While some might say Ngulu is nearly unhinhabited, there is certainly plenty of healthy non-human habitation going on. Here’s some of the creatures we lived with for the week.
Black Notties (and White Terns)
These are the dominant inhabitatants of the island by which we were anchored.
Their nests are everywhere. (And as you might imagine so is their poop!) Several us got pooped on sitting on the beach or walking through the forest). They weren’t completely okay with us hiking through the forest but some of them didn’t really feel the need to fly away if they were high enough up in the trees.
This is what Ngulu is known for in Yap. Boobies and Frigate birds came out and greeted us as we approached the entrance to the lagoon and followed us as we sailed back and forth waiting for permission to anchor. (We even had another stow-away booby join us on the bow on the way back to Yap from Ngulu).
Some sort of lizard. Any ideas? Patty?
These two were either mating or fighting. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference…
There were dozens of nests along the tree line on the beach. In the morning, you could make out the tracks of the momma turtles in the sand if you get there before the tide came in. If we could go back in about 6 weeks there would be thousands of babies digging themselves out and heading for the water (hopefully at night when the birds are asleep). I’ve only seen turtle tracks maybe once in my life. I had a really silly confusing moment when we pulled the dinghy up on the beach and I thought, for a second, that there were tire tracks on the beach in Ngulu (we are 80 miles from a car or vehicle of any type). Turtle tracks play the part well! (See image below- not my picture) A few seconds later, I realized what I was looking at. Fresh (from the previous night) momma turtle tracks, her fin marks pushing through the sand.
This was our welcome gift from George and his family. Six husked coconuts for drinking, carried in a palm sling.
They also make great hammock trees.
Other jungle trees
Pandanis, Breadfruit, Papaya…
Also this odd looking tree we had seen on Yap. On Yap they said they won’t eat these fruits but in Ngulu they do but only when they are fruit is still young nad small. Bunches grow straight out from the trunk.
Ants, mosquitoes, and spiders
Hermit, land, and sand crabs. Tiny head of a pin sized bright red crabs that crawl on the ladder on your boat. I loved watching these guys run around at sunset, almost invisible in the light of dusk.
Coral (of course)
The reef was absolutely beautiful, easily rivaling my diving experiences in Palau. And we were just snorkeling. The bits of coral that washed up the beach, bleached were also beautiful. Lots of purples and blues.
George caught our lobster dinner. We saw one huge one by the SE island island when snorkeling.
Big parrot fish
The fish I spent a lot of time watching out for on the reef was parrotfish. Mostly because I can identify it and I know it’s tasty. George encouraged us upon arriving to spear fish for dinner so we thought we’d give it ago. (Pete nor I have ever speared a fishs before but have a Hawaiian sling). Pete and I both almost caught a fish but both failed to give an extra push with the spear to push it through the body, preventing it from swimming away. I knew that’s what I would have to do, but when I struck the fish with one of the prongs it started flapping about, trying around to get away. (Duh, Jackie). The fish was successful. I was caught off guard (I didn’t think I’d actually get one!) and esd startled by it’s fight. And I felt really bad for the fish. After this, I got close enough to spear a fish a few times but felt too bad for the guys to release the spear. Maybe I’ll just stick to trolling. Even then I feel bad for the fish. Terry (The Lorax crew) and I were talking about how we aren’t so sad if I fish manages to get off the hook and line. That maybe we even root for the fighting fish a little bit in the battle to bring him/her aboard.
The day we left Ngulu it was very sunny and hot. This school of squid hung out in the shade of the sailboat all morning and into the afternoon.
The was the only shark I saw in Ngulu. He was in about 4 feet of water and about that long. He didn’t run away as quick at the baby black tip that Pete saw; he just cruised along through the reef taking an alternate route to keep his distance from us. They are beautiful sharks. I didn’t take this picture but I love their big long tails. Pete dives with these sharks at the aquarium in Guam. They don’t have sharp teeth. Just big plates and lots of jaw muscle.
(only 5, soon to be 6)
Charles, 23, met his new wife in Ifilik (another outer island East of Yap) and she would be moving to Ngulu in one month. I imagine she must be a pretty cool person. Way to go, Charles, for finding a chick who wanted to move to an island as secluded and natural as Ngulu! This is a picture of 2 year old Lorenza who was a bit shy but loved to take pictures.
And that’s Ngulu! Pictures take a while to upload here, but I will try to keep posting.