The story of our ‘strange turn of events’ all started whilst on a routine vacation to an island in the Bahamas on which some of our family reside and have done for the past 20 years. On some non-descript Tuesday night towards the end of our break, we decided to pop into the local karaoke bar to catch up with the owner ‘Steve’ (a close friend we had known for many years).
Whilst purchasing a couple of drinks at the bar, an old Bahamian fisherman approached us. He insisted on taking us aside and out of earshot of anyone nearby and cryptically informed us that he had already asked the bar owner (Steve) about us, enquiring as to whether we were honest “Brits”. Steve had allegedly informed him that we were (along with our resident family.)
Satisfied by Steve’s opinion, this ‘favour’ turned out to be whether we could sell some strange looking rocks that the fisherman had found on a local beach (?!) He said that he had been searching for a trustworthy contact like us to help him for a while, as he had no access to modern technology (mobile phone/internet) to link him with the outside world. The sale of these rocks (apparently at an unthinkable value) would acquire him the means to repair and re-launch his fishing boat which had been wrecked by a recent hurricane, depriving him of any mean of income.
We went home (sceptical) and started googling ‘AMBERGRIS’ - the word the fisherman had used to refer to his rocks.
Thus began our journey down this extraordinary rabbit hole…
We took the fisherman’s ‘rocks’ home and delved into the mission of selling them. What a feat!
From that moment on, we seemed to develop a mutual fascination and (driven by I don’t know what) scoured the web for every scrap of information we could find. As our knowledge grew, the ambergris bug bit us harder and harder.
A year or so in, we reflected on how hard it had been to sell the Bahamian fisherman’s pieces (we remembered it taking us months to even make contact with anyone reputable in the market.) How convenient it would have been if we could have found a reliable service with an array of buyers stashed under their wing, who could have just taken our piece/s and done the whole thing for us! If only there had been a company out there that offered to deal with the whole process for you!
This service is what we went onto create…
We have since found and settled into our place within the ambergris market, meeting many an interesting and inspirational character along the way. Our reach has evolved, and we now work with a couple of marine mammal conservation organisations, as well as two British universities providing data which has been used/continues to be used in published scientific studies (also geared towards marine conservation). Giving back to the ocean is a cause close to both of our hearts, as we both had our own childhood connections with the sea (prior to even knowing what ambergris was!)
You can follow our progress and learn more on our social media platforms (available at the bottom of this page..)