About Us

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We work as ecotourism guides (as well as biologist and boat captain) often on the BC Coast, but also as far ranging as the Arctic and Antarctic. We have an insatiable curiousity for the planet; all its hidden gems and what makes them tick. That and our love of sailing is what inspired us to sail around the Pacific in Narama, our tough and pretty little sailboat.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Society Islands and the In-Laws

Moorea skyline
After being in the Tuamotus for over three weeks, we thought that Papeete (the capitol of Tahiti) would be a culture shock, so we opted to anchor at Port Phaeton which is close to the smaller town of Taravao.  This is where we had the good luck of meeting several of the local teachers who were kind and generous in showing us the sights of Tahiti.  A special thank-you to Cecelia who toured us around the island, explained so much of the culture, politics, family life, answered our zillions of questions and showed us the true meaning of hospitality over several days!  It was hard to leave such wonderful new friends!

Heiva Dance Competition on Huahine

Papeete brought a happy reunion with Stephen’s parents, who are game enough to come sailing with us on Narama.  Serendipity is a wonderful thing and we are glad that plans coincided so we could rendez-vous for nearly three weeks.  The crew of “Mystic 2”  (Ian and Wendy) joined us for some glorious trade-wind sailing, swimming and snorkeling in turquoise waters, cycling, many happy hours, card games and stunning sunsets.  We had a beautiful day sail from Tahiti to Moorea along with a pod of Melon-headed Whales and an overnight sail to Huahine.  Over night sailing was a logistical challenge on Narama with four people and not quite enough sea berths – our table folds down to create a bunk, but it’s also our chart table.  We enjoyed the sights of lush green hills and steep mountains surrounded by beautiful lagoons.  We shared many a morning coffee and fresh baguette and lots of

Wendy, Ian and Heidi at the Belvedere on Moorea

Here is Wendy’s final entry into our logbook, she says it much more eloquently!

Oh woe is us, its time to go
Our last two week’s thoughts overflow
We’ve dined on local veg and fruit
And fresh baguettes just made to suit.

The tur quoise water beckoned us
Over the side we slipped without a fuss.
There’s fish and coral and rays and all
Each day we swam and had a ball.

On Tahiti we saw a local show,
Dancers and singers all algow.
With wiggling hip and native drum,
And Tahitians cheering made it hum.

We sailed across the rolling sea,
From Tahiti to Moorea and Huahine.
The night time sail, a first for me.
The full moon shining helped us to see.
Ships lights far away and the curling spray
Till the sun came up at the break of day.

Then on Moorea we snorkeled lots,
And walked up Belvedere to view hot spots.
And there were many cruising boats,
Who invited us over, we also played host.

On Huahine we hired some bikes,
To test our muscles and see the sights.
A day away from our sturdy craft,
Narama’s a champ from bow to aft.

We viewed another local show,
With people wandering to and fro.
And dancers showing their agile side,
The singers and drummers performing with pride.

A highlight of our Tahaa stay,
Was a local fisherman who refused any pay.
For bags of fruit he plied us with,
But did accept some rope as a parting gift.

Anchored just inside the reef,
The crashing waves lulled us to sleep.
And with the breaking of the day,
Refreshed, twas time to go and play.

So as we sadly journey home,
We wish you luck where e’re you roam.
It’s been such fun, we hate to part,
So many, many thanks from the bottom of our hearts!

Tahitian Stingrays

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Marquesas and Tuamotus Species List

Blue Damsels
We spent much of our time in the Tuamotus snorkeling and identifying fish as well as walking around the small “motus” or cays. These walks were of course while we were looking for birds, specifically the Tuamotu Sandpiper. This is a small endemic brown bird, endangered because introduced rats like to eat them and their chicks when nesting. Finally we found a few of these little birds during our last few days in the islands. They are not like the sandpipers we are used to at home on the west coast; while we were watching and photographing one, Stephen was crouched with a 400m lens on and one came right up to him to investigate!

Tuamotu Sandpiper

Marquesas and Tuamotus Species List
Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Bulwer’s Petrel
Tahiti Petrel
White-necked Petrel
Polynesian Storm-Petrel
White-tailed Tropicbird
Red-tailed Tropicbird
Masked Booby
Brown Booby
Red-footed Booby
Lesser Frigatebird
Pacific Reef Heron
Wandering Tattler
Tuamotu Sandpiper
Bristle-thighed Curlew
Great Crested Tern
Spectacled Tern
Sooty Tern
Brown Noddy
Black Noddy
Blue-grey Noddy
Common Fairy-Tern
Little Fairy-Tern
Zebra Dove
Atoll Fruit-Dove
White-capped Fruit-Dove
Nukuhiva Pigeon
Long-tailed Cuckoo
Marquesas Swiftlet
Marquesas Reed-Warbler
Tuamotu Reed-Warbler
Common Myna
Red-browed Firetail
Chestnut-breasted Mannikin
Spinner Dolphins
Bottlenose Dolphins
Rough-toothed Dolphins
Melon-headed Whales