Our first morning on Pangulasian Island. I met up with resident Environmental Officer, Kitsie Torres who suggested a leisurely walk through the resort property.
No sooner had we begun our stroll, Kitsie pointed out excitedly to the 3 sea turtle nests on the beach. Sea turtles have a unique homing system, she explained, which enables the adult female of the species to return to her exact place of birth to lay eggs. This evolutionary trait gives the eggs the highest chance of survival. Unbelieveable! Nature at its brilliant best!
As we walked through the thick foliage behind the villas, our attention was drawn to loud, rustling noises in the underbrush. We observed a pair of scrubfowl – the female vigorously preparing her nest. The scrubfowl nests in a large mound of sand and leaves. The decaying of the natural matter generates heat that helps incubate the eggs.
A little ahead, our approaching footsteps jolted a monitor lizard out of his lazy sunbathing and he scampered into the vegetation. I was very impressed with Kitsie’s sharp observation skills and her in-depth knowledge of the endemic species of flora and fauna.
Kitsie suggested we walk to the end of the property in the hope of getting a view of the blacktip reef shark from shore. Blacktips have a docile personality and are known to inhabit shallow waters. Barely had we gotten to the rocky shore at the end of the island that a two-foot specimen of the blacktip darted gracefully in the shallow reef in front of us. Talk about perfect timing!
In the meanwhile, hubby was having an incredible time snorkeling in the vibrant house reef. Together with the resort snorkeling guide, he swam in close proximity to a school of 6 blacktip reef sharks.
He also observed a seemingly endless array of underwater beauties – lion fish, puffer fish, bluespotted sting ray, star fish, blue-lipped clams – including a rare sighting of the elusive moray eel.
The rest of the day just sailed by, relaxing in the warm tropical breeze with our feet firmly planted in the white powdery sand.
Imagine my surprise when I found out later that white sand is actually the poop of the parrotfish. You see, parrotfish accidently consume small pieces of coral along with its normal diet of seaweed. Being unable to digest the coral, it poops it out as fine grains which form the white powdery beaches we so love. One parrotfish produces almost 100 kg of white sand every year. What would our beach vacations be without the humble parrotfish? Well, now you know!
The final installment of this travelogue at Adios Pangualsian!