Flying foxes are the local name for fruit bats. Despite ample caves, these flyers like to spend their day hanging in the bright sunshine among the top of the canopy. A few hundred will take up residence in a series of trees, and they loved the peninsula south of our last anchorage in Pangaimotu. They seemed like restless sleepers, occasionally stretching or screeching if a neighbor got too close. If we looked closely, we could find a bat with a baby clutching to her abdomen. Around dusk, one or two would cruise to more fruitful grounds. They had enormous and iconic bat silhouettes, but instead of short, darting flight patterns, they had long wing strokes and direct routes, much more like eagles of the night than the bats I’m used to (or foxes, for that matter).
We’re getting ready to stretch our wings, as well. We’re in Neiafu now, running our final errands before cruising 63 miles south to Ha’apai.