Birds and crabs in Suwarrow

Thursday 3rd October 2013

Anchored in the shelter of Anchorage Island, our stay in Suwarrow has been very enjoyable, . The eleven mile wide atoll has several small islets around its edge, none of which are inhabited. The only buildings are the two where Harry and Charlie, the Park Rangers live. Each evening the cruisers congragate ashore for sundowners or a 'pot luck' supper. One evening we had barbecued tuna and coconut crab, freshly caught that morning by Charlie. Some evenings we were invited to watch Charlie feed the sharks on the ocean side of the island with the heads, tails and guts of the fish he'd caught.

We visited Gull Island and Seven Islands on a day trip with Charlie - Park rules state that visitors are not allowed on any of the islands without a Ranger. Gull Island was full of baby Frigate birds each sitting on its own nest, a few nesting Boobies and lots of Terns. There are no predators here, and the birds have no fear of people - in fact they think they are going to feed them and open their beaks in readiness!

On Seven Islands we saw coconut crabs which are very colourful and enormous! We thought they were nocturnal, but when Charlie opened up a few coconuts and laid them on the floor, the crabs soon put in an appearance. Steve snorkelled along Seven Islands but was surprised bay how little life there was in the coral reefs.

Photos will follow in due course. We hope to leave tomorrow for Vava'u in Tonga, 700 nmiles away, where we may find internet!