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Beyond the Destination: Your World. Our Perspective.

Welcome to the Zegrahm Expeditions Blog! Here you will find inspiration for your next adventure and information from your last adventure, produced by our field leaders, Seattle office staff, and contributing writers. You may filter this content by geographic region or by type, including blog post, field report—daily recap of a past expedition with photos—video, or image slideshow. Explore your world, from our perspective.

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Circumnavigation of Sumatra
January 22, 2011
Blog Post

We’ve just made history. Not only have we successfully completed Zegrahm’s first-ever Circumnavigation of Sumatra but, a couple of days ago, we also became the first group ever to see a silvery pigeon, a bird considered extinct until Christmas Day last year.

The silvery pigeon is a bulky, pale pigeon first described from Pontianak, Borneo, around 1850. Apparently always a scarce bird, the next 80 years saw scattered records from the small islands around Sumatra and...

Komodo Dragon, Komodo Island, Indonesia
March 25, 2010
Blog Post

We awoke to a beautiful day with a mirror calm surface to the sea and full sun, with a few perfect cotton wool clouds dotting the blue sky. Our ambition today was to see the fabled Komodo dragon which is carnivorous and can reach 12 feet in length. They have a range of nasty bacteria in their mouths and necrotising venom, the combination of which can kill large prey such as goats and deer. We had several options to choose from to explore the island which included bird watching and walks of...

Wandering Albatross
October 20, 2002
Blog Post

The albatross is one of nature's true wonders. These seabirds can soar for hours, riding on the wind, ranging for thousands of miles over open ocean. The wandering albatross, the largest seabird in the world, remains at sea for years before returning to land to nest. For centuries, sailors considered these birds sacrosanct; to kill an albatross was to court disaster.

A cruel irony, then, that oceangoing fishermen are now responsible for drastic declines in 17 different albatross...

Bald Ibis
July 20, 2007
Blog Post

Don and Donna, members of the New York State Ornithological Association and long-time travelers with Zegrahm, had arrived with a tally of 4,981 bird species on their list. The question they asked me was “Could I manage to get them 19 new species?” In theory it was certainly possible but in the field with all the constraints imposed by weather, ship’s schedules, and so forth, it is not always easy to conjure or induce species to drop from the sky on command. An added twist to the challenge...

Puffin, Flannan Islands, Outer Hebrides
June 30, 2010
Blog Post

At 5 a.m., under leaden skies and a lazy, rolling sea, our vessel, the Island Sky, made its way into Village Bay at Hirta, the largest of the seven islets that make up the archipelago of St. Kilda—Britain’s most remote group of islands. No amount of reading could have prepared us for this dramatic scene; sheer mountains that explode from the sea, launched from the ocean depths by wild volcanic explosions, its peaks draped in a soft, gray fog.

As primordial and striking as the...

New Zealand Storm Petrel
February 9, 2010
Blog Post

Zegrahm Expeditions’ New Zealand to New Guinea 20th Anniversary voyage got off to a resounding start thanks to the cooperation of a bird that was considered extinct for over 100 years.

Battling near-gale force winds, 18 intrepid birders, led by Peter Harrison, boarded two small boats and spent seven hours in bumpy and lumpy seas that sent waves crashing over the small vessels as they headed for Little Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf, north of Auckland.

After 1.5 hours of...

Vatnajökull, Iceland
August 5, 2011
Blog Post

We experienced the splendor of Iceland’s Vatnajökull ice cap from two very different perspectives, and with the help of several different means of transportation. At a lagoon littered with icebergs from a calving glacier, we boarded amphibious vehicles called “Ducks” that drove directly into the water, trading their tires for propellers. We soon found ourselves right up next to blue and white sculptures of ice, with the impressive tongue of the Skálafellsjökull glacier looming in the...

Vigur Island
July 28, 2011
Blog Post

The tiny island of Vigur in Iceland’s western fjords has been owned and inhabited by the same family for over 130 years. We arrived by Zodiac to meet the family who live on this remote outpost, and came away greatly appreciating the hard work and resourcefulness that have allowed them to thrive here for generations.

Once ashore we were struck, both literally and figuratively, by the countless Arctic terns that were in constant flight all around us. Luckily, our thoughtful hosts had...

La Digue, Seychelles
February 6, 2012
Blog Post

At approximately 3am, the moon completed its decent to the horizon, turning orange as it disappeared into the Indian Ocean.  We boarded Zodiacs under brilliant stars and headed ashore on Aldabra to search for green sea turtles coming up to the beach to lay their eggs under the cover of darkness.  We walked along in the forest above the high tide line, so as not to disturb any turtles with our flashlights.

Coconut crabs were out in force at this hour, and we carefully sidestepped them...

La Digue, Seychelles
January 31, 2012
Blog Post

A row of quaint shops lined the quiet main street of town on the island of La Digue, where we had to look both ways before crossing the road not because of cars, but because of bicycles. Soon we had chosen our own chariot from the bicycle shop, and headed out to explore the island. Lush green trees shaded the road, and we greeted the locals with a wave as we peddled past.

Soon we arrived at a small nature preserve, where we parked our bikes and proceeded on foot. La Digue is home to...

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