We’ve just sailed past the tip of a long peninsula jutting south from the Belize mainland and now we’re negotiating a photogenic harbour populated by cruising sailboats anchored off a laid-back beach resort village called Placencia.Explore
On the dusty Giza plateau at the edge of the expansive city of Cairo, the pyramids of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure rise above the desert sands. Though I have seen Egypt’s monuments to eternity in photos and film, the sight of the elaborate tombs still takes my breath away – which, of course, has always been their purpose.Explore
Waves washed over me making me scream at the suddenness and surprise of their size. Our kayak rode up and lurched down the steep crest of the wave as screams turned to laughter. I turned to my kayak partner at the back and said, “l’ll never be able to kayak on a lake again.” We were kayaking on the Atlantic side of the island and the Atlantic Ocean is known for being choppy, especially in areas where it meets up with the Caribbean.Explore
Yesterday afternoon we strolled a seaside cobblestone promenade on the island of Ischia just outside Italy’s Bay of Naples, taking in a view dominated by towering Aragon Castle. This morning, in that impossible light unique to the Mediterranean, we gaze skyward at this castle from our perspective in its lee, at anchor on our chartered Sunsail yacht. Over coffee in the cockpit I savour our ringside view, considering the castle’s backstory.
Often times, when we think of cultural meccas we think of destinations like Europe and urban centres such as New York City, but there is an emerging trend in the Caribbean you might want to consider for your next vacation…Barbados, the easterly most island of the Caribbean.Explore
Moments after casting off from San Juan Marina, in a vast harbour embracing Puerto Rico’s biggest city, I throttle up our rubber dinghy’s outboard and the lively craft surges forward. Two other vessels complete our fleet. A Puerto Riqueño, with his wife for crew, pilots one. Our tour guide, Elvis Monge, handles the other. Our manifest includes my wife and our friend, Rebecca Keddie, who’s lived on-island for roughly a year. I’m on the helm. No big-box excursion this, but an amphibious city tour, thanks to San Juan Mini Boats.Explore
Our hiking group was scattered on the beach when our guide spotted three polar bears on the far side of the fjord. Suddenly, two of the bears started swimming diagonally not far from our protected zone. The guide quickly gathered us together and urged us to swiftly board waiting zodiacs. Returning from the zodiac outing, still warming up after hiking through the snow chatting about the polar bear sighting, four of us sat in the Compass lounge playing cards enthusiastically. Cards were hastily thrown on the table as carts of scones, cakes and fruit platters were wheeled in. It was time for afternoon tea and everything stopped. Fellow passengers barely noticed the boat dipping in the swells; they were focussed on getting their afternoon treats. Traveling on an expedition ship with Adventure Canada is filled with different levels of treats from adventures with bears, afternoon tea, riding in zodiacs around icebergs, an onboard spa and hot-tub, wildlife spotting, and top quality food.Explore
Early morning mists add to the mystical allure of Silent Lake, near Bancroft, Ontario. PHOTO CREDIT: Sharon Matthews-Stevens
The sounds of Silent Lake are myriad.
Listen to the whisper of your canoe as you drag it over the sand of this little beach toward waters clear and cold; listen to the splash when the canoe slides into the lake; listen to the muffled thunk the canoe makes when it nudges the dock.Explore
“If you look over to the right along that far shore, you can see a pair of swans on the nest,” Rachel, my Parks Canada guide, indicated from the stern of the canoe.
“Wow! Can we get the canoe in position so I can get a good shot of them?”
She said we could and so we paddled a bit closer – not too close, as the protective parents may become very ornery if they feel you’re too close – and swung the canoe around so the bow was pointed toward the nest and I had a clear shot.Explore
The Florida Keys are a string of tropical islands stretching 125 miles off the southern tip of the US state of Florida between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Until 1912, they weren’t connected to the rest of the world as there was no bridge. A recently rebuilt 7-mile bridge stretching over the vast ocean brings you to at a completely separate destination from the rest of the US, and that is how the local “Conchs” want it to be. There is a different feel to the Keys as soon as you are removed from the hustle and bustle of Miami. A soft breeze, gentle murmur of voices and a relaxed island vibe is felt everywhere you turn.Explore