Peggy Stap – who has the last word?

“Besides the love I have for her as my partner, I have the utmost respect for Peggy as one of the very few people I have ever met, that, when she says she is going to accomplish something — she actually does.” Dick Stap, Peggy’s husband

“Peggy is the happiest, most hard-working, warm-hearted person I know. I have never seen her in a bad mood. She would give you the barnacle off her back if you asked for it!” Benji Shake, owner, Princess Monterey Whale Watching

“That is the best photo of a Northern Right Whale dolphin I have ever seen!” Mark Carwadine, writer, presenter, photographer

“I have worked with Peggy Stap for years and she is an extremely passionate, dedicated and energetic person. Whale research and rescue work is a community-based endeavor, but in many cases it takes someone to be the catalyst for that effort – to pull it all together.   I see Peggy, with her devotion and energy, as that person.” Edward Lyman, Marine Mammal Response Manager, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary

“You won’t have any problems getting into whale research with your enthusiasm!” Flip Nicklin, photographer

“Working with Peggy has been such a breath of fresh air. To say Peggy is an inspiration would be a terrible understatement. Peggy has more energy than almost everyone I know and she puts it to good use. Peggy is the kind of person who brightens the room wherever she is. Peggy is a giving person who loves to share the stories of how she has gotten where she is today. Peggy is captivating, honest, funny, and most of all, genuine.  Whenever Peggy and I join forces amazing things seem to happen. We are both ‘ideas’ women and can make something big out of the smallest hint of a suggestion. I look forward to the days I get to see Peggy every week because I know we will make a difference in the lives of local students and especially make the ocean a better place to live for it’s inhabitants.  I greatly value what Peggy has shown and taught me thus far and am looking forward to whatever lies ahead for my future working with Peggy and Marine Life Studies. Go Pegasaurus!” Jenna Contuchio, Education Coordinator, Marine Life Studies

“There is no one else quite like Peggy, she is truly unique. I’ll tell you why she gets such great shots of cetaceans: she never takes the camera away from her eye. Other people stop, chat and drop their guard, Peggy certainly chats but keeps her camera at the ready, so when that split-second crucial moment occurs she is the only one who captures it.” Bob Talbot, photographer and film maker, LegaSea Project

“Peggy is completely mad, but no more so than the rest of us. We love her dearly and she knows that.” Judy Iverson and Terri Dratt, friends of Peggy

“The first thing you notice about Peggy is her energy — it’s infectious and it seems to have no end.  Whenever I see her name on my caller ID I make sure I have at least 20 minutes to spare because I know she’ll be gushing about all the amazing things in the works for Marine Life Studies. I always wondered where her energy came from and now I know it’s because she’s so darn hopeful and positive about the changes people can make in the world to make it better.  This is what the planet needs to be able to change and Peggy is the perfect steward.” Kate Cummings, naturalist, Blue Ocean Whale Watch

“Peggy was our scientific advisor during the filming of the television documentary ‘Humpbacks – From Fire to Ice’, and her extraordinary images were used in its promotion. I recognized her skill, enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication whilst working with her in the field. She has a tireless enthusiasm in her quest for conservation of natural environments.” Ross Isaacs, producer/director, Ocean Planet Images

“Peggy is…..smart, generous, optimistic, intuitive,  loving, supportive, compassionate, non-judgmental, open-minded, big-thinker, best friend to all mammals, ambitious, creative, artistic, fearless, accomplished, beautiful inside & out, truly extraordinary, a rare blessing to all ocean creatures.” Mary Whitney, director, Fluke Foundation

“Peggy’s amazing energy and dedication to education and preserving the oceans and animals that inhabit them, make us very proud to donate a portion of our sales to support Monterey Bay Marine Life Studies.” Cathreen LaGrand, Sweet Sky Organics

“Some years ago, Jill Mickelsen mentioned that there was a woman conducting some photographic research on her boat (Lahaina Princess). She emphasized that Peggy was extremely enthusiastic about working with whales, and that she seemed to have an unlimited supply of energy. Initially, when approached by potential volunteers, our standard response has been to acknowledge their interest but delay making any decisions about acceptance in order to ascertain just how serious they were. In other words, while we applaud avid interest in whales, a research boat is no place for a ‘whale hugger’! After spending a season on the Lahaina Princess, Jill became convinced that Peggy was serious about research, and that I should meet with her. And so it was arranged to include her CV in my lunch bag!

The scouting report of her enthusiasm and tireless energy was accurate. What we were soon to learn, however, was that the Hawaii Whale Research Foundation stood to benefit from this dedication and zeal. Peggy sought an ever-expanding role with us, and we were never disappointed with her work and her contributions to our mission. Ultimately, Peggy became an indispensable member of our underwater crew and a co-investigator for the project. She also assumed an important role in our participation in the SPLASH program. I doubt that anyone else would have had the perseverance to comply with all the demands placed upon us by the organizers of the project. As I look back, I can readily acknowledge her interest and contributions in research and photography. But I think that the most enduring contributions are those in the public service area. Peggy is dedicated to the education of young people and to improving our environment. Her relentless drive serves to make future generations both wiser and appreciative of this wonderful home called ‘Earth’.” Dan Salden, director, Hawaii Whale Research Foundation

“I feel privileged to have been able to write about this wonderful woman. Thank you Peggy for sharing your life, loves and work with me. I hope I have done you justice.” Amanda Banks, freelance writer

“Amanda requested that I have the last say. I am so fortunate to have achieved the one thing I wanted to do before I died – to swim with a dolphin, a dream since childhood. How that dream weaved a path to where I am today is still amazing to me. It took hard work and the generosity of so many people that I met along the way that mentored, challenged, believed in and helped me during this amazing journey – too numerous to mention in this quote but you know who you are and I thank you with all my heart. None of this would have been possible without the loving support of my amazing husband, Dick. I love you Sweetpea!

 Words that I live by which I write, think and say everyday: ‘Love and Gratitude, Something wonderful is going to happen today.’ And something wonderful does happen each and every day but you have to open your heart and mind to see it sometimes. Cherish every day.

 I would like to thank Amanda for all her help this last month. We have had an amazing, great time working together. She is smart, a quick learner, creative and fun to work with on our research project.  Amanda has brought so much to Marine Life Studies in her short time with us. We do not want her to leave so we are definitely looking to bring her back. If you have any airline miles you would like to donate to Marine Life Studies that would be great. We will miss you Amanda!!!!” Peggy Stap, Marine Life Studies

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3 thoughts on “Peggy Stap – who has the last word?

  1. Wow… Two women-both forces of nature. Enjoyed following the journey and look forward to the one to come Amanda!

  2. Thank you Amanda for everything you day. Safe travels. Can’t wait to do it all again sometime. Hopefully in less of a whirlwind though. Maybe next time you come we can take a few days to explore the wonders of the Monterey Bay and surrounding area. I know we will meet again but until then. Peace. Jenna =)

  3. Thank you Amanda for providing such an amazing insight into the wonderful works that Peggy and Marine Life Studies do. I feel that I know the team so well and have looked forward to each new post to find out more, indeed I feel I too will miss hearing about them. I’m really excited to hear about your new adventures in Peru and I can tell from your posts that you are in such a great place at the moment, I’m so happy that you made this leap of faith to experience this way of life, I know there must be so many more stories to tell and I can’t wait to hear them all. Take care, travel safe and speak soon. Love Karen xx

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