Lazy and relaxing days at sea, you can bird (under a special shade area on the top deck) download photos, write logs or notes, or simply relax in the bar with a drink or a book. Our team will be maintaining a constant pelagic watch for birds and mammals and you are welcome to join them. There are a number of species including Bulwer’s Petrels, Wedgetailed Shearwaters, White-tailed Tropicbirds, White and Sooty Terns and both Great and Lesser Frigatebirds that we could see and photograph.
Days 21 and 22: Caroline Islands
We will enter the protected (and historic) waters of the Chuuk (Truk) Lagoon late this afternoon. Once we are clear of Customs, and if there is time after clearance has been given, you are welcome to go ashore and enjoy an evening of birding or a quiet stroll through town.
We will (weather permitting) offer a couple of options for birding on day 22. On Weno Island where the ship will be berthed, you can walk around and there is a good chance we can see species such as Purple-capped Fruit-dove, Oceanic Flycatcher, Caroline Reed Warbler, Caroline Islands Swiftlet, Caroline Islands Whiteeye, Micronesian Myzomela and Micronesian Starling.
The other option will be to take a long Zodiac ride to Tol South Island where after a very demanding climb (especially in the heat and humidity of these islands) there is a reasonable chance of seeing the endemic Teardop (or Great Truk) White-eye and Chuuk Monarch.
If birding is not for you today, we can arrange a snorkel in this historic harbour where there are countless Japanese ships and aircraft. These were sunk by the Americans in a surprise attack on 17th February 1944.
We continue north this afternoon.
Days 23 to 26: At Sea
More lazy relaxing days at sea. Just remember ‘God does not deduct from one’s allotted life span time spent sailing’ so just relax and enjoy. The birding is quiet in these latitudes, but if you put in the time there are some good sightings to be had. Birds that we may see include Matsudaira’s Stormpetrels, Bonin and Bulwer’s Petrels, Wedge-tailed and Bannerman’s Shearwaters.
As we approach the Bonin chain of islands we will keep a particular lookout for the newly described Bryan’s Shearwater. This area is also good for cetaceans, especially Humpback Whales which are known to occur here in reasonable numbers.
Day 27: Chichi-jima Island
We will clear Customs and Immigration into Japan at the largest of the Bonin Islands, Chichi-jima, before exploring the settlement and the surrounding area. Birds that we may see include Japanese Bush Warbler, Blue Rock Thrush, Brown-eared Bulbul and Japanese White-eye.
We will, however, only have a limited time ashore as we need to reposition the ship off the eastern side of the island by mid-afternoon to look for the critically endangered Bryan’s Shearwater. This species is only known to breed on a small islet off Chichi-jima and during our 2019 expedition several individuals were seen as birds returned to their burrows prior to dusk. We should also see good numbers of Bannerman’s Shearwaters which also breed here.
Day 28: At Sea
Relax at sea as we sail north from the Bonin Islands. We will be on the lookout for seabirds with the possibilities including Tristram’s Storm-petrel, Bonin Petrel and Bannerman’s Shearwater.
Day 29: Torishima Island
Landings are not permitted at Torishima Island, but we cruise as close to shore as the captain will permit in the hope of seeing the
Short-tailed or Steller’s Albatross. Chumming will begin early morning and will continue for as long as it takes to bring the birds around. Other species that could be attracted include Black-footed and Laysan Albatrosses, Streaked Shearwater, and both Tristam’s and Matsudaira’s Storm-petrels.
Day 30: Hachijo-jima Island
Located in the Izu Islands archipelago, Hachijo-Jima is a picturesque subtropical volcanic island. The island’s two main mountains are the volcanoes Mt Mihara in the south-east and Mt Nishi in the north-west. The island is a major exporter of Phoenix roebelenii palms and also cultivates aloe vera, so you may pass numerous plantations of both.
The island is home to the endemic Izu Thrush, Ijima’s Leaf-warbler and Owston’s Tit. We will also look for Japanese Wood Pigeon, Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker and Japanese (Izu) Robin. We will end our birding on the expedition by sailing close to some islets where we hope to find Japanese Murrelet. This evening we enjoy a final dinner on board Spirit of Enderby, and prepare for our morning arrival tomorrow at the Port of Yokohama.
Day 31: Yokohama, Japan
After breakfast and arrival formalities have been completed in to Yokohama, we will disembark the vessel. There will be a complimentary transfer from the ship to Yokohama railway station.
We ask you not to book any onward flights (Domestic or International) until mid afternoon to account for any delays and the
time it takes to travel to the airports.
Note: During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed.