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marine

Environment, Travel

Antarctic Ambassadors

This is quite an introduction from the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO):

‘Antarctica is a unique and one of the most perfectly preserved regions on the planet…. see how we work to keep it that way’.

IAATO

Since the first mainland Antarctic landing, thought to be by the sealer Captain John Davis on 7th February 1821 to the first tourist expedition in mid-1900’s there have and always will be, people who want to experience Antarctica. Initially it was the science, pursuit of knowledge and of course geographic claim that were the key reasons for making the treacherous journey to this remote land. With the Artic being more accessible and cheaper to reach, Antarctica escaped mass tourism until the 1900’s then this is what happened…

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Travel

It’s like ordering Fish & Chips and Being Brought Chicken & Jacket Potato!

The ‘Dusseldorf Europcar’ Experience

We do quite a bit of European travel, generally hiring car’s whether that’s in Germany, Italy or Lanzarote. So much easier than standing in that queue at the airport waiting for a taxi. We pre-order online, choose the car make and model we would like ahead of time, always automatic as they drive on the wrong side of the road (haha!). We add our flight number and arrival time, as well as the return drop off time. Well thats perfect as they know you are coming, right? Until you are stood in front of the desk ready to pick up your car….

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Environment, Travel

When a Gift to Yourself is a Gift to the Planet

Remember the very successful Charity Auction in July for both South Georgia Heritage Trust (SGHT) and the UK Antarctica Heritage Trust (UKAHT)? There were some fabulous donations and some surprising ones – Four Seasons Maldives kindly donated 5 large Coral Frames to the auction! What’s the link? It’s kind of like connecting the dots – except with oceans instead! The Indian Ocean and the Southern Ocean to be precise, they are joined – get out a map and check it out. But still the SGHT Team and Four Seasons ‘ummed and ahhed’ over whether the ‘ocean restoration and conservation’ association between these two distant places would result in auction bids for the frames. It did!

Curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to know the stories behind the like-minded people who successfully bid on the coral frames. Fortunately, they both agreed to let me share some insights….

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Environment, Travel

We’ve Lost Five Times the British Isles worth of Sea-Ice from Antarctica! 

Scientists are trying to unravel the cause of the shrinking sea-ice, or ice that floats, on the surface of Antarctica’s Oceans. Currently its much lower than has previously been measured as a September ‘average’.  In fact the area of ice that is missing is about five times the size of the British Isles. 

I can’t imagine how you go about measuring the sea-ice around Antarctica, but whatever way you look at it, we are missing A LOT!

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Environment, Travel

Has Anyone Asked the Penguins What They Think?

Protecting the Waters Around South Georgia – The Marine Protection Area Five Year Review is Underway

I’m currently reading Mensun Bound’s book, The Ship Beneath the Ice – his journal of the search and discovery of Shackleton’s sunken ship Endurance. He talks about Shackleton’s Men having to kill and eat penguins. Twenty-eight men and numerous dogs needed to be fed – with Emperor penguins mainly plus some Adelies. I liked what Bound said next:

‘We might wish to shield our eyes from the horrors of what Shackleton’s men did to those birds a hundred years ago, but what the modern world has visited upon them is infinitely worse. The way in which we have blighted and befouled their environment has disrupted their feeding patterns and breeding cycles to the extent that many of their nesting grounds on the west side of the Peninsula are now ghost rookeries. Were Shackleton alive today I have no doubt he would be a fervent environmentalist.’

It led me to ponder on the balancing act of ensuring the waters around South Georgia can sustain the teeming wildlife in it while fulfilling some of human kind’s seemingly insatiable appetite for fish!

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Environment, Travel

What a Juxtaposition!

South Georgia Heritage Trust’s Whale Conservation – Versus – Iceland Begins Whale Hunting as of 1st September 2023!!

This week marks the safe return of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Quest crow’s nest, to its home in the crypt of All Hallows by the Tower of London, following its exhibition travels to Athy, Ireland and Grytviken, South Georgia.

While we celebrate that return along with many of man’s GREATEST qualities that are to be found in the Shackleton endeavours, with an event that supports the continued conservation work of SGHT largely including whales, I can’t help but contemplate the juxtaposition of the Icelandic governments decision to go forward with the whale hunting this season, eliminating Fin whales in a most barbaric and cruel way. The WORST of man’s qualities around this decision!

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Environment, Travel

Landaa Happy Eggs

… multi-international chickens, beautiful gardens build staff moral

Sustainable Tourism at Four Seasons Maldives Series, 7 of 7

I am ‘shouting out’ about resorts where I can see they are truly focussed on leaving the world better than they found it. 

A fun topic for this last in the series, but still has purpose. Four Seasons have a very rounded approach, its not just the environment they have a commitment to but people as well and they are well known for the emphasis they put on their staff welfare.  Here is a little insight into one of the staff areas at Landaa Giraavaru and how they came to have Landaa Happy Eggs!

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Environment, Travel

Eliminating R22 Gas…

… and a 22% energy saving

Sustainable Tourism at Four Seasons Maldives Series, 6 of 7

I am ‘shouting out’ about resorts where I can see they are truly focussed on leaving the world better than they found it. 

Always looking for ways of becoming more energy efficient, essential air conditioning for the staff quarters, installed over 14 years ago was a potential advocate for significant savings. But a considerable undertaking when you consider they have approx 450 permanent staff plus external third party staff to accommodate.

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Environment, Travel

Being a Good Neighbour, when it comes to Plastics

… 16.7 tons of it!

Sustainable Tourism at Four Seasons Maldives Series, 5 of 7

I am ‘shouting out’ about resorts where I can see they are truly focussed on leaving the world better than they found it. 

You couldn’t really say Landaa Giraavaru has neighbours, not in the traditional sense of being right next door! There are some mainly residential islands that are reasonable close though, with Kamadhoo the closest at just under 3 kms away, Kendhoo and Dhonfanu 11kms.  

Which makes it even more noteworthy that they help their neighbouring islands when it comes to plastics.

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