Category Archives: Wildlife

Two days “to treasure whales” in Niue

August 2016 It’s dawn on our first wake up in Niue. I clamber to the cockpit, wrapped in a Turkish towel for a blanket and feeling the after-effects of just a bit too much “hooray-we-made-it” celebratory rum. I’m hoping to spot a whale or two, and I do, far in the distance. –Jessie When we […]
Read More »

He’s one helluva catch: Getting naked ‘n lucky en route to Niue

August 2016 My handsome captain is naked; well, almost. I insisted on it. I want to get this photo right. I’ve been waiting for this moment, for this pelagic fish. Since sometime before we embarked on our voyage, I have wanted to recreate the image that covers The Cruisers Handbook of Fishing, the authority on […]
Read More »

Mighty claws and pointy teeth: Getting acquainted with Suwarrow’s wildlife

August 2016 Prowling for behemoth crustaceans Torches in hand, half a dozen of us followed Harry and Pae through the palm trees. The moon shone fondly over the sea, but the paths beneath the canopy were a web of shadows and tripping hazards. Neil and I were sharing a flashlight, and I stuck close behind […]
Read More »

Suwarrow: An island almost to ourselves

July – August 2016 A disheartening start Our sojourn in Suwarrow did not start as we expected. Tired from our passage from French Polynesia, we set our anchor, keen to get some rest but knowing the first order of business was to clear into the country. Rangers Harry and Pae, a friendly father-son duo dressed […]
Read More »

In search of our very first coral ring

July 2016 Nine-foot breaking waves clawed at the reef and mammoth swell surged on either side of the disconcertingly narrow pass through the reef—the only way in or out of the lagoon. My fists were clenched tightly around the helm, and I was trying my best to steer Red Thread along the line we marked […]
Read More »

Mischief rewarded in Maupiti

July 2016 It’s black out, pitch black, aside from a delicate, sparkling necklace strung along Bora Bora’s shoreline and a single incandescent pearl set in the heavens. It’s 1 am, and it’s raining. Behind a duvet of heavy clouds, a sea of stars is obscured, but the full moon refuses be disguised tonight. Ping, ting, […]
Read More »

A memorable hike and a failed river navigation in Raiatea

July 2016 Eastbound Sometimes passages are to be settled into, like a long road trip; others are just about getting somewhere, like driving a car across town. This was the latter. We had bypassed several of the Society Islands during our passage from Moorea to Bora Bora during Mark and Helen’s visit, and although we […]
Read More »

Tahiti beckons

June 2016 What if I want to stay…? If you had told me I’d be sitting in the cockpit in French Polynesia, snug in a sweatshirt and fleece blanket and cradling a cup of tea, I’d scarcely have believed a word from your lips. But here I am in Raivavae: faded sorority hoodie, blanket, tea. […]
Read More »

Summit a mountain, endure a gale, and hitchhike to church

***SORRY FOR THE BLOG DELAY…our computer died, and it has taken us a while to get a new one, so we can continue posting our South Pacific tales!*** June 2016 I’m sweating but not hot. Dewy foliage tickles my bare arms, and my trousers, which are too long, are now damply limp and heavy from […]
Read More »

Paddling and pedaling as a cruiser quartet: Getting to know Raivavae

May 2016 Perhaps it was because our arrival came at the end of the most tranquil ocean passage we’d ever experienced, a far cry from the guttural relief we felt at the end of our passage to the Gambiers. Or perhaps Raivavae is just that beautiful. A more spectacular landfall can hardly be imagined. Raivavae […]
Read More »