Samoa views 20 July

20 July – Sunday AM. Caught my first Trevally yesterday. What a beautiful fish! No tail walks, but in every other respect as exciting as a small tuna or garrick. Nice size, about 6 kg; caught spinning with one of those rubber mullet-look-alikes John Paterson got me using instead of smelly old pilchards for kob at Moewe Bay a couple of years ago. Used my fenwick poaching gear:-) off the back of a 10 metre catamaran in the lagoon near Aggie Grey’s resort. We were supposed to go looking for humpback whales with a bunch (18) of yaght club kiddies (9 – 12 yr olds), but the weather report warned against small craft in the trench outside the reef (spring highs and big winds…) so we stayed inshore. It turned out almost wind-still and sunny, so we snorkeled for a couple of hours behind the coral reef in tepid, crystal clear water, where I saw my first squids – what strange beasts, spontaneously changing colour like turbo-charged chameleons! A solitary brown noddy was all the seabird(s) I got to see, and several tame purple swamphens were resident on the golf course.

Sorted out the morning chorus today, with the wattled honeyeater being the most vocal endemic. There were the obvious pesky mynas, and the banded rail, common everywhere. Very shy pigeons (sp. ?) in the canopy, and the quiet calls of the Samoan Fantail, hawking insects near the ground. Samoan starlings are purposeful flyers overhead, and white-rumped swiftlets abound. The odd Cardinal honeyeater is a colorful bonus, and Polynesian trillers hunt insects on a patch of lawn. A screeching flock of blue-crowned lories fly past, and I wonder what’s happened to the flatbilled kingfisher of yesterday.

Weather is low cloud swirling around – it’s warm and windy, so it’s like being in a warm mist. It comes and goes, and there’s a constant drip of water off the roof into the rain-tank. A far cry from Namibia’s cool dry winter! Western Samoa is roughly at the same latitude as Ondangwa – ± 13 degrees south.

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