happy few days were spent at the anchorage north east of Adonara Island where we
returned after our hectic time at Lembata. The approach channel for the
anchorage is through a passage with reefs on either side, fortunately we still
had the track from our previous visit logged on the GPS. Another rally boat was
less lucky and managed to end up on a reef while trying to find the channel when
the sunlight was too low. It is very important to have the sun high and behind
for these reef anchorages. This makes the reefs very easy to see but as soon as
the sun drops the light reflects off the sea and even with polaroid specs the
reefs are invisible. More happily some cruisers managed to pull the yacht off
with little damage except to the confidence of 2 chastened yachties.
one of the islands here that is a bat camp (the correct name for a colony of
bats that live in the open apparently). These fruit bats live in their tens of
thousands on one island and at sunset stream over to the mainland. The sky comes
alive as they swirl upwards and outwards over their terrain. Sometimes they
swarm during earlier parts of the day and are easier to see, we took the dinghy
over to their island on such an occasion and could see them against the sun, the
skeleton of their wings clearly picked out and the stretched skin gleaming like
black mirrors in the sunrays.
alternative name of flying fox is apt. They are large with a wing span of about
2 feet, they look very primitive and have a deep musky smell which once savoured
is not easily forgotten. We saw them for sale as meat in a Vanuatu market and
got a close up whiff which stuck firmly in the memory.
As the sky
thickened with bat wings we worried about flying guano and beat a retreat to
have an afternoon without bats on a pleasant beach where we found wonderful
shells round the remains of camp fires where the local fishermen cook their
Just what the doctor ordered for
cooling off and getting rid of bat scents.