Tris (Mum) was born in Nigeria and travelled the world from day one with her artistic parents. Her early life was spent driving and living in Kombi (camper) vans through Europe, including a stint living in the snow in Wales. Her parents eventually settled in the countryside of SW Western Australia, where she grew up in true Aussie outdoors style. This upbringing has instilled in her a love of travelling and the natural environment, as well as expressing herself creatively. Tris studied fine arts at university and went on to be a successful artist in her home region. All creatures great and small reside in Tris' heart. Since relocating to Tonga, the family have adopted 5 Tongan ponies, several rescued dogs and a flock of friendly ‘special chickens’ as she calls them. Tris was introduced to snorkelling at a very young age and has loved all things ocean ever since. It was inevitable she would fall in love with whales and has been swimming and interacting with a variety of marine mega fauna for 32 years. She is a true whale addict and loves analysing their behaviour.
Tris and Dave made two magical children, Kai and Dior. The family travelled and sailed the world together sharing challenges and elations, new discoveries and adventures. When they fell in love with Tonga and established Whale Discoveries in 2010, Kai was 9 and Dior, 7 and within a few years the two kids had become, not only global travellers, but certified scuba and free divers as well. They could dive, sail, climb coconut trees and had, generally speaking, mastered their universe. Home schooling and distance education meant the Sheens could live on and in the ocean constantly. They established a family home on Nomuka Island which later became the Lolofutu Beach Barn accommodation that remains in a more developed form today.