Monthly Archives

June 2015

Photography, Tonga, Travel, Whales

Snorkelling with Humpback Whales in Tonga

Looking down into the water, all I could see was the blue abyss. Then I looked up, and there she was: a 45ft humpback, floating just 20 feet away. In that moment, everything stopped. A marine encounter to top swimming with dolphins – swimming with whales.

By Julie Conway

For years I had longed to swim close to them and explore their world. And for months I had planned my trip, waiting patiently while they made their migration from Antarctica to Vava’u, a string of tiny islands in the Kingdom of Tonga, in the South Pacific seas, where they gather in large numbers to mate and give birth.

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Animals, Birds, Conservation, Ecuador, Islands, Photography, Travel

Photography – in The Galapagos

How to make the most of your camera in the Galapagos. Stuart Conway, an award-winning photographer, tells Julie Conway .

Splat. A splodge of goo landed right on my lens. It had been snorted out of the nose of a Marine Iguana sitting inches from my camera. Another narrowly missed my arm. This dragon-like creature wasn’t telling me to get out of his space; he was expelling salt water taken in while feeding.

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Animals, Birds, Travel

Flying Colours in the Rainforests of Trinidad & Tobago

The rainforests of Trinidad and Tobago are an ornithologists dream. Take a trip deep into the jungle to catch a glimpse of the bird of eternal darkness.

By Julie Conway

Darlington Chance saunters towards us just before 7am. We are caught without time for breakfast as we hoped he would follow Tobagonian custom by arriving at least half an hour late. Darlington is Tobago’s only Rastafarian guide. Wearing shorts, battered, unfastened walking boots, but no socks, he is ready for our trek. Despite the rising temperature, he is carrying no water. He chuckles at our attire: long trousers tucked into heavy socks that suffocate our sweating, trussed up feet; shirts covering us from our necks to our wrists; and enough insect repellent to warn birds within ten kilometres that something with a strange tang of citronella is entering their territory.

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Animals, Bahamas, Travel

Follow in the Footsteps of 007

So you’ve seen the film and fancy some of the old 007 magic?

Why not make it your mission to visit Nassau in the Bahamas, the backdrop for several Bond films.

By Julie Conway

Sitting in the swimming pool a rather dashing man sips a cocktail, a single eyebrow raised, as he tells a story to the bevy of beautiful bikini clad women around him who giggle simultaneously.

Palm trees surround the pool and just a few hundred yards away on the private beach yet more beauties frolic in the emerald coloured sea.

If this sounds like a scene from a James Bond film, it almost could be. For this is the British Colonial Hilton in Nassau, New Providence Island where scenes from Thunderball and Never Say Never Again were filmed.

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Animals, Conservation

Warrior of the Waves

Captain Paul Watson has dedicated his life to saving the planet. As a founder member of Greenpeace and creator of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society the story of his life reads like an action thriller.

By Julie Conway

When he was 12-years-old Paul Watson shot a boy in the bottom with a B B gun.

‘He was shooting birds and I wanted him to know how it felt,’ he explains unapologetically. ‘I felt it was terribly unfair that I got into so much trouble, the local authorities thought I was crazy. I thought it was the boy who was the crazy one.’

When he was just nine, he destroyed the traps that killed his best friend, a beaver.

Fifteen years later people from around the world watched Watson, numb with shock, as he became the first man to put himself between a harpoon and a whale.

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Animals, Catskills, Conservation, Travel

A Walk on the Wild Side

Just 160 kilometres northwest of one of the busiest and most congested cities in the world, over 1,000 black bears lurk in the wilderness, coyotes taunt and terrify domestic cats and mountain lions stalk their prey.

By Julie Conway

The road to wilderness from New York City is surprisingly simple. Head north on the Henry Hudson Parkway taking care to avoid the yellow taxis erratically changing lanes.

Drive straight over the George Washington Bridge and within two hours of the skyline disappearing from view you’ll be in bear country.

The Catskill mountains encompass over 9,000 square kilometers and are often referred to as America’s first wilderness because scholars trace the beginnings of the environmental conservation movement to this area. Continue Reading

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Animals, Catskills, Travel

Walk with the Bears

Over the past decade, Ben Kilham has raised over 33 orphan black bears, giving them all they need to get back to a life in the wild. Meet Ben and his cubs and hear the heart-warming, but often terrifying encounters with his charges.

By Julie Conway

My introduction to bears did not go exactly as planned. It was 9pm and our first night in a remote cabin in the Catskill Mountains a few hours north of New York.

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