Tam Warner Minton is a passionate traveler and photographer. Read more about her adventures on her blog.
What a diverse group of women on the Yucatan trip! The age range was 19-66 years old! One would never know anyone was in their sixties though, and it has become my goal to be 70 and still going on these expeditions. Every woman on the trip was an inspiration.
First, there is Andrea Marshall, enough said. Next, Isabella is from Mexico and a biology student at Penn. She was so enthusiastic I named her Princessa Isa, the Heir Apparent to the Queen of Mantas, Andrea Marshall! We all joked around the entire week about it, but I doubt it is a joke…Isabella may very well go into Marine Biology and Field Work. She absolutely loved it.
Lauren is a Scottish biologist working at a resort in Male, Maldives and she was thrilled to see the aggregation of Whale Sharks in the Yucatan. There really is nothing like it! Lauren joined the trip with her Kiwi (New Zealand) co-worker and Scuba Instructor, Fin (yes, Fin like a fish). Fin and Lauren were roomies on the trip and stayed in the room next to me. We went back and forth a bit…I forgot conditioner and they were life savers! In love with Mexico, it would not surprise me if Fin relocated to the Yucatan!
Elnora hailed from San Francisco and went snorkeling with crocodiles after our expedition…I confess, I wasn’t ready to do that! Brave (or seriously mad) Andrea, Lauren and Elnora who went off with crocs! Dear Annie, from Canada, was a sparkling and positive example to everyone during the entire trip. Me? I’m famous for being the clumsiest of all of us and forgetting things like fins and oxygen. Fin dubbed me the “Dory” (from Finding Nemo) of the trip! It was actually a compliment…hey, Dory had good points! She spoke whale, after all.
What an inspiration they all are. Women from all over the world, of all ages, sharing a passion for the ocean and conservation, coming together by chance. Our group jelled from Day One. It was like finding a tribe. These expeditions are not “luxurious” (I hear the Komodo trip is luxury…can’t wait!), they are tough, especially for women of a certain age. Heading out before dawn on a small boat, searching the ocean for Mantas and Whale Sharks, then engaging in our work when we found the animals, is not easy. Despite the discomfort, we would all do it again.