• Farewell South Pacific!

    At sea…I have set sail away from New Caledonia and the exotic South Pacific!

    I am on my final leg of this sea voyage and on my way to Australia…we will reach Sydney in 2 days!

    Today I saw my last Tiki and bid them and this incredible region adieu! Tiki sightings are such a symbol of Polynesia and an important icon of my travels here…

    I hope to return to the unforgettable beauty of the South Pacific and once again swim in that warm brilliant sea!



  • Blue Paradise!

    Lifou, New Caledonia…as we near New Zealand, we arrive at one of the Loyalty Islands that is part of the larger French territories of New Caledonia.

    There is no port, no taxis, no hotels, and no organized tours on this remote piece of Paradise! We take the tenders ashore to a rickety wood platform steps from an incredibly bleach white stretch of coral sand beach.

    I have never seen water this color of aqua blue! It’s beyond stunning and it just calls out to you to swim in! How can it just get more beautiful as we go from island to island in the magnificent South Pacific?

    I take a stroll beyond the lush vegetation of our landing site to Baie du Jinek; an underwater natural aquarium! Crystalline waters revealing a bevy of underwater coral refuges that hold a population of exotic fish! It’s so clear you can view the marine life below from the cave edged shoreline above!

    I spent some time snorkeling…seeing fish of every hue and I can’t help but to be awestruck by the striped sea snake slithering between the coral beneath me! So much so that the surprise of seeing this unique animal causes me to begin inhaling the salt water and I have to stop for an above water breather…I am disappointed I don’t have a waterproof camera to capture what looks like an animated children’s film below the surface!

    The rest of the day I just enjoyed the seemingly undiscovered beauty of the beach, probably still looking as it did when Captain Cook discovered this perfect little island!

    Life really doesn’t get much better than this!20121017-145420.jpg20121017-145439.jpg20121017-145506.jpg20121017-145523.jpg


  • Paradise Found!

    Fiji…it’s like a dream arriving at this famous South Pacific paradise! Brooke Shields made this place famous in “Blue Lagoon” and then Tom Hanks did it allover again in “Castaway”…

    The ship docked in the main town of Suva and I was anxious to see some of the Fijian beaches! I arranged a local driver and for $80, I had his services for the day.

    A 45 mile drive through local villages and we reached the start of the famous Coral Coast! Pacific Harbour is the start of these long sand beaches with amazing snorkeling along the coral laden shores! I wasn’t going to make it to Blue Lagoon this time as it was on the other side of the island near Nadi.

    I spent another near perfect day lazying on the sand at a Polynesian resort beachside! The Uprising Resort hosts visitors to a dreamy palm lined stretch of golden sand!

    The huge palm trees swayed in the ocean breeze and the trade-winds kept the temperature pleasant. Windsurfers also took advantage of the terrific conditions.

    All I can do is marvel at the raw beauty of paradise found! “Bula” or hello from Fiji!






  • Aloha!

    Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii…you would never know you are still in the United States! This high rise city set along the most gorgeous ocean front feels more Tokyo than U.S.

    Waikiki is filled with Japanese vacationers and the attractions that appeal to them! I see more Japanese language signs than any other and the lines of high end designer boutiques seem perfect for Japanese consumer appetites!

    The real appeal here is Waikiki Beach that stretches on for miles! I love the views of Diamond Head from Queen’s Beach at the far end. I stroll along the beach and I am totally taken by the ages old banyan trees that line the walk as well as views that spread out in all directions!

    It’s a great combination of man made beauty and nature’s brilliance that makes up this paradise of a city!








  • Beach Paradise!

    Kohala Coast, Hawaii…a drive across the Big Island and I reached a little strip of Paradise!

    The drive goes from the verdant lushness of rain soaked Hilo to the sunnier drier coast near Kona!

    I find my spot at the beach next to the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for a beautiful day in the sun! There is nothing like the beaches in Hawaii…warm blue waters and a wide expanse of sand! The sound of water lapping against the shore!

    Uncrowded, this beach ,like all the beaches, are public; yet I feel like a castaway who has discovered a slice of heaven!







  • Friends at Sea!

    Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean…3 sea days down and 1 more to go and we will be arriving in Hawaii! Being out in the middle of the ocean really cuts you off from the world, the tv reception works sporadically and the Internet is snail slow at best.

    I have had some unusual company…the zoo animals that appear every night on my bed! After 21 days, I will literally have a jungle full of towel animals…but they put a smile on my face every night!




  • Out to Sea!

    Somewhere in the North Pacific…I have to admit I was extremely apprehensive about this cruise…I always wanted to do an true Ocean crossing, but 21 days with over half of it spent at sea had me worried!

    After departing from the Queen Mary port in Long Beach on Saturday, the ship started its 4 sea days sailing towards Hilo, Hawaii! I have never spent that many days at sea…Sunday was a cool day and the ship rolled side to side all day and night! Monday was a beautiful day of sunshine and much calmer seas…

    I had a hard time adjusting to doing nothing…luckily, I attended Bingo and won 2 games..chi ching…$200! Yippie! The casino on the other hand was less kind to me!

    Most importantly, after months of traveling, this relaxation is a gift! I realize how indulgent time can be…the indulgence is the luxury of time without appointments, schedules, having to be anywhere, etc! What I thought may be lonely or boring is perfect “me” time! Working out, eating, laying in the sun, and reading. I understand why people are addicted to long sea going cruises; this is true down time set to a gentle calming roll of the sea!

    For now I will relish being out in the middle of nowhere, after Hawaii, I face another 5 sea days that I will use to start to ignite my creativity by sketching and thinking of my return to reality in November!

  • Here I Go!

    Long Beach, California…I am setting sail on my most ambitious part of my trip so far! 21 days crossing the Pacific Ocean aboard Holland America’s Volendam…

    Multiple sea days on an old style crossing that will bring me to Hawaii, Fiji, and the South Pacific before reaching the glorious Sydney Harbor!

    I have a lot of magazines, my iPad is loaded, and empty sketchbooks to keep me busy!

    It will be a total shock signing off the “grid”for awhile as I am in the middle of the ocean for days…



  • A Day on the Sand!

    Cape Town, South Africa…summer weather descended on Cape Town today with sun glaring down and temps rising above 80 degrees making for a perfect Saturday! Captonians do one thing when the weather gets nice; they go to the beach…

    There is no shortage of stunning sand beaches here! No need to travel far as the beautiful people flock to the sand on the other side of Table Mountain within the confines of Cape Town…no need for a big trek to find this city’s glorious beaches!

    The fashion crowd goes to Clifton beach…there are 4 beaches here nestled between the rocks. I choose beach 3, as it known as the must-visit beach and the unofficial gay beach! Small yet beautiful, the beach is set in a small alcove, a long winding set of steps below the main road. The waves are amazing to watch but even more relaxing to hear as they crash ashore! I set up my spot and rent a umbrella, soon enough I am snoring away under the South African sun…Suddenly I am awakened by the screaming of other beach goers as I am simultaneously swept away in a massive frigid wave that takes over most of the sand. I am drenched, but luckily my iPhone was saved, I retreat to the rocky edge to be safe from the aggressive sea! Locals laugh at my and other’s beach goers unfortunate circumstances and I have to feign stupidity with my water logged towel, bag, and clothes…a cute dog runs over to comfort my embarrassment! He becomes my new beach buddy! Swimming really isn’t part of beach life as the water gets colder as the seasons switch to warmer.

    After enough sun, I stroll to Camps Bay, the bustling wide sand beach with an array of “be seen” celebrity haunts that line the beach…I settle in to a cafe for a late lunch and watch beautiful Capetonians stroll by and local Afrikaans entertain along the busy thoroughfare! I realize this city is a blend of San Francisco but with better weather, the urban beach culture of Sydney, and the body beauty vibe of Los Angeles!

    But comparisons aside, Cape Town is a true original! Sitting on the beach of Camp’s Bay with Table Mountain’s “Twelve Apostles” named grand buttresses behind me…I really can’t think of another place like this!

    This is just a preview of what the coming summer months must be like here! I can understand why weekends start at noon on Fridays year round! I too would have a problem focusing on work on Fridays knowing the beauty of this city is calling!