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Carolina Beach, NC | Official Tourism Site

 Beaches  Comments Off on Carolina Beach, NC | Official Tourism Site
Jun 302016

It’s An Extraordinary One

Carolina Beach offers an original kind of beach experience from the past combined with a fun, family-friendly spin for today. Visitors can experience a vintage, nationally-recognized seaside boardwalk, live music, miles of beautiful beach, world-class fishing, one-of-a kind festivals and events, and all kinds of people united by good times that are unmistakably Carolina Beach.

Trade your ordinary summer beach vacation for an extraordinary one. Enjoy classic seaside fun at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. Enjoy a hot donut from the famous Britts Donut Shop, or one-of-a-kind family fun at the boardwalks seaside amusement rides, weekly Boardwalk Blast series featuring fireworks and the Free Movies at the Lake. Beach nightlife heats up when the sun goes down with live music at local tiki bars.

Check out our Summer Highlights full of high-flying coastal fun andbook a vintage motel, hotel, or vacation beach cottage offering oceanfront, harbor and lakeside views!

There is always something out of the ordinary to do in Carolina Beach, whether you are here for a long vacation or weekend getaway.At Carolina Beach State Park, hike a scenic white-sand trail leading to an overlook with gorgeous views of the Cape Fear River. Cast a line from the wooden Carolina Beach Fishing Pier. Meet an albino alligator, come face-to-face with a sea turtle, and watch the sea life swim by in a 235,000-gallon saltwater tank at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. For the history buffs, explore the Civil Wars largest land/sea battle site at Fort Fisher State Historic Site and Civil War Museum. Wherever you are in Carolina Beach, it’s only a short walk, drive or bike ride to all the activities the island offers.

Experience a vibrant nightlife thats curiously entertaining by visiting local favorites from tiki bars to colorful island hot spots, including one that features a surfing cow on the roof! Groove to the tunes at area venues and festivals from North Carolinas biggest beach music festival on the coast to blues and jazz.

Rent a condo, cozy beach cottage or hotel room, or choose to return to simpler times and stay at one of our family-owned motels. Dine with oceanfront views or at locally owned restaurants in the heart of town. Shop for souvenirs and treasures of all shapes and sizes, from boogie boards to vintage apparel.

Get away and find your original beach experience. Youll discover why there are a lot of beaches in North Carolina, but theres only one Carolina Beach.

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Carolina Beach, NC | Official Tourism Site

The Danger and Bounty of the Minerva Reefs

 Minerva Reefs  Comments Off on The Danger and Bounty of the Minerva Reefs
Jun 172016

Story and photos by Scott & Wendy Bannerot.

Few South Pacific voyagers miss a stop at the Kingdom of Tonga. The Vava’u Group attracts the highest number of visiting boats, with deep, protected passageways between a large cluster of picturesque islands, permitting relaxed cruising among lovely, sheltered anchorages. A growing number of boats venture south into the lower-lying, coral-strewn Ha’apai Group, and a steady annual proportion sail onward to the country’s southernmost main island of Tongatapu for a stop at the capital town of Nuku’alofa. There they provision and procure New Zealand visas from the consulate before heading south to escape the November onset of cyclone season. By this time nearly all have heard of North and South Minerva Reefs, two rings of nearly submerged coral lying some 270 nautical miles southwest of Tongatapu, somewhat to the west of the rhumb line to New Zealand.

This position, and the existence of navigable passes into the protected inner lagoons of both atolls, plays on various portions of a seafarer’s brain. No one wants to hear the roar of breakers dead ahead on a dark, stormy night or feel the crunching lurch of your hull piling forcibly onto a solid piece of real estate in mid-ocean. On the other hand, many dream of anchoring alone in tranquil, gin-clear lagoons teeming with sea life for a restful break during a passage, or of riding out a severe storm on the hook, protected from the brunt of the conditions by solid walls of coral. We were no different from anyone else, having made two passages between Tonga and New Zealand without laying eyes on either of the Minervas. By the time our third passage was imminent, we knew a stop was inevitable.

We’d arrived in Tonga’s Vava’u Group again after 18 months in New Zealand, including a four-month return to the U.S. for medical and business issues that could no longer be ignored. During this time our 41-foot aluminum sloop Elan awaited us on an Auckland hardstand. Our first time through Vava’u, nearly two years before, had been late in the winter sailing season. We’d spent only one short week before the looming storm season compelled us to set sail. We knew we hadn’t scratched the surface of what this group of islands had to offer, and our determination to do it justice on the second time around was strong. We’d sailed up the eastern quadrant of a fortuitously stalled high, fanned by southeasterlies coming over the starboard quarter on a direct 10-day shot from Auckland to Neiafu. We cleared customs one hour before my sister, her husband, and her father-in-law arrived at the airport on a long-planned visit from Wyoming. Our spirits soared as we loaded everyone’s gear aboard and made ready to cast off from the fuel dock.

Ambitious plans to visit Fiji and Vanuatu fell by the wayside as two other couples came out to visit, we were adopted by several local families, and we accepted an invitation to participate on a local fishing boat in the annual billfish tournament. Before we knew it, we’d been in Vava’u’s calm embrace for nearly the entire South Pacific winter. We’d had countless wonderful days, exploring Swallow’s and Mariner’s caves, photographing a mother humpback whale and her calf swimming laconically beside Elan, and spending time under and above water with some very special people and marine life. Suddenly the October spring window for the voyage back to New Zealand was upon us.

We fished and dived our way south through the Ha’apai and Nomuka Groups, and arrived in Nuku’alofa after an easy overnight sail. There we consolidated our crew with Kiwi friends Ken Kiddie and Hans Swete, who’d earlier committed to the trip south as a way of gaining their first offshore passage. The four of us plotted and dreamed about a stop at the Minervas over cold beers at Nuku’alofa’s waterfront Billfish Bar, and we kept a sharp eye out for an appropriate weather window.

As if on cue, the progression of strong winter highs passing by to the south of us slowed and settled, and on a sparkling sunny afternoon we picked our way around Atata Island, out the channel through the reef, and set a course for North Minerva Reef.

The mystique of the Minervas Elan’s hull bit into the ocean swell under full genoa and mainsail, close reaching into light south-southeasterly conditions. The trolling lines went out, and the conversation turned quickly to stories about the Minervas-boats that had survived the infamous Queen’s Birthday and lesser storms anchored inside the reefs; shipwrecks and disappearances, either documented or suspected, in the vicinity of the reefs; and reports of abundant fish and lobsters, and of an unspoiled environment little-disturbed by humans.

Capt. H. M. Denham, aboard the H.M.S. Herald, surveyed the reefs in 1854 and named them after the whaling ship Minerva, wrecked on South Minerva after setting out from Sydney in 1829. The captain of the Minerva was not aware of a large, poorly defined area called Nicholson’s shoals added to Pacific charts not long before departure, and was therefore quite surprised when the brig drove up hard on the reef at 0200 on September 9. Most of the 23-man crew, and a dog, made it from the wreck to the inner lagoon aboard two whaleboats, but the drunken whaling master and two crew refused to leave the wreck, despite the fact that it was under siege from heavy breaking seas. They survived the night lashed to the bowsprit of the broken hull, and the entire complement set sail the following day aboard three whaleboats loaded with water caskets and what provisions they could salvage from the wreck. One boat began leaking seriously, prompting one of the two remaining boats to sail off to save themselves. The remaining whaleboat eventually took aboard the entire crew of the sinking boat for a total of 15 men and the dog, leaving only six inches or so of freeboard. The desperate castaways, out of fresh water and food, sighted the island of Vatoa, an outlier of Fiji’s Lau Group, on September 15 and reached the outer reef, making their way ashore after splintering the whaleboat on the coral. Eight of the men remained with the friendly locals, and seven repaired the whaleboat and set sail again only to wreck once more on a Tongan island before eventually making their way home to Sydney. The crew of the boat that hastily abandoned the doomed men was never seen again.

Another famous incident occurred on the maiden voyage of the wooden schooner Strathcona, sailing north soon after completion in Auckland in 1914, only to unexpectedly crash up onto South Minerva Reef on the sixth day of the voyage and break apart. The crew of 13 consolidated materials and constructed a raft to live aboard in the lagoon, and then the captain and three crew sailed the schooner’s launch north to the nearest inhabited island, Ono-i-Lau, Fiji. Meanwhile a rescue vessel from New Zealand found the survivors on the raft at South Minerva, as well as the rescuers returning aboard a Fijian cutter to save their crewmates.

Many other wrecks on the two reefs are mysteries, with hulls and remains noted by passing vessels at various times and no signs of survivors. One such wreck was a largely intact Japanese fishing vessel that appeared in 1960 on South Minerva, the crew apparently taken off safely by the crew of another fishing vessel, whom they were able to contact by radio. This wreck was to play a critical role in what remains one of the most incredible maritime survival tales in recent history.

The tragedy of the Tuaikaepau Tuaikaepau was a 51-foot wooden cutter completed in 1902 at the same Auckland boatyard that later built the Strathcona. On the night of July 7, 1962, she was bound from Nuku’alofa for a refit in New Zealand, booming along close-hauled in boisterous southeasterly conditions. Experienced captain David Fifita commanded the seven-man crew and 10 passengers, mostly amateur boxers looking to make some money in New Zealand. The vessel smashed onto the eastern side of South Minerva Reef at seven knots in the darkness. This started a 14-week odyssey that would see only 12 of the men survive.

The 17 Tongans took refuge in the Japanese fishing boat wreck, constructed an ingenious water-distillation plant, and fed themselves by walking the reef flat to fish and collect seafood. Finally on Saturday, October 7, with three men dead, conditions becoming increasingly desperate, and hopes of rescue long gone, Fifita, his son Sateki, and ship’s carpenter Tevita Uaisele embarked on an epic rescue mission in a small craft crudely fashioned (with no tools) from remains of the two wrecks. David set a course for due north, armed only with a compass, sextant, nautical almanac, and a crude chart engraved on a plank, and no way to measure time accurately. He navigated by sun shots and dead reckoning. By Wednesday they were out of food and water. On Thursday they managed to catch a seabird that landed on the tiller and drank its blood. They bypassed treacherous, reef-encircled Ono-i-Lau and Matuku, and at midnight the following Saturday, in greatly weakened condition, David calculated that it was time to head due west in hopes of reaching much larger Kandavu.

The mountainous profile of the eastern end of Kandavu jutted above the horizon at dawn, confirming David’s emergency navigation skills and filling the severely dehydrated, starving men with hope. They sailed cautiously toward the reef, only to have an oversized breaking swell toss the sturdy wooden craft crashing over the reef, throwing the occupants overboard and capsizing the boat. This left little choice but to attempt a swim against the tide to the tiny outlying island of Nmbia approximately 1.3 nautical miles away. David’s son disappeared two thirds of the way to shore. The two survivors dragged themselves up the beach, quenched their thirst with green coconuts, and hiked to a village to summon help for their crewmates back on South Minerva. After some confusion, word finally reached the Royal New Zealand Air Force station at Suva, and the commander ordered an immediate night flight Monday to drop supplies to the survivors on South Minerva, followed by a rescue via Sunderland flying boat the following morning. The supply flight likely saved the life of at least one of the weakened castaways, though one man had died the previous evening. Olaf Ruhen’s Minerva Reef (Halstead Press, Sydney, 1963) is a worthwhile, highly detailed account of the entire ordeal, and voyagers can pick up the brief recent account Minerva Reef by survivor Fine Feuiaki in Tongan bookstores (Friendly Islands Bookshop, Tonga, 1992). Overnight at North Minerva Thoughts of the imperiled voyagers before us prevailed as light, fluky winds had us motorsailing for parts of the second and third days of the passage. By the third evening the southeasterly breeze stiffened. We made good time under double-reefed genoa and mainsail, and at first light sighted the white line of breakers along the north side of North Minerva that had been painting a radar target during the pre-dawn hours. Soon after, the left outrigger bait disappeared in a splashing strike, and Ken worked a 22-pound bull mahi mahi (Coryphaena hippurus, also called dolphin or dorado) to the gaff. We made our way into the wide, easy pass in the northwest corner of the submerged atoll at 0900 in good light and dropped the anchor 20 feet down to the deep fine sand. Soon the dinghy was in the water and we all piled in for a free-diving expedition to a series of nearby coral heads.

We already had plenty of fish, so we did some sightseeing and looked around for lobsters under ledges and domes of coral. The area teemed with fish, flourishing with the near total absence of hook and line or other fishing effort. We spotted only two lobsters, both far under the coral and inaccessible, before heading out the pass for a dive on the outside reef. Here the visibility was nearly limitless, the coral vibrant and dense. An occasional small gray reef shark wagged lazily by the steep drop-off below us, none bothering to investigate the newcomers.

As we motored back in the pass, taking advantage of the countercurrent along the margin of the now outgoing tide, we noticed Elan’s mast swinging irregularly. Despite being inside the lagoon, the vessel was rolling. The shield of coral rubble on the reef crest was mostly submerged at this nearly high-tide stage, offering less opposition to wind-driven waves piling across the reef flat. The formerly placid lagoon now had a distinctly lumpy surface-plenty tenable, just not as comfortable.

We dined on fresh-grilled mahi mahi and turned in early, awakening to a thin overcast, slick calm morning. We decided to stow the dinghy, rig up some fishing lines, and make a slow, fuel-saving motorsail the 20-odd miles to South Minerva Reef. Hans bagged a school-sized yellowfin tuna, and we all enjoyed the sight of a small (150 pounds) blue marlin crashing the left outrigger bait, missing, then playfully grabbing a small tuna lure before leaping in a graceful arc to freedom. Exploring South Minerva A pack of hungry wahoo attacked our lures just off the northwest corner of South Minerva Reef. Their razor-sharp teeth luckily missed the monofilament leaders of our tuna/billfish lures before taking off, but not before one rocketed vertically, high above the deck with our hookless teaser clamped fleetingly in its jaws. We entered the pass, which was less distinct than North Minerva, but no problem if one follows the well-defined southwestern (right-hand) margin into the lagoon, avoiding the easily sighted coral heads as they crop up from time to time inside the lagoon. We picked our way around the inner rim of the lagoon, anchoring near a large, block-like aggregation of coral on the eastern side. This turned out to be the work of an Australian survey team. The location was not far from the site of the long-gone Japanese wreck used by the Tuaikaepau crew, and some boat remains were strewn in the area. We drank in the desolate seascape, barely punctuated by a jagged rim of reef. The muted hiss of breaking seas was the only sound as we tried to imagine being shipwrecked here for 14 weeks, surviving by foraging and by consuming tightly rationed portions of water, distilled with great daily effort, bearing the sorrow of watching crewmates slowly die, and somehow building a boat capable of a substantial bluewater passage-with no tools. Firing up the grill and the music system returned us to the present, and soon the aroma of sizzling marinated tuna steaks dominated our thoughts. We suspended the tuna carcass into the water from a rope tied to the port transom cleat and retired below for the meal-we’d done the same thing the night before with the mahi mahi carcass and found the rope cleanly severed in the morning. Just as we finished dinner, a loud splash accompanying a sudden lurch of the boat sent us all topside in time to see several gray reef sharks circling hungrily. We didn’t need the bright arch light to see the dark silhouettes against the light sand bottom in the bright reflected light of the full moon, gracefully gliding in ever-tighter circles, then swimming off, only to wheel around and swim straight back in. We fed them the carcass after taking a few photos. Two solid days of non-stop reef walking, free-diving, dinghy fishing, and lobster hunting proved South Minerva to be every bit as bountiful and spectacular as we’d dreamed. We caught three different species of spiny lobsters during daylight hours hiding in shallow lagoon coral heads, at least two of which characteristically spend their days at significant depths on the outer reef at most tropical Pacific locations. Normally these are caught only at night by walking the reef flat on certain moon phases. Giant clams (Tridacna), increasingly scarce in most Indo-Pacific locations due to overexploitation, were abundant, as were innumerable other reef denizens of every description-brilliant blue starfish; colorful tropical fish species and moray eels; sea urchins and sea cucumbers; rich and brilliantly hued corals; big fat groupers or coral trout (Variola louti) arrogantly patrolling the pass. This was a chance to enjoy the natural South Pacific in all of its splendor, virtually unaltered by the strains humans exert on the planet. It was a good thing Ken and Hans were along, with the pressures of land jobs and responsibilities never far from mind. Otherwise our euphoria might have sorely tempted us to delay a prudently timed voyage southward. This trip should be made before tropical lows begin abutting to subtropical highs, spawning the hurricane-force easterlies not uncommon in later November and December in the vicinity of New Zealand’s North Island. So, at noon on the third day after arriving, we exited the pass in calm, sunny weather, with the weatherfax showing favorable timing for a jaunt south, with the exception of one mild low developing in the Tasman Sea. We paused outside the pass long enough to do some deep-dropping with an electric fishing reel, catching a couple of delicious groupers from as deep as 750 feet. The low gave us light northerlies and was not showing signs of deepening, so we finished securing the deck and set sail for New Zealand at 1700. Heading south We’d had two fast, uneventful previous passages between Tonga and New Zealand but were no less mindful of the possibility of experiencing heavy conditions. The moon loomed huge and orange out of the sea off the port quarter on the first night, making the ocean surface glimmer. We caught a cow mahi mahi of about 13 pounds the next afternoon and entered the scattered deluges and shifting wind directions of the still-weak low the following afternoon. The center of the low passed below us before sunset, and we’d never seen more than 22 knots of wind. Favorable winds from light to not more than 25 knots settled in for the remainder of the passage. We fished two billfish lures during daylight hours and caught and released both a rare shortbill spearfish and a striped marlin on successive days. Two days north of our destination a pod of (mammal) dolphin came alongside, immediately followed by a modest-sized marlin blasting onto the teaser and a big strike on the right outrigger lure, which turned out to be a 70-pound-class yellowfin tuna. With that we retired the fishing rods and concentrated on making maximum speed over the last 250 nautical miles to Opua, rather than hover in what might be fairly termed the “screw-up zone” for this particular passage. Many crews tend to relax a little early, knowing they’ve nearly made it, only to get a pasting when the bottom drops out of a low as it passes over warm ocean currents just above the North Island.

We sailed into Opua exactly seven days after departing South Minerva Reef on a beautiful and sunny, though distinctly cool, late afternoon and retired to the quiet of the Kawakawa River anchorage after check-in.

Bright smiles lit the aft settee over hot soup and rum as we celebrated our good fortune, and the rarified afterglow of visiting a place as magnificent and remote as the Minerva Reefs.

Scott and Wendy Bannerot, based in New Zealand as they voyage the South Pacific, are the authors of The Cruiser’s Guide to Fishing, recently published by International Marine in Rockport, Maine.

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The Danger and Bounty of the Minerva Reefs

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Seychelles – Republic of Seychelles – Country Profile …

 Seychelles  Comments Off on Seychelles – Republic of Seychelles – Country Profile …
Jun 172016

Official Name: Seychelles Creole: Repiblik Sesel English: Republic of Seychelles French: Rpublique des Seychelles

ISO Country Code: sc

Actual Time: Fri-June-17 13:00 Time Zone: SCT – Seychelles Times Local Time = UTC +4h

Country Calling Code: +248

Capital City: Victoria (pop. 24 500)

Government: Type: Multiple-party republic. Independence: June 29, 1976 (from UK).

Geography: Location: Eastern Africa, group of about 115 islands scattered over 1.3 million square kilometers of the western Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar. Area: 455 km (176 sq km) Major Islands: Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. Terrain: About half of the islands are of granitic origin, with narrow coastal strips and central ranges of hills rising to more than 900 m; highest point: Morne Seychellois at 905 m. The other half are coral atolls, many uninhabitable.

Climate: Tropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May) .

People: Nationality: Noun and adjective–Seychellois. Population 91,000 (2010 census) Ethnic groups: Creole (European, Asian, and African). Religions: Catholic 86.6%, Anglican Church 6.8%, other Christians 2.5%, other 4.1%. Languages: Official languages are Seychelles Creole (kreol seselwa), English, and French. Literacy: between 60-80%.

Natural resources: Fish, copra, cinnamon trees.

Agriculture products: Coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potatoes, cassava (tapioca), bananas; broiler chickens; tuna fish.

Industries: Fishing; tourism; processing of coconuts and vanilla, coir (coconut fiber) rope, boat building, printing, furniture; beverages.

Exports – commodities: canned tuna, frozen fish, cinnamon bark, copra, petroleum products (reexports)

Exports partners: France 27.7%, UK 17.6%, Japan 15.2%, Italy 10.6% (2012)

Imports – partners: Saudi Arabia 24%, Spain 12.1%, France 5.9% (2012)

Currency: Seychelles Rupee (SCR)

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Seychelles – Republic of Seychelles – Country Profile …

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All Beaches, Lakes & Boating Philadelphia

 Beaches  Comments Off on All Beaches, Lakes & Boating Philadelphia
Apr 202016

The largest collegiate regatta in the United States

May 13-14, 2016 The Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta is a two-day race held on the Schuylkill River in beautiful Fairmount Park, one of the most famous and scenic rowing routes in the world.

Tubing, canoeing, rafting and kayaking on the Delaware

Tubing, canoeing, rafting and kayaking trips down the scenic Delaware River

A lakeside oasis amid suburban Bucks County

A lakeside oasis amid suburban Bucks County

Cruise by historic New Hope aboard a Mississippi-style riverboat

Cruise by historic New Hope aboard a Mississippi-style riverboat

A 165-mile trail connecting waterways, rails and trails along a historic railroad path

A 165-mile trail connecting waterways, rails and trails along a historic railroad path

Full, half-day and overnight fly fishing adventures on the Delaware River

Full, half-day and overnight fly fishing adventures on the Delaware River.

A leisurely float down the Delaware, with lunch along the way

A leisurely float down the Delaware, with lunch along the way

One of the worlds largest city park systems

With more than 9,200 acres of rolling hills, gentle trails, relaxing waterfront and shaded woodlands, Fairmount Park keeps a wealth of natural landscapes within easy reach of all city residents.

You can take a stroll, head out for an afternoon of softball, organized frisbee or pier-side fishing, or just settle in for a family picnic. There are miles of trails for horseback riding, off-road cycling and deep-woods hiking, yet there are also tours of historic mansions, Japanese tea ceremonies and outdoor concerts. Three environmental centers, as well as a wildlife refuge treatment center, help bring the natural world to life for adults as well as children.

Overnight equestrian camping amid wooded trails and gorgeous views

An exciting, two-day race that draws fans from around the world

October 29-30, 2016 Enjoy a great fall weekend in Fairmount Park and take in a picturesque fall regatta at the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta, one of the longest running head races in the country.

Pennsylvanias largest remaining freshwater tidal marsh

With 1000 acres, ten miles of trails and many native wildlife and plants, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum protects the largest fresh water tidal marsh in Pennsylvania.

Whitewater rafting right here in the Delaware Valley

Whitewater rafting, with Class 3 and 4 rapids, right here in the Delaware Valley

Full or half-day guided fishing trips

Get the most out of your fishing trip with a little help from experienced guides. Whether its trout or bass, salt or freshwater, Mainstream Outfitters can help you find your fish with one of their guided fishing trips.

A tidal estuary along the banks of Neshaminy Creek more than 100 miles upriver from the Delaware Bay

A tidal estuary along the banks of Neshaminy Creek, more than 100 miles upriver from the Delaware Bay

The largest lake in Southeastern Pennsylvania, accompanied by a 5,283-acre park

Offering more than 1,450 acres and four public launching areas, Lake Nockamixon is a popular spot for boating of all kinds, including catamarans and windsurfers. Anglers also enjoy this warm, expansive water lake, which is stocked with a variety of species.

Making waves

A premium hang on the northern edge of NoLibs, this swim club attracts an attractive crowd with tunes, drinks and chill space.

Kayaking, canoeing and tubing along the scenic Brandywine River

Northbrook Canoe Company offers kayaking, canoeing and tubing along the scenic Brandywine River in Chester County, Pennsylvania, about an hour southwest of Philadelphia.

Boat tours of the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers

Offering excursions along the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, Patriot Harbor Lines welcomes up to 35 guests on its reproduction of a classic 1920s commuter yacht.

Lake Galena, at 365 acres, is a favorite recreational spot

Fourteen miles of trails are just one of the many outdoor activities that Peace Valley Park has to offer. Bring a picnic for a lakeside lunch, or paddle out onto Lake Galena and hook a bass, walleye, catfish, bluegill or carp. The bird blind at the Peace Valley Nature Center next door offers quiet observation of cardinals, woodpeckers, finches, titmice, sparrows and more.

One of the worlds elite racing teams

One of the worlds elite racing teams

10th anniversary of the weekend long triathlon festival

The Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon is a big deal in the multi-sport world, becoming a top-rated, sell-out event.

A colorful celebration of an ancient Chinese tradition

Stroll up Kelly Drive along the Schuylkill River for an unusually colorful and dramatic regatta, the Philadelphia Dragon Boat Festival, Philadelphias annual celebration of an ancient Chinese tradition.

A full day of rowing, food and fun on the banks of the Schuylkill River

Test yourself against a deep field of hundreds of other masters rowers at this annual rowing extravaganza, held on the famous Schuylkill River racecourse in Philadelphia.

Enter (or watch) as many races are you care to, but be prepared for a challenging 1,000-meter course, which starts at St. Joseph Universitys Boathouse and finishes by the storied Fairmount Park Grandstands.

Philadelphias only amphibious sightseeing tour

Take a ride on Philadelphias only amphibious sightseeing tour.

See the skyline from the Delaware River

A 12-minute scenic river tour gives you the opportunity to see sensational views of waterfront highlights and the City of Philadelphias spectacular skyline, all while floating down the impressive Delaware River.

A 26.5-mile, multi-use path from Philadelphia to Phoenixville

This 26.5-mile recreational path runs along the Schuylkill River from Center City Philadelphia to Phoenixville in Chester County.

235 acres for kayaking, bird walks, pond tours and seasonal festivals

Silver Lake Nature Center features a butterfly garden, lakes, marshes, meadows, a bog and 4.5 miles of nature trails that highlight the diverse plant and animal life in the area.

Cruise the Delaware River in style

For three decades, the Spirit of Philadelphia has provided a unique combination of dining, dancing, entertainment and incredible skyline views on the Delaware River.

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All Beaches, Lakes & Boating Philadelphia

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Falkland Islands – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Islands  Comments Off on Falkland Islands – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mar 062016

The Falkland Islands (; Spanish: Islas Malvinas [malinas]) are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean on the Patagonian Shelf. The principal islands are about 300 miles (480km) east of South America’s southern Patagonian coast, at a latitude of about 52S. The archipelago, with an area of 4,700 square miles (12,000km2), comprises East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 smaller islands. As a British overseas territory, the Falklands have internal self-governance, and the United Kingdom takes responsibility for their defence and foreign affairs. The islands’ capital is Stanley on East Falkland.

Controversy exists over the Falklands’ discovery and subsequent colonisation by Europeans. At various times, the islands have had French, British, Spanish, and Argentine settlements. Britain reasserted its rule in 1833, although Argentina maintains its claim to the islands. In April 1982, Argentine forces temporarily occupied the islands. British administration was restored two months later at the end of the Falklands War.

The population (2,932 inhabitants in 2012)[A] primarily consists of native-born Falkland Islanders, the majority of British descent. Other ethnicities include French, Gibraltarian and Scandinavian. Immigration from the United Kingdom, the South Atlantic island of Saint Helena, and Chile has reversed a population decline. The predominant (and official) language is English. Under the British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983, Falkland Islanders are British citizens.

The islands lie on the boundary of the subantarctic oceanic and tundra climate zones, and both major islands have mountain ranges reaching 2,300 feet (700m). They are home to large bird populations, although many no longer breed on the main islands because of competition from introduced species. Major economic activities include fishing, tourism and sheep farming, with an emphasis on high-quality wool exports. Oil exploration, licensed by the Falkland Islands Government, remains controversial as a result of maritime disputes with Argentina.

The Falkland Islands take their name from the Falkland Sound, a strait separating the archipelago’s two main islands. The name “Falkland” was applied to the channel by John Strong, captain of an English expedition which landed on the islands in 1690. Strong named the strait in honour of Anthony Cary, 5th Viscount of Falkland, the Treasurer of the Navy who sponsored their journey.[7] The Viscount’s title originates from the town of Falkland, Scotland, whose name comes from “folkland” (land held by folk-right). The name was not applied to the islands until 1765, when British captain John Byron of the Royal Navy, claimed them for King George III as “Falkland’s Islands”.[9] The term “Falklands” is a standard abbreviation used to refer to the islands.

The Spanish name for the archipelago, Islas Malvinas, derives from the French les Malouines the name given to the islands by French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville in 1764. Bougainville, who founded the islands’ first settlement, named the area after the port of Saint-Malo (the point of departure for his ships and colonists).[11] The port, located in the Brittany region of western France, was in turn named after St. Malo (or Maclou), the Christian evangelist who founded the city.

At the twentieth session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Fourth Committee determined that, in all languages other than Spanish, all UN documentation would designate the territory as Falkland Islands (Malvinas). In Spanish, the territory was designated as Islas Malvinas (Falkland Islands). The nomenclature used by the United Nations for statistical processing purposes is Falkland Islands (Malvinas).[14]

Although Fuegians from Patagonia may have visited the Falkland Islands in prehistoric times,[15] the islands were uninhabited at the time of their discovery by Europeans. Claims of discovery date back to the 16th century, but no consensus exists on whether these early explorers discovered the Falklands or other islands in the South Atlantic.[17][B] The first recorded landing on the islands is attributed to English captain John Strong, who, en route to Peru’s and Chile’s littoral in 1690, discovered the Falkland Sound and noted the islands’ water and game.[20]

The Falklands remained uninhabited until the 1764 establishment of Port Louis on East Falkland by French captain Louis Antoine de Bougainville, and the 1766 foundation of Port Egmont on Saunders Island by British captain John MacBride.[C] Whether or not the settlements were aware of each other’s existence is debated by historians.[23] In 1766, France surrendered its claim on the Falklands to Spain, which renamed the French colony Puerto Soledad the following year. Problems began when Spain discovered and captured Port Egmont in 1770. War was narrowly avoided by its restitution to Britain in 1771.

Both the British and Spanish settlements coexisted in the archipelago until 1774, when Britain’s new economic and strategic considerations led it to voluntarily withdraw from the islands, leaving a plaque claiming the Falklands for King George III. Spain’s Viceroyalty of the Ro de la Plata became the only governmental presence in the territory. West Falkland was left abandoned, and Puerto Soledad became mostly a prison camp. Amid the British invasions of the Ro de la Plata during the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, the islands’ governor evacuated the archipelago in 1806; Spain’s remaining colonial garrison followed suit in 1811, except for gauchos and fishermen who remained voluntarily.

Thereafter, the archipelago was visited only by fishing ships; its political status was undisputed until 1820, when Colonel David Jewett, an American privateer working for the United Provinces of the River Plate, informed anchored ships about Buenos Aires’ 1816 claim to Spain’s territories in the South Atlantic.[28][D] Since the islands had no permanent inhabitants, in 1823 Buenos Aires granted German-born merchant Luis Vernet permission to conduct fishing activities and exploit feral cattle in the archipelago.[E] Vernet settled at the ruins of Puerto Soledad in 1826, and accumulated resources on the islands until the venture was secure enough to bring settlers and form a permanent colony.[32] Buenos Aires named Vernet military and civil commander of the islands in 1829, and he attempted to regulate sealing to stop the activities of foreign whalers and sealers. Vernet’s venture lasted until a dispute over fishing and hunting rights led to a raid by the American warship USS Lexington in 1831,[F] when United States Navy commander Silas Duncan declared the dissolution of the island’s government.

Buenos Aires attempted to retain influence over the settlement by installing a garrison, but a mutiny in 1832 was followed the next year by the arrival of British forces who reasserted Britain’s rule. The Argentine Confederation (headed by Buenos Aires Governor Juan Manuel de Rosas) protested Britain’s actions,[G] and Argentine governments have continued since then to register official protests against Britain.[H] The British troops departed after completing their mission, leaving the area without formal government. Vernet’s deputy, the Scotsman Matthew Brisbane, returned to the islands that year to restore the business, but his efforts ended after, amid unrest at Port Louis, gaucho Antonio Rivero led a group of dissatisfied individuals to murder Brisbane and the settlement’s senior leaders; survivors hid in a cave on a nearby island until the British returned and restored order. In 1840, the Falklands became a Crown colony, and Scottish settlers subsequently established an official pastoral community. Four years later, nearly everyone relocated to Port Jackson, considered a better location for government, and merchant Samuel Lafone began a venture to encourage British colonisation.[44]

Stanley, as Port Jackson was soon renamed, officially became the seat of government in 1845. Early in its history, Stanley had a negative reputation due to cargo-shipping losses; only in emergencies would ships rounding Cape Horn stop at the port.[46] Nevertheless, the Falklands’ geographic location proved ideal for ship repairs and the “Wrecking Trade”, the business of selling and buying shipwrecks and their cargoes. Aside from this trade, commercial interest in the archipelago was minimal due to the low-value hides of the feral cattle roaming the pastures. Economic growth began only after the Falkland Islands Company, which bought out Lafone’s failing enterprise in 1851,[I] successfully introduced Cheviot sheep for wool farming, spurring other farms to follow suit.[49] The high cost of importing materials, combined with the shortage of labour and consequent high wages, meant the ship repair trade became uncompetitive. After 1870, it declined as the replacement of sail ships by steamships was accelerated by the low cost of coal in South America; by 1914, with the opening of the Panama Canal, the trade effectively ended. In 1881, the Falkland Islands became financially independent of Britain. For more than a century, the Falkland Islands Company dominated the trade and employment of the archipelago; in addition, it owned most housing in Stanley, which greatly benefited from the wool trade with the UK.[49]

In the first half of the 20th century, the Falklands served an important role in Britain’s territorial claims to subantarctic islands and a section of Antarctica. The Falklands governed these territories as the Falkland Islands Dependencies starting in 1908, and retained them until their dissolution in 1985. The Falklands also played a minor role in the two world wars as a military base aiding control of the South Atlantic. In the First World War Battle of the Falkland Islands in December 1914, a Royal Navy fleet defeated an Imperial German squadron. In the Second World War, following the December 1939 Battle of the River Plate, the battle-damaged HMS Exeter steamed to the Falklands for repairs. In 1942, a battalion en route to India was redeployed to the Falklands as a garrison amid fears of a Japanese seizure of the archipelago. After the war ended, the Falklands economy was affected by declining wool prices and the political uncertainty resulting from the revived sovereignty dispute between the United Kingdom and Argentina.[46]

Simmering tensions between the UK and Argentina increased during the second half of the century, when Argentine President Juan Pern asserted sovereignty over the archipelago. The sovereignty dispute intensified during the 1960s, shortly after the United Nations passed a resolution on decolonisation which Argentina interpreted as favourable to its position. In 1965, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 2065, calling for both states to conduct bilateral negotiations to reach a peaceful settlement of the dispute. From 1966 until 1968, the UK confidentially discussed with Argentina the transfer of the Falklands, assuming its judgement would be accepted by the islanders. An agreement on trade ties between the archipelago and the mainland was reached in 1971 and, consequently, Argentina built a temporary airfield at Stanley in 1972. Nonetheless, Falklander dissent, as expressed by their strong lobby in the UK Parliament, and tensions between the UK and Argentina effectively limited sovereignty negotiations until 1977.

Concerned at the expense of maintaining the Falkland Islands in an era of budget cuts, the UK again considered transferring sovereignty to Argentina in the early Thatcher government.[57] Substantive sovereignty talks again ended by 1981, and the dispute escalated with passing time. In April 1982, the disagreement became an armed conflict when Argentina invaded the Falklands and other British territories in the South Atlantic, briefly occupying them until a UK expeditionary force retook the territories in June.[59] After the war, the United Kingdom expanded its military presence, building RAF Mount Pleasant and increasing the size of its garrison. The war also left some 117 minefields containing nearly 20,000 mines of various types, including anti-vehicle and anti-personnel mines.[61] Due to the large number of deminer casualties, initial attempts to clear the mines ceased in 1983.[61][J]

Based on Lord Shackleton’s recommendations, the Falklands diversified from a sheep-based monoculture into an economy of tourism and, with the establishment of the Falklands Exclusive Economic Zone, fisheries.[K] The road network was also made more extensive, and the construction of RAF Mount Pleasant allowed access to long haul flights. Oil exploration has also begun, with indications of possible commercially exploitable deposits in the Falklands basin.[64] Landmine clearance work restarted in 2009, in accordance with the UK’s obligations under the Ottawa Treaty, and Sapper Hill Corral was cleared of mines in 2012, allowing access to an important historical landmark for the first time in 30 years.[65][66] Argentina and the UK re-established diplomatic relations in 1990; relations have since deteriorated as neither has agreed on the terms of future sovereignty discussions.[67] Disputes between the governments have led “some analysts [to] predict a growing conflict of interest between Argentina and Great Britain… because of the recent expansion of the fishing industry in the waters surrounding the Falklands”.

The Falkland Islands are a self-governing British Overseas Territory.[69] Under the 2009 Constitution, the islands have full internal self-government; the UK is responsible for foreign affairs, retaining the power “to protect UK interests and to ensure the overall good governance of the territory”.[70] The Monarch of the United Kingdom is the head of state, and executive authority is exercised on the monarch’s behalf by the Governor, who in turn appoints the islands’ Chief Executive on the advice of members of the Legislative Assembly.[71] Both the Governor and Chief Executive serve as the head of government. Governor Colin Roberts was appointed in April 2014;[73] Chief Executive Keith Padgett was appointed in March 2012.[74] The UK minister responsible for the Falkland Islands since 2012, Hugo Swire, administers British foreign policy regarding the islands.[75]

The Governor acts on the advice of the islands’ Executive Council, composed of the Chief Executive, the Director of Finance and three elected members of the Legislative Assembly (with the Governor as chairman).[71] The Legislative Assembly, a unicameral legislature, consists of the Chief Executive, the Director of Finance and eight members (five from Stanley and three from Camp) elected to four-year terms by universal suffrage.[71] All politicians in the Falkland Islands are independent; no political parties exist on the islands.[76] Since the 2013 general election, members of the Legislative Assembly have received a salary and are expected to work full-time and give up all previously held jobs or business interests.[77]

Due to its link to the UK, the Falklands are part of the overseas countries and territories of the European Union.[78] The islands’ judicial system, overseen by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, is largely based on English law, and the constitution binds the territory to the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights.[70] Residents have the right of appeal to the European Court of Human Rights and the Privy Council.[80][81] Law enforcement is the responsibility of the Royal Falkland Islands Police (RFIP), and military defence of the islands is provided by the United Kingdom.[82] A British military garrison is stationed on the islands, and the Falkland Islands government funds an additional company-sized light infantry Falkland Islands Defence Force.[83] The territorial waters of the Falklands extend to 200 nautical miles (370km) from its coastal baselines, based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; this border overlaps with the maritime boundary of Argentina.[84]

The United Kingdom and Argentina both claim the Falkland Islands. The UK’s position is that the Falklanders have not indicated a desire for change, and that there are no pending issues to resolve concerning the islands.[86] The UK bases its position on its continuous administration of the islands since 1833 (except for 1982) and the islanders’ “right to self-determination as set out in the UN Charter”.[87] Argentine policy maintains that Falkland Islanders do not have a right to self-determination, claiming that in 1833 the UK expelled Argentine authorities (and settlers) from the Falklands with a threat of “greater force” and, afterwards, barred Argentines from resettling the islands.[88][89] Argentina posits that it acquired the Falklands from Spain when it achieved independence in 1816, and that the UK illegally occupied them in 1833.[88]

In 2009, British prime minister Gordon Brown had a meeting with Argentine president Cristina Fernndez de Kirchner, and said that there would be no further talks over the sovereignty of the Falklands.[90] In March 2013, the Falkland Islands held a referendum on its political status, with 99.8 percent of voters favoured remaining under British rule.[91][92] Argentina does not recognise the Falkland Islands as a partner in negotiations;[93] consequently, it dismissed the Falkland Islands’ sovereignty referendum.[94]

The Falkland Islands have a land area of 4,700 square miles (12,000km2) and a coastline estimated at 800 miles (1,300km).[95] Two main islands, West Falkland and East Falkland, and about 776 smaller islands constitute the archipelago. The islands are predominantly mountainous and hilly,[97] with the major exception the depressed plains of Lafonia (a peninsula forming the southern part of East Falkland). The Falklands are continental crust fragments resulting from the break-up of Gondwana and the opening of the South Atlantic that began 130 million years ago. The islands are located in the South Atlantic Ocean, on the Patagonian Shelf, about 300 miles (480km) east of Patagonia in southern Argentina.

The Falklands are situated approximately at latitude 5140 5300 S and longitude 5740 6200 W. The archipelago’s two main islands are separated by the Falkland Sound, and its deep coastal indentations form natural harbours.[102] East Falkland houses Stanley (the capital and largest settlement), the UK military base at RAF Mount Pleasant, and the archipelago’s highest point: Mount Usborne, at 2,313 feet (705m). Outside of these significant settlements is the area colloquially known as “Camp”, which is derived from the Spanish term for countryside (Campo).

The climate of the islands is cold, windy and humid maritime. Variability of daily weather is typical throughout the archipelago. Rainfall is common over half of the year, averaging 610 millimetres (24in) in Stanley, and sporadic light snowfall occurs nearly all year.[97] The temperature is generally between 21.1 and 11.1C (70.0 and 12.0F) in Stanley, but can vary to 9C (48F) early in the year and 1C (30F) in July. Strong westerly winds and cloudy skies are common.[97] Although numerous storms are recorded each month, conditions are normally calm.

The Falkland Islands are a biogeographical part of the mild Antarctic zone, with strong connections to the flora and fauna of Patagonia in mainland South America.[106] Land birds make up most of the Falklands’ avifauna; 63 species breed on the islands, including 16 endemic species. There is also abundant arthropod diversity on the islands. The Falklands’ flora consists of 163 native vascular species. The islands’ only native terrestrial mammal, the warrah, was hunted to extinction by European settlers.

The islands are frequented by marine mammals, such as the southern elephant seal and the South American fur seal, and various types of cetaceans; offshore islands house the rare striated caracara. The Falklands are also home to five different penguin species and a few of the largest albatross colonies on the planet.[111] Endemic fish around the islands are primarily from the genus Galaxias. The Falklands are treeless and have a wind-resistant vegetation predominantly composed of a variety of dwarf shrubs.

Virtually the entire land area of the islands is used as pasture for sheep.[2] Introduced species include reindeer, hares, rabbits, Patagonian foxes, brown rats and cats. The detrimental impact several of these species have caused to native flora and fauna has led authorities to attempt to contain, remove or exterminate invasive species such as foxes, rabbits and rats. Endemic land animals have been the most affected by introduced species. The extent of human impact on the Falklands is unclear, since there is little long-term data on habitat change.[106]

The economy of the Falkland Islands is ranked the 222nd largest out of 229 in the world by GDP (PPP), but ranks 10th worldwide by GDP (PPP) per capita.[2] The unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in 2010, and inflation was last calculated at 1.2 percent rate in 2003.[2] Based on 2010 data, the islands have a high Human Development Index of 0.874 and a moderate Gini coefficient for income inequality of 34.17. The local currency is the Falkland Islands pound, which is pegged to the British pound sterling.[116]

Economic development was advanced by ship resupplying and sheep farming for high-quality wool.[117] The main sheep breeds in the Falkland Islands are Polwarth and Corriedale.[118] During the 1980s, although synthetic fibres and ranch underinvestment hurt the sheep-farming sector, the government established a major revenue stream with the establishment of an exclusive economic zone and the sale of fishing licenses to “anybody wishing to fish within this zone”. Since the end of the Falklands War in 1982, the islands’ economic activity has increasingly focused on oil field exploration and tourism.

The port city of Stanley has regained the islands’ economic focus, with an increase in population as workers migrate from Camp. Fear of dependence on fishing licences and threats from overfishing, illegal fishing and fish market price fluctuations have increased interest on oil drilling as an alternative source of revenue; exploration efforts have yet to find “exploitable reserves”. Development projects in education and sports have been funded by the Falklands government, without aid from the United Kingdom.

The primary sector of the economy accounts for most of the Falkland Islands’ gross domestic product, with the fishing industry alone contributing between 50% and 60% of annual GDP; agriculture also contributes significantly to GDP and employs about a tenth of the population.[122] A little over a quarter of the workforce serves the Falkland Islands government, making it the archipelago’s largest employer.[123] Tourism, part of the service economy, has been spurred by increased interest in Antarctic exploration and the creation of direct air links with the United Kingdom and South America.[124] Tourists, mostly cruise ship passengers, are attracted by the archipelago’s wildlife and environment, as well as activities such as fishing and wreck diving; the majority are based in accommodation found in Stanley.[125] The islands’ major exports include wool, hides, venison, fish and squid; its main imports include fuel, building materials and clothing.[2]

The Falkland Islands are a homogeneous society, with the majority of inhabitants descended from Scottish and Welsh immigrants who settled the territory in 1833.[L] The 2006 census listed some Falklands residents as descendants of French, Gibraltarians and Scandinavians.[127] That census indicated that one-third of residents were born on the archipelago, with foreign-born residents assimilated into local culture.[128] The legal term for the right of residence is “belonging to the islands”.[71] The British Nationality Act of 1983 gave British citizenship to Falkland Islanders.

A significant population decline affected the archipelago in the twentieth century, with many young islanders moving overseas in search of education, a modern lifestyle, and better job opportunities,[129] particularly to the British city of Southampton, which came to be nicknamed “Stanley north”.[130] In recent years, the island’s population decline has steadied, thanks to immigrants from the United Kingdom, Saint Helena, and Chile. In the 2012 census, a majority of residents listed their nationality as Falkland Islander (59 percent), followed by British (29 percent), Saint Helenian (9.8 percent), and Chilean (5.4 percent).[1] A small number of Argentines also live on the islands.[132]

The Falkland Islands have a low population density. According to the 2012 census, the average daily population of the Falklands was 2,932, excluding military personnel serving in the archipelago and their dependents.[M] A 2012 report counted 1,300 uniformed personnel and 50 British Ministry of Defence civil servants present in the Falklands.[123] Stanley (with 2,121 residents) is the most-populous location on the archipelago, followed by Mount Pleasant (369 residents, primarily air-base contractors) and Camp (351 residents).[1] The islands’ age distribution is skewed towards working age (2060). Males outnumber females (53 to 47 percent), and this discrepancy is most prominent in the 2060 age group.[127] In the 2006 census most islanders identified themselves as Christian (67.2 percent), followed by those who refused to answer or had no religious affiliation (31.5 percent). The remaining 1.3 percent (39 people) were adherents of other faiths.[127]

Education in the Falkland Islands, which follows England’s system, is free and compulsory for residents aged between 5 and 16 years.[134] Primary education is available at Stanley, RAF Mount Pleasant (for children of service personnel) and a number of rural settlements. Secondary education is only available in Stanley, which offers boarding facilities and 12 subjects to General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) level. Students aged 16 or older may study at colleges in England for their GCE Advanced Level or vocational qualifications. The Falkland Islands government pays for older students to attend institutions of higher education, usually in the United Kingdom.[134]

Falklands culture is “based on the British culture brought with the settlers from the British Isles”, although it has been influenced by the cultures of Hispanic South America. Some terms and place names used by the islands’ former Gaucho inhabitants are still applied in local speech. The Falklands’ predominant and official language is English, with the foremost dialect being British English; nonetheless, inhabitants also speak Spanish and other languages. According to naturalist Will Wagstaff, “the Falkland Islands are a very social place, and stopping for a chat is a way of life”.

The islands have two weekly newspapers: Teaberry Express and The Penguin News, and television and radio broadcasts generally feature programming from the United Kingdom. Wagstaff describes local cuisine as “very British in character with much use made of the homegrown vegetables, local lamb, mutton, beef, and fish”. Common between meals are “home made cakes and biscuits with tea or coffee”. Social activities are, according to Wagstaff, “typical of that of a small British town with a variety of clubs and organisations covering many aspects of community life”.

Articles relating to the Falkland Islands

Coordinates: 5141S 5910W / 51.683S 59.167W / -51.683; -59.167

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Mississippi Beaches – Best Beaches in Mississippi

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Dec 252015

Mississippi beaches have always been a favorite destination when visiting the state. The southern part of the state’s situation along the Gulf of Mexico makes it a sought after and well traveled area for those looking for warm waters, miles of white sand beaches and a place to relax and unwind. The bonus of the southern shores is the close proximity the beaches have to cities such as Biloxi and Gulfport. This makes a vacation in the area even better with the option of a huge amount of things to do. Spend lazy days by the water and then head inland and discover the many exciting things that await such as great Biloxi casinos.

Though a number of beaches in Mississippi did suffer damage from Hurricane Katrina, most have long since bounced back and been reopened. Ship Island Beach is the most popular of beaches Mississippi has. Secluded and scenic, the shores of Ship Island Beach are situated directly on the Gulf of Mexico.

Mississippi Beaches

Great for nature lovers and families there are an abundance of interesting plants and wildlife found in the area. A picnic area creates a perfect outdoor dining area and there are plenty of activities to keep everyone occupied. Fantastic Mississippi fishing, swimming, strolls along the boardwalk and great views from the pier make time spent here fun and relaxing. Note that visitors have to take a short ferry ride to reach the beaches Mississippi boasts in the barrier islands.

Mississippi beaches west of Ocean Springs and Gulfport are the colorful and urban sands of Biloxi Beach. This area is popular with surfers who love the breaks and equally popular with families as fishing and swimming are excellent here. This beaches Mississippi amenities include a picnic area, public showers, concession stands, lifeguards and nearby Biloxi hotels. Parking is available at the beach and there is a pier and boardwalk to enjoy.

Pass Christian-Long Beach is another cluster of beaches in Mississippi. Restrooms, small grocers, a variety of shops and restaurants are in the area making a lot of amenities a breeze to find. Deep south and eclectic, Pass Christian is known to locals as “The Pass” and it is also known as the “Birthplace of Yachting in the South”. Theodore Roosevelt visited the area often to write, sail and spend time with his friends. Anglers favor this area as the fishing is great. This beach area is popular with locals and visitors and is family-friendly. Play in the surf, fish or relax on the beach with a book and take in the grand stretch of sand before you.

Just west of Long Beach lies Bay St. Louis which empties out into the Mississippi Sound. Noted for its pristine beaches and highly regarded restaurants this is also a great area for chilling out by the ocean. This is the highest point along the stretch of the Gulf of Mexico coast and affords terrific views. There is also one of the many Mississippi casinos located in the area, the Hollywood Casino, which is perfect for great evening entertainment.

Though only a small part of the southern end of the state runs along the Gulf of Mexico there are plenty of Mississippi beaches and quiet areas to take advantage of. Even if you’re touring Jackson you can easily take the scenic route south past Natchez and make the drive over to one of the beaches for a day away from hectic urban scramble.

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dbh-Beaches – Los Angeles County, California

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Oct 022015

Activities and Programs… Beach Bike Path Beach Clean-up Bike Lockers Birdwatching Boat Launch Ramp Day in the Marina Free Par Course in Burke Park Walking Club at Chace Park Yoga Classes at DYC More Options

Things To Do… Boat Anchorages Boat Rental Chace Park Picnic Shelters, BBQs Chace Park Wedding Locations Chace Park Wheelchair and Stroller Walk Dog Obedience Classes Fishing/Sportfishing Harbor Dinner Cruise Marina del Rey Recreation Marina del Rey Self-Guided Walks More Options

Boating… Anchorage 47 Payments Anchorage 47 Slips Anchorages Contact List Boat Fuel Dock Boat Launch Ramp Boat Slip Vacancies Dry Boat Storage Fishing Bait Dock Guest Boat Docks Liveaboard Policy More Options

Exploring Marina del Rey… Anchorages Contact List Apartments Contact List Bike Lockers Boat Fuel Dock Boat Storage: Dry Vessel Boat Storage: Mast-up Convention and Visitors Bureau Dining Fishing Bait Dock Guest Boat Docks More Options

Visiting the Beaches… Beach Accessway Map Beach Guide Beach Map Beach Use Permits Beach Wheelchairs Dockweiler Beach Fire Rings Dockweiler Beach RV Park Dockweiler Youth Center Hall Rental Malibu Surfrider Beach Parking at the Beaches More Options

Doing Business with Us… Beach & Harbor Use License Business Licenses Chace Park Use License Commission Meetings Archive Commission Meetings Schedule Dockweiler Youth Center Use License Film Permits Lessee Roster and Contact List Marina del Rey Lease Archives Marina del Rey Parcel Map More Options

Municipal Services… Consumer Affairs Fire Department Marina Sheriff Station Public Library Public Works Regional Planning Voter Information More Options

Related Organizations… CA Coastal Commission CA Dept of Boating & Waterways CA Dept of Fish & Game CA State Coastal Conservancy CA State Parks, Grants Section Heal The Bay L.A. Regional Water Quality Control Board National Park Service Santa Monica Baykeeper Southern CA Coastal Water Research Project Authority More Options

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Destin Fishing Charters. Catch’em – 5th Amendment Deep Sea …

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Sep 012015

Go Deep Sea Fishing in Destin the The Worlds Luckiest Fishing Village on Fifth Amendments Destin Charters Welcome to the Fifth Amendment Charters website, home of the best Destin fishing charters and deep sea fishing trips. We catch many saltwater fish species including, Red Snapper, Grouper, Amberjack, Tuna, Mackerel, Vermillion Snapper, Triggerfish, Cobia, Shark, Marlin, & more! The Fifth Ammendment charter boat is docked and departs from the harbor in Destin, Florida. We are family oriented and have been locally owned and operated since 1996. Experience the beauty of our emerald coast while charter fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Deep sea fishing charters are not only fun and exciting, but a great way for a family to spend the day together.

We offer a variety of Destin fishing charters and fishing trips, ranging from a 4 hour family cruises, to 48 hour, overnight fishing marathons! Our overnight fishing charter offers an awesome fishing experience for the experienced fisherman and novice alike. During 48 hour charter fishing trips we travel much farther into the Gulf of Mexico, and are able to catch more fish. Our 6-8 hour fishing charters are great for anyone interested in catching a lot of fish in a days time. On six to eight hour charter trips you might expect to catch, Red Snapper, Red Grouper, Gag Grouper, Vermillion Snapper, White Snapper (Red Porgy), Triggerfish, Amberjack, King Mackerel, and even the occasional tuna or dolphin fish (Mahi-Mahi).

We use only the best fishing equipment available. We provide fishing rods, reels, bait, and tackle. Captain Chuck has been fishing the Gulf of Mexico all his life and has been at the helm of the Fifth Amendment charter boat for 19 years! He has the necessary skill and knowledge to ensure you leave with an amazing catch. We pride ourselves on service and we strive to offer a fun filled, and memorable fishing trip. Our crew is well trained, and our captain is Coast Guard licensed and certified. We keep the boat clean, inspected, well maintained and we are Coast Guard Approved. Charter a fishing trip with us and have an adventure of a lifetime!

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The Galapagos battle to stay pristine

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Mar 162015

Visiting the Galapagos Islands, which are home to throngs of unique animals, used to be difficult and expensive, but affordable flights from the Ecuadorian cities of Quito and Guayaquil are now available.

The Galapagos are one of the world’s main showcases of the drama of evolution, and the Pacific islands, about 1000 kilometres west of the South American coastline, are visited by more than 200,000 tourists a year.

The plants and animals on the archipelago of around 130 islands were able to evolve for five million years without major predators.

Those who want to go hiking amid the booby and albatross nests on otherwise uninhabited islands are best off booking a ship excursion, which can range between $US250 ($A325) and $US800 ($A1040) a day.

But travellers with small budgets can get accommodation for around $US14 ($A18) a night, and can get to see the giant tortoises, seals, pelicans and monster terrestrial and aquatic lizards virtually for free.

Santa Cruz, the most important island for tourism in the archipelago, has a population of the giant tortoises, which weigh up to 300 kilograms and can be well over 100 years old.

Sometimes the animals simply withdraw, emitting a hissing sound and retreating into their shell when a tourist gets a little too pushy and wants to touch them.

The island capital of Puerto Ayora is home to nearly 15,000 inhabitants, more than half of the Galapagos population. In the harbour, seals doze, while water taxis ferry people back and forth in the bay.

Fishing boats, freighters, and high-speed ferries ply the waters, heading to the other three inhabited islands, San Cristobal, Isabela and Floreana, while a number of cruise ships lie at anchor here most months of the year.

Galapagos guides are emphatic in repeating to the guests before they arrive at the nature reserves on the islands: “Nobody may leave the marked path, or touch an animal, or use their flash when taking photos.”

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Sierra Leone's Turtle Islands

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Dec 272014

Sierra Leone’s Turtle Islands

Seven months after its first Ebola case, the Turtle Islands have now become dependent on food aid.

Gbangbatok,Sierra Leone – The remote Turtle Islands archipelago must be one of the few places in the region where Ebola is not the main topic of conversation.

Scattered among the mangroves and sandbanks off the coast in the south of the country, the islands have so far been spared the onslaught seen on the mainland.

Yet despite the fact that not one of the 16,000 islanders has contracted the disease, Ebola has brought life here to a standstill. The economic impact of the virus has spread far beyond it’s physical boundaries, with fear and travel restrictions hampering trade throughout the country.

The fish market in the once-thriving town of Gbangbatok, tucked away in the mangrave swamps behind Bonthe Island, has all but collapsed, depriving the islanders of their dominant source of income.

Anywhere else in the world the islands’ stunning beaches and laid back village life would be enough to sustain a thriving tourist industry. But in a country still feared by mainstream travellers after a decade of civil war in the 1990s, the popuation is almost exclusively dependent on the fishing industry. With the proceeds from their fish, the islanders used to buy rice -the staple of the local diet.

Now seven months after Sierra Leone recorded its first cases of the virus, the islands have become dependent on food aid. Last week the World Food Program teamed up with the British military and it’s fleet of Merlin helicopters to drop some 220 tons of food.

“For two months now I have not been able to sell my fish,” said Mohamed Koroma, a fisherman from Chepo, who was happy to see supplies being delivered.

Mustapha Kong, the local chief of Nyangai Island, said living conditions there were getting worse. “The fishing business is very important to our island. If this does not end soon it will be calamitous,” he said.

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Visit Lofoten Islands, Norway, Northern Lights – Video

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Oct 162014

Visit Lofoten Islands, Norway, Northern Lights
Explore the magic Lofoten Islands, Norway. Northern Lights, Fishing, Skiing, Mountains, Sea, Surfing, Kayaking. Svinya Rorbuer is total supplier of adventures. Rorbu accommodation, restaurant,…

By: Svinya Rorbuer – Visit Lofoten Islands, Norway

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Visit Lofoten Islands, Norway, Northern Lights – Video

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Tuna fishermen are not happy about proposed marine sanctuary

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Sep 202014

HONOLULU, Sept. 20 (UPI) — On June 17th, President Obama announced he would expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument from 83,000 square miles to almost 755,000. That translates to a large portion of the ocean with islands controlled by the United States that cannot be fished. Many tuna fisherman are upset, because they believe this expansion will ruin their business, according to National Geographic.

Jack Kittinger, the director of Conservation International’s Hawaii office, claims there is very little tuna fished in the area the president has proposed protecting. Conservationists and scientists want to see that area protected, because the islands and reefs in the area have a large range of unique species and untouched life. The White House has received over 135,000 letters from U.S. citizens commending the efforts to protect the environment. The executive director of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, Kitty Simonds, claims 16 percent of the fishing her associates do is located in the proposed area, and American Samoa has over 5,000 jobs in the tuna industry. The islands in the region are almost 1,000 miles from Hawaii.

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Tuna fishermen are not happy about proposed marine sanctuary

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SIFF13: Islands – Video

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Apr 302014

SIFF13: Islands
SIFF13:Islands is the fifth edition in a series of independent projects to capture a year spent fly fishing surf and inshore waters . “SIFF” is simply short for Surf Inshore Fly Fishing….

By: Peter Laurelli

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SIFF13: Islands – Video

Irish MEP calls for sanctions on Iceland

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Mar 142014

Pat the Cope Gallagher. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Irish MEP Pat the Cope Gallagher has called on the European Commission to implement sanction measures against Iceland, saying that Iceland and the Faroe Islands have been fishing mackerel in the North East Atlantic in an indiscriminate and reckless manner.

Speaking at the European Parliament, Mr Gallagher announced that a 5-year agreement had been signed on Wednesday evening between the European Union, Norway and the Faroe Islands concerning the sharing of mackerel in the North East Atlantic. Iceland refused to co-operate and withdrew from the talks.

The mackerel row has been ongoing since 2009 when Iceland claimed there had been a mackerel migration shift in its favour.

Mr Gallagher welcomed the agreement on behalf of the Irish fishing industry which will see an increase in mackerel quota from 57,000 tonnes in 2013 to in excess of 105,000 tonnes for 2014, representing a 60 per cent increase on the provisional quota issued at the start of this year. The Irish fishing industry is currently worth 125 million.

However, Mr Gallagher criticised Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki for handling the issue in a disappointing manner.

I have no doubt, if she (Ms Damanaki) had imposed sanctions against Iceland last year then we wouldnt be in the situation we face today, whereby Iceland once again refuses to co-operate with the other Coastal States.

Iceland has increased its share of mackerel catches from 1 per cent in 2006 to 23 per cent in 2013, while the Faroe Islands share has grown from 4.6 per cent to 29.3 per cent in the same time period. Mr Gallagher, who presented his report to the parliament on the issue in 2012, called for a long-term solution to ensure the sustainability of mackerel stock and the protection and socio economic interest of the fishing and processing sectors.

Both Iceland and the Faroe Islands were previously responsible for the overfishing of blue whiting in the North East Atlantic, resulting in a collapse in this stock, said Mr Gallagher. The case of blue whiting clearly shows what can happen, if no action is taken.

EU Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski agreed that Icelands refusal to sign the deal was disappointing, saying he would take into account calls from MEPs for sanctions.

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Irish MEP calls for sanctions on Iceland

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