Details are emerging about what happened on the night the 14- and 15-year-old teens pushed off from their home in the Tokelau Islands with only a bundle of coconuts and a few beers between them. Their island had hosted a sports competition that day, drawing visitors from neighboring islands -- including a girl who caught the eye of one of the boys.
Pacific island folklore is rich with tales of lovers making epic voyages or swimming from island to island in search of love. At about 2 a.m. under starry skies and under the influence of alcohol, the boys decided they couldn't let the girl go.
The boys' cousin, Kuresa Nasau, said no one saw them leave, but it wouldn't have been that unusual anyway.
"Young kids go out fishing all the time, nobody questions that," he told The Dominion Post newspaper. "They were seen at midnight and nobody suspected they were going to take off."
Nasau said he'd heard about the late-night love quest, and said the boys would have some explaining to do once they get home. "I heard there was some alcohol involved. I will investigate but all I was concerned about was their safety."
The boys -- Samu Perez and Filo Filo, both 15, and Edward Nasau, 14 -- haven't commented publicly on the reasons for their voyage, but friends and fellow villagers gave accounts about the sports competition and the boys' love interest to The Sydney Morning Herald and the Dominion Post.
"We drew up next to them, and we asked if they needed any help and their reply was a very ecstatic 'yes!'," the fishing boat's first mate, Tai Fredricsen, told the BBC. "We immediately deployed our rescue craft and got them straight on board and administered basic first aid."
They were brought ashore and hospitalized in Fiji, where relatives also traveled to greet them. Now they're waiting for a ferry home to the Tokelau Islands, in time for Christmas.
"I thank God for keeping us alive all this while, while were drifting out in open sea," Nasau told The Associated Press. "We prayed every day that someone will find us and rescue us. We thought we would die."
There's no word on who the girl is.