Balder and Joost, both live in Amsterdam when they're not travelling the world. While they know each other for years, it was still a big challenge to travel together. Preparation of the Tokelau Voyage started months ahead by choosing the right schedule, and the right time to go. They prepared and packed and planned to visit an island resembling Fantasy Island or Bounty Island? (no link to the chocolate bar). The diary starts in Apia, capital of the country of Western Samoa.
Part 2: Nukunonu by night - Balder has a new hobby.
Our stay in Nukunonu village was at the Luana Liki Hotel. Luana Like is situated at the lagoon and has outstanding service. Its owner and his wife take care of all meals and tour you around the island if you want. They even have a sailing boat that you can borough to sail your way on the lagoon and see the outskirts of the beautiful island.
The first evening after our arrival I am invited by one of the Teletok's engineers, Luciano, to go catch some flying fish (Cyphelurus sp.). Flying fish, which are common to most tropical seas, are found in the warm waters surrounding Tokelau. The species found in this region are about 25cm long and are shaped like a herring. The remarkable feature of this fish is its ability to "fly"! Actually, the fish don't "fly" ... they glide through the air up to distances of 30-40 meters. This ability helps the fish to escape from predators.
This fish is mainly used here as bait for bigger fish (there is always a bigger fish to catch) like tuna, swordfish or even barracuda's, some people however prefer them as rawfish (to eat).
This evening there is little time to catch this fish because the best time to catch them is after sunset and before moonrise (the fish can not orientate themselves in this time of darkness). After departing with our small boat to open sea the plan unfolded to me. Luciano turned on his big headlight and got hold of a big scoop net. With this headlight he searches for the fish and he literally scoops them out of the water before they make their escape. Within one hour we had 16 fish, only 2 made their flying escape. As a bonus we were accompanied by some dolphins who were 'lending' our light to do the same trick. I really enjoyed my fishing trip and although I probably will never do this kind of fishing again, I tell you I've got a new hobby!