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Pontoon at Norman Reef, Queensland, Australia (With permission: Great Adventure Tours)

Boating from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef

When we asked friends from Brisbane and Sydney what’s the best time to visit Australia, they said September to November, not March when we had planned to go. Our timing to experience the Great Barrier Reef wasn't the best either. The Lonely Planet advice? Avoid going between December and March ...
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Baía de Guaraqueçaba in the early morning hours (©Coen Wubbels)

Boating Through The Ecological Reserve of Sebuí in Brazil

In the early morning we sailed through the Baia de Guaraqueçaba in an open motor boat: a world of sapphire-colored water surrounded by blue-grey mountain ranges outlined against a cobalt, slightly clouded sky. With dolphins accompanying us in the distance, the scenery couldn't have been more peaceful. From open water we ...
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What is vegetation and what is the reflection? (©Coen Wubbels)

Boating Through the Flooded Forest of Anavilhanas in the Brazilian Amazon

I feel as if I am looking at a scene in the cartoon of Jack and the Beanstalk. The tree trunk is a good three meters wide, and as I look up, I see that the tree divides into three immensely thick branches that reach high into the sky, as ...
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Blue Grotto in Capri

Boating to the Blue Grotto in Capri, Italy

The tour guide said it was impossible, but I couldn't bear the thought of being so close to the Grotta Azzura, and not see it... We had embarked a few days before on the Regent Seven Seas Voyager for a cruise from Monte Carlo to Venice. Our port of call that ...
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Ficus Pumilia (Creeping Fig) at Villa del Balbianello on Lake Como.

Boating to Villa del Balbianello’s Garden on Lake Como

  I am sitting on a taxi-boat instead of walking through a trail from the Lenno dock to Villa del Balbianello on the wooded promontory. The trail is closed on Mondays. Things must happen for a reason because glimpsing the villa through the trees couldn't have matched the stunning setting I see from the ...
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Manitoba polar bear

Bond with Churchill’s Belugas and Polar Bears

Hudson Bay’s August weather and tides finally cooperate on a four-day adventure to Churchill, Manitoba. Three men and I ignore the 7 a.m. chill as we tug into wetsuits and carefully scoot kayaks across the Churchill River’s rocky shallows. We paddle into the 40-foot-deep channel where a red grain ship ...
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