A Life of Travel and Adventures
“Drawing on four decades of adventure and
over three million miles of travel, I hope you will
enjoy this anthology of my world explorations.”- Gig
- Talked my way into a factory tour for “Chicken of the
Sea”, and saw thousands of yellowfin tuna being processed
by the latest technology and shipped by sea to the U.S.
As the sun rose over Ayers Rock, deep in the outback,
snapped pictures and climbed red sandstone monolith 350
feet to the very top; learned the history of dreamtime
from the local Aborigines, scuba dived with my sons at the
Great Barrier Reef, bought multi-colored opals, then
enjoyed live theater at the Sydney Opera House; motored
with Lutheran pilgrims up the Barossa Valley, following
the legend of the German immigrants who established
churches and the vineyards that produce today’s tasty
Australian wines; guzzled local Foster’s Beer with the
happiest drinking people anywhere.
- Saw the mysterious statues of the Moai, then cooled down
body surfing at Anakena Beach but cut myself on coral and
bled profusely for an hour.
Hunkered down and rode out a three-day typhoon at the
Royal Fijian Hotel with a group of stranded Americans;
later, in order to familiarize myself with the island,
rode a local mini-bus five hours from Nandi to Suva, the
- Cruised from island to island, encountering the nesting
area of a colony of marine iguanas, plus red and
blue-footed boobies; viewed a 180-year-old, 600-pound
Galapagos tortoise in a protected forest.
Guam - In the
early 80’s, landed next to endless B52 Bombers parked
- After 20-plus trips to the islands, remember famous
Sunset Beach, where I caught a surfing wave and “wiped
out” in unceremonious fashion; learned to like poi, mahi
mahi fish, and macadamia nut ice cream, despise cheap
Hawaiian souvenirs, sea urchins and sunburns; helicoptered
over the molten lava on the Big Island and down into the
green canyons of Kauai, watched humpback whales spout off
Maui, took a five-hour mule ride down Kalaupapa Pass in
Molokai to the leper colony, and hosted a luau for 2,600
people on Waikiki.
- Landed on the U.S. Navy’s man-made island and heard
stories of top-secret materials, but could not disembark
Wandered by huge World War II cannons, both U.S. and
Japanese, on Tarawa, as old natives shared stories of the
amphibious Marine landing.
- Jetted south from Hawaii to quiet Christmas Island for
sport fishing at its best, catching silver-colored
Lord Howell Island
- Landed in a wind storm and blew out the wing landing
gear tires for a most unnerving arrival, then snuggled
into a secluded B&B, swam in an idyllic lagoon with a
friendly school of silver fish, and by night viewed the
clear heavens, filled with billions and billions of stars.
- Arrived in these rugged plunging mountain islands on an
adventure ship, hiked two hours to a remote waterfall, and
returned to the ship to hear the sad news that one of our
fellow passengers had disappeared, never to be seen again;
also spent time on this trip with Roy Disney, co-chairman
of the Disney Corporation.
- Circled the Atoll of Kwajalein, used as a target for
- Spent four days walking among the gooney birds and
albatrosses, slept in former Navy barracks, and saw the
original landing area and hangers for the famous Pan Am
Clippers that flew from the west coast to China.
Toured the surrealistic pinnacle fields left by phosphate
mining, which has stripped the island but made the locals
New Zealand -
Boated through the glow worm caves of Waitomo, smelled the
pungent sulphur in the Maori’s capital of Rotoroa, spent a
day and night on a sheep ranch with my family on the south
island; took a triple challenge in Queenstown, a
helicopter ride through the canyon, fast rapid rafting and
a thrilling jet boat ride, then watched son, Aaron, bungee
jump off of the Shot Over River Bridge.
Bellied up to the bar with a Kiwi and a Yankee, who were
interested in exploring a grotto cave near the ocean; had
to swim underwater for 30 yards to get into this pristine
virgin cave; wrote a paper which made me eligible for
admission into the Explorer’s Club.
- Between the towering Norfolk Pines, played golf with a
direct descendant of the infamous Fletcher Christian of
“Mutiny on the Bounty” fame.
- Walked to the edge of storied Banzai Hill and Suicide
Cliff, sites of major World War II battles, accompanied by
both former American and Japanese soldiers.
Slept on tatami straw mats for two days on a local
Japanese transportation ship en route to Chichi Jima, but
was restricted by the Japanese Navy from traveling to Iwo
Jimi, considered a sacrosanct area by the Japanese
Snorkeled and sailed the beautiful Rock Islands, a true
natural wonder of the world.
Papua New Guinea
- Allowed my teenage sons to watch a tribal dance
featuring fierce warriors and bare-breasted women.
- The original home of the Bounty Folk, the population of
which has been reduced to less than 50 people; we
encountered very rough seas and bobbed in 15-foot waves
before our rocky landing.
- Drove to the top overlooking green valleys and stood in
silence at the Marine Monument of Guadalcanal.
Driving the streets of Papeete, was hit broadside by an
angry French lady, who gave me an earful French style;
brought the first ever 747 to Tahiti with a Chevrolet
charter in the mid 70’s, and at landing, destroyed most of
the runway lights; oops! I snorkeled with six- foot manta
rays in the clear waters of Bora Bora, maybe the prettiest
spot on the planet.
- Landed on this little-known series of islands north of
Western Samoa on an adventure cruise and were told that
ours was the first ever passenger ship to visit Atafu
Island; the senior chieftains declared a festival and
organized an all-day luau, complete with barbecued land
crab and a roast pig.
Tonga - On a
remote island, crawled over lava fields to view rare birds
at a lake sanctuary; after three days of formal requests,
was granted a private audience with the omnipotent ruler,
King Taupu IV of Tonga.
Wake Island -
One of the hardest places to visit in the world; landed
and slept on the runway, thanks to the U.S. Army, on my
way to Vietnam.
- Walked through the home of author Robert Lewis Stevenson
and caught a picture of a storm clouds billowing over a
tropical sunset at the famed Aggie Grey’s Hotel.
Three trips to Antarctica include crossing the Antarctic
Circle, as well as bathing outdoors in just above freezing
temperatures and 40 mile per hour winds. On South Georgia
Island, photographed at ten feet, three-ton bull elephant
seals in a bloody fight for territory; visited the grave
of Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shacklton; sat among
thousands of King Penguins, many of whom had never seen
- Heard stories of the Argentine Invasions, then played
golf on their only course, pock-marked by old mortar
rounds; enjoyed high tea at a remote farmhouse surrounded
by seals and penguins. Sailed the Drake Passage six times
between South America and Antarctica, twice in horrific
storms; swam in the Antarctic Ocean in an island cove with
hot thermal springs; was cornered by an angry scavenger
bird, when I mistakenly walked near her nest; talked with
geologists as our ship sailed past a ten-mile iceberg,
then hit a submerged berg, jolting all aboard and breaking
most of the ship’s dishes; on a group hike of a deserted
island, was trapped in melting snow in a deep ravine, but
joined together and made a human rope and crawled to
safety; and finally watched as the Royal British Navy on
the high seas, made a dramatic ship to helicopter rescue.