Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year!

And a stunning Bellingham day.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Just Photos

Eliot and I are in Bellingham right now. We've been having a great time enjoying the winter weather. I thought I'd just share some photos of our trip so far. Merry Christmas!

First turns at Baker

Clear blue skies and fresh powder!



On the lift

Walk on Christmas Eve at Larrabee State Park



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Running Into An Old Friend

Argo is at the dock in Cape Town!

For those of you that don't know, this is the boat that I did my 90 day Sea~Mester on. I last saw her when I stepped off the boat in Phuket Thailand almost exactly 3 years ago! She came from Singapore 7,400 nautical miles across the Indian Ocean. It was great to catch up with her and her crew.

For more on Sea Mester Programs visit them HERE.

Monday, December 7, 2009

White Shark Experience

So I kind of feel like this is a huge milestone for me. I don't know that I ever imagined myself getting in a cage to "view" sharks underwater. It's definitely something I've always thought about, but as far as actually doing it? I'm scared of sharks. It's a weird mixture of complete fear and fascination. I love reading books about sharks, or watching shark week on the Discovery Channel. I can't learn enough about them. But when it comes to diving? It's always in the back of my head and it terrifies me when I'm in the water.

So why did I decide to climb in a cage that's in water filled with chum and a guy throwing tuna heads off the boat? Well I guess the short answer is because I'm completely crazy. But the truth is, what scares me even more than the biggest man eater out there, is missing out on a great opportunity or experience because I was too scared to do it. So that is what made me climb into the cage on Saturday. Once I'd decided to do it, I was completely committed. But my heart was racing the whole time.

I have to say it was really cool, and given the chance again I would be back in that cage tomorrow. These sharks are really incredible creatures, and seeing them underwater takes away all the ferociousness and scary monster image that we're so often given, and turns them into the graceful kings of the ocean that they are.

All the sharks we saw were Great Whites. We were told in the beginning that there aren't any other large predatory animals in the area at this time of year. In total we saw 5 different sharks, the biggest one being around 3.5 meters (about 12 feet). A couple only did quick passes by the boat and some stayed around to check us out more.

Eliot getting psyched up


I think these guys ate most of the guts that went over the boat.

Smiling for the camera

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Last big Thing

So this last weekend in South Africa we've planned our final excursion. It's something we've been wanting to do since we knew we were coming to Cape Town. So, tomorrow morning we're heading up the west coast to a place called Gansbaii to....get in a cage.

That's right we're going to witness THE Apex Predator that's refered to here in these waters as Air Jaws. I can't believe we're actually going to do this and I can't think too much about it because then I might not actually go through with it if I do. We're going through and outfit called the White Shark Projects, just so you know who to call if I don't update my blog on Monday morning. Hopefully we get to see some sharks up close. Yikes!

Hittin' The Ground Running

This was the only way to describe Ben and Jen's visit to Cape Town. We had 5 solid days to do as much as we could and I think it's pretty fair to say we did it. We were making fun of Jen because she had a blue folder that she pulled out every morning filled with maps and brochures and tons of other stuff so we could "plan" the day. It was basically already planned for us.

~Enjoying a nice cold PBR at the Cape of Good Hope on Jen's birthday~

~The punishing hike up Table Mountain~

~Critters along the way~

~Busy Bee~

~And gorgeous views~

~How much further to go?~

~Yeah, that much~

~West Coast National Park~

~Wine tasting in Stellenbosch: we went to this great place that was herding ducks around. They use them to eat all the slugs and other pests that get onto the grape vines, rather than using pesticides. They were so cute~

~Some had really cool hairdos too~

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