board the banca from the beach just off Bali Hai. The banca driver and his assistant will load and stow all
your belongings including your picnic lunch and ice box.
They will provide life jackets for children and adults who either can't swim or who request them. Then it's a
paddle into deeper water, the engine kicks into life, and you are off on your voyage ...
The banca driver will usually take the shortest way and head straight for the headland by the end of the San
Fernando airport runway. Unless you are in a hurry to get to the beach ask him to cruise along the beach. That way
you will see far more.
You will pass by Ocean Breeze Resort, then the fishing village of Pagdalagan with many bancas up on the beach,
usually with fishermen preparing them for that nights fishing trip.
Then, after passing what used to be Southern Palms Resort (now Captain Chill), your banca driver will veer west
past Pagudpud. Here you will find a real mix of Filipino lifestyles ... little shanties built of bamboo with kids
playing on the beach, the Patio Del Sol Seafood Restaurant, the occasional large mansion standing tall in stark
contrast to the little shanties, and then rows of small picnic sheds also referred to as "shade for hire."
You will pass the end of the newly extended San Fernando airport runway and then head north. To your right you will
pass Sunset Bay Resort with its newly built swimming pool.
The water off Sunset Bay is usually calm and shallow - ideal for kids to paddle and splash. However there are many
rocks in the shallow water and the banca driver may not be able to land you there. If that's the case the driver
could let you off farther along the beach and you can walk back.
Assuming you decide to continue, ask the banca driver to let you off at Sea Park Resort. This resort has a nice
beach but with a steep drop off so you will have to be careful while wading ashore, especially with young
Sea Park Resort (previously Driftwood) is a nice open beach resort where kids can run around, play, build sand
castles, and do whatever kids love to do on a beach.
You can also use one of the many beach sheds, hire small barbecue charcoal grills, or have your picnic lunch in a
gazebo on the white sand beach.
While you are having fun on the beach the banca driver will happily wait for you, then take you back to Bali
It is important that you protect yourself and your kids from
sunburn. Take some sunblock cream with a reasonably high SPF - 30 or more. If you don't have any you can buy some
from the Bali Hai reception store.
It is also advisable to wear a hat.
Getting in or out of the banca will probably mean paddling in shallow water, so wear some appropriate sandals.
Allan E Miller
30 June 2009
Copyright © 2009 Allan
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