We have been honored over the last two days with our first guests on Tortola. Some friends of ours arrived on Thursday, and it's been a blast spending time with them and showing them the island. We went to Bananakeet happy hour last night, for the sunset and the live music.
Unfortunately, we had lingered over dinner just a little too long and arrived a few minutes late for the sunset.
As we chatted and relaxed, we started noticing bats swooping around about ten yards in front of us, enjoying a feast of insects on the hillside. A few of them passed quite close, but we weren't very alarmed because the only ones we could see were fairly small - maybe six or seven inches wingtip to wingtip - until a cry from a woman behind us alerted us to the bat that was skimming the insects off the pool.
We watched as a very large bat, maybe 2 feet in wingspan, circled the top of the pool over and over again, his wings looking white as the lights shone through the translucent membranes. After ten or twelve revolutions, he flew out back towards the ocean again, not giving much headroom to the diners sitting in his path. Over the course of the next twenty minutes, the same bat came back to enjoy his poolside dinner maybe five or six more times, each time coming closer and closer to the heads of the people eating and drinking. A particularly low pass made me ridiculously uncomfortable, as HB felt the air currents from the wings ruffle his hair, and so we made a hasty retreat, a single bat making a disappointed evening into a night to remember.