Tonga Calling

Hard to believe I have organized trips to Tonga each year since 2006.  My next adventure starts tomorrow.  This year I’ve organized two back to back trips  that will take place on Wildlife a 53 foot sailing catamaran in the Ha’apai island group of Tonga.

I used to go to the Vavau’ island group and sadly I will miss all the friends I have made their over the years.  I have great memories of spending weeks on the boat with Captain Ongo, the queen of the sea Captain Aunofo,  and talking story with Darren Jew and Scott Petroli.  There are so many really good people in Vavau. HOwever a few years back I decided to go to TOnga middle island group, known as Ha’apai.

The reason is simple, there are less people. It’s not that I am anti-social, but rather when it comes to observing and interacting with whales, the fewer the people, the better the chances are of having of extended interactions with the whales.

The last several seasons I have worked with Dave and Tristin Sheen.  These two have a lot of experience, know what photography groups expect, have a great understanding of whale behavior and have great local knowledge.

whale 5

My good friend Mark Strickland is joining the charter starting Sept 12th.  This will be his 4th whale trip with me and good things happen whenever he is on the boat.   For those that might not know, Mark is considered to be among the top marine photographers in the world. Even more impressive he is a great guy and a friend for over 20 years.

Flying Whale

Even though I have 3 weeks on the water, I know the time will pass quickly and I will have to wait another year to swim with these magnificent gentle giants.  The good news is that I am returning in 2015 for two more back to back adventures.


The first is full.  The second has space open so if interested send me an email and I will forward the details.   The dates are Sept 4-14th, 2015.

See you there!






About Doug Hoffman

Portrait and underwater fine art photographer.
This entry was posted in bucket list adventure, Decor, dive travel, Dive with a Photo Pro, Island scenic, marine, photography workshops, Travel, whales and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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