Thursday, June 8, 2023
HomeFashionOnce in a Lifetime: Expedition Yachting (and Swimming with Whales) in French...

Once in a Lifetime: Expedition Yachting (and Swimming with Whales) in French Polynesia

We just spent an afternoon playing in and around EYOS’s other expedition yacht, the huge 285ft North Pole, which happens to be moored at A few hundred yards away in Cook Inlet. To our delight, it provides full time staff, as well as a range of jet skis, wakeboards, Seabobs, kayaks and scuba diving equipment.

After all of the above, I found myself walking towards Arctic P’s overstuffed lunch table when a crew member, seemingly innocently, mentioned “I think they’re It’s all on the top deck.” I nodded, and climbed up to find Stein Retzlaff – a photographer and videographer who had been documenting our trip – standing at the bow of the boat with the many stories above the water below. He was facing me, with his back to the water, and with the encouragement of a few others, he was already far below the water – he jumped up suddenly, arched his back, did a perfect backflip, and then Hitting the water below seemed forever.

Just seeing this gives me chills down my spine. I didn’t realize until then though: I’m next in line.

I am reminded of what our expedition leader, Ian Strachan, told me earlier about different types of fun. Level 1 fun is something fun when you do it; level 2 fun, though, is only fun when you think about it or tell someone about it. (There’s also a little-known third-level fun, which is something only other people find amusing, let’s leave that alone.)

We have level-one horror here, and- hope, In theory – secondary fun. I then thought back to how I had imagined this almost otherworldly trip long ago, on paper—in short, as something to witness rather than experience. I put everything else out of my mind, closed my fists and eyes, and jumped.

I skipped the backflip though. I mean: why show off?



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