Five thousand feet over the Bering Sea, we were nestled in
relative comfort aboard an Air Magadan Tupolov Jet, sharing the
plane with a large contingent of cruise ship Ecotourists.
I was fortunate
to be sitting next to a most interesting neighbour - Ingrid Visser, the Wildlife guide and Zodiac driver of the Clipper Odyssey,
which this group was flying to meet in Petropovlaska before making the
cruise back to Alaska.
When not working
fulltime on cruise ships for the other four months of each year, Ingrid
is a Doctor of Cetology - one who studies whales and dolphins.
Living in the
scenic northern New Zealand town of Tutakaka with her German Shepard
Harry, Ingrid devotes her life
and passions to studying the mammals that she has had a fascination
with since as long as she can remember. A captivation that she
aptly describes as stemming from within her soul.
seems, lives a life of adventure that is closely related to her
passion of the sea. When she was only 16, she and her father
spent four years sailing from the relative safeties of New Zealand's
green shores to more than 90 countries around the world aboard a 57
foot Steel Ketch named Wai-O-Tira. This was just the start of
her journeys that has seen her travel and work to every continent in
the world, with Antarctica being far and beyond her deep favorite with
its stark landscapes and broad array of land and marine wildlife.
The four and a
half hour flight passed quickly and without effort thanks to the many
fascinating stories that Ingrid provided me. Narrative so
remarkable and learned that she has been a feature of the Discovery
Channel which has devoted a 1 hour documentary to her accomplishments
called Killers I have Known. If it is anything like
our conversation, I am more than sure that the program is one not to
Ingrid's web site
detailing more of her work can be found at
Ingrid discuss the photo she took above