Monday, May 16, 2011

Red-Footed Boobies!

A Red-Footed Boobie
This title is not solely an attempt to increase blog hits, but I suppose it never hurts!!

Bernie and Yvonne are avid and knowledgeable birders, and they had offered to take me out this morning to an island on the far side of the atoll to explore some lively bird areas. What a treat. This worked out well for John and Eric, as they wanted to do some fishing in the same area, and they were much more comfortable with another dinghy in the area, in case of outboard trouble.

(An aside - our outboard has been giving us trouble lately. Again. Strange knocking sounds this time. We expect it is just a matter of time. But...Eric lost his prop here a couple weeks ago, so now we're sharing - his inflatable dinghy with our outboard!! Hurrah!)

We had a fabulous time. We saw lots of Frigatebirds - both Lesser and Greater, Red-footed and Brown Boobies, all of which were nesting in the trees not far from head height! We also had the treat of seeing Red-tailed Tropic Birds nesting on the ground. I'm still working on sorting out the Shearwaters and Storm-petrels, but there certainly were hundreds, if not thousands, flying around us.
Bernie and Yvonne

Eric and John had success fishing, and caught three nice fish, and great stories of a too-eager shark which chomped down on John's fin, in his attempt to claim his rightful portion of the fish. After birding, Bernie, Yvonne and I also explored some of the gorgeous coral, which was the most colourful and healthy since the Tuamotus. We also saw lots of sharks, most were black-tipped reef sharks. Quite harmless. But after Bernie speared a nice fish, we were also investigated by a Lemon Shark. Not the harmless variety. I nearly choked in my snorkel as I beat my fin in its face, and flung myself towards the dinghy. Afterwards, I felt quite selfish (not to mention cowardly) for jumping in so quickly, without regard for Bernie and Yvonne! But as seasoned cruisers, they knew it wasn't friendly, but weren't nearly as paniced as I was!!

Tonight, we're off to the beach for another round of coconut crabs. Dinner will be some concoction of the various fish we caught today - Parrotfish, Jackfish, and Yellowlip Emperor (I think).
A Jack, A Yellow-lip Emperor and a Coral Trout


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Hi - thanks for leaving a comment on the blog! Cheers - John and Naomi