Worldwide Dive and Sail and blue o two are pleased to announce that they are in the final stages of finalising a merge that will bring their two companies together in a merger of equals.


The parties intend to pursue a combining and growth of their liveaboard fleets, while separately continuing the international growth of blue o two, which is already the UK’s largest scuba diving tour operator, as a provider of worldwide adventure travel products. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, with the rebranding and combining of fleets expected to follow 18-24 months after the subsequent closing of the merger, subject to regulatory and board approval.


The combination of these two like-minded and complementary businesses will create a leading player in the dive industry. It is the culmination of four years of talks and an extension of the existing partnership that they began with formation of Master Liveaboards in 2014.  


Following completion of the transaction board members and other executives, as well as the name of the merged group, will be announced.
In a joint statement, the owners of both companies said…
 “We are extremely excited about the future. We are looking forward to using the combined innovation and passion that both companies are already known for to continue to expand our product range globally by investing in an ever growing portfolio of international destinations. It will allow us to provide both our existing and future customers with an unparalleled service to build a sense of adventure and excitement from the moment they discover our products and services”

 

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expedition zodiacsABJ 2714

 

A Clean Expedition with Green Char – the Elysium Artists for the Arctic

On August 29th of 2015, Ocean Geographic and a team of 65 of the world’s most well known and respected photographers, videographers, explorers, artists, and scientists embarked upon the Elysium Artists for the Arctic expedition. This 3-week journey to the top of the world was to raise awareness about the fragility of this northern polar region by documenting stunning visual interpretations of the flora, fauna and landscapes of the Arctic and draw attention to the impacts of climate change. Throughout the planning process, we decided it was of utmost importance that our expedition was carried out in an environmentally responsible fashion, so we searched for a way to make the trip carbon neutral. We found the solution in a promising company called GreenChar.

GreenChar, a for-profit social enterprise in Kenya, was founded by Tom Osborn on the vision of access to clean energy for everyone. They produce and distribute charcoal briquettes made from agricultural waste. The briquettes are affordable, nearly smokeless, higher energy, and longer lasting than conventional wood charcoal and firewood. Beyond the direct benefits to their customers, recycling agricultural waste into charcoal briquettes also curbs local deforestation. GreenChar’s vision is to not only fight climate change in Kenya through offsetting carbon emissions and reducing deforestation through its charcoal briquettes, but to also uplift the local communities out of poverty through a unique distribution model that empowers women and young adults. The use of this green charcoal also has the potential to vastly improve the quality of life for millions of people in the region, women in particular, by providing them with a nearly smokeless energy option that will eliminate the health risks associated with burning other sources of energy.

We partnered with GreenChar for the Elysium Artists for the Arctic expedition by purchasing carbon credits that offset the 250 tonnes of carbon emissions produced by the expedition. This ensured that our expedition did not contribute to the already serious threat to the Arctic region posed by carbon emissions and climate change.

We will continue to work with GreenChar to attain carbon neutrality for our other ventures while helping them grow and expand. Ideally we would like for all Ocean Geographic expeditions to be carbon neutral, and through our partnership with GreenChar, we will likely be able to achieve this goal. We will also support them via ongoing fundraising activities to aid in the manufacturing of these green charcoal briquettes and their distribution to needy communities in Kenya free of charge.

Michael Aw, the founder of the Elysium Projects and Ocean Environment is passionate about increasing climate change awareness and educating people about its impact on the world’s oceans. “Everyone around the world, from the wealthiest to the poorest nations, has a responsibility to try and protect our oceans from climate change. GreenChar is a unique partner in that it not only reduces carbon emissions, but it also provides clean, safe energy to needy communities. We are proud to work with them on a combined mission to help provide people with access to green energy while protecting our oceans without which we, as human beings, would not be able to survive.”

ElysiumEpic.org

GreenChar.com

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polar bear Ursus maritimus maleby Michael AW AWM1885 FracWhat’s New on the Menu?

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are the largest land carnivores on Earth and as such, their prey items are quite big as well. They are known to feed primarily on ringed seals and bearded seals, but have occasionally been documented hunting beluga whales and narwhals, too. These bears will occasionally scavenge on the found carcasses of other marine mammals that would be too large for them to catch such as those of bowhead, fin, grey, minke, and sperm whales. But in recent years, it has become clear that their diets are expanding, the likely cause of which is climate change.

The Arctic region is warming faster than anywhere else in the world, and the animals that live there have little choice but to adapt or perish. Due to the increasingly ice free summers, polar bears are losing the seals that are their main source of food. Polar bears hunt seals from the ice, and with sea ice cover at record lows, the bears are being forced to turn to alternative prey items on land. They expend too much energy trying to capture seals in the water, so they have begun eating huge quantities of bird eggs in an effort to supplement their diets enough to survive the warming Arctic summer until the ice returns in winter. This has had a devastating impact on the populations of certain species of Arctic birds, most notably the common eider (Somateria mollissima), a ground-nesting duck, and the thick-billed murre (Uria lomvia), a cliff-nesting bird, whose colonies are declining rapidly in close association with shrinking summer sea ice. According to Samuel Iverson, the lead author of a recent report on this subject, “A single bear can essentially devastate all the eggs on an island,” recalling an instance where he witnessed a polar bear eat its way through an entire eider colony of nearly 300 nests and 1,200-1,500 eggs within a 48-hour period. In reference to the bears eating murre eggs, Iverson says “They'll just walk right down the cliffs and work their way along the ledges and go from one egg to the next." This new bear diet has the potential to wipe out entire bird populations within one or two seasons and could eventually even lead to whole species extinction.

Last year, polar bears were also observed eating white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), an animal that has until now never been a prey species for these bears. These cetaceans are regularly observed in Arctic waters in the late summer and early autumn, but this is the first time they have been seen in the waters around Svalbard in the early spring. The loss of sea ice and warmer temperatures make these northern waters accessible earlier in the year, and it is suspected that white-beaked dolphins were captured by polar bears when their pod became trapped in shifting ice. One of the polar bears feeding on the dolphins was even seen exhibiting a behavior called “caching” which involves covering the carcass with snow in an effort to hide it from other potential predators, and is considered to be rare in this species.

All of these novel dietary observations illustrate the changes being set in motion by our warming climate.

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Winter Whales of Norway 2016 2017 presentation 5 Copy

2015 in 8.18 min

Once again, my last day of the year catch up. 2015 was an awesome year but it went by too quickly, even faster than Speedy Gonzales!

 It is seems like last month that I flew to Norway in hope of orcas feeding alongside humpback whales. But since January, I have been back to Norway twice for expeditions to the Arctic and in couple of weeks, I will be flying there again for another chance with the orcas.

Really theolder we get, the faster time seems to fly…in the blink of an eye, I will be 60...very big sigh! .I wish for more time or a clone of me! So much to do, so little time.

There is math that explain the fact - as we get older, the year seems shorter. Just so you know, at 20, a year is 20% of your life and at 80; a year is 1.25% of your life. Check this out – the link at the bottom of this mail.  

 So time is precious and to save you time in reading a lengthy catch up letter, I will share with you my 2015 in 6.18mins. I hope you will like it especially the firework bits at the end – the fireworks of the ocean is much better than the Sydney harbour bridge 7 million dollars NYE any day.  

Enjoy!

https://vimeo.com/awtimate/awesome2015

 Whilst our mind may still be willing, our body may be weak. The older we are, the greater the sense of urgency to accomplish whatever in our bucket list.  Live each day as if is your last, get on that adventure that has been on the back of your mind.  Life is short…it is not too late to live your dream. I hope you will join me in my adventure in 2016. 

My DEEPEST thank you for supporting my work and I hope to see you again soon. Meanwhile, have a very merry New Year and all the very best in forthcoming endeavours.

Michael

Ps/ if seeing 20,000 groupers mating alongside 700 sharks or an in water experience with orcas or crocodiles, or salivating within the realm of our planet richest reef or an ambition to go swim among leopard seals and penguins in the Antarctic or simply wish to shoot better pictures under or above water, write me and I will get you started immediately.  

The math to see your years in time - http://www.maximiliankiener.com/digitalprojects/time/

 My 2016 – join me if you can 

Jan:  Norway – orcas and whales

Feb: Cuba - sharks and crocs

March: post production

April:  Sri Lanka – whales

April: Aniloa- Essential and Advanced photography workshop

May: Socorro - giant mantas and sharks

June:  Iceland – special expedition

June – July: South Africa – sardine run

August –  very special expedition

Sep – Raja Ampat –  special extended expedition

Nov: Norway - orcas and whales

December – Antarctic on the agenda

2017

Feb – Socorro & Bahamas

March - Cuba

July – Fakarava – groupers and sharks

Aug - Galapagos

Once again, my last day of the year catch up. 2015 was an awesome year but it went by too quickly, even faster than Speedy Gonzales!

 It is seems like last month that I flew to Norway in hope of orcas feeding alongside humpback whales. But since January, I have been back to Norway twice for expeditions to the Arctic and in couple of weeks, I will be flying there again for another chance with the orcas.

Really theolder we get, the faster time seems to fly…in the blink of an eye, I will be 60...very big sigh! .I wish for more time or a clone of me! So much to do, so little time.

There is math that explain the fact - as we get older, the year seems shorter. Just so you know, at 20, a year is 20% of your life and at 80; a year is 1.25% of your life. Check this out – the link at the bottom of this mail.  

So time is precious and to save you time in reading a lengthy catch up letter, I will share with you my 2015 in 6.18mins. I hope you will like it especially the firework bits at the end – the fireworks of the ocean is much better than the Sydney harbour bridge 7 million dollars NYE any day.  

Enjoy!

https://vimeo.com/awtimate/awesome2015

Whilst our mind may still be willing, our body may be weak. The older we are, the greater the sense of urgency to accomplish whatever in our bucket list.  Live each day as if is your last, get on that adventure that has been on the back of your mind.  Life is short…it is not too late to live your dream. I hope you will join me in my adventure in 2016. 

My DEEPEST thank you for supporting my work and I hope to see you again soon. Meanwhile, have a very merry New Year and all the very best in forthcoming endeavours.

Michael

Ps/ if seeing 20,000 groupers mating alongside 700 sharks or an in water experience with orcas or crocodiles, or salivating within the realm of our planet richest reef or an ambition to go swim among leopard seals and penguins in the Antarctic or simply wish to shoot better pictures under or above water, write me and I will get you started immediately.  

The math to see your years in time - http://www.maximiliankiener.com/digitalprojects/time/

 My 2016 – join me if you can J

Jan:  Norway – orcas and whales

Feb: Cuba - sharks and crocs

March: post production

April:  Sri Lanka – whales

April: Aniloa- Essential and Advanced photography workshop

May: Socorro - giant mantas and sharks

June:  Iceland – special expedition

June – July: South Africa – sardine run

August –  very special expedition

Sep – Raja Ampat –  special extended expedition

Nov: Norway - orcas and whales

December – Antarctic on the agenda

2017

Feb – Socorro & Bahamas

March - Cuba

July – Fakarava – groupers and sharks

Aug - Galapagos

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About

Ocean Geographic Explorer (OGX) is a diving adventure resource with a special focus on marine photography and ocean conservation. Our content is divided up into six primary categories: Travel, Sea Science,  Equipment, Photography &Video, Conservation, and Lifestyle. We endeavor be a portal for people with all levels of interest in the marine environment  to learn about and become part of a community of like-minded ocean lovers who enjoy sharing their knowledge of and experiences in our fascinating ocean world.

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