Welcome to the Homepage of the Goodell Family of Concord, California

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Nik & Whitney, 2008
Komodo Dragons! Awwwesome! Whit and Nik spotted this guy on Rinca Island, Indonesia.

Whitney, 2014
Whitney with Brazilian friends in Recife, Brazil.

Nik & Whitney, 2008
Certified for both scuba diving and skydiving, Whitney practices both at the same time off Flores Island, Indonesia.

Whitney, 2011
Research team hard at work at the study site on Ecuador coast.


The Great Solar Eclipse of 2017 crossed the continent, from Oregon to South Carolina, and gave millions of people the chance to witness one of the most awe-inspiring events in the natural world.

Nik's photo of the August 21 eclipse, photographed from Glendo, Wyoming. The star, Regulus, is barely visible to the lower left of the solar corona.
But you had to be within the "path of totality", a narrow band across the earth's surface several thousand miles long but only about 70 miles wide. Outside that band you would only see a partial eclipse, not a total eclipse.

And there is no such thing as a "partial total eclipse", despite the impression blogs and the news media might give. I honestly think that's why so many people misunderstand the utter beauty of the spectacle; they may have seen a partial eclipse in the past that was total somewhere else, and even though they weren't in the path the news kept gushing about it being a total eclipse, so they assume they must have seen a total eclipse and just didn't find it all that impressive.

Posted by Dan 08/29/2017, revised 09/06/2017

(Our kids have grown and are no longer posting blog stories here. Here now, below, are some highlights from past posts.)

This Seems Like a lot of Work for a Free Banana

It's been awhile since I've done an ocean swim, and I'm gearing up for IM Santa Cruz 70.3 in September, so Tri Santa Cruz International seemed like a good warmup.

The swim start was located just to the right of the boardwalk and the pier, and though many people had commented that the water was unusually warm and calm (relatively speaking), it was a bit of an adjustment from the comfortable pools and lakes I've been in all summer. Water temp was in the low 60s but I was immediately struck by how cold it was on my face. Eeee! How do the surfers stand it? I needed a little extra time in the water to warm up, which turned out to be fine since the race start was delayed.

Posted by Kimberly 09/01/2015

Like Ripping off a BandAid

Well we managed to extricate ourselves from Koh Tao last week. The trick is to do it fast and with no warning. We went down to check on tickets to Chiang Mai and found that it was either leave the next day or wait another week for availability, so we booked it and got the next boat off.

Goodells Rule!

Posted by nik 10/21/2008, revised 11/05/2008

Daily mission on the islands: Enjoy life!

A day in the life on Koh Phangan

Instead of writing an account of everything I do every day on the island, I figure it's more appropriate to walk you through the details of one day on Koh Phangan. The typical day deserves a bit of detail to be fully appreciated.

In the morning, I wake up at who-knows-what-time. I don't pay attention to clocks here. I rise when I feel it is time to rise. I open my eyes, stretch, roll over a couple times before finally deciding to get up, and I make my way out of the mosquito-netted bed. I walk over the spaced wood planks to the bathroom, where toilet paper goes in a bin instead of the toilet, and a "flush" really is just a manual flushing of the bowl with a bucket of water. I walk out to the porch and plop into the hammock, taking in the surroundings of palm tree-covered hills, the sea breeze, and the sun just barely starting to break through the thin cloud cover. Nik is making instant coffee with the homemade campstove he engineered with 2 empty beer cans, some denatured alcohol, and an empty oatmeal can as a pot. I sip my coffee and let the day start at a nice, easy, slow pace. There is no rush to a day in which the only objective is to enjoy life to the fullest.

After our cups of coffee, we venture 20 meters away to pick a coconut off the ground, shaking it to make sure there's a decent amount of milk in it. We crack it open and pour the milk into the oatmeal-can-pot to be heated for our oatmeal breakfast. We cook the oatmeal in the fresh coconut milk, and slice in a few small, sweet, fresh bananas. I sit back on our simple bungalow porch and enjoy my breakfast of champions while rocking back and forth in the hammock. It's going to be another great day.

The makings of our beautiful breakfast

Posted by Whitney 09/14/2008