thought it would be a nice escape to unwrap it and get the thing in the water. Lots of sweat and plastic wrap later, my pretty green and yellow kayak was floating sweetly by the skeleton of our pier. Of course since there are no photos it never happened, but *if* it had, I can assure you what the scenery around the resort is beautiful. Floating through the shady mangroves: clear water, branches reaching around me and only a few birds to disturb the peace :). I spent a couple of hours exploring the neighbouring island and some of the channels around us, the wreck that’s beached a few metres from us and then home for a well-earn beer. Life is good!

We plan to start installing the decking next week which will make getting our kayaks and paddle boards into the water much easier. It’ll very soon be great to come and explore for yourselves . . . . Photos next time!

Visit of USPF Panthers

USPF Panthers came to Moalboal yesterday to play in an exhibition match against CIT Moalboal. Before the game we were very pleased to welcome the whole Panthers squad to Eskapo Verde, to show them around and to explain the facilities we will be offering them and other sports teams and groups “Real Soon Now”! They were delighted to see the kayaks and paddle boards – for the moment tucked away under the dorms instead of in the water :). However the storage area is close to being ready and the supports for the pier are in place. Next steps there are the platform to link the pier to the shore and then the decking so that we can actually use it :).

And in case you were wondering, the Panthers won 83-67 against CIT, both teams working hard and producing an exciting game with lots of back-and-forth.

Something we’ve all been looking forward to . . .

We have started work laying out the supports for our water sports pier. This is a little tricky since the tide has not being very co-operative but today we got the first two C-purlins mounted, levelled and secured. Another three on Monday and we will be able to set up the first of the decking. The pier will stretch 80m to the deep water channel.

The first pier supports in place.
In the background some guys on a home-made raft do their own exploring . . . .

Lighting, planning and practice

When we spend most of our time in the light, we sometimes forget how different things are in the dark. We spent a couple of hours on the project after dark last week to test our lighting layout. It was wonderful to sit in the restaurant with most of the lights in place (and off as well) and share a cold beer while enjoying a night sky that we don’t see that often, even close by in Panagsama. The stars were so thick it looked like a diamond carpet and even I could see the Plough (Big Dipper) and for the first time identify the North Star. Thanks Alain!

Steady progress for the last couple of weeks, including the mosquito netting on the underside of the dormitories, the final bits for the washrooms and showers and lots of painting for the pier supports before these are fitted. Hopefully we should be able to start assembling and laying them out on Thursday. We are also working on replacing some of the bamboo posts on the Boardwalk with concrete for additional stability and reduced maintenance.

We have had the electricians in again and connected the first set of path lights and we have more sawdust and wood chips for our paths. We do need some signposts though, especially at night :). We are slowly recruiting members of our team – we’re happy with the people we’ve found so far; we think we have the basis of a strong team already.

Opening is getting closer though there is still some construction to do and of course an endless amount of administration!

Kayaks on their way . . . :)

We made a quick visit to the Sea-Ex exhibition in Manila this month to renew our acquaintaince with the guys from Bangkapro. We have been impressed by the standard of their products and have ordered some of their two seats kayaks for our team-building activities. We’re really looking forward to trying out these and the paddle boards which are locally sourced from Artique Kayaks in Cebu. You’ll be able to see our yellow and red creations before too long in the Bay :).

A new year and ever closer to opening!

We are still working towards opening in early March but we don’t have a fixed date yet. Steady progress on all fronts over Christmas and the New Year. The most visible change is for the water sports pier on the north side of the island . . . the pilings are in place and the supports and decking will arrive this month. Here you see the pilings taking shape. The stone supports allow almost complete water flow under the pier and into the mangroves and the pier runs out to the existing (relatively) deep water channel so we will be able to get our kayaks and paddle boards in and out at any state of the tide. During the very low winter tides we can walk out to the channel. High tides on the other hand will come up nearly to the top of the pilings . . . .

We’ve started the process of cleaning the area, laying more wood chips for the path and gravel in front of the buildings. The rains this month are letting grass grow all over the place so the paths are a pleasing (and comfortable) mixture of green and brown.

Kitchen planning is on the go and we look forward to being able to have a cold beer on site soon instead of having to bring it down in a cool box :). Walking home along the boardwalk the other night there were swarms of fire flies either side of us . . . .

To close, a shot of a crab that live in the mud around the pier; it’s about as big as half my thumb and there are others bright blue. What a pretty collection they make!