One more week to departure for the Batanes expedition. THE BOX has arrived in Manila and currently en route to Basco, along with 25kg of nuts, and more than 100 pcs of spare batteries.
All our flight tickets were confirmed last week. As soon as we can confirmed SEAIR is flying the bigger Dornier 328 plane, we can be positive that most our luggage can be on Batan Island. I am worried if the plane can carry our luggage. It has a payload of 3,450kg which includes 35 passengers. If each passenger weighs an average 70kg, and carry 17kg (10kg check-in, 7kg hand-carry), it would leave us with 1,450kg to work with. With 9 expedition team members at average 70kg carry 50kg each, we would need at least 1,080kg. Let's just hope that SEAIR flight planner and cargo manager calculate the take-off load correctly.
Nevertheless SEAIR has been most supportive of this expedition, helping us with almost 600kg of excess luggage and I am grateful for it.
The comms plan, hygiene, and documentation gear had all been sourced or planned for.
I have been monitoring the Batanes weather for the past weeks, and can sense that the weather is settling into a consistent Monsoon pattern. Winds are now prevailing NEN; rain come and go. Joseph, our land safety manager, has even been monitoring the cosmos during that period. And he is never too excited to remind us that The Geminids meteor showers are passing us in December, peaking around 12-14 December. Recent showers have seen around 150 meteors per hour!
Looking at our route chart, we will be camping on Sabtang Island on December 13.
With the stars and our path aligned, luck should be looking up!