Tonga 2005, Part II

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Date: August 2-11, 2005
Destination: Ha'apai, Tonga
Group Charter: The Imaging Foundation
Returning Passengers:
Bruce Rasner, Randy Osgerby

Matteo Marsilio gets close to a couple of friendly whales.
Listening for whalesong.
Daniel Behrman, John Monk and Georgienne Bradley.

It was the first day of this trip that will be most fondly remembered as, yet again, the whales were ready to play only minutes after our opening brief. Before cameras were tested and weight belts assembled, two friendly juveniles decided that NAI’A and her guests were the most interesting things in the water. The group, led by Georgienne Bradley and Jay Ireland, had plenty of other things to keep them occupied during our search for more friendly cetaceans as their Imaging Foundation website about Tonga’s humpback whales was put together while onboard. Daniel Behrman was the technical wizard, rarely getting wet but always busy whether behind the computer or the video camera. Among the busiest of the guests was Linda Bascom, who managed not only to keep track of everyone else’s progress, write her own pages, and keep the whole vibe of the boat on a high, but also seemed to be the first “wooo-who” yeller for every breach or tail slap that occurred. John Monk always had his camera ready for all things above and below the water. Speaking of ready, Bruce Rasner – NAI’A veteran and seasoned liveaboard traveller – battled with the digital revolution, and learned soon enough that it was best to remain suited up 24/7, just in case. David and Jackie Walker rarely missed a dive, and survived them all in spite of their BCD problems. Alex Nicolson kept the crew honest and in good spirits with his mastery of the Fijian language (even the colourful words); Alex also seemed to have a penchant for other people’s weigh belts... roommate Larry Glover just had to get used to it. Matteo Marsilio and Lucia Adamo were this trip’s eco-warriors, collecting heaps of plastic flotsam and jetsam from the desert islands we visited. Carolyn Winter managed to keep up her running routine… nothing like being chased by a wild boar to keep the legs pumping and the heart rate up. Another NAI’A veteran, Randy Osgerby jumped between video and photo and captured some great images. For a full roundup of the trip, see Jan and Chard Nelson’s expedition journal on the Imaging Foundation website, along with all sorts of info on Tonga’s humpback whales:

Linda Bascom & Georgienne Bradley.
Matteo Marsilo & Lucia Adamo.
"Don't touch the whale."
Friendly whale.
Sun-loving gecko.



Josh, Liz and the crew of the NAI’A, once again you’ve outdone yourselves. This is the best crew in the industry. You should be very proud. Thanks for putting on such a great trip and I look forward to my next cruise.
Randy Osgerby, Grapewine TX

Stupenda vacanza, grazie a Liz, Josh e a tutti i ragazzi.
Matteo Marsilo & Lucia Adamo, Italy

Experience of a lifetime. Very glad to be a part of the cruise.
Larry Glover, Houston TX

The whales were wonderful, both above and below the water!
John Monk, Richland WA

My third trip aboard the NAI’A – as usual the wonderful service exceeded the excellent diving! The best to the great crew,
Bruce Rasner, Irvine CA

The crew was always smiling and “no problem” for whatever I asked.
Jackie Walker, Laguna Beach CA

Everyone on the crew worked so hard to make this a great trip.
Chard & Jan Nelson, Oakland CA


Seastar and sunset.
The good ship NAI'A.
Anemone mouth.



The Imaging Foundation:


Jay Ireland.
Carolyn Winter.
David Walker.
Larry Glover.
Randy Osgerby.
Chard Nelson.
Jackie Walker.
Bruce Rasner.
Jan Nelson.
Alex Nicolson.