Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rarotonga sunrise.

After waking up at 5:00, walking to the beach, setting up my camera, hiding under a palm tree during a rain squall, wondering why it was still so dark out, realizing my alarm was still on Los Angeles time and it was actually 3:00 a.m., going back to sleep, and walking back out to the beach, I enjoyed this nice sunrise.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Needle and the cross-island trek.

There is a hike on Rarotonga that takes you through the middle of the island via jungle and steep mountain ridges. Halfway through, you arrive at The Needle, and are treated to a 360 degree view of most of the island while birds circle around your head.





Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wigmore Falls.

The reward at the end of the cross-island trek (a few miles of jungle and mountain ridges):





Pictures of the cross-island trek coming soon.

Rarotonga.

This is the first post since I've left the United States. I'll be spending the next semester in New Zealand, studying at the University of Canterbury. Currently, I'm in the middle of a five-week field camp, in which I spend time in Rarotonga (the Cook Islands) and Auckland, New Zealand, conducting all sorts of field research.

Rarotonga, so far, has been spectacular. Because I have spent so much time in Hawaii, I feel right at home on this tiny island (25 square miles of lush, tropical forest surrounded by beautiful, shallow lagoons).




Black Rock, which is one of my favorite spots on the island:





My study abroad group has spent a few days with Nan Hauser, an American whale researcher who lives on the island. She has spent the last decade observing and tracking the whales, especially humpbacks, that pass through the Cook Islands during their annual migration from Antartica. She lives in a simple, beautiful house nestled in the jungle. Here is a shot I took from her deck:



More posts to come.