A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about animals

Norway: Svalbard Archipelago- Search for Polar Bears

August 2015

all seasons in one day

Watch Our Most Recent Travel Video from the Arctic in search of Polar Bears here:

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Ever wonder what it would be like to cruise through the sea ice in search of polar bears in their natural habitat? One of the main reasons people travel to Svalbard is to see polar bears in the wild. This video takes place far north in the Svalbard archipelago and through the sea ice in search of Polar Bears. We were aboard the icebreaker ship Plancius on the August 2015 trip with Oceanwide Expeditions.

Glaciers, rugged coastal mountains and snowy landscapes offer the perfect backdrop to seeing polar bears. We encountered lots of other amazing wildlife including walruses, whales, seals, Svalbard reindeer and tons of seabirds including puffins, kittiwakes and skuas among others.
We visited glaciers, research stations, historical sites with lots of shore landings with chances to hike in the unique landscapes.

Hope you enjoy and let us know if you have any questions!
Tony and Ruby

Posted by Tony.Ruby 23:27 Archived in Norway Tagged animals wildlife travel bears polar blog Comments (0)

USA:California:Huge Pod of Dolphins and some Gray Whales!

January 15, 2017

sunny 53 °F

Wow! What an incredible day on the water! Sunny gorgeous weather and HUNDREDS of dolphins and sea lions along with humpback and grey whales! Moss Landing is one of our favorite local places to visit and is just outside of Monterey California, about 2 hours south of San Francisco.

Close up of a beautiful humpback tail fluke

A long- beaked common dolphin takes a breath near the water's surface!

Beautiful Common Dolphins reflecting on glassy water
Beautiful Common Dolphins reflecting on glassy water
A Gray Whale shows off it's tail fluke
The back of a Gray Whale- it looks completely different from a Humpback's back! Notice they white markings.
Another beautiful close up of a humpback tail fluke

Check out the video and pics below!

Posted by Tony.Ruby 21:14 Archived in USA Tagged animals water wildlife travel whales dolphins tourist whale watching humpbacks Comments (3)


September 2015

sunny 68 °F

Hi all!

If you're looking for a fun activity near San Francisco, CA. . . this is definitely one of the best! During the summer months through September there are tons of humpback whales coming to feed on anchovies near Monterey in Moss Landing, CA. You can see whales up close, seals, dolphins, and adorable otters. Check out this extended version of the video to see just how close you can get and look out for the insider travel tips at the end!

Tony & Ruby




Posted by Tony.Ruby 21:22 Archived in USA Tagged animals wildlife california dolphins tourist whale watching seals otters humpbacks Comments (0)

Maldives: LUX South Ari- Adventures in Paradise- VIDEO

April 11-18, 2016

sunny 90 °F

Swimming with whale sharks and mantas in pristine turquoise waters with stunning views in the most luxurious of settings is what you will find at LUX* South Ari - check out our video of one of the most ROMANTIC vacation destinations ever!

We stayed at the LUX* South Ari resort on the far Western part of the Maldives. They can help you coordinate a seaplane transfer (about 30 min--approx $500 per person round trip) from the international airport in Male, Maldives (the capital). We flew from San Francisco direct on Emirates to Dubai and then you can connect directly in Dubai to Male (although we went to India and Sri Lanka first). The Maldives are only a 1hour flight from Sri Lanka.

April was hot and sunny with no rain during our time there and we were able to see whale sharks, dolphins, turtles, a manta ray, squid and lots of tropical fish on our snorkeling trips!!

The best sunny rain-free weather/ high season is between December and March. Room rates can be at their peak during this time- although they were very reasonable during our dates in April. The monsoon runs from May to October, peaking around June. Better to splurge on the higher prices in the dry season than to be stuck inside on rainy days. There were no mosquitoes during our time there- the resort apparently fumigates the island every day with natural mosquito repellants.

LUX* South Ari is phenomenal, the restaurants have a huge selection of fresh seafood and fruits and vegetables every day. The surroundings and facilities are truly luxurious and the service is very personalized! We did not opt for the all-inclusive package as we are not heavy drinkers but would have if we drank a lot of alcohol. They made us feel like celebrities~ looking forward to a return visit! The resort also seems to be very kid friendly with special areas and activities for kids all over the resort (separate from the adults without kids of course).

Hope that helps and you enjoy the video! Feel free to leave any comments or questions below.

Tony & Ruby




Posted by Tony.Ruby 21:00 Archived in Maldives Republic Tagged landscapes sunsets_and_sunrises beaches animals water wildlife scuba Comments (0)

Antarctica: VIDEO: Kayaking with Whales and Penguins!

January 19, 2015


Ever wonder what it would be like to kayak in Antarctica? We can't stop thinking about it! This was one of our absolute favorite experiences of our entire Antarctica cruise.

Check out this amazing morning kayaking amongst icebergs in Antarctica. Watch the bubble feeding humpback whales and penguins around us.

Posted by Tony.Ruby 19:58 Archived in Antarctica Tagged animals birds wildlife whales Comments (0)

Madagascar: Tana: Coquerel's Sifakas and the Croc Farm

November 12, 2013

sunny 88 °F

Our flight from Kenya to Madagascar was expensive…in fact it was more expensive than our flights to Africa from the New York! We got up brutally early for our ride to the airport…and the direct easy 4 hour flight to Antanarivo aka Tana (the capital of Madagascar). FYI - Be sure to get a multi-entry Kenya visa if you plan on coming back through the country anytime soon!


We landed in Tana and had no idea what to expect. It was hot and humid but everyone seemed friendly and easy going. Our driver picked us up and drove us up a bumpy dirt road to a place called The Croc Farm just a few miles from the airport.

We sat in the shade and had a local cold THB beer before checking out the animals at the farm. This is a great way to get a taste of Madagascar wildlife before starting the rest of the journey.  


The highlight for us was getting to hand feed Coquerel’s Sifakas!! You can tell they are extremely intelligent when you look into their eyes. We even saw a mom and baby :)


They also raise crocs (hence the name) to make into things like shoes/bags there!  We some chewing on rocks! I guess they don’t get fed very much?!

We also saw radiated tortoises mating, birds, snakes, and tons of chameleons! We felt bad for some of the animals in small cages including a bummed out fossa, the largest predator in Madagascar, no bigger than a dog!) This poor guy was pacing around in circles in his cage.


After that we switched cars in Tana and checked out the city with it’s gorgeous purple Jacarada trees as we drove through to pick up our driver Haj.


Then we started heading east. By the way we've already seen two trucks flipped over on the side of the road— word of advice: spend a little more and get a good driver!


As we drove east to head into the rain forests and up into the mountains we could see fires burning on the hillside all along the way— This is a sign of slash and burn agriculture which is a real problem in Madagascar.


By the time we arrived at our eco-lodge in the mountains it was pitch black and we ended our night with one more fire...this time on our pineapple and bananas flambé.


Posted by Tony.Ruby 11:24 Archived in Madagascar Tagged animals Comments (0)

Kenya: South Narok: Practicing Dermatology in the Mara

November 2-10, 2013

sunny 85 °F

Having already been to Africa several times, I couldn't wait to show my good friend Andrea all of the beautiful things that make Africa such a great place to visit (and volunteer)! Thanks to Free the Children, Me to We and Medicis I would get the opportunity! We left New York and hopped on a total of an 18 hour journey and landed in Nairobi just in time to go to bed at the gorgeous Tribe hotel! That next morning we had a chance to visit the Giraffe sanctuary and meet our team before hopping on a small plane that would carry us over the Great Rift Valley and land on a tiny dirt airstrip in the Masai Mara. . . and from there our journey would be begin. We would be spending 10 days seeing dermatology patients in the Masai Mara with a team of 15 other volunteers from the US (a combination of dermatologists, MAs, PAs and even an ER doc).


Some of the highlights of this 10 day trip included:

1. The stunning vistas which I can never get enough of . . . including rural villages, sunflower farms, grazing animals under big skies and even heart shaped clouds! Do you see the heart or am I the only romantic?

2. The welcoming and friendly people, especially, the schoolchildren and villagers who would wave their hands furiously as we drove by, singing and dancing on the side of the road to show their appreciation for our visit! The patients were also extremely appreciative and offered shy smiles and held back their laughter as they listened to our funny attempts at speaking Swahili. The local clinic staff was extremely patient, hard-working and motivated to assist us in any way necessary. . even when there were 30 patients waiting for their medications or 100 patients sitting on the lawn waiting to be seen.
Our facilitators Kate, Tobiko and Breanna from Me to We were phenomenal and made sure we had a comfortable, educational and productive experience!

3. The Way of Life that is so different from our own: much slower and also much more labor intensive. . . we learned this on our morning walks with our Masai warrior guides. We also had a fireside story night where Steven, David and Peter shared quite a bit about their way of living over popcorn! We experienced some of their hardships firsthand when we walked to a village and attempted to carry jerry cans filled with either 25 or 50 lbs of water from the Mara River back to Mama Jane's house the traditional way. . . with a rope tied to the can and balanced across our forehead. Can you believe she makes the trip to collect water 5 times a day?!? Thanks to Free the Children hopefully she will not be doing that for long thanks to the up and coming Clean Water projects. Seeing the transformation of the old school with it's dirt floors and desks made of splintered wood to the newly built school for the children really made me proud to be a part of this project.

4. The Wildlife: Always beautiful new things to see, every journey we take . . .some faves were the goat who ate my flowers right out of my hand, the zebras we encountered on our morning Masai walk on one of our first days there, the loud group of yellow weavers birds fixing up their nests, a pile of lazy sunning hippos and of course 3 men and a goat on a motorcycle LOL!

At the end of the trip, we felt very fortunate to have made amazing friends and memories. . . we are already trying to plan our next trip back to the Baraka clinic! That is exactly what I wished for as I tied my ribbon onto this wishing tree. .

Posted by Tony.Ruby 12:54 Archived in Kenya Tagged animals Comments (4)

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