There is nothing quite like exploring new destinations and being amongst the first to fish somewhere new. Kanton Atoll has been identified as an important marine protection area and tourism destination for Kiribati. It has also been identified as a destination of world significance for the purposes of catch and release sport fishing activities. Rock Expeditions will be operating 3 back-to-back expeditions to Kanton atoll facilitated by private charter, ex. Tarawa.
Kanton Atoll remains as one of the last havens on earth with no regular and sustainable access, shielded from the modern world. This remoteness, coupled with official world heritage status, this atoll of Kiribati has one of the healthiest and most virgin ecosystem to still exist on this planet. Conversely, Kanton is at risk of modern man and the industrial world as global climate variables may determine the fate of this ultra-sensitive environment. Access to this jewel of the Pacific is subject to permission and permit only via the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA).
Giant Trevally patrol here in reckless abandon, devoid of human fear and in staggering numbers. The GT dominates the surf line, lagoon and the only passage of the atoll, located on the western, leeward side. The passage, where current and tidal movement control the lifeblood of the atoll is separated by “Spam” Island, where only the strongest survive. The passage is Kanton’s GT nerve centre.
Turtles, whale sharks, manta rays and dolphins abound in addition to trophy class species such as triggerfish, bonefish, rainbow runner, jobfish, dogtooth tuna, yellowfin tuna, napoleon wrasse and golden and bluefin trevally. Crescent-tails pierce the water’s surface in each aspect, colourful parrotfish and black surgeon’s mooch along the bountiful flats. Black-tip whalers cruise every inch of Kanton’s waters – a true indication that this reef is well and truly in prime health. Napoleon wrasse, another litmus indicator of reef health, exist is what can only be described as plentiful numbers.
Kanton lies 2 degrees south of the equator and 171 degrees west, providing for a consistently hot and tropical climate. The lagoon is over 40 square kilometres in area, composed primarily of deeper coral shoals and what would be considered “small” flats encircling its internal circumference. The exterior of the atoll features a traditional fringing barrier reef that drops quickly to 200 feet in some areas and beyond. This zone features coral bomboras, rocky limestone and the occasional expanse of sand and rock type flats.
Kanton is the northernmost and only inhabited atoll of the eight that comprise the “Phoenix Islands”. The Gilbert and the Line Islands lie to the West and East respectively. Kanton is not subject to cyclones due to its proximity to the equator, however, logistical access points via sea are often hampered by cyclonic activity and turbulent oceanic conditions due to the Convergence zone. The expeditions will be accessed via private chartered aircraft from Tarawa (Kiribati capital).
There will be 3 back-to-back expeditions offered in October-November 2018. There is option of a 4th expedition that can be operated adjoining before/after this period. Expeditions will depart Bonriki International Airport, Tarawa (+12 GMT) in the early hours of the day after your arrival (15.5 hours after arrival to Tarawa from Nadi, Fiji). The departure time will be 02:30 hours.
Communal amenities, meals & basic activities will be available to the group all day prior to departure. Accommodation is not required on this day. With an approximate flight time of 4.5/5 hours, this will allow for a daylight landing at Kanton at 08:00 hours (Kanton,+11 GMT).
Fishing will commence after the establishment of base, community meeting and safety briefing. Daily fishing will commence after first light by foot. Skiff transportation will be available when light permits safe travel amongst coral and channel. Two anglers will be “paired” with one guide and one local assistant (where possible). Small capacity motorbikes will also be available for transport throughout the atoll, operated by local assistants. Guides will be participating in fishing activity for film collation and exploratory data collection as we document the fishing environment. There will be a maximum of 4 rods per expedition (5 rods for expedition #2). Anglers will depart approx. 10:00 hours (+11 GMT) ex. Kanton for a 13:30 hours arrival in Tarawa. Departing anglers will be required to layover in Tarawa for 2 nights (Expedition 33 will be 1 night layover) and depart on Thursday for Nadi with Fiji Airways. Accommodation, meals and basic activities/sightseeing will be provided for the 2 nights prior to departure.
Our aim is to deliver unique, catch and release eco-tourism in a marine environment that may prove to be a premier “GT on fly” destination in the future. This “off the beaten path” experience we are providing is not for the uninitiated or faint of heart. Anglers will have the opportunity to be part of the angling strategy on a day-by-day basis and will form scouting parties to explore various parts of the atoll. Fishing will be primarily wading and shore-based. A minimum degree of health and fitness is required as well as discipline and self-reliance. There will be one head guide, one guest guide and several island liaisons (assistants) that will form the basis of the crew operating these trial explorations.
On Island Logistics
A 17ft skiff powered by 60hp Yamaha Enduro will be used for transportation within the lagoon. The outside fringing reef will be accessed by transfer within the lagoon and walking up to 0.5 mile to reach the Oceanside. Small capacity motorbikes will also be used to deliver anglers to strategic locations throughout the perimeter of the atoll. The motorbikes will be operated by Kiribati caretakers, anglers will ride tandem. Good physical health, endurance and ability to walk up to 20 kilometres a day is a great advantage.
A high level of physical condition is required to attend these trial expeditions. Distances covered are vast and with minimal shelter from oppressive sun and heat. Please ensure you see your GP/doctor prior to declaring your fitness for this expedition.
Newly constructed Kiribati style “Buas” will be available for each angler. They are raised off the ground and encourage wind and airflow to keep conditions cool. Basic padded matting and mosquito nets will be arranged for each angler. Tank water will be available for washing and basic, non-flush toilets will be accessible. Important note: There will be no air-conditioning or powered, modern amenities available.
Several meals will be served daily, prepared by the local caretaking community. We are limited by local supplies and items flown in from Tarawa (on our chartered flights only) as well as cargo subjected to strict biosecurity laws. Diet will be primarily fish, rice and high energy, packaged snacks (sweet biscuits, candy bars, granola bars) etc. and limited fruit (biosecurity). Please understand the limitations we are held to by the remoteness of this location and ensure you disclose any dietary restrictions or allergies you may have.
Water will be provided from a filtered, rainwater tank in new, sealed bottles brought from Tarawa. Alcohol is not provided; however, you may bring liquor/spirits if it meets your luggage weight limit. All efforts will be made to diversify our food menu where possible with prior flights that may visit Kanton for government and patrol purposes.
Aircraft: Beechcraft King Air 200
Cruise Speed: 240kts True Airspeed
Seats: 8 executive seats (2 of which are bench seats)
Crew: 2 + Engineer
Features: Pressurized, Air conditioned, Satellite phone, Satellite email, basic portable
toilet. Flight time: Tarawa to Kanton – 04 hours + 30 minutes, Kanton to Tarawa – 04 hours
Luggage allocation per angler is still to be determined. Please work off a guide of 45lb, until further notice.
Strictly catch & release with all hooks de-barbed. No treble hooks permitted.
Expedition 1 (October 22nd November 1st 2018)
Expedition 2 (October 29th – November 8th 2018)
Expedition 3 ( November 5th – November 15th 2018) – SOLD OUT
Please consult your nearest embassy or consulate for entry conditions. PIPA permit (and Phoenix Islands) is covered in the package cost. Note: many countries of passport holders are currently exempt from requiring a visa for under 30 day stay.
Solar power and generator will be available for charging of essential devices only. There will be basic, non-flushing toilet facilities. VHF radio, satellite phone and satellite texting devices will be in use for communication whilst on the atoll and for emergency purposes.
Please refer to terms & conditions. Comprehensive Travel Insurance & Global Rescue memberships are mandatory for this expedition. Please select an insurance policy that will cover you for medical evacuation/treatment expenses and for cancellation beyond the control of Rock Expeditions. Make sure you understand all policy wording and meanings.
You WILL be denied boarding without refund if you do not have adequate insurance coverage, or, do not agree to the terms & conditions
Enrolment Form / Indemnity / Release
Waiver must be signed and returned in to confirm attendance for this expedition.
Information is subject to change. We will endeavour to do our best to convey the most correct information at the time of publishing.
Expedition 1 & 2 (10 Days)
Price: US$10,000 per angler
Inclusions: All accommodation & meals as described above on Kanton, return airfare (Tarawa > Kanton > Tarawa), PIPA permit for park entry and fishing rights, Tarawa meals, activities and accommodation for layover days as described above.
Exclusions: International flights, alcohol.
If you would like more information please contact Peter McLeod or call on ++44 1980 847389. Alternatively click HERE if you would like us to contact you.