Showing posts from November, 2016


"Life is all memory, except for the present moment that goes by you so quickly, you hardly catch it going."
-- Tennessee Williams

Perhaps there is someone like this in your life, be it a sibling, friend, someone of the same or opposite sex. A person who knows your entire history or has only been present in your life for a short period of time, but is indelibly a saint.  For me, that person is my mother, Stephanie.

It's no secret my mum is aging, and has worked so incredibly hard to earn the money to pay for our voyages through the years. I don't remember a time in my life when she was not working two jobs, always running from one to the other. We hopped buses and walked across San Francisco, my mother toting me to all of her college classes because she was a single parent without a babysitter. One night in the city, I even witnessed her launch a fist at an approaching stranger who tried to lay a hand on her.

Although that was 25 years ago, the same tenacious qualities…


"Let me lose everything on earth and the world beyond, but let me not lose what I'm craving for, let it be that I died on the way than retreating from getting it." -- Michael Johnson

I created my 7 week Australasian itinerary based solely around the wildlife of the region.  My mum and I raced up Western Australia’s coast to Shark Bay to beat the school holiday crowds; I assured we would arrive at Dryandra Woodland’s marsupial enclosure midweek to avoid the weekend masses; and we specifically disembarked the Yasawa Flyer at Drawaqa island to drift through its channel with ominous Manta Rays.

Yet, Mother Nature does not always cooperate.  Off the northwest coast of Fiji’s main island (Viti Levu), the small Mamanuca grouping of islands rise out of the azure Pacific Ocean.  Stay on the boat – or seaplane – hours longer and eventually you encounter the idyllic Yasawa chain, extending from the mainland like an octopus' tentacle.
In Fiji, Manta Ray season typically runs May t…