Tarak's Lands of Adventure

May your spirit for Adventure be satisfied here!

I've always enjoyed reading about adventure; and to the extent possible seeking adventure in my life. Some of my own interests, fictional and real-life, are represented in my lands.

Travel your own personal path to adventure, however you may seek it.

My fictional interests include Fiction, Science Fiction, and Fantasy.

The art featured on this page is the dust jacket cover for the McClurg First Edition of the book, "Tarzan of the Apes". I've changed the image from a Boris Vallejo painting, which I will use on my pages devoted to the ape-man.

It was this book; or perhaps the story itself, which was first published as a pulp story, which is perhaps responsible for much of the adventure we all enjoy in fiction. Tarzan of the Apes was, and remains, the ultimate hero, emulated by most men; admired by most women.

One can only speculate how much our favorite authors might have been influenced by this immortal creation of Edgar Rice Burroughs, but I shudder to think what my own reading pleasures and experiences might have been, and might still be, had Edgar Rice Burroughs never put down his pen on May 14, 1912, after writing "The End", to a manuscript which launched an amazing career for Burroughs; scores of other stories from this writer; and countless other fiction from admirers and/or imitators, much of which is excellent. This site contains beautiful images painted by artists Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, and Keith Parkinson. The images presented are owned and copyrighted by the artists, and are reprinted with permission.

These spectacular artists have Official Web Sites where you can view their magnificent art in detail, and learn about the artists and the works.

My personal adventures have included hiking/canoing, scuba diving, shooting, photography and weapons/war, including Vietnam.

In the past ten years I've done a great deal of traveling, and I always have my camera with me when I travel to any destination I reagard as possessing the potential for adventure or beauty.

In 1990 I took up scuba diving, and naturally began to take pictures underwater.

This photo was taken about eighty feet under the surface, a few miles from the Turneffe Islands, many miles to the East off the coast of Belize, Central America. The dive site is known as "The Elbow", and it's the most spectacular site I've ever seen.

I didn't realize till I got to the surface that I had blood in my mask. Now and then your nasal membranes can rupture when you are clearing your ears. This shark was nearly ten feet long; a great hammerhead, and he came right up to me and then swept by. Whew.

I've cropped the actual photo a great deal here. The shark was not this close to me when I took this photo, and was just turning to come at me. I think I was so amazed that he was coming at me that I never snapped any more photos; I just watched him come. The only other photo I have of him is one where he is farther away, and still circling.

Large sharks tend to stay in the deep blue, sometimes called "la-la land" by divemasters, rather than cruise the coral reefs and walls. They appear suddenly out of the blue, swimming with amazing speed and grace. Note the muscular body of the shark, and imagine how a 5'8" 135 lb. man would compare in size. They are simply magnificent creatures.

When the shark swam past, I turned and noticed my dive buddy, Denise Evans; and our divemaster, Tina Sillet; about twenty feet behind me and perhaps ten feet above, watching with wide eyes. I suppose my own were pretty wide, too. Well, above the blood-line, in any event.

That was a thrilling moment in my life!

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Copyright 1998 by Robert A. Woodley. All rights reserved worldwide.