It is just before 7:00 in the morning here and Eddie and I were on deck watching the day break over the Fijian islands we are anchored next to, and we heard your email arrive.
We were actually watching the Flying foxes return to their roost. Last night we watched them leave at dusk. 500 to 1000 of them in aerial pandemonium until they resolve which directions they will strike for, to forage for fruits.
We are anchored and stern moored (to a tree) in area called The Bay of Islands on the west coast of Balavu. It is as about as Picturesque as you could possibly dream. A Maze of irregular shaped emerald jewels set in lake of blue. Each island juts vertically out of the water with unspoiled jungle and fauna clinging to its steep sides and is majorly undercut below the water line by the lapping waves.
We can start to hear the trills and chirps of unidentified bird life in the jungle greeting the day break, until a few moments ago the overwhelming sound was the chattering and bird like chirps of the bats as they settled in for a good days sleep.
The bird calls are pierced by an echoing bark, that at first you are certain are howlers or some other monkey but as you listen more and the sound repeats and modifies. It becomes apparent it is a cooing of some form of very loud dove or pigeon or something that sounds similar. Also a strange quacking is sporadically interspersed amongst the more expected but exotic bird calls. The quacking originates high on the hill sides, but we have seen no sign of the owners of any of calls.
The only creature in flight is a broad winged hawk soaring the ridges of the islands canopies, waiting for one of the callers to break cover Yesterday Eddie and Paige went exploring in the inflatable Kayak they borrowed from Amelie. They discovered the 2 big trees where all the Fruit bats were roosting through the day, row on row on row on row of suspended furry rodents, just being there as if waiting for a mystic sign like the terracotta army ranked up and ready to march (fly).
On a more practical level the smell was apparently more reminiscent of a bad night at a skunks convention.
We have not got our itinerary for the time in Fiji finalised because each time we decide, we discover something else and we keep changing our plans, with so many choices and so little time. We did not meet up with Debbie to get our Fijian sim cards, so we have no local number for you to call until we do. We can not buy one for ourselves because on this island there are no shops (there is no bank) no one has use for money, none of the things anyone has done has asked for money, when recompense is required its barter or swap.
We are told that at the inhabited islands (other than the 2 main big islands) the requirement is to go to the chief with a gift of Kava root when you arrive and then subsequently to ask permission of the locals for anything you want.
I don’t think any of them have a Wifi Web Optimizer to link my Mac to the sat phone, so that leaves me finger and thumbing emails into my blackberry and then waving it around for half an hour to pick up a stray signal.
How has your weekend been? I got an email from Dannie yesterday. Luv Bob