Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Isla Linton: Invasion of the Fruit Bats!

I was sooooo excited to go to Linton, a small island about 15 miles east of Portobelo, mainly because I had heard that here there be monkeys. And not just any monkeys but bad spirited, badly behaved ones! 

Anyhoo, we pulled into the extremely crowded anchorage in Linton, with the nearly 80 (77 to be exact) other boats, and dinghied over to the island. But much to my dismay, there wasn’t a monkey in sight. Nothing. Zip. Nada. We took a little walk around the beach and then, disappointed, we headed to the little town on the mainland where we did manage to see a camel and hear the lonely honking of a peacock (obviously there must be a wildlife sanctuary near town).

The next morning, after an awful, horrendous, rolly night, I woke up and noticed that the bananas in our fruit hammock had become so ripe that one had actually fallen out. Ugh, I thought, no one wants to clean up banana goo first thing in the morning. But I made some coffee and began to tackle to problem. Only, I couldn’t find any mushy banana on the settee. Not a speck. Upon closer examination, the banana peel looked as if it had been ripped and the banana scooped out, the entire thing licked completely smooth. That’s when I woke Vlad up saying “There was a fruit bat on our boat last night!”

He then sleepily described to me how in the middle of the night he had woken up to the sound of fluttering and something brushing past his leg and saw what he thought was a large moth flying around the boat. Whatever the case, he said, it wasn’t a Panamanian, and he went back to sleep. That giant moth was actually a banana-eating fruit bat that had roamed freely in our boat all night. Ever better than badly behaved monkeys!


  1. Bats need more friends like you two! That is so cool! Bats and boats. An unlikely combination, and yet one that we, too, have come across. One year during our crossing of the Strait of Juan de fuca, in dense fog, a bat appeared out of the fog and settled on our stowed mainsail. (No wind, of course.) He snuggled into the fold for a nap and about an hour later another little brown bat emerged from the fog and crawled underneath my kayak which was stowed on the foredeck. We gave them both a ride to the San Juan Islands. Who knew bats and boats went together so well? I would be pleased to share my banana with a fruit bat, should one choose to visit. I do hope you see monkeys.
    Also, I know you probably don't have a good enough connection to watch this, but it totally made me think of you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5jw3T3Jy70 It's the funniest thing I've seen about sloths. If you can't get the link, just go to Youtube and search for Kristen Bell Sloth and it will come up.

  2. Thank goodness I have a decent internet connection! Hilarious! We are hoping to see more sloths when my dad comes to visit in about a week.

    And I love your story about the bats in the sails. How cool is that?

    1. Oh Great! I'm glad you got a good laugh with that video. Who knew the world was filled with such sloth love? Hope you get more great photos! And do take some of the bats if you can. When we were in Australia we saw bats that were so huge it was just astounding. We're talking massive wingspans. I think they call them flying foxes.