Sunday, December 2, 2012

Caribbean Odyssey

Just returned from a Transatlantic crossing lecturing aboard the ms Rotterdam.  A great crossing without too much "motion of the ocean!"  We embarked in Rotterdam and disembarked in Barbados.  It was a pleasure to meet so many great folks!  Thank you for attending my lectures and for your support and enthusiasm.   We had the opportunity to meet many interesting creatures in the rainforests and crystal clear waters of the Caribbean.

While in Southampton, we took the opportunity to drive through the New Forest and up to see the Salisbury Cathedral.
Salisbury Cathedral
Curious Donkey in the New Forest near Southampton

Caribbean Delights

If you are ever looking for a wild adventure -- look no further than a rental car on Tortola, British Virgin Islands.  Take North American cars with left hand drive and drive them on the British (some would say 'wrong' side of the road).  Add narrow, twisty roads - often without center lines -- and you have a recipe for excitement!!

We enjoyed some wonderful snorkeling in the waters of Bonaire and Aruba. Bonaire, in particular, is special because the entire reef system surrounding the island is protected within the Bonaire Marine Park .  The reefs are still in fairly good shape, given the threats to corals throughout the world, with ocean acidification, warming oceans, and rising sea levels.
Snorkeling in the Marine Park that encompasses Bonaire
The Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad proved to be a great place to experience some interesting rainforest birds.  I managed to photograph a few of these, including the Golden-headed Manakin (read more about this fascinating species).
Golden-headed Manikin
Green Honeycreeper, Asa Wright Nature Centre, Trinidad
Purple Honeycreeper, Asa Wright Nature Centre, Trinidad