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Intro •  Nabucco Island Resort  •  Guides & Safety  •  Diving in General  •  Barracudas: Big Fish Country   Manta Rays: Sangalaki Island  •  Jellyfish Lake: Kakaban Island  •  Flying Foxes  •  Still Life Gallery

Flying Foxes

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 us.

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 occasions.

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 surprise.

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.

Visit to Maratua Island. Note flying foxes in the top of the tree.

Visit to Maratua Island. Note the flying foxes
like dark spots in the top of the trees

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