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Jewels of the Java Sea: An Exploration Between Bali and Singapore

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Expedition staff are subject to change.
Expedition Leader icon Expedition Leader

Alex Searle

Born in Chile and raised in Argentina, Alex spent his childhood living in different parts of these countries and getting to know the local cultures. Alex studied Journalism at the University of Chile and did post graduate studies at UBC in Vancouver, Canada. Working as a Chilean TV producer for years, Alex worked in the news department doing research, and produced a successful late night show as well as a wildlife show that did stories all over America. Since he was a kid his life’s dream was to visit Easter Island, or Rapa Nui in the local language. He visited during his university years, together with his wife, Terangi, who was born on this unique Pacific island. Alex has worked for years with Lindblad Expeditions in Easter Island, and also works as a guide all along Chile. An avid diver and photographer, he has contributed his photos to books about Easter Island. His love for the cultural past and present of Rapa Nui, Polynesia, and other areas of South America, as well as his passion for wildlife and nature, make him a passionate guide. He is excited to share his understanding and knowledge with fellow travelers.  

National Geographic Photography Expert icon National Geographic Photography Expert

Robin Moore

Robin Moore is a photographer and naturalist with awards from Nature's Best, American Photo, National Geographic Traveler, and Wildlife Photographer of the Year. His images are displayed in the National Geographic Fine Art Galleries and have appeared in the pages of publications that include National Geographic magazine, National Geographic books, the New York Times, Newsweek , and TIME . His images are represented by National Geographic Creative. Robin is also a passionate naturalist with a PhD in conservation, and a Senior Fellow of the prestigious International League of Conservation Photographers. He also regularly teaches photography and video to National Grantees during Science-telling Bootcamps, and in 2012 founded Frame of Mind to connect youth in Haiti with their natural and cultural worlds through photography and visual storytelling. Robin has published a critically acclaimed book, In Search of Lost Frogs , and spearheaded innovative initiatives to advance conservation, including a recent and successful campaign to save a Protected Area in Jamaica. Robin's work has taken him to dozens of countries throughout Africa, Asia and North, Central and South America, and he regularly returns on assignments to the Caribbean.

Cultural Specialist icon Cultural Specialist

Tua Pittman

Internationally acclaimed as a traditional master navigator, Tua has navigated canoes across the great oceans of our planet from the coastlines of Asia through to the shores of the Americas for more than 30 years, without the use of modern instruments. This Cook Islander, also of New Zealand Maori and Tahitian bloodlines, uses an ancient navigational system based upon careful observation of celestial bodies—sun, moon, and stars—as well as using ocean swells, flight patterns of birds, and other natural markers.   Tua’s efforts to adopt and promote the sailing arts of the ancients have been recognized throughout the Pacific. In 2008 he was designated a Pwo navigator on the island of Satawal in Micronesia and inducted by sacred ritual into this rarefied society of master navigators by Grand Elder and Master Navigator Mau Piailug. In addition to earning prominence among traditional voyaging societies, Tua is known throughout Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia for his mentoring of young islanders in the traditional cultures and languages of their ancestors. Tua is a respected chieftain of his island homeland, a dancer, drummer, athlete, and gifted speaker. His lecture topics, accompanied by excellent visual materials, include the origin and migration theory of the Pacific people; ancient traditional voyaging and navigation; traditional voyaging in this modern day; open-air star presentation and identification—navigating Pacific skies; and Pacific Ocean traditions and cultures.


Ross Gammon

Born in Zimbabwe, Ross grew up between a 45000-acre Game Ranch and the small town of Victoria Falls, which is situated inside of the Victoria Falls National Park. Most of his earliest childhood memories were of the wildlife that was always on his doorstep, from the ever-present baboons and warthogs on the way to school to the nightly visit of the elephants raiding their vegetable garden, his affinity for the natural world has always been a central part of his existence. Moving to South Africa's southern coastline for his High School years, his passion for nature found a new outlet in the ocean and whether it was sailing, surfing, suping or free diving and spearfishing, every free moment was spent alongside or in the Ocean. After High School he trained as a PADI Specialty Dive Instructor and since he qualified in 2019, he has dived extensively around Africa's coastline from the Kelp Forests of Cape Town to the Tropical waters of Zanzibar. He has traveled and worked extensively in the Coral Triangle in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia as well as in the Caribbean, in the Turks and Caicos and the Cayman Islands. He now uses Cape Town as his base as he continues to pursue his passion for both travel and diving in new and exciting destinations all around the world.

Expedition Leader icon Expedition Leader

Karla Pound

Karla's passion for wildlife and outback Australia has taken her on some wild adventures throughout her career. After studying Zoology, Karla worked as a zookeeper specializing in exotic reptiles and arachnids, even milking funnel web spiders for the lifesaving antivenin program. Karla then began to travel outback Australia and fell in love with the lifestyle and transitioned into naturalist guiding. Karla specializes in bush tucker and survival showcasing some of the most remote corners of Australia through luxury lodges. From leading camel treks through Uluru to working as a Ranger in the Kimberley, rehabilitating birds of prey on Kangaroo Island, driving vessels on the Great Barrier Reef and leading tours on Christmas Island for the red crab migration. There is no doubt that Karlas work and personal life up to now has been nothing short of adventurous! Karla has volunteered in Borneo rehabilitating orphaned orangutans, worked in Thailand with rescue elephants, and back home in Australia with dolphins and sea turtles. The Northern Territory is where Karla calls home, her days filled with airboats and helicopters exploring the floodplains, barramundi fishing and working with saltwater crocodiles. It was here that her interest in helicopters was piqued which she then began her studies in aviation, graduating as a commercial helicopter pilot and landing her first role as pilot taking guests on scenic flights over the Bungle Bungle in the Kimberley. Karla's adventure seeking career has taken her to the most spectacular parts of Australia, but where her heart lies is in the Kimberley. The rugged terrain, untouched landscapes, freshwater swimming holes, waterfalls, indigenous culture and wildlife has her coming back to the region time and time again. Karla is incredibly grateful to have such a passion for life, for adventure and for wildlife and to be able to build a career around that passion, sharing her love of the natural world with people from all walks of life.

Naturalist icon Naturalist

Philip Chaon

A life-long naturalist, Phil found an interest in birds while coping with the crushing reality there were not, and never would be, alligators in Cleveland. At 18 he left behind the power plants and gull flocks of his childhood and spent a year living in the Andes of Northwest Ecuador. Life among Lyre-tailed Nightjars and Ocellated Tapaculos taught him that, for him, the US was only a place to visit between forays to the tropics. After some time studying botany and wildlife biology in the redwoods of Northern California, Phil spent the next few years taking field work jobs all over the globe. Banding birds in Peru, monitoring Fairy-wrens in Papua New Guinea, and surveying bird communities on coffee farms in Kenya were all great introductions to these areas. Transitioning from field work to guiding, Phil has spent the last 7 years leading birding, wildlife, and photography tours on 5 continents. In addition to guiding, Phil works as an audio analyst, training AI systems to categorize bird songs and co-authored Habitats of the World and the forthcoming Habitats of North America. When not on tour, Phil lives in Albuquerque and occupies himself with long night drives, diving, gardening, and divining the secrets of perfect barbecue.

Special Guest Speaker

Louis Henry Mitchell

Artist-in-Residence Louis Henry Mitchell will join guests aboard to encourage the creation of artistic works inspired by the wildlife, natural wonders and beauty of the region we’ll explore. He will give talks, sketching lessons and “live” drawings, providing inspiration that everyone can enjoy while aboard ship. As Creative Director of Character Design, Louis directs and oversees most aspects of character art for Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind Sesame Street. From designing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons and floats to directing Muppet photo shoots, Louis has been at Sesame Workshop, full-time, since 1992. He designed the character Julia, the first Sesame Street autism character. He continues to be the exclusive Sesame Street new Muppet designer, along with his other duties as creative director of character design. Most recently, Mitchell designed the two new African American Muppets, Wesley and his Muppet father, Elijah, for Sesame Workshop’s Racial Justice initiative and Ji-Young for the “Coming Together” initiative against anti-Asian violence, and a host of other human nationality Muppets. Louis began his artistic career at 17 years old working for Neal Adams, one of the top comic book artists in the world. Mitchell illustrated children’s books, designed characters and toys as well as teaching and lecturing internationally. Mitchell is also an active member of the Board of Trustees at The Norman Rockwell Museum.