My trip to Tonga!

 

Hey guys,

So I originally wanted to update to you all about my recent trip to Tonga a little sooner, however I have been once again working out on Lady Elliot Island over a busy few weeks- with little internet reception… But I am now able to update all about my time there, and I will also have a video with clips I shot in Tonga to add to this blog really soon!

 

So I honestly don’t really know how to describe a week swimming with humpback whales… amazing to say the very, very least!

 

We went out over three days to swim with these amazing animals, the first day saw some pretty rough weather and although we were surrounded by gentle giants a number of times that day- they were mostly travelling and the conditions also got the better of us.

However, the next day we saw an unbelievable display of beauty in every sense of the word, when we were able to witness the bond that a mother and her calf share… I was able to watch these beautiful creatures underwater for at least 20 minutes as the calf continuously approaches us with so much curiosity and wonder… It was 20 minutes that I will never be able to forget…

The following day we were lucky enough to be able to listen to a full ‘song’ sung by a male humpback, in search of a mate… We bobbed along the surface as, 15m below us, a huge creature sung his complex yet beautiful song.

It was a week I will never forget- and I am extremely happy with the footage I was able to obtain, which will all go toward the making of my documentary- ‘In Our Hands’.

It was sad, however, to see the drastic absence of other marine life whilst scuba diving in Tonga- such as pelagic fish species, sharks and sea turtles… Upon talking to many locals, it is apparent that the area has been subject to overfishing and other marine hunting, with the result; a much more bare marine environment. Hopefully with current environmental awareness programs, ecotourism booms and education amongst the locals, the remaining marine ecosystems in the area can both be protected, preserved and hopefully improved upon in the future also…

Just tonight I was able to give my presentation on marine conservation and my time in Taiji for the Marine Teachers Association of Queensland (MTAQ)’s annual conference held on Lady Elliot Island. With a room full of 40+ high school Marine Studies teachers listening, I was able to tell my story and share my efforts in marine conservation, as well as emphasising how important their role is in the education and motivation of younger generations to effectively ‘save’ the oceans from complete destruction in the future… I believe the presentation went quite well, and I will be attending some of the teachers’ own high schools across the state of Queensland in the near future to give a similar presentation to their students… and for the other teachers, I hope that they now feel a little more motivated to inspire their students to make a difference!

Check out THIS ARTICLE on my marine conservation efforts that was in the state-wide newspaper here in Queensland, The Sunday Mail.

I will shortly have a video of some of the footage I have been shooting from Lady Elliot Island- my second home… Just today I was able to free dive with several reef sharks who were all quite willing to let me get up close and personal with them- also, a few days ago I was able to get some great video of a Green Sea Turtle munching away on its’ lunch!

 

Thanks once again for following my journey and for all of the continued support!

On the path to protect,

Nicole

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