One evening we sat on our porch overlooking the water. We
had turned on the porch light and watched in fascination the cornet fish
hunting in the shallows.
Suddenly the silence of the dark night was ripped by a horrific moaning and
groaning. Instinctively, it sounded like a little child being tormented and
just about to expire.
The next morning we asked about but perhaps due to our graphic description
nobody seemed to know what we were on about. Until it dawned on one of the
locals. It was just the largest bats in the world, the flying foxes, which
visited the banana palm trees on the island at night, and quite often came
to blows over the food. We were quite relieved.
Our stay at Nabucco Island Resort didn’t provide us with much local colour.
In principle we could have been on almost any small island along the equator.
The resort did offer a four hour five dollar excursion to the main island of
Maratua, which would lead you through a village, a bit of jungle and a tiny
jellyfish lake, and – if you were lucky – you might catch a glimpse of a
monkey or two. A couple of visitors did the tour and warned off the rest of
After one of our dives we put in at the captain’s home village on Maratua
Island to have a look around. The school in the village collected all the
kids from the neighbouring islands for elementary school, and quite a large
mosque was the haunt for the inhabitants of the district on special
In some very tall trees we could see our nocturnal flying friends hanging
head down patiently awaiting nightfall. Of course, some of the kids had
gotten their hands on a bat and proudly displayed it by holding it at each
wing tip stretching it to its full wingspan of some 1.5 metres. Really
impressive. It looked more dead than alive, though, and had probably fallen
out of tree by itself – hopefully.
Anyway, go to Nabucco Island for the diving, not the local colour.
Especially, Big Fish Country is quite unique and always in for a pelagic
Our trips to both Sangalaki and Kakaban were truly once
in a lifetime experiences to be relived and revered during dark and cold
Danish winter months.