Man vs Wildlife – Creating a Sustainable Society on Galapagos

Man vs Wildlife – Creating a Sustainable Society on Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are primarily known for their abundance of unique wildlife and as the place in which Charles Darwin’s conducted the research that led to his Theory of Evolution. For those who explore the area on a Galapagos wildlife cruise, a visit to this fragile, fascinating chain of islands is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; but for more than 25,000 people, the archipelago is home.
A Growing Population

 

Since the 1970s the population has increased greatly, with more than 75% of the current number having migrated from the mainland. Human occupation is restricted to an area that encompasses just 3% of the total land, with the vast majority living in the coastal towns on Santa Cruz, Floreana, San Cristobal and Isabela. A far smaller proportion (around 15%) lives in the more rural areas.

Most of the migration occurred for economic reasons, with a rapidly growing tourism industry and a declining standard of living on the Ecuadorian mainland. Before the implementation of the special immigration protocols in 1998, it was estimated that at the then-current rate, the population of the archipelago could double every decade. Since then, stricter controls have been put in place by the Ecuadorean government, which include a system of Transit Control Cards for all visitors coming into the area on Galapagos wildlife cruise itineraries.

Creating a Sustainable Society

Creating a sustainable society in a conservation area is not without its challenges, but the Conservancy of the islands is dedicated to the ongoing education of residents to “become champions of conservation”. The aim is to encourage locals to look at subsistence through a different lens to that of mainland living. Rather than trying to recreate a lifestyle that relies heavily on imported produce, machinery and techniques that are at odds with the environment, it encourages locals to consider themselves “stewards of the archipelago”, and live within a system more compatible with biodiverse preservation.

Education: the Key to the Future

Along with the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Ministry of Education, the Conservancy is working towards education reform designed to foster a strong sense of values and engagement. Their focus is on demonstrating examples of “best practice” to teachers and administrators first, with a view to transferring this to classrooms.

Sustainable Practices in the Community

Another area in which the Conservancy is active is in increasing the capacity of sustainable agriculture throughout the archipelago, by demonstrating alternative methods of farming and environmental management.

Introduced domestic pets present a grave danger to the local wildlife; the Conservancy’s Humane Pet Management promotes responsible pet ownership and sterilisation in partnership with the Animal Balance organisation.

FUNDAR

The local Foundation for Responsible Alternative Development (FUNDAR) believes the establishment of a strong civil society is imperative to the base of any social change in the archipelago. “Citizens must act together with a common goal in order for change to happen.” While only a very small percentage of locals oppose the concept of sustainable development, in reality not much is understood about what it entails. They say it is an inter-generational process, which involves allowing residents to benefit in the “now”, but in a way that also assures that future generations can benefit too.

The Responsibility of All

While there is still some way to go until the region becomes a truly sustainable society, everybody who visits can do their part to ensure that the values are upheld. For anyone visiting on a Galapagos wildlife cruise, this means respecting the National Park Code of Conduct at all times and not doing anything to upset the balance of the ecosystem.

The Gnarliest Waves at Nazareé, Portugal: Not For the Faint-Hearted

The Gnarliest Waves at Nazareé, Portugal: Not For the Faint-Hearted

The little Portuguese fishing village of Nazaré is a surfing hotspot during the summer months, but in winter only the real thrill-seekers stick around. One of these is undoubtedly Garrett McNamara, the big wave big boy from the US, who in 2011 broke the record for the biggest wave ever surfed — and he smashed it right here in Nazaré.
Big Names, Bigger Waves

 

This monster wave measured 78 feet and in 2013 McNamara returned to Nazaré where he surpassed his own record, riding an absolute whopper estimated to be 100 feet tall. Later that year, Carlos Burle of Brazil conquered a wave that seemed even bigger, winning international recognition with surfers worldwide.

In 2014 Andrew Cotton from Plymouth followed suit, and is now known as one of the 4 surfers who have ridden the hugest waves around these parts. He started surfing when he was seven, so if you want to check out these waves you’re going to need a lot of practice or some pretty decent surf travel insurance…

Why Such Big Waves?!

Nazaré is such a Mecca for surfers because of its enormous waves, and these waves exist for our adrenaline-fuelled enjoyment thanks to the make up of its ocean floor topography. Just like Hawaii’s Banzai Pipeline, the Tahitian Teahupoo and northern California’s Mavericks (amazing surfing spots any surfer worth their salt know!), Nazaré’s ocean floor boasts a huge underwater gorge.

The Nazaré Canyon stretches 125 miles, starting barely half a mile from the shore and reaching way out into the abyssal plain of the Atlantic Ocean. At 16,000 feet, its unbelievable depth, coupled with its perfect positioning, helps to magnify the waves that approach the Praia do Norte beach in Nazaré. It’s because of this that almost every single day you can bear witness to monster waves up to 4 times the size of those found elsewhere along the coast.

Daredevils and Pros Alike: Surf Travel Insurance is as Essential as Board Wax!

It’s undisputed that tackling these waves is not for the faint of heart. Monster waves often move much faster than others, which forces boarders to get distance from the dangerous, frothy white water as fast as they can.

This kind of surfing is less about aesthetics than its tamer cousin: think extreme sport rather than showy carving, quick cutbacks and pretty floaters. This is about braving the aggro (bad weather), tough conditions and brutal waves while trying to remain upright and avoid reef injuries, wipeout, or even death…

While we wouldn’t recommend big wave surfing to those who aren’t pros, now is a good time to start planning your summer surf trip to enjoy the sun and sea at your (adventurous) leisure! Before you race off to enjoy the surf, travel insurance is a must-buy. Embrace the waves without the fear of monstrous medical bills should anything go wrong. You never know, with a little practice you could even be the next big name to be borne of Nazarés big waves! Surf’s up!

Surfing with the stylish and vibrant style of celebrity waves’ nuances for women

Surfing with the stylish and vibrant style of celebrity waves’ nuances for women

Surfing is a very popular water sport that is enjoyed by most women around the world. Getting into the water for sports like surfing and scuba diving requires you to wear special costumes that help you stay afloat. A normal female wetsuit covers you from the neck to the ankle and provides maximum coverage in the water. Surfing wetsuits for women are made to provide thermal insulation to your body when cold water temperatures. It also provides adequate buoyancy to maintain balance in water sports. This is done with the help of bubbles coated in foamed neoprene material from wetsuit. This reduces the density so as to provide sufficient buoyancy in water.
Although most of the wetsuits are made to give you warmth and comfort in cold water, different wetsuits are made for different temperature conditions. Unlike dry suits, wet clothes allow water to enter. Women’s diving clothing is often used in all types of water sport activities such as surfing, kaykaying, rafting, scuba diving, etc.

Surfing with the stylish and vibrant style of celebrity waves’ nuances for women

Wearing a full ladies wetsuit keeps you completely covered in cold water. However, you should make sure that the wetsuit tips, on the neck, ankle and wrist are tight enough so as not to let the water go in continuously. The wetsuit material has a closed nitrogen gas bubble inside it. The thermal conductivity of nitrogen gas is very low and small bubbles reduce heat transport through convection. The cavity thus allows heat transfer only by conduction. It helps reduce heat transfer from body to water, thus keeping you warm in cold water.

While black is definitely classy and attractive, women can now buy surfing surfwear for women in bright colors and attractive patterns. Neon shades are quite popular because they look vibrant and energetic for sports. From bright yellow to magnetic blues, you can have the color of your choice for wetsuit. They are also available in stripes and other patterns to keep in mind the needs of fashion-conscious fashion lovers. Double or multi color underwear also looks pretty interesting in the water.

Designer pants are now not only limited to the world of fashion or glamor. You do not need a party or event to dress up in dressed designer clothes and showcase your style to the world. You can do it anywhere and anywhere with fashion for women who extend their limits even for active clothes. From designer sportswear to designer-made wetsuits, women have fashion rules everywhere. It’s amazing to surf through the lively diving online clothing collection for women in almost any color and style. Newer additions are being made at any time and now to keep the collection up to date with the latest fashion changes. Women who are thinking of trying something new in the water can definitely see the exciting series of multi-hued submarines that make their entries every week. Surfing with the stylish and vibrant style of celebrity waves’ nuances for women

Just search through the online wardrobe catalog at the sports shopping portal and choose what suits your style or vision. Keep yourself updated with fashion by choosing a new age, trendy wetsuit with unique colors or patterns. It’s always fun to have some extra dose of excitement in the water, is not it?

Upgrade Your Pro Ski Gear in La Plagne

Upgrade Your Pro Ski Gear in La Plagne

No matter how up to date your ski gear is, there is always room to upgrade. If you are anything like me, then only the latest and best equipment will do, and you know that hav-ing the most current gear is a great way to optimise your performance on the slopes. It is also the best way to turn heads!
In my opinion, the best place to upgrade is always at a ski resort, instead of back home or online. La Plagne is an excellent place to do this, as there are many fully stocked shops. What’s more, it is also one of the best resorts for a holiday with superb skiing and the option of booking a luxury chalet. La Plagne is a much better place to upgrade than back home for the following four reasons:

 

1. Experts on Hand

For me, the primary reason for upgrading at the resort is that you can get the opinion of experts to find the best and latest gear that is right for you. It can be daunting to shop for skis, boots, helmets, clothing and other gear when there is so much variety. An expert will be able to guide you through what is available, and help you to find the right equipment for your age, gender, height, weight and personal preference.

2. Range

Another reason to buy at the resort is because of the wide range that’s available to you. Modern ski gear is catered to different terrains and personal tastes, so it is helpful to be in the store and browse a selection. This could be cross-country skis, race skis, mini skis, slope, all-mountain or another type.

3. Try Outs

A huge benefit of buying in La Plagne is that many places will allow you to try out the gear before making a purchase. You never really know how the equipment will perform until you are on the mountain, which is why buying at home is a huge gamble that may not pay off.

4. Shops

La Plagne has a selection of sports shops that are full of the latest gear and have friendly staff to assist you. Here are a few of the best!

Zig Zag – This is a very friendly sports store that’s run by the welcoming and helpful Yannick, who will happily spend time with you to find the right gear. This is very handy, as they have a huge selection of products, stocking all of the major brands like Stockli, Drake, Fisher and Northwave.

Elpro – There are four Elpro stores around the resort, so chances are there will be one close to your chalet. La Plagne’s most experienced skiers come here to shop, as the store always has the very latest equipment and offer everything that you need to hit the slopes in style.

Guidon Sports – Guidon Sports is a popular shop which is conveniently located right in the heart of La Plagne. Guidon also offers high-end clothing and ski equipment with the chance to make huge savings with the generous discounts usually on offer.

Belle Plagne Sports – Belle Plagne Sports renews their skis, snowboards, clothes, boots and accessories each year, so you will always find the latest here. There are three stores around the area, and each has equipment for all abilities. There are plenty of staff members on hand to offer sound advice.

La Plagne is a superb place to upgrade your gear, and it is also a great choice for skiing and relaxing. Thanks to the option of booking a luxury chalet, La Plagne attracts avid skiers from all around the world – so if you are looking to buy the latest gear, this is the best place to do so.