Nikki Wynn Swimming with sharks and rays in moorea

Sharks, Rays & A Guerrilla Boat Tour

If there is one thing that we cultivate, it’s spontaneity.  Which is just a nice way of saying we don’t plan.  But plans and nomadism don’t go together so well.  We’re never fully certain where we’re going, when we will get there, what we will do, or who we will meet once we are there.  It’s a beautiful thing!

So, everything is guerrilla style…

Guerrilla filmmaking refers to a form of independent filmmaking characterized by low budgets, skeleton crews, and simple props using whatever is available. Often scenes are shot quickly in real locations without any warning, and without obtaining filming permits.

With that in mind, click the play button. We explore more of Moorea, make new friends, get kissed by sting rays and find ourselves surrounded by sharks.  We also find ourselves questioning the impact of it all.

That’s right, the mother in law is coming.  Jason’s mom (Mary) joins us next week and little did any of us know, it would be the beginning of whale season!  So stay tuned, it’s good momma-son adventures.


drone view of moorea, french polynesia

Don’t Feed The Wildlife

We are crazy about wildlife.  I would put seeing creatures in their natural habitat as one of the top five reasons we travel and live this unsedentary lifestyle.

We try to be responsible humans, and the more of our planet we see, the more we want to preserve it.  But it’s not always a clear path.  And our experience swimming with the sharks and rays in Moorea was a cloudy one.

jason wynn swimming with sharks in moorea french polynesia

swimming close to sting rays in moorea french polynesia

Several years back we found the website for World Animal Protection.  It’s a non-profit and they have a statement we’ve used to help navigate us when it comes to responsible animal tourism.

If you can ride it, hug it or have a selfie with the wild animal, the chances are it’s a cruel venue. Don’t go.

And while we didn’t feed the wildlife or support the tour operators, I still feel torn about the whole experience.  Guilty by osmosis.

I don’t feel it’s all bad, just a little “humans gone wild”.  I think there is a balance that can be struck with a little education and regulation.  Each wild encounter we have creates a connection, captivates our emotions and inspires us to protect it. I believe it is possible to have the amazing experience and do so with far less impact.

So, in the spirit of doing what I can to educate ourselves…here are some interesting reads I found.

swimming with sharks in moorea, french Polynesia

Thank You!

Sharing our lives and what we learn along the way is possible because of viewers like you.  If you like what you see, there are lots of FREE ways you can show your support.  Thank you for being a part of the journey.




Cruiser Info/Anchoring Map:

PGEM of Moorea Regulations:

Island of moorea dive map

Freediving / Snorkeling

Camera Gear

AWESOME tunes for vids  

Friendly Guerrilla Style Boat Tour


To see our full map with interactive pins, click here:

sailing moorea map

  • Dates: July 23-26, 2018
  • Anchorage: Opunohu Bay, Moorea, French Polynesia

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 (35)

  • Bucket List Travel Club

    I’ve swum with the sharks and rays in Belize, and I’m heading to The Maldives in April. There I’m hoping to swim with manta rays and whale sharks. Wish me luck!

  • Agness

    Oh what a wonderful adventure Nikki. Love all your videos.

  • Charles Stewart

    So impressed with the professionalism of your videos – especially the intro drone shots.
    Also the thorough follow up on your Web site – a lot of hard work there!

  • Sarav

    Hi there! Love this clear blue water–your photography has gone to the next level of beautiful. Thank you for such an excellent share of the beauty.
    We are embarking on sailing as well, not full time, however, enough that we are provisioning and cooking, and you make the most beautiful, delicious looking meals–any future cookbook or provisioning advice coming soon? I hope so. Or maybe you could create a “recipe” category on the blog? Anyway, your cooking skills are impressive–hope to reach your level some day. 😉

    • Curious Minion

      There is already a recipe tab on the sailing page of the blog with a few things in it. Nikki adds from time to time, but she improvises a lot in cooking – especially now that you never know what you’ll find for ingredients!

  • Beth Stephenson

    Hi – Can you please tell me the music artists you used on this video. The music is great! Thanks and have a dandy day!

    • Curious Minion

      They’re listed toward the end of the blog post.

  • Judy Lester Goodson

    I loved seeing the couple’s boat that you made friends with. They did have some nice amenities, but it seemed more dark and closed in than yours, even though it was longer. The bed that was so close to the ceiling was too closed in fo me. I’d smother! Even though You don’t have a dishwasher and washer and dryer, I like Curiosity better. I think I’d campaign for a washer and dryer, Nikki.

  • James

    Wonderful drone/camera work 🙂

  • Edward Maguire

    I enjoy your videos very much with one exception. When you display comments or titles it needs to stay displayed slightly longer. Us old guys don’t read as fast as the young whipper snapper’s. Keep up the good work and Happy Birthday Niki!

    • Curious Minion

      That can be tricky in a video since the action moves fast. Is it possible to pause the video for a few seconds?

  • Ron Miller

    Love your videos from RV to Sea
    Always interesting an beautiful things to see with a little education mixed in 😁😎✌🤟🤙

  • Susan J

    Such a wonderful video! Beautiful hi-def camera work! Beautiful scenery! Beautiful family with darling cats! Wonderful chance to share the problems of eco-tourism! Perfect cleaning solution! And wonderful to see you enjoy this amazing planet!

  • Patrick Burneson


  • Alan Solomon

    Lets see I like the clear blue Water, I like the Fish, the Rays and the Sharks and I saw some colorful Coral which I like. I like your new friends. They seem very cool. I like their boat. I like the epic Landscape including the awesome Mountains. Hiking has to be great there!! A view from everywhere. I like Cleo and Singa and I like You Guys for being yourselves, your entrepreneurial spirit and insight, getting this started and staying afloat and keeping it going (who wouldn’t) and many other things too.

    Thank you,

  • Martine

    Beautiful video. I agree with you also about the animals. The only good thing is they are not penned. They can choose to go elsewhere if they want. There are a lot of places that keep them penned up and that is horrendous. Was wondering how Cleo is doing??? And how you are treating her kidney issues???

    • Curious Minion

      Cleo is doing very well. With assistance from their vet, Nikki is making a special diet for her, and she also gets a renal support supplement.

  • paciii

    Hello from 9 degrees in snowy Maine. ☃ Maybe you can remove the non-functional fridge and replace half of it with a dishwasher! Beautiful sunrise, and I noticed Singa had the “last word” on the video!😸

  • Roger B

    Your drone videos are awesome as they really give us a great perspective of the beauty surrounding your adventures. I also don’t believe that feeding the wild creatures is a wise idea. Thank you for the video.

  • Allan "RocKiteman" Gaines

    Question for Nikki & the related video:

    What was the “formulation” for that cleaner spray you were using?

    I have white distilled vinegar here at home, Mixing up a concoction like that for myself might save me some money.

    – Allan

  • Ellen L Ringsrud-Matthewson

    I feel excited every time I see that you have posted again! Thanks so much for sharing your adventures with all of us out here. Your joy and discomfort in swimming with the rays and the sharks really came through in the footage. It reminds me of people getting close to bison in Yellowstone. You can do it but these are wild animals and even the most seemingly peaceful interaction can turn deadly in a moment.
    I have been wondering how you deal with what looks to me like long periods of isolation on Curiosity. I am glad to see that you have Mary visiting. Have a wonderful time.

  • Deborah Kerr

    Beautiful water! How did you get the sailboat across the “2nd shore”? It looks like a beach in the water that circles around the island & I’m assuming it’s not deep there & that’s the reason for the waves. You might have mentioned it in a previous video but I missed it. Did you need to use a Garmin underwater thing to find a safe depth to move inside the circle? I love your adventures! 🙂 Thank you so much – you both have such pleasant dispositions – keep smiling 🙂

    • Curious Minion

      Hey Deborah. Great question! Islands in that part of the world are actually extinct (well most of them are extinct) volcanoes and that ring of reef around an island is called a fringing reef. The island bit is the top of the extinct volcano. The fringing reef usually forms when when coral in shallow areas starts to form a reef and continues to build up until it’s right at the surface. Because the volcano shape is round (think solitary mountain sticking up from the bottom) the shallow reef area is also round. Some fringing reefs have a natural break that boats can come through, but some don’t and then you need to wait for high tide to cross the reef. Do an internet search for fringing reef or atoll formation for more info.

  • Sandra & the 2 Spaniels

    What an entertaining video! I’m with you-“animals” that normally don’t interact with people now showing up like pet dogs, is a little strange and dangerous. The included websites provided some good background. I didn’t like the other boat as much as yours; your galley is right on top, which makes your view so wonderful. I’d hate to go down into the boat to get to the galley.
    Lots of questions: what happened with the fridge? Have you painted the underside yet? And when will Jason get a dishwasher drawer for those chapped hands? 😜

  • Jim

    Another great video guys… we so enjoy sharing this adventure. Must agree with the other comments about the dilemma others create, even if the impact is in such a minor select area.

  • Scott

    Thanks for documenting not only the marvelous but also the not-so-much in your travels, letting us question and learn with you.

  • Tev Brannan

    It was a small area that was impacted as shown by how quickly you found a secluded place. The animals were not forced to stay there and could leave at anytime so that seems much more tolerable. Perhaps they like getting fed and having interaction with humans. If not, again, they could swim away at any time. I wondered if there have been any good times gone bad by anyone getting bitten or barbed by the sharks and rays.
    Helping people gain a better understanding of these creatures can be the way to encourage a more caring attitude from people. Actually seeing and even touching them can make them real and not just something you see in a book or on tv. Don’t beat yourselves up about it and thank you for sharing. I found it interesting.

    • Scott

      “Like” or “not like” is irrelevant and confusing anthropomorphism of these creatures. Animals “like” food the same way children would “like” heroin. Giving it away for free even if they can choose to leave is irresponsible and potentially harmful. Nikki and Jason’s approach to the issue is spot-on.

  • Dave McKnight

    Love your videos, cant wait for the next one to come. You two are showing me that I wish I could, but know I cant. Full time sailing that is, I am not in that good of condition to perform all the tasks required. So keep sending me videos so I can live the life thru you. Thank you.
    PS. I started watching you when you were RVing as I am doing right now with my wife in Yuma, we are from Sunny Saskatchewan.

  • mary vancompernolle

    Thank you, Nikki for making my suite ready for my stay! Way to save yourself, by the way! I look forward to spending time with you and Jason. It is one of the many highlights in my life.

    Your friends had some pretty cool options on their boat. So many options for customization – which usually costs a LOT of money.

    Can’t wait to see you! xxoo

    • betsy ionta

      Busted by the mother in law! Another fun video with great views- the aerial drone shots with you both in the water are great. Agree on the feeding of wildlife- and glad you shared that.

  • Cindy Wahl

    Hi! Love your videos! I’m interested in your cleaning solution. Vinegar, water and tea tree oil, what percentages? I use vinegar (15%), water, and a few drops of Dawn dish soap. Thanks!

  • Michael Magill

    Gm Jason and Nikki,

    As usual another breathe taking video, the part where the drone is taking a picture of the island is so beautiful and when yo an Jason are swimming with the sharks and the Rays. One more notch off your bucket list. It really must be down to only a few things that are left on your bucket list to experience. So love all of the pictures and of the island as well. Thank you for letting us tag along with you its always a blast. The couple you met and they gave u an impromptu boat tour were really nice people and enjoyed that part of the video as well. Seeing how other people have their boat set up for their trip. Loved the booze in the floor!, out of sight out of mind…lol Hope you have fun this week yo two, even with Jasons Mom coming , it will be more fun. Safe Travel safe seas to you both

  • Marty Mendelson

    Nikki, glad you are all enjoying your adventures and respecting the wildlife. And yes there is a very fine line between educating and exploiting wildlife.

    That said, you mentioned your cleaning solution of vinegar, tea tree and water. Maybe you could share your formula with everyone and possibly explain how it is that you came across this mixture. I understand the vinegar and tea tree properties. Many others may not.



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