Saturday, November 12, 2011

Enjoy the Journey to Fiji, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia with Takara

In the fall of 2010, my son Jess and I hopped on a plane and landed in Fiji. There, we met my dear friend Brian Calvert, Captain of the Furthur. The gorgeous million-dollar yacht was to be our home away from home for the next 6 weeks.

We island hopped endlessly, visiting famous locations like The Blue Lagoon and where Castaways was filmed. We enjoyed wonderful food, swimming pools, and other grand amenities at some of the world's best resorts.

We had a meal prepared for us by natives whose ancestors were cannibals only a few generations ago. We were escorted by dolphins on several occasions. We kayaked, swam, and snorkeled our way through paradise.

This blog chronicles those adventures. Using the archive navigation on the right, start with post #1 (the beginning of the adventure) and make your way through the rest.


P.S. I've chronicled another adventure here that also involves some sea adventures. This time it was a 7 week book tour for my #1 bestseller, Dolphins & Whales Forever.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Home Again Home Again Jiggidy Jig

We spent several more days in New Caledonia.

Jess came down with the chicken pox. We had already had a few rough crossings so we decided to call it quits on the south pacific.

It took several days to get home.

We woke up around 5:30 a.m. on October 23rd. Left the boat by 6:30, saying goodbye to our dear captain and the yacht we'd shared for over a month.

A lovely shuttle ride through the countryside of New Caledonia made me understand why people love it so much. The city we had been in was definitely forgettable. But the other parts of the island were simply breathtaking.

The first plane took us from New Caledonia to New Zealand. Ah how I wish we could have stayed there for awhile.

The next plane took us from New Zealand to L.A.

That was followed by a plane from L.A. to Charlotte, NC.

Then on to D.C.

We arrived at 11:55 p.m. on October 23rd. It was the world's longest day! Whoever said there are 24 hours in a day never traveled crossing the international date line.

I don't know how many more hours than 24 it was. But it definitely wasn't just 24.

My friend, Carolyn, had booked a hotel for us near the airport. Unfortunately the phone number I had to call the shuttle didn't work. I ended up having to take a cab.

We finally got to sleep in a real bed by 1 a.m.

I set the alarm for 9:30 a.m. so we could enjoy the free breakfast. We fell fast asleep soon after.

Checkout was at noon, so we packed quickly and left just in the nick of time.

Carolyn picked us up and took us back to her place where my car was waiting. We transferred all our luggage and I began the drive to Radford.

We arrived at home at 7:30 p.m. We didn't even bother to take anything out of the car. We were so happy to be back in our own beds. We both fell fast asleep.

Jess and I both woke up 1 a.m. Heaven only knows what time zone we were in.

By 2 a.m. we had fallen back asleep and we slept until noon.

That night I went to sleep at 10 p.m. and again didn't wake up until noon the next day.

The weather here is chilly. Many of the leaves have already turned and are falling off the trees. Ah how I dislike fall and winter.

People ask me what I thought about the whole trip. It's still too early to tell all the wonderful insights I've gained by visiting the South Pacific.

I do know this.

I love living in a climate where you can wear tank tops, sarongs, and flip flops all the time. My skin loves the humidity. Tropical flowers are glorious. I love  living on the water in a yacht. I've never liked cold or winter. Fiji is fabulous!

When I'm away traveling, or even when I'm not, I rarely think about what's happening somewhere else. I'm fully immersed in the moment I'm in.

My son, however, kept thinking about home. He actually had tears in his eyes when he returned to his own things in his own room.

I completed most of my new book on this journey. I got up many mornings before anyone else was awake and wrote, sipped tea, and basked in the beauty that surrounded me.

Talking to one of my dearest friends on the phone soon after my return, she remarked that I had a calmness, a confidence, and a new tonal quality in my voice that was noticeable.

I'm still working on getting all of me back into the time zone I'm living in.

I'm finishing up the book and putting together a new workshop series. The first one is being planned for Charlotte, North Carolina.

To find out more about my books, products, long distance energy healing sessions, workshops, and more, visit Dolphin Empowerment and join the mailing list.

Fiji was Fabulous,
Debbie Takara Shelor 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Adventures in the South Pacific - Issue 30

Who Cares About a Language Barrier?

Kids don't for sure.

The family from Belgium that we met in Vanuatu were on the dock at the marina this morning. Jess is playing with them, as well as another blond non-english speaking boy. Hide and seek works in any language.

I love that.

When I logged onto my computer this morning, even Blogger was in French. Oops. Luckily once I logged in it knew to give me English.

I remember enough from high school that breakfast was fairly easy to order.

Let's see how the banking goes?

Debbie Takara Shelor

Adventures in the South Pacific - Issue 29

It's chilly here . . .

I had to break out my blue jeans. I haven't had them on since the plane trip to Fiji over a month ago.

Since then, I've mostly been wearing bathing suits or tank tops with a sarong, wrap around skirt, or shorts.

The wind is fairly brisk and the sky is clouded over.

It was raining for awhile when we arrived yesterday.

After Fiji, it feels downright cold here.

Brian refuses to abandon his shorts for long pants. He added a sweatshirt though. I have no qualms with bunding up in long pants, a long sleeve shirt, and even a sweater or wind breaker if the need arises as we head out exploring again today.

If you've been reading my previous blog posts, you may want to go back and check them out again. I've finally added the rest of the photos. I've taken over 1000, so obviously I'm only posting a small fraction of them. I've also taken several videos including one of the most recent dolphin encounter.

Brian is off for a run.

Jess is still asleep.

I'm enjoying the view from the marina and my first cup of hot tea for the day.

Trying to remember my Frnech lessons from high school,
Debbie Takara Shelor

Adventures in the South Pacific - Issue 28

New Caledonia . . .

We anchored near one of the islands for several hours. We were resting before going through this crazy pass and on to the marina at Noumea on Grande Terre.

New Caledonia is almost entirely French Speaking. And Noumea is considered Paris of the South Pacific.

So far the prices reflect that idea. After taking several hours to clear quarantine, immigration, and customs, we were free to explore.

Brian and I took our laptops to the cafe at the marina that has free wifi. When we were done catching up on email, facebook, and blog posts, we headed back to the boat.

We decided dinner should be a meal from outside the marina.

We found a McDonalds. Surely we wouldn't eat there.

We found a park with huge pilars with American colors. Turns out to be a tribute to the American soldiers who helped keep New Caledonia free from 1942 to 1946.

We couldn't seem to find anything else. Finally we stumbled across some trucks. These are the little vans where you can buy cooked meals. There were 3 trucks all offering Chinese food. So we decided tonight would be Chinese.

After ordering a few simple dishes, we were billed $4,600 Francs - that means $46 U.S. for 3 chinese take out dinners. Yikes! I'd heard the prices were seriously inflated, but I truly had no idea.

We brought the food back to the boat and ate it with chopsticks while watching Into the Wild.

Brian turned in early. Jess and I finished the movie and then were off to bed ourselves.
On to exploring more of New Caledonia,
Debbie Takara Shelor

Adventures in the South Pacific - Issue 27

Breakfast with Dolphins

I had just come off the early morning watch - 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. - and was heading into dream time when Jess woke me up saying, "I saw dolphins."

We all rushed to the bow and sure enough several dolphins were there bow riding.

They never cease to bring delight to my soul. Just seeing them always makes me leap for joy inside.

They stayed with us for awhile.

Several of them had white noses.

I was so thrilled that Jess spotted these. There is something so exciting about being the first to notice their presence.

Continuing to New Caledonia, 
Debbie Takara Shelor

Adventures in the South Pacific - Issue 26

Saying Goodbye to Vanuatu

I would have been happy staying there for a month.

However, it was once again time to move on.

I tried a patch this time - convinced that all the sea sickness issues I had in the last crossing were directly related to the medicine and not my internal makeup.

I was the girl who had crossed the English Channel, notorious for being rough water, and was the only person from our group of about 30 that did not get sea sick.

Luckily, the sea sickness is apparently over - in calm waters anyway.  

On to New Caledonia,
Debbie Takara Shelor