Spending the night tethered at Weno wharf in the Caroline Islands, a few hardy souls disembarked Spirit of Enderby in the pre-dawn to make the 18-nautical-mile Zodiac journey to Tol South - home of the endemic Chuuk Monarch and Teardrop White-eye. The long and bumpy trip, followed by a steep and treacherous climb paid off with both species added to the life lists of some delighted birders.
The remaining group took an easier option of a minibus ride up to the birding hot spot known as 'Japanese Gun' where all 8 of the island's endemics were seen, plus the Blue-faced Parrotfinch for a lucky few. Many of these endemics, especially the Carolinian Reed Warbler, the stunning Micronesian Myzomela and Oceanic Flycatcher were particularly tame and showy which made for some fantastic photo ops.
Further forays into the bustle of Weno township completed our visit until the pilot boarded around 1500 hours and then we were off again - sailing towards Japan. A pre-dinner celebration saw us raising a glass of bubbles, courtesy of Nigel Hacking, in a toast to him exceeding 5,000 birds species. Cheers Nigel!