Some of my best memories to date were made in 2011 …
BEST SUNSET: Broome, Western Australia
South Pacific – Minerva Reef
BEST DIVE: Navy Pier, Exmouth Exmouth, America Down Under
BEST PLACE TO TAKE PHOTOS: New Zealand, everywhere! Coromandel Penninsula, North Island
BEST NEW SKILLS: Kitesurfing and Sailing
BEST PLACE TO KITEBOARD: Rangiputa, New Zealand, very windy, shallow flat water, unknown and hidden (you need a 4×4 to get to) so you have the water all to yourself!
Lancelin, Western Australia: Blown away by Lancelin Consistent side to side onshore strong winds, very flat water.
BEST BEACH: Uoleva Island, Ha’apai Island Group Tonga Happy in Ha’apai
BEST PLACE TO HANG A HAMMOCK: Uoleva Island, Ha’ apai Island Group, Tonga
BEST BUDDHA: Reclining Buddha, Bangkok, Thailand
MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT: I missed my connecting flight after having a 3 – hour layover!
BEST PLACE TO SNORKEL: Turquoise Bay, Cape Range National Park, Western Australia – teaming reef just a few feet from the beach, crystal clear water with a drift current that pushes you along as you snorkel feeling almost like a fun ride!
BEST JUMP: Bungle Bungles
BEST COUCH SURFING: Waihiki Island, New Zealand with Host Todd … Surfing Waihike Island
BEST HOUSE ON WHEELS: Octopus – drove us all around the North Island of New Zealand … Octopus Tales
BEST EXPERIENCES (most unforgettable): Kitesurfing offshore, Minerva Reef – we launched from a catamaran anchored 200 miles from land, literally in the middle of the big blue Pacific ocean!
Swimming in the middle of the South Pacific - Minerva Reef
Standing on the rim of an erupting volcano, Mt. Yasur, Tanna, Vanuatu. Frighteningly awesome!
BEST ICE CREAM: Kapiti raspberry vanilla ice cream covered in white chocolate (made in New Zealand)
BEST PLACE TO FALL IN LOVE: Lancelin, Western Australia
BEST PLACE TO DIG A HOLE: Hot water beach, Coromandel Peninsula – Thermal Therapy
BEST “EUREKA MOMENT” coined by Toddy: Hua Hin, Thailand – where I finally was able to ride upwind!
MOST MEMORABLE PERSON: Buddy Tyson: A cultured coloured gentleman
BEST PLACE TO CAMP: Tawharanui Reserve, North Island, New Zealand – where you camp within an open sanctuary where native plants and animals including kiwi can live and breed successfully without the threat of predators.
BEST TRAVEL BUDDY: Thomas (it was a tough decision Stacy, you were a totally awesome travel buddy, but Tom is a better snuggler)
BEST DESERTED ISLAND: “Little Potatoe: Niuas Islands, Tonga – where we spent the day lounging in a hammock in between swimming and snorkeling!
BEST KAYAK TRIP: Katherine Gorge, Northern Territory, Australia
BEST KEPT SECRET: I can’t tell you or it wouldn’t be a secret! But there are some funky little shacks somewhere in Western Australia that overlook a beautiful windy beach. Local traffic only …
BEST SMILES: The happiest people in the world … live in Vanuatu
BEST PLACE TO PLAY HIDE & SEEK: Pinnacles, Western Australia
BEST MEAL: “Connect Dinner” aboard Infinity with the village men in Tanna, Vanuatu … One Big Family in Tanna
BEST HIKE: Karijini National Park, Western Australia
Hancock Gorge, Spider Walk, Karijini Nationahl Park, Western Australia
BEST RAINBOW: somewhere in the South Pacific
BEST ADVENTURE: 3 months spent sailing across the South Pacific while crewing aboard yachts.
Sailing Adventures in Wonderland – 40 ft yacht – 16 day ocean passage from New Zealand to Tonga
Forteleza – 48 ft yacht – 7 day ocean passage from Tonga to Fiji
Infinity – 120 ft yacht – 5 weeks spend sailing from Fiji and islands of Vanuatu on environmental research project
MOST FRIGHTENING MOMENT: While on steering shift aboard Infinity, the front sail ripped in half during a 4 am thunderstorm!
BEST CHALLENGE: 7 day silent Meditation retreat in Koh Samui, Thailand
BEST COCONUT: Vava’u Tonga, probably the same as coconuts across the South Pacific, but after being forced to conserve water while at sea for 16 days, nothing tasted better!
BEST WATERFALL/SWIMMING HOLE: Emma Gorge, Kimberley, Western Australia (technically end of 2010)
BEST PARTY: Lancelin Ocean Classic – annual windsurfing competition
BEST VARIETY OF AWESOME DIVES: Savu Savu, Fiji
FUNNIEST MOMENT: Echinda Chasm, Bungle Bungles, Western Australia … “It was suppose to be funny!” said Stacy
WORST EXPERIENCE: taking apart toilet head while at sea … Toilet Tales in Wonderland
BEST PLACES TO VISIT AGAIN:
Vanuatu: I only had the chance to visit 3 of the countries 83 very unique islands.
Cape Range National Park, Western Australia: Amazing place to camp for a long time in seclusion and natural beauty
Fiji: I would like to visit other islands, specifically Taveuni to do more scuba diving
Lancelin, Western Australia: so many amazing memories made here that I just have to go back!
2012 you have a lot to live up to!!!