Days 20 to 21: 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 evenings birding or a quiet stroll through town.
We will (weather permitting) offer a couple of options for birding. 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 Caroline Islands White-eye, Micronesian Myzomela, Micronesian Starling, Oceanic Flycatcher, Caroline Reed Warbler, Caroline Islands Swiftlet and the Purple-capped Fruit-Dove.
The other option will be to take a long Zodiac ride to Tol South Island where after a rather demanding climb (especially in the heat and humidity of these islands) there is a reasonable chance of seeing the endemic Faichuuk (or Great Truk) White-eye and the Chuuk Monarch.
If birding is not for you today then we can arrange a dive or snorkel in this historic harbour where there are countless Japanese ships and aircraft. These were sunk by the Americans in a surprise attack on February 17th 1944. We continue north this afternoon.
Days 22 to 25: At Sea
More lazy relaxing days at sea. Just remember ‘God does not deduct from ones 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 Storm-Petrels, Bonin and Bulwer’s Petrels, Wedge-tailed and Bannerman’s Shearwaters.
As we approach the Bonin chain of islands we will keep a particular look out 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 26: Chichi-jima
We clear Customs and Immigration into Japan at the largest of the Bonin Islands, Chichi-jima before taking some time to walk a little and explore the settlement and the surrounds area. Birds that we might be able to see are Blue Rock Thrush, Japanese White-eye, Brown-eared Bulbul and Japanese Bush Warbler.
Day 27: Haha-jima and Higashi Shima
We plan to land early in the morning on the rarely visited island of Hahajima which is the only place in the world where the stunning Bonin Honeyeater can be found. After spending the morning ashore, we will return to the ship for lunch and then head north to spend the late afternoon and evening off the east coast of Chichi-jima looking for the recently described and very rare Bryan’s Shearwaters.
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 by the chumming include both Black-footed and Laysan Albatrosses, Streaked Shearwater, and both Tristam’s and Matsudaira’s Storm-Petrels.
Day 30: Miyake-jima Island
We land this morning on the island of Miyake-jima and visit the Tsubota Nature Centre where walks through the forest around the Caldera provide an opportunity to see species including the endemic Izu Thrush, Ijima’s Leaf-warbler and Owston’s Tit. We also hope to find Japanese Wood Pigeon and Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker. We will end our birding on the expedition by sailing close to some islets where it is possible to see Japanese Murrelet.
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.