WILDLIFE IN THE BAHAMAS
On a recent Scuba Diving trip to the Caribbean I had several amazing and unique encounters with the natives. When landing our boat on a small coved beach for a picnic my friends and I were startled to find giant iguanas lumbering out of the brush to investigate us. Later we were literally attacked by the “swimming pigs” demanding the scraps of food we had hidden and threatening to board the boat. Finally were the gentle nurse sharks who fed on fish scraps as I swam with them. Beautiful creatures!
30 DAYS ROAD TRIP in INDIA
This previous Dec/Jan I embarked on a 30 day self-driving 12,500 km road trip of then entire Indian Subcontinent. From Kashmir to Chennai I experienced culture, ceremony, history, wine, food, funerals, wildlife, underground robotic parking, and a prison break from a Shimla hotel room.
BULL SHARK DIVING in FIJI
There’s a special place off the coast of Beqa Island in Fiji where enormous Bull Sharks (and the occasional Tiger) will allow themselves to be hand fed while divers get up close and personal with the shark responsible for more non-fatal annual shark attacks on humans than any other. No cage… no protection… just the trust you have that animals like bull sharks, well fed and content, have no reason to waste energy attacking people. Fiji is the only place in the world you can do this (at present).
At 6:40am on July 17th, 2009 a close friend and I reached the Uhuru Peak summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. The five day climb on the Machame route was one of the most spectacular hikes of my life.
BOTTOM of the ABYSSAL OCEAN
On January 9th, 2008 I saw the bottom of the ocean (2.5 kilometers below the surface) for the very first time. My journey in the Alvin submarine took me to a hydrothermal vent field at 9°N on the East Pacific Rise to study microbial organisms thriving in a world completely without sunlight.
WHALE SHARK DIVING
During the Galapagos Island’s Whale Shark season of 2008 a friend and I dove for the site of a lifetime: pregnant female whale sharks swimming amongst schools of hammerhead sharks. I also almost put my foot in a green moray eel’s mouth, something I highly recommend against.
At the corner of Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana sits a gorgeous table-top mountain called Roraima. In a six day climb up and back I got to see wild Heliamphora, beautiful rainbows, and a view that would make you cry. I slept in a cave at the very top and swam in the ice cold crystal clear pools.
GOLAN HEIGHTS DIP/DAY
One of most incredible days of my life began with a visit to the Bahá’í Temple in Haifa, continued with a walk on water at the Sea of Galilee, followed by heavy wine tasting in the Golan vineyards, which inspired skinny dipping in a beautiful waterfall pool 6 miles from Syria, and ended with me leading my people out in darkness to feast at McDonalds in the biblical city of Armageddon.
ROAD TRIP COLOMBIA
December 2007 was my trip through the jungles of Colombia. Paragliding, Rafting, Caving, Repelling, Beaching, Wrangling, Hiking, Swimming, Clubbing, and Bathing in a mud volcano. Never once did I meet a Colombian that wasn’t warm, helpful, and incredibly social.
TUNISIAN PRISON EXPERIENCE
While exploring old Roman ruins and enjoying the sun, I got to see first hand the inner workings of a Tunisian Police Department. I was pleasantly surprised at how well I was treated, after all, I did unwillingly steal a tank of petrol in an Arab nation. But that was only because there was a horrific car accident coincident with foul French card readers.
Long before the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano blackened the skies of Europe I got the chance to drive around the edge of Iceland on a camping trip in eternal sunlight. I finished off the trip by attending the 4th Annual Iceland Pride, still to this day the best I’ve seen.
LOST IN TRANSLATION QUAKE
The 2004 Chūetsu earthquake in northern Honshu Japan on October 23rd (a magnitude 6.9 quake) could be felt over most of the entire main Japanese Island. At 5:56 pm that day I was enjoying a rather expensive drink with a close friend of mine in the bar made famous by the movie Lost in Translation (rent it, excellent movie!). Sadly for us the New York Bar and Grill is on the top floor (52nd) of the Park Hyatt Hotel, one of the tallest buildings in Japan. A non-comforting moment came when the bar staff explained that the building’s structure had been designed “to sway safely one meter in each direction.” They cut our bar bill in half, which was nice.
CHILEAN VOLCANO CAR
Chileans tend not to visit their national parks in the early springtime, which can be a wonderful experience for foreign tourists. Having an entire national park framed by the enormous Llaima Volcano all to yourself is a freeing experience. However, it can become quite lonely after snapping the front axel of your car. After hiking towards civilization for 5 hours I was lucky to come across a couple of very kind “abuelos” and had to show them the photograph above to explain my situation. I don’t know which was more shocking, their insistence on going 20 miles out of their way to get me help refusing any compensation, or their first introduction to the technology of digital cameras.
HONDURAN DOLPHIN SNORKEL
It made the number 1 slot on the BBC’s 50 things to do before you die, and I now know exactly why. There are too many emotions to list them all that race in and out of your mind when you’re lucky enough to swim with Dolphins. They’re absolutely amazing creatures whose intelligence and skill is unparalleled in their aquatic world. I can’t wait to get the opportunity to do it one more time. I filmed this video while keeping up with a mother and her newborn off the coast of Roatan, Honduras.