In Loving Memory of Leanne Ferrer

In Loving Memory of Leanne Ferrer

On Friday, August 27, 2021, an intimate gathering was held at Fatu Ma Futi beach in loving memory of Leanne Ferrer. She was an impactful individual who encouraged and gave voice to pasefika peoples through media and film.

I’m glad I got a chance to work with her through my office, but even more than that, I’m glad I got to know of her through the eyes of my best friend Gabby, who was mentored by Leanne in Hawaii. I showed up this morning in support of Gabby, who considered Leanne a sister-aunty. She credits Leanne with propelling her film work since she was 18 years old.

Leanne was cherished by many in Hawai’i, here in American Samoa, and all throughout the Pacific.

Sending love, warmth, and deep condolences to the Ferrer family.

Dolphins + Evidence of Climate Change

Dolphins + Evidence of Climate Change

I have so much love and respect and stoke for the ocean and those that call it home —

Shot these a couple weeks ago during an outreach boat trip on assignment with National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (where I work as a communications and outreach coordinator), and I was really hoping to see humpback whales, but we were met by this playful pod of dolphins instead, so I was a very a happy gal.

Who doesn’t get giddy when they see dolphins playing in the wild?! Nobody!! These charismatic marine mammals are always so fun to watch. They look like they’re dancing, so free in mother nature. They inspire me to live the same way.

These are spinner dolphins, and they approached our charter boat while we were filming at Fagatele Bay. I couldn’t quite get them jumping fully out of the water because they’re so fast.

But also, how striking are these landscapes/seascapes of Fagatele, Fagalua/Fogma’a, and the far side of Aunu’u?!

This is Fogama’a cove, as seen from the ocean.

And this is the back side of Aunu’u, where you can see the crater mouth of this volcanic island. This specific area is associated with the local Legend of Sina and Tigilau.

You can really see the effects of climate change on the island of Aunu’u in the photo below, where the road on the west coast has completely eroded, and you can see tree roots exposed to waves from rising sea levels and subsidence.

It makes me sad to recall hiking along that path just a few years ago and now it’s basically gone and the shrubbery is just hanging on by their roots.

While I’m very happy to see dolphins, I really hope I can see the whales soon! It’s their season for migrating from Antarctica and as they pass through, they usually mate or give birth in these tropical waters. A colleague shared that the ocean temperature has risen a couple degrees (!!) and that’s not a good sign for whales. So keeping my fingers crossed and my eyes peeled on the ocean for whale sightings! I’ve already asked my husband if we could spend some time on the cliffs out west to watch for whales. Maybe we’ll make a picnic date out of it… I’ll report back if I get to see them!

Sending lots of love and warmth and sunshine to wherever you are.

xo, Nerelle

Dive Log: Amalau Bay (Left side)

Dive Log: Amalau Bay (Left side)

Two divers underwater; one diver with head just out of the frame, the other diver looks directly at camera
Female scuba diver waves at the camera

DATE: Saturday, July 3, 2021

Mountain, clear skies with few clouds, and Scuba diver's head at the surface of the ocean.

SITE: Amalau Bay, American Samoa

Two scuba divers in front of a large coral mound

DIVE BUDDIES: Ian, Lilian, Christian

Giant Porites coral in Amalau Bay



Some of the many corals we saw at Amalau Bay. All of these incredible shots by Ian.

MAX DEPTH: 63 feet

Dive log: underwater reefscape with light filtering from the surface

VISIBILITY: ~60 feet

Dive log with scuba diver swimming over a thriving reef ecosystem in American Samoa


The last time I dove at Amalau Bay was back in 2018 (see dive log here), on the right side of the bay. For this dive, we dove on the left side of the bay. I observed a lot of really beautiful things: giant Porites coral (probably one of the largest I’ve seen in all of Tutuila), plentiful fish (mostly smaller fish though), giant clams, thriving coral reef ecosystem with corals growing on top of each other, a spongy brown anemone that looks like coral at first until you touch it and it turns white and feels very soft and squishy, huge plate corals, very cool and interesting reef structures about 60 feet deep that go all the way up to about 20 feet (perfect for snorkelers), sandy bottom, a school of tiiiiny fish (I thought it was just ocean dust at first and then I noticed they all moved together in rhythm), also some dead coral, but not from bleaching.

TOTAL TIME: 63 minutes


WEATHER: 2-3 ft waves, scattered clouds, 5mph winds NE

All original photos taken by Nerelle and Ian Moffitt

For Moana Chips — From the Farm to the Fair

For Moana Chips — From the Farm to the Fair

Photos I took for Moana Chips.

They asked me to shoot some content during the Flag Day Farm Fair at the Veteran’s Memorial Stadium. We checked out all the vendors (and I bought some plants to take home, of course!) and introduced myself to the sweet Moana Chips team manning the booth.

We took some photos while we munched on the tasty crunchy taro chips and thankfully, Ian, Gabby, Traci, and Ano were willing to jump in as models and help with some of the shots! We even got Governor Lemanu Mauga to pose with a bag of Moana Chips with his Chief of Staff!

Check out Moana Chips’ website (they have some great sales right now) or over on their instagram.

FOR LEMAX CO. — Shopping in Style

FOR LEMAX CO. — Shopping in Style

Photos for LeMax Co. — a little look at some of the styles you can find in the shop with models wearing pieces they selected from the racks.

From April 17 — I tagged along with Alafaga, who was shooting some really cool content for LeMax while I was editing a gallery for Moana Chips (which I will share some photos from in another post). I finished my editing and shot these real quick too for a mix of editorial and candid lifestyle vibes.