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A very warm finish to the week

Booker Gliding - Sat, 05/27/2017 - 07:32
A very warm blue day. Surface winds 110/12 and 20 knots at flying altitudes.

The day was good for training and trial lessons, so loads of spinning practice and cross wind take off and landing practice. Jo Shephard, John Blake and Matt all had very useful training flights.

The trial lessons all had a good time, and thanks for all the assistance with that, Symeon in particular kept everyone entertained with his stories of flying in South Africa.

Lots of preparations for Aero Expo is under way with new fences, temporary buildings new car park, and aircraft now being parked to the side of runway 35.

Our preparations are well underway for Haddenham next week. Please come along and have some fun with us - bring lunch and water, the facilities are fairly basic. That's from Wednesday next week.

25 May Another greta day and Norman potts gets his full rating

Booker Gliding - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 07:45
winds light southerly high temperatures and good thernals.

Good to see the Petrel flying, Graham took it off for an airing for a couple of hours.

Rob Munroe popped in in his Citabria and took the K13 for a trip.

All the 2 seater pupils getting dangerously close to solo, who will be first?

Jane landed out and so has her own adventures to tell, her comments were "I thought I would see what it is like at Chiltern Park" well done Jane.

Finally well done Norman Potts, now a full rating---good job.



24 May Deptford school pay us a visit

Booker Gliding - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 07:40
A warm thermic day, weather worsening as you head North, but very warm and sunny at Booker.

We welcomed 15 members of Deptford School today. They all had a great time, enjoying the thrills of gliding for the first time. many thanks to all the helpers that made this day a success and in particular Madi Nick and John who tirelessly helped on the ground and made sure everyone was kept safe. A very special mention to John H who treated us to fresh strawberries !!





Flying continued well into the evening. 2 happy chaps just about to take off at 7pm.

This time next week we will be at Haddenham----put it in your diary.

World Ocean Festival and National Geographic Host Ocean Experts on Governors Island on June 4

National Geographic News Feed - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 17:01

World Ocean Festival and National Geographic Host Ocean Experts on Governors Island on June 4

Free to the Public, the “World Ocean Festival Speaker Forum sponsored by National Geographic Encounter: Ocean OdysseyWill Feature Dialogue with Leading Explorers, Scientists and Entrepreneurs

 @NatGeoChannel and @Nature_org join @WorldOceanFest @Gov_Island to #SaveOurOcean

NEW YORK CITY – May 24, 2017 – On June 4, 2017, the inaugural World Ocean Festival, organized by The Global Brain Foundation and hosted by the City of New York, will feature leading marine biologists, ocean advocates, entrepreneurs, and more speaking at a free, public program called World Ocean Festival Speaker Forum sponsored by National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey. The Festival is an effort to bring together people and organizations who care deeply about the Ocean and who will stand together for its protection in advance of “The Ocean Conference” at the United Nations (June 5-9).

The World Ocean Festival Speaker Forum will feature interactive panel discussions about coral reefs, plastic pollution, fishing and seafood and urban Ocean conservation on Sunday, June 4, 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The program is free and open to the public at the Ocean Village exhibition area at Picnic Point at the southern tip of Governors Island. The program will be capped off with a closing ceremony and awards presentation.

“Fueled by the power of exploration and storytelling, National Geographic strives to connect people with the world around them and inspire them to make a difference,” said Declan Moore, Chief Executive Officer of National Geographic Partners. “We continue to look for new and exciting ways to bring the story of our world’s oceans to life through projects like the Pristine Seas Initiative and National Geographic Encounter Ocean Odyssey – a new immersive entertainment experience that uses ground-breaking technology to transport visitors through the Pacific Ocean where they encounter its greatest wonders and mightiest creatures. The World Ocean Festival is a unique opportunity to further engage with our audience on the importance of ocean preservation and provide a platform for leaders in ocean advocacy, exploration, and research to discuss how we can all work together to improve the health of our oceans.”

“We are thrilled to have all of these incredible voices of the ocean coming to join us at Governors Island on June 4,” said Natalia Vega-Berry, Founder and Executive Producer of World Ocean Festival and The Global Brain Foundation. “World Ocean Festival is merely providing the moment for people and organizations to stand together for the ocean in advance of the UN convening to show world leaders how strongly we feel.”

“We depend on the ocean for everything from the food we eat to the air we breathe,” said Maria Damanaki, Managing Director for Oceans at The Nature Conservancy. “Now more than ever, the future health of our oceans depends on us. It is exciting to see the United Nations call on governments, NGOs and citizens to commit to protect the ocean and ensure that it will continue to provide for us and for generations to come echoed by this Festival and met with global support.”

Curated and moderated by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Ph.D., Founder Ocean Collectiv, the World Ocean Festival Speaker Forum will delve into the issues that threaten the ocean as well as solutions for addressing them in an engaging way. The program includes panel discussions with the world’s experts on topics including “Coral Reefs and Climate” (11:00 a.m.), “Plastic Pollution” (1:30 p.m.), “Fishing and Seafood” (2:30 p.m.) and “Urban Ocean: Conservation” (3:30 p.m.).  The program will include a rally featuring global youth ambassadors for the ocean.

Featured speakers include:

  • David Gruber, Marine Biologist, Emerging Explorer, National Geographic
  • Jeremy Jackson, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • Jessica Harvey, Cayman Islands Project Manager, Guy Harvey Foundation
  • Jon Forrest Dohlin, VP & Director, Wildlife Conservation Society & New York Aquarium
  • Judd Harner, Vice President of Marketing, S’well Bottle
  • Karin Stratton, Partnership Manager, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program
  • Lasse Gustavsson, Executive Director Europe, Oceana
  • Lea D’Auriol, Founder, Oceanic Global
  • Dr. Lisa Emelia Svensson, Director for Ocean, United Nations Environment
  • Martha Jeffries, Producer & Director, Years of Living Dangerously
  • Matt Gove, Mid-Atlantic Policy Manager, Surfrider Foundation
  • Melati Wijsen – Co-Founder, Bye Bye Plastic Bags
  • Miranda Massie, Director, The Climate Museum 
  • Murray Fisher, Founder, Harbor School & Billion Oyster Project
  • Nishan Degnarain, Chair Oceans Committee, World Economic Forum
  • Stephanie Wear, PhD., Senior Scientist & Strategy Advisor, The Nature Conservancy
  • Wybe Bruinsma, CEO, Van de Sant
  • Youth Ambassadors from Sea Youth Rise Up and NYC Junior Ambassadors

In addition to World Ocean Festival Speaker Forum, the World Ocean Festival will include the first-of-its kind Ocean March parade of boats in New York Harbor led by the historic John J. Harvey fireboat. The Festival Village on Governors Island will feature a performance by a Fijian military band and awards for luminaries in the field of ocean science, environmental sustainability, global and local organizing, and ocean advocacy. The full program of activities can be found online at the World Ocean Festival website (www.worldoceanfest.org) with registration information and a detailed program listing and speaker bios.

National Geographic Encounter:  Ocean Odyssey is a first-in-kind immersive entertainment experience that transports audiences on a jaw-dropping, never-before-seen undersea journey. Developed by a team of Academy, Emmy and Grammy Award-winning creative minds, National Geographic Encounter harnesses groundbreaking digital technology to create a completely new kind of entertainment experience that enables visitors to explore the depths of the Pacific Ocean and come face-to-face with its greatest wonders and mightiest creatures. National Geographic Encounter opens October 2017 and is located in the heart of New York City’s Times Square.

The City of New York and The Global Brain are joined by leaders in ocean conservation, advocacy, and sustainable development our Founding Partners Mission Blue, Ocean Elders, Oceanic and The Nature Conservancy. This event is made possible by support from Founding Sponsor Toyota USA, creator of the Mirai fuel cell vehicle and National Geographic.

Core Supporters of the World Ocean Festival include Peace Boat, Connect4Climate, Ocean Collectiv and NGO Committee of Sustainable Development-NY. Additional supporters include: Classic Harbor LineConscious Good, Ocean Film FestivalStyle & ResilienceTerraCycleWaterkeeper AllianceAEFocusConnect 4 ClimateNGO Committee of Sustainable Development-NY, Metcalf InstituteSustainable Ocean AllianceWe Are The OceansClean SeasBye Bye PlasticsMonterey Bay AquariumNational Educators AssociationMukaroRiseUPBlue MindThe Foundation CenterWaterfront AllianceSailors for the SeaEarth Day Network, The Lonely Whale Foundation, Sea Youth Rise Up, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Blue Ocean Network, Second Muse, Wildlife Conservation Society and NYC Junior Ambassadors.

The World Ocean Festival is a public event hosted by the City of New York and organized by The Global Brain Foundation to raise peoples’ voices for the preservation and sustainable use of the Ocean (Sustainable Development Goal 14) in advance of the The Ocean Conference at United Nations Headquarters, which aims to be the game changer that will reverse the decline in the health of our ocean for people, planet and prosperity. For more information about the World Ocean Festival and to register for the Ocean March on June 4, 2017, visit: http://www.worldoceanfest.org/ or follow us on Twitter @WorldOceanFest, on Instagram @WorldOceanFestival, and on Facebook @WorldOceanFestival.

About:

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramGoogle+, YouTubeLinkedIn and Pinterest.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 65 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

The Global Brain Foundation is a 501 C3 not for profit corporation. Our mission is to create new initiatives and ventures to tackle issues where mass participation and collective action can unlock big change. Our current initiatives are in support of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals and new climate agreements. To learn more, visit: http://www.globalbrain.is/.

 

Guess the age of the glider. 23 May 2017

Booker Gliding - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 07:47
A warm front brought with it lower cloud and 1600ft cloudbases. Still thermic but not ideal for cross country.

We welcome Stephane Andre, a visitor from France. Stephane was here to view the Ventus that Alison is selling. A quick site familiarisation and he was off testing his new toy.



Preparations are starting for the  Aero Expo next week. Graham was preparing the Petrel, a very special glider and the only flying example in the world. The Petrel will be on display in the glider hanger during Aero Expo for those interested to have a closer look.





A gull wing built in 1939. The tail number does not relate to either the age of the glider or the age of the pilot. Graham did reveal that the combined ages is quite a large figure---but he didnt give any further details.


The club will be at Hullavington during the Aero Expo, so please come along and enjoy a different airfield. Thats Wednesday 31 May  to the following Sunday.

Flying conditions improved for the evening group. A good turn out and some fun flying.

A good day forecast for tomorrow.

22 May a blue day with strong thermals

Booker Gliding - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 19:15
A great soaring day with the occasional haze cap. Otherwise blue with

Raymond Freeman from near Henley on Thames enjoyed an introductory course.





I really enjoyed that, its great fun was his remark after the course. Well I thought it was fun too.

More good weather tomorrow

Don

It's a FES

Booker Gliding - Sun, 05/21/2017 - 22:50
A new high tech and very elegant arrival in the trailer park.  Jeremy Gilbey and Barry Michael with their new Shark FES.  Yes, apparently it really boosts your cross country performance if you join the Flat Earth Society.
I thought you said the batteries were charged up !For those not up to speed on the latest gliding tech - FES = Front Electric Sustainer.  The glider has a small electric motor and propellor enabling it to glide on for an hour after the last thermal has fizzled out.  An easy way to avoid a landout on a cross country flight.

Destination Discovery: Porto Montenegro this Summer

Super Yachts Charters - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 13:00
Destination Discovery: Porto Montenegro this Summer Capturing everything desired for a coastal escape, Porto Montenegro offers the chic cosmopolitanism of a city with the rugged natural beauty of any jewel of the Atlantic. From it's rich cultural history to its glamorous nightlife, we cover ten ways to make the most of this dazzling destination.

1.The Fashion Flair
Move over fashion capital Milan, Porto Montenegro takes centre stage as the coastal gem for a splendid afternoon parading the chic boutiques of the coast. From La Perla's vibrant swimwear to the striking evening wear of Diane Von Furtsenberg, Porto Montenegro’s luxury shopping village features brands from Cartier to Saint Laurent and more. Its Ready-to-Wear collections worn against the backdrop of dazzling Montenegro, will make an elegant addition to your wardrobe. 

2. The Infinity Pool
No summer in Montenegro is complete unless you have spent an afternoon at the 64m infinity pool. Porto Montenegro doesn't stop there- its summer restaurant, which provides a menu of poolside classics with an Italian twist, delicious cocktails and international wines, will allow members to relish in the delights of the regions tantalising flavours, whilst overlooking a rustic coastline beaming with natural beauty and wonder. 

3. The Sophisticated Stay
Regent Porto Montenegro Hotel brings a blend of grace and grandeur to the glittering Mediterranean shores so desired to be chartered. Its dazzling building and lush green gardens hold the essence of the region’s location and culture, as well as showasing a style reminiscent of grand Italian palazzos, where time rolls by blissfully, as you sip on dry martini's and enjoy world-renowned hospitality. 

4. The Sailing Experience
Boka Bay is the largest Bay in the Adriatic and offers amazing weather conditions for sailing; more than 200 days of sun a year, combine this with the very deep, still waters and interesting wind patterns, making for champagne sailing conditions. To be only descriped as sensory, sailing in Montenegro, the jewel of the Mediterranean, is an experience of dramatic vistas, serene escape and above all, a connection to the sea best achieved when sailing. 

5. The Fine Flavours
Montenegro is distinguished by its fine eateries, restaurants and cafes that capture the strategic and sublime perks of freshly caught fish, locally grown produce and the European flair of its chefs. Offering everything from traditional local cuisine to Italian, Mediterranean and even Asian fusions, its worldly palette has something for all to enjoy. Lunch al fresco in a relaxed setting or fine dine in some of the grand michelin restaurants of the region.  

6. The Unrivalled Vistas
Often referred to as the southernmost fjord in Europe but actually a sunken canyon, its high mountains that bend around its coastline, plunging directly into the azure sea, offers an awe-inspiring beauty that is both breathtaking and surreal. A photographers dream, Montenegro make's its debut as one of the most visually astounding combinations of terracotta rooftops merging with crystal blue waters, bursting with a sense of magic.  

7. The Cultural Epicentre
Lady of the Rocks, Old Town Kotor, Budva, Solila Nature Reserve, Lady of Mercy and The Island of Flowers are a short trip away from Porto Montenegro by either boat or car. Take Old Town Kotor, a step back into a forgotten era, or Lady of the Rocks created by a bulwark of rocks, an astounding piece of natural beauty that is both historical and incredibly enchanting. Get lost in its rich cultural beauty, its historical charm and its ability to transcend you into a new realm of escapism. 

8. The Glamorous Nightlife
Platinum Night Club is a chic and alluring welcome for those who look to enjoy the beats and bellini's of Montengro, dancing till the early morning rise. Smart decor, a serious sound system, top barmen and plenty of live entertainment make this a welcome addition to the village, a place where bustling locals and visitors alike relish in its glistening setting, but don’t worry- its far enough away from the hotel and residences that you can’t hear a thing!

9. The Exhibitions
Reflecting the area’s rich maritime tradition, the Naval Heritage Museum boasts a collection housed in a beautifully restored building, showcasing over 300 artefacts, from Yugoslav submarines to the diaries of Montenegro’s Princess Ksenija. Themed exhibitions are displayed throughout the year in addition to the permanent collection pieces; for many though, the star attraction remains the P821 submarine standing proudly across the street from the NHC building. 

10. The World-Class Service
To complete any experience in Porto Montenegro, as if its rich culture and natural beauty wasnt enouhg, is its world-class service. Whether you are staying at the 5-star Regent Hotel or Residences, at the Porto Montenegro Yacht Club, or enjoying a bite at its many Restaurants, you are yet to have experienced a warmer welcome than that of Porto Montenegro. For those having living alongside the locals for a seasonal escape, a returning visitor or a first time to charter; the region is made up by its people. Like all of Montenegro; it does not disappoint. 

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First solo in a real glider

Booker Gliding - Sat, 05/13/2017 - 21:25
Congratulations to Luke Bishop; first solo in a real glider today. Luke came back to gliding last year having previously been solo in an ATC motor glider about 12 years ago. Luke says it is easier with an engine but, now he has mastered gliding, I'm sure he won't be needing one.


More from the film set

Booker Gliding - Sat, 05/13/2017 - 08:38
On Wednesday Booker played host to a film crew taking scenes for a major TV drama series to be aired later this year. After a morning taking ground shots at White Waltham they arrived at Booker for some aerial work.
 
Who's that man?
Beards R Us
How many people does it take to........?



Hero or villain?

Thanks to Richard Martyn for use of his beautiful K6 and to Robin Willgoss and Mike Sinclair for help on the day.
  

LS7 a new goal for the future

Booker Gliding - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 13:59
 Iain Segall and David Parker admire the new LS7. Well it is raining outside and a short break from the lecture room is welcome.

We expect to see David back again to complete his conversion training. Won't be too much longer now, mainly a paperwork exercise.

Don

Nigel Smith completes his full rating

Booker Gliding - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 18:19
 Congratulations to Nigel Smith on successfully completing his full rating test with Richard Crockett. Nigel is an instructor from Halton.

The weather was not inspiring from a soaring point of view but Nigel Smith and David Parker (our visitor from Dartmoor) took full advantage of the quiet airfield to get their training done.

Don

Graham grows a beard

Booker Gliding - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 07:27
What a great day. First launch at 8 am Graham certainly didn't have a beard when he flew Richard Martyn's beautiful K6 behind the Pawnee. A few hours later he reappeared (having been to White Waltham) and had grown a splendid bush. He then made a few more flights in the K6 for the benefit of the film crew which was filming scenes for a programme we can't name until it's aired.

A blue day, with a strong inversion at 3000ft QFE. A few adventurous flights were made, but many elected to stay within the local area.

David Parker, a trainee from Dartmoor Gliding continued his training in the K21. He made a superb cuppa on the bus cooker. Thanks.

Flying continued into the regular Wednesday evening group.

Don   

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PARTNERS ANNOUNCES NEW HIRES ACROSS DIGITAL TEAM

National Geographic News Feed - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 19:09

WASHINGTON (May 10, 2017)—As National Geographic continues to solidify its place as a leader in digital and social innovation, Rachel Webber, Executive Vice President of Digital Product announced today new leadership roles for the digital group. New hires include Marcus East as Executive Vice President of Product and Technology, Marcelo Galdieri as Senior Vice President of Digital Product, and Jonathan Hunt as Senior Vice President of Audience Development and Digital Strategy. Both East and Hunt will report to Webber, and Galdieri will lead a product group on East’s team.

“We’re thrilled that Marcus, Marcelo and Jonathan have joined to help scale our digital products and communities in ways that bring the National Geographic brand and experience to more audiences,” Webber said. “On digital platforms, the National Geographic yellow border becomes a portal for audiences to explore the world around them. While we have a running head-start with the No. 1 most followed brand on social media, attracting 350 million social followers on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn, and a big fanbase across our owned offerings, we still have more to do to live up to the mission and potential of this brand online. Marcus, Marcelo and Jonathan have strong track records in aggregating audiences and building engaging relationships with communities through smart product, social and video solutions for some of the world’s most beloved brands. We want to utilize their experience and expertise to drive National Geographic’s mission forward for audiences on all platforms.”

The new hires and their roles on the digital team are:

Marcus East joins National Geographic as the Executive Vice President of Product and Technology. He will be responsible for leading the teams that deliver world-class digital consumer experiences, and for designing and implementing an intelligent platform and architecture strategy in partnership with 21st Century Fox and Fox Networks Group. East joins National Geographic from Marks and Spencer, where he ran eCommerce, digital product, digital operations and technology platforms. Previously East ran eCommerce solutions for Apple in EMEA, and then moved to Apple in Cupertino, Calif., to lead a product group at HQ. Prior to joining Apple, East led technology for Comic Relief, one of the UK’s biggest pro-social organizations.

Marcelo Galdieri joins National Geographic as the Senior Vice President of Digital Product focused on international digital offerings and identity and relationship tools. Galdieri will oversee the team responsible for the design, development and implementation of the localized, unified National Geographic web and mobile web products across international territories, and the company’s localized native mobile app, multi-format offering. Galdieri joins National Geographic after 20 years at MasterCard where he was the Senior Vice President of Global Consumer Digital Programs overseeing consumer engagement experience platforms and responsible for launching and managing offerings across more than 40 markets through a single technology platform.

Jonathan Hunt joins National Geographic’s digital team as the Senior Vice President of Audience Development and Digital Strategy. Hunt will be responsible for scaling social audiences and community engagement across its key platforms such as its Editorial and Global TV Networks’ Facebook and Instagram fan communities, Snapchat Discover platform, and photo-enthusiast platform Your Shot; expanding the company’s social video capabilities; and partnering with Sales to grow digital revenue across National Geographic digital and social channels and products. Hunt was previously Vice President at Vox Media where he helped launch and scale the audience development capabilities and go-to market strategies for Vox Media’s digital media brands and advertising technology products. Prior to Vox Media, Hunt was the Global Marketing Director at VICE, where he built the audience development and digital marketing function and led digital strategies for the company’s portfolio of brands.

# # #  

About National Geographic Partners LLC:

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Media Contact:

Anna Kukelhaus Dynan, 202.912.6724, anna.kukelhaus@natgeo.com

Postcards from La Dea II: Exploring French Polynesia

Super Yachts Charters - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 11:00
Postcards from La Dea II: Exploring French Polynesia During her global circumnavigation, La Dea II ventured to the finest destinations off the beaten track; including Tahiti, Fiji, Tonga, Tahiti, Fiji, Galapagos, Marquesas and Tuamotos before charting course to Australia, Asia and beyond.

“The highlight of our trip is the itinerary itself,” says Captain Paul Hutchinson, who has been particularly struck by the remote beauty and diversity of the areas visited. “We sat in an amazing coral fringed bay for three days and didn’t see another yacht, not even in passing. It was impossible to not be taken by the sheer beauty and stillness of the surroundings.”

Now back in the Mediterranean, we look back at her journey by exploring each destination from on board; starting with Fiji and Tahiti in the first of a new feature series.

Fiji
Fiji’s sugar sand and crystal water is nothing short of the best in the world, poised against the backdrop of luscious landscapes luxurious places to stay it provides a dream-like island experience for superyacht charters. 

But those itching to get something more from their charter needn’t head to extreme destinations on an explorer vessel to become intrepid travelers, as can be seen in La Dea II's postcard gallery below.

Cited by many as one of the best places to swim with sharks, Fiji is home to Cathedral Reef and the opportunity to go underwater with grey reef sharks, bull sharks, tiger sharks, black tips, white tips, the tawny nurse, leopards and hammerheads, all under a community conservation project.

What’s more, with new luxury bolt-hole’s and private island rentals opening right next to all the action, there’s never been a more exciting time to visit Fiji whilst still feeling like the first ever person to discover its territory.

Tahiti
Lured by land or by sea, the island of Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia. Far from the Med and lesser well-known than the Caribbean, it’s a charter destination which falls somewhere between Australia’s east and The America’s west, yet provides everything that’s on offer from its neighbours, and more.

With untouched natural beauty and a world teeming with life both above and below the water, Tahiti is a mecca for whale watching, surfing, underwater exploration and on-land hiking before retiring to the sundeck to watch deep red fill the sky and ignite the Pacific.

Merge this adventure with the superyacht lifestyle, paired with a world of boutique spas and escapes on terra firma, the draw of Tahiti becomes more apparent with every postcard. 

On Board
“Cruising in remote areas has helped the crew to gel as a team unit and everyone plays a role in ensuring that guest time aboard is truly memorable,” explains Captain Hutchinson. “The crew really care for La Dea II and she has become a much loved yacht; I think that shines through for anyone to see.”

Aside from her crew, exploration is a key part of her identity as La Dea II is much more than just a luxury vessel. A globally capable platform for both adventure and relaxation, her recent refit in 2015 has created an immaculately maintained home on the water, ready to accommodate any charter guest’s vision of escape.

The finer details of La Dea II push the sense of adventure and luxury even further, with a divemaster, on board Phantom drone, an arsenal of water toys, bicycles for on-land exploration and space for up to 12 guests across a simple, sophisticated and stylish interior.

IYC central agency yacht La Dea II is a remarkable addition to the global charter fleet and, following a global voyage, is now back in the Med and available for charter in the Balearics this summer.

Postcards from La Dea II: Exploring French Polynesia Postcards from La Dea II: Exploring French Polynesia Postcards from La Dea II: Exploring French Polynesia Postcards from La Dea II: Exploring French Polynesia Postcards from La Dea II: Exploring French Polynesia Postcards from La Dea II: Exploring French Polynesia The stunning IYC charter superyacht La Dea II in Fiji & Tahiti Postcards from La Dea II: Exploring French Polynesia Postcards from La Dea II: Exploring French Polynesia Postcards from La Dea II: Exploring French Polynesia Postcards from La Dea II: Exploring French Polynesia

Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee

Super Yachts Charters - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 11:00
Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Codecasa’s Apogee is a vessel built for spending time with family and friends, with incomparable luxury laid out across 62-metres of sophistication. On the market for charter with TWW Yachts, we take a closer look at life on board this stunning Italian pedigree yacht thanks to the latest photography.

Launched in 2003, Apogee was designed in-house by the Italian craftsmen and construction experts at Codecasa and boasts a classic elegance which maintains a timeless yachting edge. Ideal for stretches across the East & West Mediterranean, Apogee features five decks, each with its own attraction for entertaining and a lift attending all levels.

The interiors are imbued with a sense of stately comfort, emphasised by rich mahogany and notable design elements such as a 22-foot-long backlit onyx-topped bar; modeled after Monaco’s Cafe de Paris and Miami’s Delano Hotel. The chance for formal dining is almost too much to turn down given the rich and welcoming surroundings mixed with an opulent sense of grandeur.

Through to the saloon and the intimate seating arrangement, open spaces and stunning bar space serves to fulfill all forms of function, from catch ups to conference and after dinner revelry. Including lighting and atmospheric additions bringing the party to life.

The morning sun is best caught on the sun-deck with ample space for bathing, relaxing and taking time to soak in the Jacuzzi. Alternatively, head to the tender garage to open up an arsenal of toys to spend time on the water. Apogee available for both sale and charter, earning a focal place on Superyachts.com thanks to its wide-appeal and effortless elegance.

Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee The 62-metre Codecasa Apogee (photos courtesy of TWW Yachts) Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee Superyacht in Focus: The Effortless Elegance of Apogee

MEDIA ALERT: Age of Homo naledi Revealed: 236,000 to 335,000 Years Old

National Geographic News Feed - Tue, 05/09/2017 - 09:18

***National Geographic Breaking News***

Age of Homo naledi Revealed: 236,000 to 335,000 Years Old

After adding Homo naledi to the human family tree, researchers reveal that the species is younger than its bizarrely primitive body suggests.

Spokespeople, Images and Video Available

Media packet, including visuals, available here.

Embeddable video available here and here.

Almost a year and a half since a trove of hominin remains, including a new member of the human family tree, was first discovered by two cavers exploring South Africa’s Rising Star cave system, Homo naledi’s age has been confirmed.

In papers published Tuesday in eLife, the team—led by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger—provides an age range for the remains first reported in 2015: between 236,000 and 335,000 years old. The team also describes a second chamber within Rising Star that contains yet-undated H. naledi remains.

If these dates hold, it could mean that while our own species was evolving from other, large-brained ancestors, a tiny-brained primitive shadow lineage was lingering on from a much earlier period, perhaps two million years ago or more. The proposed age range for the fossils also overlaps with the early Middle Stone Age, fueling a provocative, though unproven, possibility: that the stone-tool record in South Africa from that time wasn’t just the handiwork of anatomically modern humans.

Read more about this announcement here.

Additionally, ALMOST HUMAN: The Astonishing Tale of Homo naledi and the Discovery That Changed Our Human Story, Lee Berger’s incredible first-person account of that discovery—written with co-author and collaborator John Hawks—and a behind-the-scenes look at Berger’s life’s work, is being released today.

Lee Berger, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, is available for interviews out of South Africa.

John Hawks, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and co-author of ALMOST HUMAN, is available for interviews out of South Africa.

Michael Greshko, National Geographic natural history and science reporter, is available for interviews out of Washington, D.C.

ALMOST HUMAN, new book by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger, goes behind-the-scenes of historic discovery of human ancestor, Homo naledi, and reveals new scientific findings on the origins of humanity!

National Geographic News Feed - Tue, 05/09/2017 - 09:17

WASHINGTON (May 9, 2017)—Lee Berger’s discovery of a new human ancestor, Homo naledi, changed our understanding of humanity’s history and made front-page news around the world. Berger’s new book, ALMOST HUMAN: The Astonishing Tale of Homo naledi and the Discovery That Changed Our Human Story (National Geographic; on sale May 9, 2017; ISBN 978-1-4262-1811-8; 240 pages; $26) is the incredible first-person account of that discovery—written with co-author and collaborator John Hawks—and a behind-the-scenes look at Berger’s life’s work, culminating with the reveal of new scientific findings from his ongoing research:

  • The age of Homo naledi has been identified: 200,000 to 300,000 years old!

The expectation had been 2 million years old – a huge surprise and the start of many fascinating questions: Could homo naledi have coexisted with our direct ancestors? Once upon a time, could its DNA have merged with our own?

  • A second, discrete cave chamber in the Rising Star complex has been discovered and explored, with another Homo naledi skeleton found inside!

** These findings and others will be published in the journal eLife under embargo on Tuesday, May 9.

In 2013, Lee Berger, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and now a 2016 Time 100 Pioneer, put out a call around the world for petite collaborators, men and women of science small and adventurous enough to be able to squeeze through eight-inch tunnels to reach a sunless cave 40 feet underground. With this team of “underground astronauts,” Berger made the discovery of a lifetime: hundreds of prehistoric bones, including entire skeletons of at least 15 individuals. Their features combined those of known prehominids like Lucy, the famous Australopithecus, with those more human than anything ever before seen in prehistoric remains. Berger’s team had discovered the richest primitive hominid site ever and an all-new species, which they named Homo naledi.

These findings—from 2013 and 2017—are chockful of implications that shake the very foundation of how we define what makes us human. Did this species come before, during or after the emergence of Homo sapiens on our evolutionary tree? How did the caves come to contain nothing but the remains of these individuals? Did they bury their dead? If so, they must have had a level of self-knowledge, including an awareness of death. And yet those are the very characteristics used to define what makes us human. Did an equally advanced species inhabit Earth with us, or before us?

Berger does not hesitate to address all of these questions. 

About Lee Berger

Lee Berger is the Research Professor in Human Origins and the Public Understanding of Science at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. He was a founder of the Palaeoanthropological Scientific Trust, today the largest nonprofit organization in Africa supporting research into human origins. The director of one of the largest paleontological projects in history, leading over 100 researchers in investigations of the Malapa site in South Africa, Berger is the author of more than 200 scholarly and popular works. His research has been featured three times on the cover of Science and has been named among the top 100 science stories of the year by Time, Scientific American and Discover magazine on numerous occasions. Berger has appeared in many television documentaries on subjects related to archaeology, paleoanthropology, and natural history, and has appeared widely on television and radio, including NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Morning Edition, and All Things Considered and PBS’s News Hour and Alan Alda’s Scientific American Frontiers. Berger was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2015 and 2016’s Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year.

About John Hawks

John Hawks is the Vilas-Borghesi Distinguished Achievement Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He is the author of a widely read paleoanthropology blog, johnhawks.net. Hawks graduated from Kansas State University in 1994 with degrees in French, English, and anthropology. He received both his M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan. After working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Utah, he moved to the University of Wisconsin—Madison, where he is currently a member of the anthropology department, teaching courses including human evolution, biological anthropology, and hominid paleoecology. 

About National Geographic Partners LLC

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on FacebookTwitter, InstagramGoogle+, YouTubeLinkedIn and Pinterest.

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