ITWPA Member Marsha Wassel explores Adventure Green Alaska certified business, which promote specific standards of economic, environmental, social, and cultural sustainability.
Enclosed in an area about the size of a tennis court are row upon row of markers and inverted wire cages labeled with dates of collection and predictions. This marks the green sea turtle sanctuary. There is much anticipation, and the children gather behind the lines drawn in the sand… NO CROSSING, NO TOUCHING, and NO CAMERA FLASH. The message is clear.
Every spring, the stop in Coos Bay brings the Lady Washington and her sister ship, the Hawaiian Chieftain, through tribal waters and includes a reenactment of the ceremony of reconciliation between the local Indian tribes and the foreign intruders.
The golden sun sparkling on the rolling sea, the salty wind kissing my cheeks, and a massive gray whale skimming through the water before diving down below — for years I had dreamed of beholding this blue ballet up close from a whale watching boat. Alas, what I had also imagined was spending the entire tour turning sickly green and vomiting in front of strangers. At forty years old, my seafaring fantasy finally turned into a barf-free reality. Here are five tips to help you enjoy the beautiful beasts of the deep without feeding every fish in the sea.
Meerkat troops scurrying around, so close I could almost touch them. Enjoying a steaming cup of coffee on the step while monkeys entertained us with their antics. Watching the sun gently kiss the resort like a Prince Charming his Sleeping Beauty. When the sun set later in the day, you could hear lions roaring their superiority as king of beasts from ranches up to five miles away.
I along with some 45 rafting enthusiasts had gathered at the headquarters of Raft Masters, a whitewater rafting outfit with a fine reputation for safety and service that has been in operation for over 25 years. We were issued wetsuits, splash jackets, and river boots and given a 10-minute safety talk. The talk included paddling techniques, the position to take when hitting rapids, what to do if the raft capsizes and how to get back in, and what to do if one falls overboard.
The gates open and we are ushered to the left. I join the jogging, walking, running people circling clockwise around the outer edge of the racetrack. The super fit, well-toned runners glide effortlessly past the gentle joggers. A small group of club runners trots past a couple of power-walking ladies. A moms’ club chat animatedly to each other while pushing strollers. Everyone is welcome.
Climbing an active volcano isn’t something you get to do every day and there are very few places in the world where it’s even possible. One volcano where it’s possible and even reasonably manageable is Pacaya in Guatemala. Pacaya’s 90-minute strenuous walk up to the volcano cone can be eased by taking a ‘taxi,’ which is a horse, or four-wheel-drive vehicle.
Only half the distance from Vancouver as the Whistler/Blackcomb peak-to-peak gondola, the new Sea to Sky Gondola, just minutes south of Squamish, British Columbia, makes a nice day trip for those of us who don’t want to spend the entire day traveling. Less than an hour’s drive from just about anywhere in Vancouver, this new facility offers easy hiking trails and sweeping views of not only the Squamish Inlet, but also Diamond Head and Sky Pilot mountain ranges. The drive up the Sea to Sky Highway is always scenic on a sunny day, and a very pleasant day trip can be accomplished in five or six hours.
Once the ride begins, and for the next 23 minutes, in addition to having front row seats you are virtually part of an action-packed thriller. To visualize this adrenaline-pumping experience, close your eyes and envision riding an out-of-control roller coaster, not knowing which direction the next sharp turn or the next slide down a steep embankment is going to take.