Monday, 29 October 2012


Flag of Antarctica
Speculation over the existence of a "southern land" was not confirmed until the early 1820s when British and American commercial operators and British and Russian national expeditions began exploring the Antarctic Peninsula region and other areas south of the Antarctic Circle. Not until 1840 was it established that Antarctica was indeed a continent and not just a group of islands or an area of ocean. Several exploration "firsts" were achieved in the early 20th century, but generally the area saw little human activity. Following World War II, however, there was an upsurge in scientific research on the continent. A number of countries have set up a range of year-round and seasonal stations, camps, and refuges to support scientific research in Antarctica. Seven have made territorial claims, but not all countries recognize these claims. In order to form a legal framework for the activities of nations on the continent, an Antarctic Treaty was negotiated that neither denies nor gives recognition to existing territorial claims; signed in 1959, it entered into force in 1961.

Antarctica is the coldest, driest, windiest, and most isolated continent on Earth.  The extreme climate limits the presence and activities of humans in Antarctica.  The persistent cold (even during the austral summer), the limited precipitation (which qualifies much of the continent as frozen desert), the frequent overcast skies, the severe winds, and the succession of storms over the ocean and coastal areas help explain why Antarctica is the only continent that has never had a native human population.
Although seven countries (Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom) maintain claims to territory in Antarctica, the United States and most other countries do not recognize those claims.   Governance of the continent is managed through the Antarctic Treaty (signed in Washington, DC in 1959) and its associated instruments, such as the Environmental Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty.  The continent is reserved for peaceful purposes and science and most of those who stay there for limited periods of time there are associated with national Antarctic science programs. The 49 Treaty Parties, one of which is the United States, meet annually at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting to discuss cooperation.
Antarctica’s popularity as a tourist destination is growing.  More than one-third of all ship-borne tourists visiting Antarctica are U.S. citizens and almost half of all Antarctic tourist expeditions are subject to U.S. regulation because they are organized in or proceed from the United States.  The Department of State is responsible for informing other Treaty Parties of non-governmental expeditions to Antarctica organized in or proceeding from the United States.


Anguilla's Flag
Anguilla is a wonderful country with great beaches. Has fantastic beaches and lots of sun. Anguilla location map
The two mainstays of the Anguillan economy are the tourist sector and the financial services.
The book "Under an English Heaven" is an entertaining book about of Anguilla's revolution.
Navigational Chart
If you are sailing to Anguilla you may want to look at a chart of Anguilla
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue – wedding bells immediately come to mind, but what about Anguilla? As rabid consumerism devours many Caribbean hot spots, this little limestone bump in the sea has, thus far, maintained its charming menagerie of clapboard shacks (something old) while quietly weaving stunning vacation properties (something new) into the mix. Visitors will discover a melting pot of cultures (something borrowed) set along mind-blowing beaches (something very blue).
One of the most intriguing things about little Anguilla is that it’s hard to decide whether or not the island is grossly underrated or if it actually garners more buzz than it deserves. Supporters cite the refreshing lack of development relative to neighboring islands (no casinos, nightclubs etc), and an earnest local vibe that remains very much intact. But on the other hand, extreme price hikes have turned the island into St-Barthélemy’s stunt double for jetsetters.
Map of Anguilla
While the debate will no doubt rage for years to come, most agree that the island’s best feature (besides the oh-so-blue sea) is its malleability – Anguilla is a blank canvas, allowing visitors to design any vacation they please. Those seeking opulence and privacy can rent one of the many rambling villas, while those looking to dive headfirst into the gritty island culture will be sated with cold beer, reggae beats and nightly gatherings around smoky BBQs. And what’s more satisfying than discovering a hidden local haunt which serves fresh lobster and big smiles for half the price of those big-name joints down the street?