Archive for August, 2019


My mind keeps wandering back to a mere 30 second whale encoutner that leaves me with a sense of profound gratitude and wonder.

We dipped into what seemed like a deep blue silence. Hovering at the surface, we were greeted by the erie song of a humpback whale in the vast South Pacific Ocean surrounding Tonga. If you are near a singing whale, the sound comes from within as it pulsates through your fluid watery body. The tones literally flows through you and you can feel it reverberating through your core. Some people describe a sensation deep in their chest or felt through their bones.

The lone male humpback whale had just dove and was singing below us. Then suddenly, the whale appeared perhaps 100 feet from us. With a mulititude of directions to choose from, the singer swam slowly towards us and continued to sing. However, he seemed to turn down the volume as he glided just a few feet by us, as if to protect us from the deafening sound of his melodious song.

Only the male humpback whales sing an elaborate song and primarily during the breeding and calving season. While much is still unknown, its thought that air is pumped through sacs attached to the larynx region and then reverberates out through their massive throat. It is truly one of the greatest concerts on earth which was shared among an intrepid crew with www.bluewaterventures.org!

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IMG_4024Over a 34 year career of teaching coral reef ecology to groups, Tonga 2019 will be remembered as a truly  unforgettable underwater exploration.

Each day, we observed new reef  behaviors as well as a  kaleidoscope of colors exploding below us.

I was thrilled to offer dawn snorkels before our full day whale swims. As the  sun set across the South Pacific, we then snorkeled again as the crepuscular  feeders began to emerge. Thrilling!

While our  whales encounters were again so profound, I was absolutely rejuvenated by the beauty of Tonga’s coral reefs and the curious discoveries of my group. They were truly keen observers.

Please join us below the water at www.bluewaterventures.org.

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As I reflect upon our recent expediton to the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga, I am grateful for not only the whales and reefs but for the rich cultural interfacing that has become such an intrigal part of our program. We danced, visited schools and a weaver’s  home. We drank Kava and shared our songs as well as enjoyed the songs of the  local  people. We  shared our personal insights each night as we felt embraced by the beautiful people of Tonga.

Cn3DBQ4OT5SF9QR6iBI7ig_thumb_feba The Tongans  takes great pride in their Polyneisan heritage and this is expressed daily through their language, dress, food and culture. The whales and coral reefs are marvelous, but our Tongan friends remain  close to our hearts. We are so grateful for the deep connections we are making. IMG_4235

Thanks to all of our wonderful hosts~Matafonua Lodge (Ha’apai), The Hideaway (Eua Island),  Mala Island Resort (Vava’u),  Kiko’s Whale Swims (Eua island) The crew of the Ashlee G and Llena (Vava’u).