jason and nikki wynn great barrier island glenfern sanctuary

A Sailor Built This Island Sanctuary

This is a story about a sailor who fell in love with an island.

And I’m not a scientist but I have significant evidence that shows the exploration of almost anything will make you fall in love with it.  Or, at the very least, you will like it more.

Let me explain.

Some 25 years ago, a psychologist made two strangers fall in love in his laboratory by asking increasingly personal questions and staring into each other’s eyes for four minutes.

I call this exploration:  curiosity + connection = love

I believe we can apply this method to almost anything.  For example, I have personally experienced this with a baby humpback whale.  I had never met a whale before sailing to French Polynesia.

We were swimming just outside the island lagoon in Moorea when I had my first encounter.  It was a tiny newborn baby whale weighing just over a ton.  We were both very curious about each other, becoming increasingly personal, and stared into each other’s eyes for at least four minutes.

I can confirm it was the eye-to-eye connection that sent Cupid’s arrow straight through my heart.

I fell hopelessly in love with that whale and subsequently, all whales.  And while I can’t speak for the whale, I am fairly certain the feeling was mutual.

And this is but one example.  I have had similar experiences with a stray kitten in Fiji, the island country of Niue, coffee, my sailing sister Kate and the list goes on.

So, when we found out that a fellow sailor had fallen in love with the Great Barrier and built a sanctuary on it…well, we must pay homage.

More About Glenfern Sanctuary: 




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Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (28)

  • David

    I love your videos. The NZ tourism board should have both of you on the payroll. I hope winter does not arrive too early so you can explore in nice weather. I would be regreting the delays doing the refit but you and Jason seem to be more of the glass half full types. Safe travels.

  • Dan

    You can see the Bouzaid genes in Brad though he reminds me more of Chris (Tony’s brother) than Tony. You called Tony a “fellow yachtsman” but that was a bit of an undersell. I’m sure you became aware of his legacy whilst at Glenfern but for the many thousands worldwide who watch your beautiful videos Tony won many national, trans tasman and international sailing championships. He was also once NZ sailor of the year and ran what was arguably the largest and most successful sail loft in Auckland- The city of sails. He was also a really nice person. Glenfern is such a fitting memorial.

  • Jeanette Brennan

    Terrific video once again. You definitely make Sundays into Fundays. Thanks for all the fabulous info. The Surfshark part of the video was priceless. Thanks for taking us along with you on your adventures — looking forward to next week. Stay safe, well and happy! 💖🏝⛵️

    • Jeffrey Stenberg

      Ditto, and I didn’t know swim fins could be so sexy.

  • Keith Rogers

    Great video overall but I must say your surf shark commercial stole the show. So funny!

  • Alan Solomon

    Thank you, Nikki and Jason, for another wonderful Sunday video. Your guide sort of reminded me of Robert Irwin the Son of Steve Irwin the Crocodile hunter from Australia. Robert Irwin has recently been in the news pertaining to a 12-foot Crocodile lunging at him. I think your guides accent reminded me of him.
    The Kauri Tree is simply amazing and incredible at 2000 years old. 2000 years ago, was not quite enough for when Captain Cook sailed the high seas. You never know though. Captain Cook may have used that same footbridge you used. Ha ha 😀
    In the middle of all this I was not expecting a commercial like you filmed! However, I did notice the little lights in back of you that I found sort of set the mood. I could not figure out why you were wearing flippers but then Nikki pointed that out! Your chocolate bars looked quality and tasty, and the bubbly was key for a successful Valentine’s Day. Great work. Much appreciated. Happy sailing😎

  • Mark Hendrickson

    You two have an amazing gift! You experience life on the ocean AND, while on land, get strangers not only to share their passion, but educate us in the process. The best part is that we share your discovery in real time. Wow! That is truly an amazing feat!
    So glad I discovered your channel. I am really hooked!

  • Steve

    No matter what kind of week I may be having, every Sunday I fall in love with life again.

  • Steve Gibbons

    Great content once again guys! Happy Valentines….. which reminds me I must go find my flippers !

  • Lisa

    Thank you for going there! Doing that! And sharing with all of us!!
    What a treat each Sunday to get in on your corner of the world…
    Loved your new ad, too — Woo-hoo!!
    ❤¸.•*””*•.¸❤ ❤¸.•*””*•.¸❤❤¸.•*””*•.¸❤

  • Liz

    Been watching for many years now. All of your videos are great, and this one was no exception. But I ROTFL at the sponsor video this week!

  • Michael

    Awesome! Thank you.

  • John S

    Really liked this week’s video. What an interesting place and testament to what one person can do with a goal and enthusiasm.

    One comment: whoever did the sound edit should think about a hearing test. The background chirps, tweets, clicks and hums made it a bit hard to understand what Nikki was saying. That being said, if ‘whoever’ means ‘Jason’ then perhaps there is a perfectly good reason for this sound editing. Right?

    Take care,

  • Dean Allen

    I perused your article about the psychologist having people form close relationships, based upon staring into each other’s eyes and answering personal questions. I found it fascinating.

    I read your mention of falling in love with the baby whale & assuming the feelings may have been reciprocated. I was thinking – lucky whale!

    I have been watching your videos for several years. There are a dozen reasons I should reject any thought of a relationship with you.

    You are a married woman.
    You are young enough to be my daughter.
    I am not a vegetarian.
    I prefer mono hulls to catamarans.
    I do not drink coffee.
    I do not even like cats.
    There are numerous other differences.

    All that said, I have spent way more than four minutes falling under your spell. I love your incredible curiosity. I am fascinated by the idea of living on a sailboat. Being completely off the grid. Crossing oceans with only the power of wind and currents. Your love of nature, animals and wildlife. Your effervescent personality. Oh, it also helps that you are a very attractive woman.

    I do not want to come across as inappropriate, or worse, even creepy; but at some point during the last few years, I fell hopelessly in love with you. Each Sunday, I eagerly anticipate my weekly fix of Wynn’s. It is worth mentioning, I am rather fond of your husband Jason as well; although he is a bit of a ding-a-ling at times.

    Since it is unlikely we will ever meet (I will never see a baby whale in person either) I just sort of think of you as my adopted little sister. Keep exploring the world and keep allowing me the privilege of seeing some very unusual parts of the world through your eyes. Come to think of it, since I have never stared into your eyes for four minutes; perhaps psychologists should study whether a person can develop a [sadly one sided] relationship with someone by seeing the world through their eyes for several years.

    So, if you ever come across a psychologist wanting to study that phenomena; tell him there is an old man in South Carolina who fancies himself just about in love with you!

    • John S

      “I do not want to come across as inappropriate, or worse, even creepy;. . . .”

      I think you did both.

      • Dean Allen

        If either of the Wynn’s think so; I will be quick to apologize!

        • Dean Allen

          In fact, if my post upset anyone; please accept my sincere apology. My only intent was light hearted banter and the greatest respect. Like all of you, I genuinely enjoy these posts. Nothing more was intended.

          I wish everyone well and hope the rest of your Sunday is great!

          • Tev Brannan

            Your post was charming and enjoyed. Some people have no sense of humor or fun and that is sad.
            I think Jason and Nikki will see it as it was intended. At least I hope so. I did and thought it sweet.

          • Steve

            Well, I think it was entirely inappropriate. Nikki is mine. Jason is mine, too. Can’t have one without the other. Where’s my meds?

  • John Watson

    I plan to make my way to New Zealand in a couple years and live out the rest of my life in that region. I appreciate you sharing your perspective of the country.

    • David

      As beautiful as NZ is it has the most unaffordable housing on the planet so you will need to bring lots of money. Wages are fairly low while houses have no capital gain taxes so they have become spectulative assetts rather than homes. Think Bitcoin.

      You could of course get a boat but I think that is not your plan.

  • Jess

    The sponsor bit; brilliant! Y’all “rose” to the occasion.. the chocolate looked wonderful as well.

    Watching you is dangerous. We moved into an RV full time in 2020, partly because of your videos. (A large part). And now my husband wants to buy a boat to live on, which is lovely, except we have jobs that require us to be on land. We are moving to an island in the Puget Sound though, which is as close as we can get, so Yay Us!

    Love this video & the outtakes 💜💜. You two are brilliant!

  • YDion

    Excellent as usual. And what a wonderful island !!

    And the segment on Surfshark – soooo funny. Well done!

  • Laura

    Oh my, I haven’t stopped laughing yet. I have to say this is the funniest sponsor ad ever. Very cute, creative, fun and funny. LOVE IT. And, thanks for taking us to the sanctuary. I would love to go some day. It is certainly refreshing and heartwarming to see your curiosity being satisfied and to learn so many cool things. Thank you!

  • Terry Strand

    Thanks for making me smile. I love your personalities and great videos. Keep being curious …..


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