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nature & wildlife

new zealand ~ family time in bay of islands

December 30, 2013 – January 1, 2014 I’ll never forget seeing my parents for the first time in over a year . . . standing on the Opua waterfront with Pete and Rae, our buddies from s/v Saliander.  Early that morning, our dear friends had picked my parents up from the airport in Auckland and driven them up to Opua for us.  … Continue reading »

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new zealand ~ the holiday season

November 28 – December 29, 2013   For Thanksgiving, along with s/v Elcie and s/v Sueño, we hoisted anchor and sailed to Roberton Island for the holiday celebration.  A Thanksgiving turkey dinner was served aboard Full Monty, and it was great fun to be among good friends.  Walks were taken ashore, and Wil attempted to … Continue reading »

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passage to new zealand ~ all well onboard

November 9 – 18, 2013 day one: After a few last minute preparations, we jumped into the water for one last family snorkel.  This would be our last day anchored in the tropics, and we wanted to cherish the warmth and beauty that surrounded us. Temperature at Kelefesia Island: 84-86 degrees F Around noon, we hoisted the … Continue reading »

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tonga ~ ha’apai & otu tolu groups

November 1 – 9, 2013                           Good-bye Vava’u:  Clearing out of Tonga can be done in a few ways.  Many people make their way to Tonga’s southern Tongatapu Group where they provision for the passage and then clear from Tonga to New Zealand.  … Continue reading »

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tonga ~ cave & snorkeling explorations

October 1 – 27, 2013 Photos of some of our Tongan cave explorations and snorkeling expeditions. Swallow’s Cave ~ northwest tip of Kapa Island, Vava’u                                                               … Continue reading »

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tonga ~ the nature of it (whales)

October 2, 2013 Immediately following the first sea snake encounter in Swallow’s Cave with s/v Gallivanter, our afternoon became even more incredible and turned into one that we will remember for a lifetime.  We were just finishing up snorkeling in Swallow’s Cave when we noticed s/v Sueño making their approach to Neiafu for clearance into Tonga.  From the dinghies, … Continue reading »

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tonga ~ the nature of it (sea snakes)

October 2, 2013 More than once, we snorkeled and explored in Swallow’s Cave on the northwest tip of Kapa Island.  For our first trip into the cave, we’d gone with s/v Gallivanter.  The caves are so large that you can drive your dinghy straight into them.  Upon entering the caves, we learned how the caves must … Continue reading »

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tonga ~ the nature of it (cicadas & bats)

September 23 – November 1, 2013 On our first evening in Tonga, while anchored in Port Maurelle, we will never forget the incredibly loud sound of cicadas.  The last time we had heard cicada song to that tune was on a North Carolina summer evening.  It was music to our ears! As the sun was … Continue reading »

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suwarrow ~ a true treasure

September 2 – 16, 2013 Suwarrow, also known as Suvarov, is a nature reserve and small coral atoll belonging to the Cook Islands.  It is located about 440 miles east-northeast of American Samoa, and there is not another island within 200 miles from Suwarrow.  Every year, from April through October, the population of Suwarrow consists … Continue reading »

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departing maupiti ~ sleeping whales

August 27, 2013     To begin a passage from Maupiti to Suwarrow, one must first be able to exit Passe Onoiau in calm conditions.  Therefore, there was very little wind on our day of departure, and this gave us the perfect opportunity for some more whale watching just outside the reef of Maupiti.  Our … Continue reading »

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