Filming glaciers on a cold, windy spring day near Mount Cook, illustrated the powerful impact of nature’s attrition. South Island, NZ, and its rugged environment is the outcome of these awesome physical forces.
The story also relates to global warming and the shrinking of the earth’s heritage of ice and snow.
Over time, research indicates climate changes and significant variations. Glaciers are the product of climate. Right now in the age of the Anthropocene, snow, ice and glaciers are in retreat.
The video shows glacial areas that could not be filmed fifty years ago. Near the peaks, snow still accumulates to produce panoramic white expanses. However, lower down on the glacier, the melting water shows the outcome of the temperature rising.
A sophisticated networker with a can-do, get up and go attitude, Tom has linked up with some of the best organisations in the region: Bendrigg Lodge, the Calvert Trust and Lancaster University to support his daring bid.
I caught up with Tom and his father, Peter Green, on a wet August morning orienteering just south ofSkiddaw at the Calvert Trust.
The family and carers are strong advocates in encouraging hard work, self-reliance and independence. Tom is not the sort of person who sits around waiting for things to happen. His drive, enthusiasm and great personality have helped deliver a range of successful outdoor charity fundraising events.
A powerful driver that has facilitated engagement with the wider community is his Lancashire County Council care package. Despite having the capability and potential, Tom is frustrated by the lack of engagement by national brand names employers to offer real work opportunities. What is happening here?
The heritage of commitment and endeavour is part of Tom’s DNA. As a teenager, he represented his school at regional and national games. Adventurous outdoor activities are his oxygen, and the motivation is experiencing the thrill.
Tom needs a full-time employment opportunity. I guarantee you; he and his carer will succeed and be successful if there was a chance. Can you help?
Impressionist painters loved the light of Southern Brittany. Crossing the Bay of Biscay on mid-summer's night at sunset, the boat sailed through intense and mesmerising golden light. During early morning and at dusk, on hot clear days, this creates a sense of awe and wonder. As in biblical and spiritual stories, this phenomena moves the soul. Angels, gods and goddesses live in this world.
When the gods hid, weather fronts zipped in off the ocean. Seeking shelter from the force six winds gusting to forty knots, we piloted to the security of Vannes.
It was a brilliant experience. Observing the French living life on windy summer's day helped gain insights into their culture. Despite the wild weather, the Gulf du Morbihan was alive with sporting activities. It is safe and sheltered inland sea.
During a stormy Sunday, stand-up paddle boarders competed in the Bretagne championships. In true egalitarian style, every part of the community was involved: children, pensioners, athletes and people from the whole spectrum of society racing to complete the white-capped course.
In the same area, the city’s rowing club had twenty boats out on a fun sortie powered by some very unhealthy and out of condition rowers. They were blown into the city by the fresh westerly wind.
The rowing and stand-up paddle boarding malarkey looked like hard work; much effort and not getting anywhere fast. Not my scene.
Smarter people were skidding across the white-capped waves doing about twenty plus knots in catamarans. It was good to see women helming with men crewing these greyhound like vessels.
Windsurfing and sailing are spiritual activities that lead into another world, another way of thinking, experiencing and feeling about life. It comes from the beauty of nature and its physical forces: the sun, wind, currents, waves, ocean currents, light, clouds, stars and the moon.
Back in the real man-made world, there is part of the yachting world that is about crowding boats into marinas and rafting up when all the pontoons are full. It is not my way of doing things. At times, it is like being on the bumper cars at a fun fair. Seamanship and careful docking do not appear to be a strong feature on the sailing pedagogy. Boat crash and bash into each other as the perplexed helm woefully lack seamanship skills. It is a male thing. When you see women steering the boat into a pontoon berth, they seemed never to make a hash of it.
Just a few miles north, we moored next to a fifty foot Beneteau that had lost its mast and had major structural damage after a local fishing boat on auto pilot crashed onto its mooring. Left on the high tide early afternoon the next day to escape the bedlam.
After the rigours of pilotage in the fast Spring tide currents in the narrow Gulf channels, the boat was set up to break out into the Bay of Biscay. The weather fronts passed and winds eased. The plan was to sail north to Benodet and to watch the Euros Football Championship, the England - Wales game, then anchor in the Archipel des Glénan for a weekend anchorage.
South of the Quiberon peninsula an Atlantic swell and the wind against tide chop had the nine-meter yacht rolling. After four hours, the Soliel Noir and its poorly crew happily arrived at the heavenly Port Tudy, Ile du Croix.
Here was a place worth visiting with blue skies, hot sands, fair winds and a bar showing footy. Life is worth living at 27C.
Due east, the city of Lorient provides an excellent staging post to change crew, replenish and a secure berth. Check out the Second World War Submarine Base. The Eric Tabarly Museum gives a superb insight into French yachting as a premier water sports nation. Buy a joint ticket and also go inside a diesel submarine. Imagine being part of the crew on these boats or the factors and processes that led to the construction of the submarine pens twelve-foot-thick roof. RAF Lancaster Bombers bounced their bombs of these with no damage. Today, the base is the centre of French ocean racing.
At La Trinite, monster trimarans, the size of New York street blocks and as high skyscrapers, train their crews and maintain a fleet of the world's fastest boats. Pete Goss, the ex-Royal Marine and Ellen MacArthur, would be envious of these facilities. Ben Ainslie, the British Olympic dinghy sailor and master helmsman in the San Francisco America's Cup win for the USA, new America’s Cup HQ looks insignificant against the Brittany team bases for the Vendee Globe races.
In hot thundery conditions with variable winds, distant thunder and lightning with huge black clouds approached from the west. Heavy torrential rain pounded the boat and glassy seas. Very quickly in the middle of the Bay of Biscay, a ferocious electrical storm with sheet and fork lightning surrounded the yacht for three hours. Blind navigation was the order of the day with visibility at ten to twenty meters. The skipper carried out watch duties during the severe weather while the first mate sheltered.
Sailing is like chess. Many factors come into play. Success comes from making the best use of changing winds and making good use of currents and tides for a conveyor belt boost to help reach the destination. Careful planning, prudence, respect for the elements, a bit of luck and help from the gods are essential ingredients.
Sailing in Southern Brittany in mid-summer involves warm seas, fair winds and sublime cuisineYacht charter via http://en.nautiloc.fr/
Conwy is a stunning base for about two thousand yachts. The marina facilitates an expert boating infrastructure for North Wales and the Menai Strait. The area is one of the finest and most interesting cruising areas in the Britain.
The eager competent crew, Louise, was keen to make progress and develop essential competencies. Testa Rossa, a 38' Starlight yacht makes an ideal vessel for sail training. It is MCA approved and well equipped.
On completion of the safety induction, Catherine structured sailing activities to improve Louise's expertise and understanding.
It was impressive to observing Catherine involving everyone in all these processes. A feature was the quality of the learning dialogue. The Horizon Sailing School sets high standards in its pedagogy and syllabus.
Match this with a real sense of adventure whilst voyaging past panoramic mountains. The adrenalin kicks in whilst trying to keep to the Swellies transit on a turning tide.
At the end of an action packed day, a more soporific pace and a sense of awe happens as you approach Carnarvon castle. The Victoria Dock has a welcoming marina. The friendly staff provide a great welcome and delivers superb support to visitors.
If you have time, sail over Carnarvon bar and explore the Llyn Peninsula and Angelsey.
After three nights and two days Catherine had instructed on:
Using transit marks
Passage planning and
Knowledge of boat
Picking up moorings
General duties on board
Horizon Sailing caters for friends, couple, families, business or women only groups.
Catherine Dobson RYA Instructor, Conwy Marina, Digital PR, Eddy Jackson Media, Menai Yatching, N Wales sailing, North Wales Crusiing, RYA Sailing School Menai, Sailing School Conwy Marina, Sailing School Wales, Video Marketing UK, Yatching Wales
www.joylanfarms.co.uk from Lancashire specialize in producing milk as a high-value nutrient-rich food. They supply local shops, milk rounds, farm shops, hospitals, and schools.
UCLAN Textile’s Department has a great tradition of producing enterprising students with a wide range of talents. Here two students exhibit their exceptional work. An exit from the EU would be detrimental to opportunities and university education.