After 12 years designing and developing one of the World's most highly
awarded Ecotourism companies, John "Caveman" Gray goes his own way by
forming "John Gray's SeaCanoe" with 18 of his most loyal and experienced
guides. "After 12 years in Phuket, the experiment ran its course and I was
packing for Polynesia," says Gray, "but when all these guides showed up, I
had no choice but to stay and do another start-up."
"I owe it to the guys for their loyalty, honesty and pride, and to Thailand,
which has yet to see our best." Unlike his old experimental company where
Gray gave away the shares to local people, Caveman is managing director of
the new company. "In the economic laboratory, I played consultant/observer.
Now I'm director of the movie - it's a different story."
Gray, known as Ling Yai (Big Monkey) to his friends - takes pride on being
the Original kayak explorer and operator in each of his sites. ("If we are
there, we are the first.") The Big Monkey was doing OK before he formed his
own company. (Caveman still owns the SeaCanoe trademark.) Gray's economic
demonstration project was a classic Ecotourism business model, and his local
enfranchisement concept and stunning trips led to a string of six major
Ecotourism Awards from 1995-99. "All I do is paddle into crazy places. If
it's interesting, I show it to my friends."
Almost immediately after "Caveman" started "Natural History by Sea Kayak" in
Hawai'i (1983), the World began to notice the effort. Gray teamed with Gary
Sprinkle and Mike May to produce "Moloka'i's Forgotten Frontier", and won a
1985 EMMY award. The honors continue right up to the National Geographic
Adventure Magazine giving SeaCanoe Vietnam a "World Top 25 Adventures"
Now you can truly put yourself into your own "Natural History by Sea Kayak"
documentary in Thailand, Vietnam, Fiji, Philippines and Hawai'i. The
combination of experienced guides, new equipment and creative freedom takes
you to new levels for even a "Ling Yai".
Try Caveman's "Wings of the White Belly Sea Eagle" seven-day South Thailand
program. It only starts with the Phang Nga Mini-Expedition, already
considered South-East Asia's best adventure by many guidebooks and websites,
then adds four days more... See a "Wings" highlight featured in a Discovery
Channel documentary in Spring, 2002.
Hotel-dwellers mumble something about Phuket's "Hongs By Starlight" being a
"spiritual experience". More orthodox day trips include "Hornbill Island"
where you can actually cackle with these personable freaky flyers.
Polynesia Freaks? Try Taveuni, Fiji's Ravilevu Coastline or Caveman's
Hawai'i Local Boy (August) for Polynesia's most dramatic cliff-coasts. .