NHC sees 20 percent chance of cyclone near Cape Verde Islands – Reuters

(Reuters) – A broad trough of low pressure southwest of the Cape Verde Islands has a 20 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Monday.

“Environmental conditions are expected to be generally conducive for development of this disturbance for the next several days while it moves westward at about 15 miles per hour over the tropical Atlantic,” the NHC said.

Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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NHC sees 20 percent chance of cyclone near Cape Verde Islands – Reuters

The Islands of Ireland: When you come to a Fork in the sea – Irish Examiner

Though there are very few inhabitants on Gola Island in Co Donegal the welcome at the pier is nonetheless encouraging, writes Dan MacCarthy

Magheragallan Lough, Gola Island, Co Donegal. Pictures: Dan MacCarthy

Filte go Gabhla is the declaration painted on a bright noticeboard along with a ketch cruising on an aquamarine sea.

The pretty scene is accompanied by a Discover Ireland walking sign which details a lovely walk of a couple of hours duration.

The waymarked trail Sl Ghabhla (Gola Way) meanders across the island taking in an old green road, past the stunningly beautiful Magheragallan Lough and looping around through acres of heather and back through a group of houses to the pier.

In summer, bog cotton floats on the air, and Mount Errigal with its white quartzite slopes provides a magnificent backdrop. This part of Donegals coast, the Rosses, is comprised of granite, but not any old granite, pink granite. Its hue brightens a dark day and provides a striking contrast with the sea.

Gabhla forked island once had population of 168 as recorded in 1926. It gradually dwindled until the last person left in the 1960s. However, Gola is unusual in that the population has recovered with an estimated 15 people now living there permanently.

Most historic houses and public buildings the world over are built from indigenous rock sandstone and limestone in the southwest of Ireland for instance – and Gola is no different.

The Gabhla longhouse is recognised as the islands vernacular cottage architecture.

The old houses are built from the surrounding granite, hugh blocks forming a formidable barrier to the unworldly storms that blew in from time to time. Nearly all are deserted now, but the islands population swells in the summer when holiday homes are occupied mainly by descendants of former islanders.

However, it is climbers for whom the island provides an irresistible magnet and it pulls them in from all over the country and beyond. Tormullane and Rinatoke on the west of the island are two popular climbs, but it is Torglass Island (a sea stack effectively) with its manmade climbers cairn as if to say I was here, which bespeaks a superb climbing ability.

The attraction of the granite is that it affords a superb grip plus it has many vertical splits for footing. Mountaineering Ireland describes Gola Island as one of the magic meccas of Irish climbing, with stunning sea cliffs, and inland crags on the island, which has to be one of the most tranquil places to spend a weekend climbing.

In addition to the pink graite and sea stacks, the island has a couple of fine beaches and sea arches visible if you sign up for a tour around the island.

The main crossing to Gola is from Maghergallon Pier which lies 1km away.

Gola and nearby Owey Island as well as a few smaller ones, are dwarfed by one of the largest islands in the country, Arranmore which lies a few kilometres to the south.

On the eastern side of the island, facing the mainland, lie the ruins of the old schoolhouse. Semi-intact in places with half a roof, it is not hard to imagine children of bygone generations sitting at their desks listening attentively to the master.

Around one bend in the road the visitor is surprised to find a sad reminder of our past Reilig na bPist. The childrens graveyard was for unbaptised children mainly but also interred there were suicides and shipwrecked sailors.

Golas claim to fame is as the source for the lively childrens song Bidn Fheidhlimidh which generations of schoolchildren learned by heart and which has been performed at many a seisn over the years. It was from this island that the poor eponymous Feidhlim set sail only to later drown at the nearby Tory Island and thus establish himself in the traditional canon.

Bidn Fheidhlimidh dimigh go Gabhla, – Feidhlims little boat took off for Gabhla Bidn Fheidhlimidh s Feidhlimidh ann – Feidhlims little boat and Feidhlim in it Bidn Fheidhlimidh briseadh i dToraigh , – Feidhlims little boat was crushed against Toraigh Bidn Fheidhlimidh s Feidhlimidh ann Feidhlims little boat and Feidhlim in it.

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The Islands of Ireland: When you come to a Fork in the sea – Irish Examiner

Defending men’s long-course champions win Casco Bay Islands SwimRun – Press Herald

A two-man team won the long course Sunday in the Casco Bay Islands SwimRun.

The team, Local 207, with members Matthew Hurley and John Stevens, finished the nearly 5-mile swim and 14-mile run between Cliff, Sand, Chebeague, Little Chebeague, Cushing, House and Peaks islands in 4 hours, 18 minutes and 8 seconds.

Stevens, who grew up on Little Diamond Island, and Hurley, who grew up in Belfast, were the defending mens division champions.

The top female team, Valkyrie, with members Erin Hunter and Emily Finanger, crossed the finish line in 4 hours, 45 minutes and 6 seconds.

The top coed team, the Hydromaniac Hawsers Bs, with Christopher Borgatti and Lauretta Bailin, finished in 4 hours, 54 minutes and 16 seconds.

Winners of the short course a 2.3-mile swim and 6.7-mile run were the coed team DeHart with Pieter and Jenny DeHart, who finished in 1 hour, 54 minutes and 16 seconds.

The top male team on the short course was Gone Fishi with Richard Saunders and Nate Stevens, who finished in 1 hour, 59 minutes and 51 seconds.

The top female team on the short course was In it to Twin It, with Grace and Anna Senko, who finished in 2 hours, 14 minutes and 47 seconds.

A total of 360 people members of 90 teams on each of the two courses participated in the competition.

Information about the athletes hometowns was not available from the organizers, Millennium Running.

Complete results are available online.

Staff Writer Beth Quimby

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Defending men’s long-course champions win Casco Bay Islands SwimRun – Press Herald

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City in Iowa to use man-made islands to clean creek – San Francisco Chronicle

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) Think of them as nature’s kidneys, Autumn Boos said of the matrix of recycled drinking bottles that resemble giant pot scrubbers sitting next to Dubuque’s 16th Street detention basin.

Over time, the porous, raft-like structures made with nontoxic post-consumer plastics will be teeming with native plants and aquatic life, she told the Telegraph Herald .

“The wonderful symmetry is we take around 67,000 plastic bottles that otherwise would go into a landfill and instead use them to clean the water and create a floating ecosystem,” said Boos, director of sales and marketing at Midwest Floating Island.

The St. Paul, Minnesota-based company started installing a system of “floating islands” in the Bee Branch Creek this month to target excess nutrients in the water and increase biodiversity.

Part of the City of Dubuque’s Bee Branch Creek restoration effort, the project will consist of 14 islands varying in size with a total combined area of 2,674 square feet to provide habitat and wetland restoration. The two largest islands will be 44 feet long by 17 feet wide.

“The city is excited to use this green infrastructure tool to improve water quality without chemicals,” said city civil engineer Deron Muehring. “This is a more natural way to deal with the nutrient buildup,” while providing habitat for butterflies, insects, fish, waterfowl, turtles and frogs.

Inspired by natural floating peat bogs, the islands will help treat stormwater before it flows into the Mississippi River.

The man-made wetlands will be covered with more than 5,000 native plants that grow roots below the water surface. The plastic matrix and suspended root systems of sedges, wild rye, blue flag iris, New England aster, marsh marigold, swamp milkweed and cardinal flowers create an ideal growing surface for biofilm and microbes to break down pollutants such as phosphorus and nitrogen that cause serious odor and algae issues. And they will help manage and remove heavy metals and suspended solids that create murkiness in the water, Boos said.

“We’re creating a floating ecosystem. … It’s more than just a short-term fix to clean the water,” she said.

The islands will be anchored to the creek and detention basin bottom and made to adjust to changing water levels. That makes them ideal for stormwater ponds and other bodies of water that rise and fall after rain, ensuring the suspended roots are always in contact with the water and the island’s floating base avoids issues with flooding and dry conditions, Boos said.

Numerous case studies from across the U.S. show that floating wetlands removed substantial concentrations of total nitrogen and total phosphorus from reclaimed water and provided a diverse habitat for invertebrates, wildlife and vegetation. Independent laboratory tests suggest 250 square feet of island translates to an acre’s worth of wetland surface area, Muehring said. That is due to the amount of nutrients and suspended solids circulating in the water that is taken up by the islands’ exposed root systems.

“With our floating island system … it’s like adding 10 acres of wetland to clean the water and trap sediment,” Muehring said.

The city will use $199,865 in proceeds from a state revolving loan fund and a $46,000 state grant to pay for the $245,865 project, which includes a 10 percent contingency and $30,500 in engineering costs.


Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com

An AP Member Exchange shared by the Telegraph Herald.

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City in Iowa to use man-made islands to clean creek – San Francisco Chronicle

Solomon Islands celebrates Coastwatchers and 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal – HuffPost

GUADALCANAL, Solomon Islands If last weeks shouting match between the worlds two most terrifyingly irrational bullies hadnt clogged the airwaves, stunning hapless listeners with the dark shadow of nuclear war, news of the 75th anniversary of the battle of Guadalcanal, in late 1942, might have made it into the headlines.

The week-long celebration in the Solomon Islands, held from August 2-9, was attended by visitors from around the globe, including veterans, their families, Solomon Islanders, yours truly and military representatives from the WW II Allies who joined forces to defeat Japan — U.S., Australia, and Great Britain — and Japan, as well.

Visit Solomon Islands

But for the first time, the focus of this particular anniversary was the pivotal role that ordinary Solomon Islanders fishermen and farmers — played in the fight to defeat Japan. Known as Scouts and Coastwatchers, these dedicated citizens, suddenly finding themselves in the middle of the most important battle in the drive north to the Japanese homeland, risked everything to provide the Allies with critical information about regional Japanese troop and ship movements.

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As a result, the battle of Guadalcanal, which the Tokyo War Office intended to be a quick, decisive victory designed to convince the United States to abandon the war and sue for peace, became instead a six-month-long nightmare of attrition. Landing on Guadalcanal in August 1942, the U.S. marines quickly captured the partially-built airfield, then fought their way inland through suffocating thick, wet, insect-ridden jungle, winning and losing a series of bloody battles, but gradually pushing the Japanese soldiers into hiding. Eventually stranded without ammunition and food but refusing to surrender, 31,000 Japanese died of wounds and starvation; in January 1943, the War Office finally rescued the survivors.

Visit Solomon Islands

Such memories lent a solemn note to the recent celebration. But the emergence of the Solomon Islands as a modern, independent nation a pristine South Pacific paradise and dive site created a festive atmosphere. On August 2, The Honorable Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga and The Honorable Minister of Culture & Tourism, Bartholomew Parapolo, along with Josefa Tuamoto, the CEO of the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, presided over the opening ceremonies, assisted by Defense Attach Commander Dan Balsinger, on hand to represent the United States.

After a welcome address to guests and veterans, Prime Minister Maelanga and Commander Balsinger unveiled a portrait of John F. Kennedy, commander of the patrol boat PT 109 sunk by a Japanese ship in 1943. Kennedy, decorated for leading 11 of his crew to a deserted island (unseen by the Japanese), were located there and rescued by the Coastwatchers.

On August 3, 2017, we attended an all-day event on nearby Lubaria Island for the unveiling of the John F. Kennedy Monument, and a dedication led by Minister of Culture & Tourism Parapolo. Afterwards we toured the Base, explored the new John F. Kennedy Museum, and after a lunch of authentic Melanesian cuisine, took in the local culture: a bamboo band, dancers, displays of wood carvings and a visit to an American destroyer, in the harbor for the event.

Visit Solomon Islands

A special ceremony on Bloody Ridge announced the creation of the Bloody Ridge National Park and Preserve, dedicated both to the soldiers who died there, and to peace and freedom. Additional events, scheduled over the remainder of the week, included several church services of remembrance, lectures, military band concerts and parades and museum exhibits.

As the week ended, many visitors headed out to explore the Solomon Islands, now famous for its beach resorts, unspoiled, uncrowded white sand, exquisite snorkeling and some of the best dive locations for sunken ships and coral reefs on the planet.

Visit Solomon Islands

A scattered archipelago of some 990-odd richly forested mountainous islands and low-lying coral atolls, the Solomon Islands offers a fresh destination for international travelers hardy enough to get off the beaten track and look for a new and very different experience. Located just three hours away from Australias east coast, theyre easily reached from Fijis International Airport, and via a variety of other international connections.

Visit Solomon Islands

For veterans and their families, and for WW II historians, tours of battle sites are included in trips led by Valor Tours, a company founded several decades ago by WWII pilot Bob Reynolds. Reynolds has retired now but the adventures continue under the leadership of Bobs daughter, Vicky Reynolds-Middagh. Look for itineraries and dates at http://www.valortours.com.

To view several battlefield sites, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGoiSFjOBR4 Films and additional material created in in support of the 75th anniversary are available on the internet. For these, visit https://www.facebook.com/solohistory/ For additional information about the Solomon Islands, visit http://www.visitsolomons.com.sb or email requests to info@sivb.com.sb or call 677-22442.

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Solomon Islands celebrates Coastwatchers and 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal – HuffPost

Auction for Lower-Number Cape & Islands Plates Starts Today – Cape Cod Today

This week you have an exciting opportunity to acquire a low numbered IC license plate during the second ever Cape & Islands License Plate charitable online auction!

From Sunday, August 13 through Friday, August 18, you can bid on Cape and Islands IC license plates numbered from 1 to 999.Register to bid now!

This is a unique chance to get a low numbered plate that can be passed down for generations! And not only can you get a previously unobtainable plate, your tax-deductible donation will help keep the Cape & Islands a great place to live, work, play and create. Does your vehicle already sport a Cape & Islands Plate? How about switching your current one with your own special number? Important numbers could represent birthdays, anniversaries, the day you fell in love, graduated from college, bought (or sold) your boat, or your college football number.

Whether you live here or just love it here, a Cape & Islands license plate makes you a true ambassador of this beautiful destination, and shows your commitment to making this a better place to live and visit.

Introduced in 1996, the Cape & Islands license plate features Nauset Light in Eastham (considered one of the most picturesque and photographed lighthouses in America), along with the cliffs of Siasconset in Nantucket and Gay Head on Marthas Vineyard. The plate captures the distinct beauty of this coastal region, and is the perfect way to keep alive cherished memories of time spent here.

Revenues from the plate help to make the Cape & Islands a better place to live and visit! Plate revenues support grants, loans, the arts, environmentally compatible economic development programs and the growth of our year-round economy.

Click hereto see just some of the hundreds of organizations and programs that have benefited from the Cape Cod & Islands License Plate campaign over the years.

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Auction for Lower-Number Cape & Islands Plates Starts Today – Cape Cod Today

Neighbor Islands should not pay for rail in Honolulu – Maui News

The issue of funding Honolulus controversial rail project is on the verge of boiling over to the Neighbor Islands and residents should be concerned.

As mentioned in my July 17 Chairs 3 Minutes, the state Legislature has scheduled a special session starting on Aug. 28 to determine a funding plan for Honolulus rail.

The Legislature could easily resolve the rails shortfall by extending or increasing Oahus general excise tax surcharge to complete construction with no impacts to the Neighbor Islands. Unfortunately, this solution has fallen to the wayside and the statewide transient accommodations tax is now a target. Aside from the TAT hitting tourists more than voters, increasing this tax for rail has no rational explanation.

For fiscal year 2018, in what has now become a common occurrence, the Legislature raided the counties TAT share by reducing it from $103 million to $93 million. The counties share was reduced at a time when TAT revenues are at an all-time high, with anticipated revenues nearing or exceeding $533 million in the coming year. By the end of this fiscal year, the state will have harvested $96 million more in TAT since FY 2016, or a 42 percent increase.

The state has increasingly taken more TAT revenues to help balance its own budget at the detriment of counties. Now the Legislature wants to raise the tax to fund rail?

Neighbor Islands receive no benefit from the Honolulu rail, and a TAT increase has major implications on the economy. Most visitors have a fixed budget for their vacation and an increase in the room tax will simply lead to less spending on restaurants, retail and activities. Every 1 percent increase in the TAT sends approximately $26.7 million to the state, instead of remaining in the Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island counties.

Simple solutions other than raiding the TAT exist and the Legislature must consider these avenues.

An option would be to collect TAT from wholesalers and online travel companies such as Travelocity, Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz and Priceline.

In 2015, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that online companies indeed were subject to general excise tax and penalties on their respective portions of gross income from sales of visitor accommodations in Hawaii. It was also ruled, however, they were not subject to the TAT. Most of these companies still collect the TAT, but they pocket the funds instead of paying it to the state, which is legal, but not right.

The state must also work with counties to create a mechanism to identify vacation rental properties by working with companies such as Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway and other platforms to ensure they are operating legally and paying appropriate taxes.

These fixes would generate millions of dollars, but instead it appears legislators are looking for an easy way out.

Members of the County Council also agree that increasing the TAT is not the solution, and passed a resolution this past week urging the Legislature to extend Oahus GET surcharge instead. The hope is that legislators will have a change of heart and avoid pulling the Neighbor Islands into the rail project and draining resources the counties need for their own projects.

Once again, the state is on a path to take a visitor-generated tax meant to pay for the visitors share of county services, but leaving the cost to be picked up by Neighbor Island residents.

As the special session approaches, I encourage Maui County residents to contact state legislators. Call or email them at reps@capitol.hawaii.gov and sens@capitol.hawaii.gov to let your voice be heard.

The interest of Neighbor Islands must be protected, but to do so, residents must express their concerns over the proposals brewing at the Legislature.


* Mike White is chairman of the Maui County Council. He holds the council seat for the Paia-Haiku-Makawao residency area. Chairs 3 Minutes is a weekly column to explain the latest news on county legislative matters. Go to mauicounty.us for more information.

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Neighbor Islands should not pay for rail in Honolulu – Maui News

Once in a lifetime experience: partial eclipse on Aug. 21 – Islands’ Sounder

The sun will play hide and seek behind the moon Monday, Aug. 21, during a partial eclipse seen from the San Juan Islands.

From the National Aeronautics and Space Administrations data, we will see about an 88 percent eclipse here. Seattle is right on the edge of 95 percent, said Raena Parsons, San Juan National Park education specialist.

Come to the Orcas Library on Aug. 21 to share a once-in-a-lifetime experience with friends and neighbors. The eclipse viewing party will take place on south patio, from start to finish of the event, 9:30 to noon.

We have safe, certified eclipse glasses to use, and will also have materials for and directions on making your own pinhole projector, as well as other eclipse-related crafts, say library staff. And what if its cloudy or hazy that day? The party will go on! We will watch live feed from NASA, enjoy coffee and treats and learn all about what is going on up in the sky.

The Land Bank, Island Rec, the Conservation District, Indigenous Education Institute, OPALCO, Friends of Lime Kiln, the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, San Juan Island Library, and the San Juan Island National Monument have all pulled together with the national park for a free solstice viewing party at South Beach on San Juan Island. Free shuttles from Friday Harbor to South Beach run from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., and return between 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m, as the dance between the sun and moon ends.

While Seattle will have a better view of the eclipse, seeing closer to totality, Parsons has fielded several calls from off-island residents wanting to visit the islands nonetheless.

Many people seek out natural areas for events like this, she said.

Telescopes with solar filters will be available for those attending the party.

If you have never seen an eclipse through a telescope, you should join us and check it out, its incredible, Parsons said.

She added that views should never look at the sun through a telescope without solar filters. You can go blind in seconds, she said about using the telescope.

NASA has also sent out warnings that many eclipse sunglasses found on line are not certified. To see check reputable sunglasses, go to eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/iso-certification.

Parsons added that taking photos of the eclipse without special filters on cameras, including those on phones, like iPhones, can ruin the camera. The park will not have those specific filters available. While research in the journal the Lancet has shown that contrary to popular belief, the majority of people with damage from looking at the sun with the naked eye, known as eclipse retinopathy, are not totally blinded. Never look directly at an eclipse, especially a partial one, Parsons emphasized. While you might go completely blind, looking directly at an eclipse can cause eye issues.

You can really damage your eyes without even feeling it, Parsons warned.

For more safety tips, visit NASAs website http://www.eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.

To build a viewing projector box, Live Sciences website gives five easy steps:

Step 1. Cut a small hole (about 1 inch across) in one end of the shoe box, near an edge.

Step 2. Tape a piece of tinfoil over the hole.

Step 3. Using a pin or needle, punch a hole in the center of the foil.

Step 4. Tape a small piece of white paper to the inside of the box, at the opposite end from the foil-covered hole. The paper should be positioned so that light entering the box through the pinhole will hit it. This is where youll look for the sun.

Step 5. Cut a 1-inch-diameter hole in the box near the image screen (the white piece of paper), but on a different side of the box the side adjacent to the screen. This is your viewing hole; it must be positioned such that you can look through it at an angle and see the image screen.

When the time comes for the eclipse, hold the shoe box so that it lines up with its own shadow, demonstrating that it is aligned with light from the sun. Stand so that when you look through the viewing hole, you can see a tiny bead of light on the image screen; thats the sun. During the eclipse, youll see the shadow of the moon pass in front of the sun.

You can also make a simple projector screen like this:

Take a sheet of cardboard or heavy paper (or a paper plate). Use a pin, thumbtack or paperclip to make a tiny hole in the center. Make sure the hole is round and smooth.

Put a second sheet of white paper on the ground in front of you. With your back toward the sun, hold the piece of paper with the hole in it so the sun shines through the hole onto the other piece of paper.

You will see an inverted image of the sun projected onto the paper through the pinhole.

To make the image of the sun larger, move the paper with the pinhole in it further away from the paper on the ground.

According to Parsons, the moon will begin to shift in front of the sun at approximately 9:06 a.m. covering 88 percent of the sun at around 10:20 a.m.. The sun returns from hiding by 11:30. While San Juan County may only be seeing a partial eclipse, those living in Oregon will be treated to a full eclipse, as well as those along the narrow, 60-mile wide path of totality stretching from Oregon to South Carolina. The last time there was such an eclipse, from the Pacific Coast of America to the Atlantic Coast, was June of 1918, according to NASAs website. It has also been dubbed the Great American Eclipse, because no other country will see it as a total eclipse. The next time a total solar eclipse occurs in the United States is April 8, 2024. According to Parsons, the path of that eclipse runs from Texas to Maine. Washington should see a 66 percent partial eclipse, so the event known as Great American Eclipse is the one to watch.

I love anything that has to do with the skies and solar system, and sharing it with people, she said.

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Once in a lifetime experience: partial eclipse on Aug. 21 – Islands’ Sounder

Secaucus, NJ Treasure Island – Yellow Pages

YP – The Real Yellow PagesSM – helps you find the right local businesses to meet your specific needs. Search results are sorted by a combination of factors to give you a set of choices in response to your search criteria. These factors are similar to those you might use to determine which business to select from a local Yellow Pages directory, including proximity to where you are searching, expertise in the specific services or products you need, and comprehensive business information to help evaluate a business’s suitability for you. Preferred listings, or those with featured website buttons, indicate YP advertisers who directly provide information about their businesses to help consumers make more informed buying decisions. YP advertisers receive higher placement in the default ordering of search results and may appear in sponsored listings on the top, side, or bottom of the search results page.

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Secaucus, NJ Treasure Island – Yellow Pages

When the US Military Came to Guam – The Atlantic

Since North Korea threatened to fire missiles into the water around Guam, much has been made of the islands strategic importance. It is the westernmost U.S. territory; it is home to two existing military basesfor the air force and the navyand a planned third, for the marines.

The United States retook Guam from the Japanese in World War II, and the military has been an outsized and sometimes controversial presence on the island ever since.

These geopolitical circumstances have physically remade the islanda third of which is under U.S. military control. It has meant the dredging of wharves for the navys ships, the construction of housing for thousands of U.S. soldiers, and a planned live-fire range right next to the islands national wildlife refuge.

And then there are the snakes.

North Korea: The View From Guam

Sometime in the years right after WWII, as military planes were flying in and out of Guam, a species called the brown tree snake hitched a ride from the South Pacific. It grows several feet long and feeds on small mammals, lizards, and birds. On the island, this invasive predator found easy prey. It feasted on Micronesian kingfishers and Mariana fruit doves and rufous fantails; in just a few decades, it ate 10 out of 12 native forest-bird species off the face of the island.

Its a really eerie feeling to spend a day by yourself in the jungle on Guam, a scientist told the BBC recently. There are no bird songs, no mating calls, no chattering.

Efforts to curb the snake population have become as extreme as dropping thousands of dead mice by airplane over the island. The mice are laced with acetaminophenthe active ingredient in Tylenolwhich is poisonous to the snakes.

The effects of the snakes appetite have rippled through Guams ecosystem. Without birds to eat them, spiders have flourished. Without birds to spread seeds, forests have thinned. According to one estimate, the growth of new tree seedlings has declined between 61 to 92 percent.

All this has been compounded by the buildup of military bases on the island. The military development of Guam has taken out a lot of forest, says Susan Haig, a wildlife biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey.

The military is uniquely exempt from critical habitat provisions in the Endangered Species Act, thanks to an amendment that Congress passed in 2004. Critical habitats are areas deemed crucial to an endangered or threatened species, and its harder to develop on those lands. Instead of going through the same process as everyone else when building on critical habitat, the military can work out an integrated natural-resources management plan with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2004, the Los Angeles Times reported, The agency initially proposed designating 24,803 acres of Guam’s forests as critical habitat for the birds. After Congress gave the military the exemption from critical habitat, the agency slashed its proposal to 376 acres.

The plan to relocate a marine base from Okinawa to Guam will mean more habitat disruption. New housing for thousands of marines and their families will impact hundreds of acres of recovery habitat for birds and the endangered Mariana fruit bat. And a proposed live-fire training range will affect dozens to hundreds of acres.

The buildup on Guam has consequences for other islands nearby, too. The military has proposed conducting war games on Tinian and Pgan, two islands north of Guam that belong to the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Pagan would become a bombing range and coral reefs around Tinian practice grounds for amphibious vehicles. [The islands] have extremely rich biological diversity, and the increase of military activity on these islands is just going to pummel all of that, says Miyoko Sakashita, senior counsel for the Center for Biological Diversity. The center, along with several local groups, has filed a lawsuit against the military challenging this plan.

These remote islands will be key to the U.S. militarys readiness if there is trouble in Asia. But the environmental cost of projecting U.S. military power across the Pacific also falls disproportionately on them. Their wildlife has been a casualty of geopolitics. With Guam now the focus of North Koreas threats, Gordon Rodda, a retired biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey who has worked on the island, closed out an email to me this way: I do understand that nuclear exchanges would not be good for Guams wildlife!

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When the US Military Came to Guam – The Atlantic

Minefields set up by Argentine forces on the Falkland Islands are costing British taxpayers 2million a year to … – The Sun

Expert teams work removing thousands of anti-vehicle and personnel mines brought to the island during the 1982 war

ARGENTINE-laid minefields are costing British taxpayers 2 million a year to clear on the Falkland Islands 35 years after the war finished.

Expert teams are working removing thousands of anti-vehicle and personnel mines brought to the island during the 1982 war.

Times Newspapers Ltd

De-mining on the British territory in South Atlantic has cost more than 16 million since 2009 and a further 20 million has been pledged.

Thirty minefields have been treated in recent years with another 46 expected to be cleared by next year.

Surveys will also be carried out on another 27 sites under British obligations under the Ottawa Treaty setting out a worldwide approach to removing landmines.

110 people are working on the project which is currently funded by the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence.

Argentine forces invaded the Falklands in April 1982 hoping to reclaim sovereignty of the remote islands.

The 74-day conflict saw 255 British military personnel lose their lives.

Lib Dem MP Tim Farron last night said: It is a slap in the face for UK taxpayers that we have to foot the bill.

The government need to ask Argentina to stump up some more cash. The Falklands should be made safe but Buenos Aires need to cough up.

Foreign Office Minister Alan Duncan has said he welcomes the news residents and visitors will soon be able to go safely into areas which have been out of bounds for decades.

Landmines have been a long-lasting and unwanted legacy of the 1982 conflict and the UK continues to be committed to removing them.

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Minefields set up by Argentine forces on the Falkland Islands are costing British taxpayers 2million a year to … – The Sun

Water Bank — Island homes swell in value as acquirers relish barrier retreats, secluded properties wrapped by marsh … – Charleston Post Courier

A bridge away from peninsula Charleston, homebuyers shopping for a second home or a mid-sized primary locale can secure a three-tier townhome counting three bedrooms, access to a creek and unobstructed sights of marsh, priced at $485,000. The house sits in Palmetto Pointe, a less-than-decade-old neighborhood on the way to Folly Beach known as Peas Island.

“The views are great,” says Bryan Weatherford, agent with ERA Wilder Realty in Charleston. He sees the residence with underneath garage as a second home, most likely for people who live a few hours away and can zip down to the Lowcountry in an afternoon.

“Greenville, Spartanburg, Charlotte — they can spend all weekend,” Weatherford says. A few owners in the 44-home village, which just completed its last four townhomes, possess docks that offer community use. “(Just) park your boat,” he says.

The less than half-a-million dollar townhome at the southern tip of James Island exhibits a prime buying opportunity that’s gained traction with Lowcountry property buyers. Many Charleston area house hunters are eager to live on an island, whether a water-ringed town or suburb such as James and Johns islands, a barrier expanse such as Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island, resorts including Kiawah and Seabrook islands and Edisto and Folly beaches or an isolated property split from the mainland such as Pumpkin, Cusabo and Hoopstick islands.

Sometimes the properties don’t literally have to be encircled by creeks, lakes or ocean. Weatherford lists a sizable home on Whispering Marsh Drive in James Island’s fashionable Stiles Point community. Priced at $1,295,000, the “beautiful” home sets up as a family residence bordering the large-pond sized Kushiwah Lake. It’s ideal for parents and “at least two or three kids,” he says. The property stands off Harbor View Road a handful of miles from Charleston’s historic district. “I wouldn’t be surprised if someone who works downtown buys the place,” Weatherford says.

Real estate figures confirm the notion that homes and condos on area islands or oceanside locales are hot commodities. Charleston Trident Association of Realtors separates out nine sections as beaches or islands showcasing median home prices in 2016 from $350,000 to $1,350,000 (Sullivan’s Island). Only Charleston and Mount Pleasant among non-islands or beaches rise to those rarefied midpoint prices. Most waterside areas boast sizable price increases, with Isle of Palms’ 11.5 percent rise from the year before placing second highest and Folly Beach, up 11.1 percent, the third steepest. Since 2012, median home prices on barrier islands and beaches stretched from a 43 percent gain on Daniel Island to a 4.6 percent decline on Seabrook Island, CTAR reports.

In terms of sales, island and beach properties aren’t showing as unified growth as they are with home values. Yet Seabrook Island reported a 10.1 percent sales increase last year from 2015, Sullivan’s Island rose 10.7 percent and Johns Island surged 21.3 percent to 649 homes traded, the fourth highest percentage boost in the Lowcountry.

The island and beach buzz has become so pronounced that a number of real estate agencies promote Charleston area “islands” as among their specialties.

Ravenel Associates Real Estate Inc. provides information on its website touting “Lowcountry living on the barrier islands” and focusing on James, Johns, Kiawah, Seabrook and Wadmalaw islands.

“Charleston’s barrier islands are one of a kind,” the agency says. “Old oaks draped with Spanish moss risemajestically from the ground and the area hums with cicadas in the summer, bringing with their southern charm the southern hospitality of the residents in these barrier islands.” Ravenel Associates calls on readers, “Let’s discover the distinct character of these islands.”

Weatherford can relate to the interest in island houses. The Palmetto Pointe townhomes on seven-acre Peas Island are benefiting from a good economy and proximity to downtown Charleston, he says. “These things are selling really fast,” Weatherford says.

For more information and photos, go to http://www.postandcourier.com/business/real_estate/jim-parker.

Reach Jim Parker at 843-937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.


Water Bank — Island homes swell in value as acquirers relish barrier retreats, secluded properties wrapped by marsh … – Charleston Post Courier

Opinion: Why there’s more to the Blasket Islands then Peig Sayers – Independent.ie

At this time of year, the roads on the mainland opposite are flanked by battalions of brightly coloured flowers.

On the island, the 60 acres of once-worked land had been divided into fields by banks of soil.

Now slumped, these banks are covered in old bleached grasses gone to seed interspersed with a few shy wildflowers.

The remaining few sheep and a few donkeys roam freely over the land and unsurfaced green paths.

The sparse vegetation makes the island perfect for rambling.

There are no trees. Apparently, a poster of a tree hung on the wall of the school (which was open from 1864 to 1941) for the information of pupils who had never seen one in real life.

This snippet of information was shared with us by an Office of Public Works guide named Louise. Most of the island is now managed by the OPW and, during the summer, there are guided tours for visitors which, depending on the weather, can number up to a few hundred.

The island is stunningly beautiful in an understated way. But the main interest in the Blaskets arises out of its remarkable literary output from the 1920s onwards, with other famous books including Tomas Criomhthain’s An t-Oileanach and Muiris Silleabhin’s Fiche Blian ag Fs.

In reality, the residents’ lives at the time were possibly no tougher than those on the mainland but, for whatever reasons, theirs were the stories which got told.

Admittedly, much of the interest was a linguistic one, in that the Irish spoken there was largely unchanged down through the centuries.

But, even in English, I have discovered that there is appeal to at least some of the writing.

I started reading The Islander but it wasn’t my cup of tea. However, I loved Twenty Years A-Growing. O’Sullivan’s simple description of life growing up on the island is full of energy, wonder and joy.

Obviously, the experiences of a young man starting out in life are going to be very different from a woman nearing the end of hers. But I can’t help wondering if many people would have a different view of Irish if this was the book we’d studied for the Leaving, instead of Peig!

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Opinion: Why there’s more to the Blasket Islands then Peig Sayers – Independent.ie

China protests US ship sailing by island in South China Sea – ABC News

China expressed its “strong dissatisfaction” with the U.S. over the Navy’s latest freedom of navigation operation in which a warship sailed past one of China’s man-made islands in the strategic South China Sea.

A leading U.S. think tank, meanwhile, released a new report documenting what it said was continuing reclamation work on Chinese-controlled islands in the area despite a recent claim by China’s foreign minister that such work had stopped two years ago.

In a statement late Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang called the U.S. Navy’s action a “provocation” that “severely undermines China’s sovereignty and security, and severely endangers the safety of frontline personnel of both sides.”

China, which claims virtually the entire South China Sea, routinely protests such operations, which President Donald Trump’s administration has continued partly to reassure allies locked in territorial disputes with Beijing.

“China has the firm determination to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime interests,” Geng said. The U.S. move will “compel China to take measures to further raise its capacity to defend national territory,” he said.

A U.S. Navy official told The Associated Press that the destroyer USS John S. McCain sailed past Mischief Reef on Thursday. U.S. officials say the military will continue to sail, fly and operate wherever permitted by international law.

Geng said the Chinese navy “identified the U.S. warship, warned and expelled it.”

China and the U.S. maintain different interpretations on international law as applied to the operation of warships, and Beijing has ignored a Hague arbitration court’s ruling that invalidated much of its South China Sea claim.

Although the Philippines has taken steps to improve ties with China under its current leader, Rodrigo Duterte, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Friday “we don’t find (the sail-by) objectionable.”

Tensions in the region escalated after China began to turn seven reefs in the Spratly group, including Mischief, which is also claimed by U.S. defense treaty ally the Philippines, into islands, including three with runways.

Missile systems and other defense infrastructure are believed to have also been installed on the islands, which the U.S. and China’s neighbors fear could be used to project Chinese power into the area and potentially obstruct freedom of navigation.

Firing back at criticism of China’s activities, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Monday that China had “stopped or already completed land reclamation” on its holdings in the South China Sea two years ago.

However, the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies said China was continuing to reclaim land in the Paracel Islands to the north of the Spratlys.

Wang’s claim “is false” and China’s reclamation work “did not end in mid-2015 with the completion of its artificial islands in the Spratlys,” said the report.

The Paracels play “a key role in China’s goal of establishing surveillance and power projection capabilities throughout the South China Sea,” the report said. “To this end, Beijing has undertaken substantial upgrades of its military infrastructure in the Paracels.”

China occupies 20 outposts in the chain and improvements include the addition of harbors, helipads, an airstrip, hangars and a surface-to-air missile battery, the report said.

Earlier in the week, Wang said talks on a nonaggression pact aimed at preventing clashes from erupting in the South China Sea may start this year if “outside parties” don’t cause a major disruption, in an apparent reference to Washington and allies such as Japan.

The U.S. is not a party to the disputes in the busy and potentially oil- and gas-rich waters that also involve Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. Washington, however, has declared it in its interest to ensure that the conflicts are resolved peacefully and that freedom of navigation and overflight remain unhampered. An estimated $5 trillion in annual trade passes through the waterway.

Washington’s critical actions came as it courts the help of China, North Korea’s most important economic partner, in taming Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons ambitions and ending its missile tests.

Associated Press writer Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines, contributed to this report.

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China protests US ship sailing by island in South China Sea – ABC News

Exclusive: Cayman Islands Pursuing First All-Inclusive Resort – Travel Agent

Rosa Harris, director of tourism for theCayman Islands,tells Travel Agent that could soon change.

We sat down with Harris on Wednesday afternoonand learned that the destinationis actively looking for an all-inclusive resort company to open up shop in the destination.

As a destination, Cayman would like to see our first fully-dedicated,all-inclusive resort that would hopefully round out the offerings that Cayman has, Harris told Travel Agent.

Although Harris told us the ultimate plan would be to have an all-inclusive resort on the destinations lesser-know Cayman Brac, she also said she would like to see oneon the more mainstream island of Grand Cayman.

Travel Agent is excited to soon see all-inclusive resorts in two Caribbean islands, the Cayman Islands and Puerto Rico, for the first time.

After years of rumors that AMResorts was looking to expand to Puerto Rico and become the destinations only all-inclusive resort, the company inked a deal late last year to build a Dreams Resort in Guanica,Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico and Cayman Islands are bothrestaurant-heavy islands that rely on off-property dining options to help drive the economy. This was perhaps the main reason both islands have been reluctant over the years to welcome an all-inclusive property.

We are going to be very careful in deciding what all-inclusive company comes to the destination, says Harris. We need to make sure guests of whatever all-inclusive it is are still encouraged to get off the resort and eat at our local restaurants.

As far as what company makes sense for the destination, Travel Agent thinks its a very likely possibility that Karisma Hotels &Resorts could be the first all-inclusive company to open a hotel in the Cayman Islands.

After all, Karisma and the Cayman Islands already have a mutual business partner in Margaritaville Holdings, LLC. Margaritaville Beach Resort Grand Cayman, the anticipated multi-million-dollar renovation project situated in the heart of Grand Caymanon Seven Mile Beach, had a soft opening back in February. That same month, Karisma signed a partnership to develop a new all-inclusive Margaritaville Resorts brand.

But Harris wouldnt confirm or deny whether Karisma is one of the companies the Cayman Islands is eyeing.

We have several names in mind already, but well share those at another time, Harris told Travel Agent.

Visit http://www.caymanislands.kyand keep visitingwww.travelagentcentral.comfor all your latest travel news. Be sure to followTravel AgentsJoe PikeonTwitter[emailprotected]andInstagram@pike5260.

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Exclusive: Cayman Islands Pursuing First All-Inclusive Resort – Travel Agent

North Korea Aside, Guam Faces Another Threat: Climate Change – New York Times

The Pentagon said in a 2014 report that climate change posed an immediate threat to national security. And in June, the House Armed Services Committee passed an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that would require the secretary of defense to submit a report on how climate change could affect American military installations and combat requirements over the next 20 years.

There are a number of climate adaptation studies underway in Guam, both civilian and military, said Victoria Keener, a research fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu who works on applied hydrology and climatology projects in the Pacific islands.

The adaptation work includes research, overseen by a local climate change task force, on coastal infrastructure in tourist areas, Dr. Keener said, as well as a Pentagon-financed study to explore how climate change may affect the islands freshwater resources.

Dr. Keener said that, because Guam is not particularly low-lying, it probably would be less vulnerable to the effects of rising sea levels than an island such as Kwajalein Atoll, in the Marshall Islands, where the defense contractor Lockheed Martin is building a $915 million radar system for the United States Air Force.

But Guams topography is no guarantee that its climate adaptation projects would be effective over the long term, she added.

Climate change adaptation: Its a new field, she said, and you really dont know how well youre preparing for things until 20 years, 30 years down the road.

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North Korea Aside, Guam Faces Another Threat: Climate Change – New York Times

Future Islands Dominated At FMQB’s Triple A Conference – 303 Magazine

Friday Morning Quarter Backs (FMQB) Triple A Conference commenced Wednesday, August 9 with a stellar lineup featuring Future Islands, The Lone Bellow and Mondo Cozmo at the Fox Theatre and Bahamas and Current Swell on a free adjacent outdoor stage. The Triple A Conference, now in its eighth year in Boulder, is a platform for radio decision makers to decide which bands will be featured in this years playlists. Despite the big heads in the room, the first night of the Triple A Conference was a stunning display of some of the brightest powerhouses in alternative music.

Photo Courtesy of Current Swells Facebook Page

Starting the night off with Current Swell on the outdoor stage provided some quintessential Boulder moments. The Canadian blues-folk band strummed iridescent feel-good tunes against a dusky haze, as the consumption-conscious residents melded together with the burgeoning college-age crowd and a homeless man put two tree branches to use thrashing and spinning on the outskirts of the crowd. No one batted an eye. Its easy to see where the man got his inspiration from.Current Swells vivacious display was a charismatic one more akin to watching a friend put on a performance in his living room than a band on stage performing in front of a few hundred people.However, the effect was irresistible and set the tone for the rest of the night.

Following Current Swells homegrown stylings was Bahamas. Afie Jurvanen, formally known as Bahamas, sent spine-tingling melodies across Boulders hill with over-meticulous guitar plucks and syncopated rhythms. There was not a foot untapped and a head kept still as hed volley vocals back and forth with backup singer Felicity Williams while occasionally breaking into intricate guitar work. Though Bahamas audibly fits into the indie-folk category, the bands many musical inflections and live improvisations seemed to break them from common tropes of folk music into something quite inspiring.In fact, the longer Bahamas went on, the less a specific genre could be pinned on them. One thing is for certain though, Bahamas surpassed many expectations, managing to make indie-folk sound fresh in the process.

Photo By Brent Andeck

The night soon shifted to the Fox Theatre for The Lone Bellows performance. After a momentary delay, The Lone Bellows proved themselves to be the real deal. For one thing, the core of the group, Zach Williams, Kanene Pipkin and Brian Elmquist all have earth-shattering pipes that can all stand on their own, but when they come together they make something truly wondrous. On songs like You Never Need Nobody, the band resembled a full-bodied choir and on the Elmquist-led track Watch Over Us, the band demonstrated blistering reserve, waxing and waning in response to Elmquists vulnerability, supporting when necessary and retreating accordingly.The anthems were as potent as the slow burners in pushing the audience across a continuum of emotions. The pure passion of the band overflowed from the group like the sweat from Williams wavy mane, making it impossible to not get caught up in the moment whether you were well-acquainted with the band or not.When the band concluded the show, the audience was right there with them taking the first full breath after a truly exhilarating ride.

When the nights closer Future Islands eventually took the stage, a tangible excitement pervaded the room. As one of Will Cashions signature bass line entered the fray, the Fox Theatre devolved into an all-out dance party. The bands latest effort, The Far Field offered a darker visage of the band, a step back from the optimism and nave excitement of love that were motifs of prior releases, but fittingly so in natural progression of the band.However, even at their bleakest moments, Future Islands doubled down on the cathartic nature of their performance, encouraging dancing through the joy and pain all the same.And thats what we did.

Photo by Camille Breslin

In a career spanning setlist, Future Islands captured the ephemera of their fleeting moment on stage. They had the crowd wilding out to older cuts Walking Through The Door, and Tin Man while holding steady in the grip of newer, more somber cuts Through the Roses and Ancient Water. All the while, lead singer Samuel Herring battled his way through the setlist like a man possessed, swinging his arms, spinning around and kicking his legs out with manic intensity in characteristic fashion. There wasnt a moment wasted standing still, even as small stage banter would ensue, as those in the audience twitched with energy, waiting for the next hit.The virile performance was infectious, spreading from the front of the house to the rear as if each heavy hitting song demanded submission to their propulsive beats.The unrelentingly brazen nature of Future Islands performance from the start through the encore made them a clear standout in a night of already fantastic performances. With the start of the Triple A Conference featuring so much grit, its a wonder if anyone will be able to contend with the two remaining days.

303 Magazine303 MusicAfie JurvanenbahamasBoulderBrent AndeckBrian ElmquistCamille Breslincanadiancurrent swellFelicity WilliamsFMQBfox theatreFuture IslandsKanene PipkinKori HazelMondo CozmoSamuel HerringThe Far FieldThe Lone BellowTriple A ConferenceWill CashionZ2 EntertainmentZach Williams

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Future Islands Dominated At FMQB’s Triple A Conference – 303 Magazine

17 of the world’s most overlooked islands – CNN

(CNN) Let’s be honest: Islands are rarely a hard sell, but some of these pretty places for always-needed indulgence get a little more love than others.

But on the world’s lesser-known islands, still-secret spots, aquamarine seas and a relative lack of selfie-snappers could add up to castaway vacations more noteworthy than those on islands always topping best-of lists.

From the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, and a spot in the literal middle of nowhere, here are 17 less-boasted paradises worth adding to any travel lust list:

Out in the beautiful middle of almost nowhere is Cocos Keeling, a place most people don’t even realize is probably the island of their dreams.

Belonging to Australia, these Indian Ocean isles lying roughly halfway between the Aussies and Sri Lanka have just 600 residents loving life on the two atolls and 27 coral islands that make up Cocos. Only two of these isles are inhabited, which means there’s an embarrassment of empty islands and accompanying unoccupied beaches. Canoeing out to explore them is encouraged.

Those after more than just sun-basking and sea baths can do an atoll walk through the shallow lagoon Cocos encloses and wind up on Prison Island, where real prisoners were once stranded.

If the thought of people-littered beaches is too much to bear, there’s Grenada. Beaches are bountiful on the Spice Island, so named because it supplies 20% of the world’s nutmeg. Grand Anse may be the most recommended, but Paradise Beach has a beauty and seclusion all its own.

For another experience, take a day trip to Carriacou, or land of the reefs. The little isle off Grenada is known for snorkeling and a people extra steeped in the Spice Island’s African cultural heritage.

Beyond water pursuits, Grenada is known for revelry during Spice Mas. Every August, Grenada gives itself over to the rhythmic sounds of Jab Jab and soca music for its Carnival celebration, which will see masqueraders parading through the streets from night into day.

Breezes in Nosy Be carry the scent of its abundant ylang ylang. (Photo courtesy Viaggio Routard)

Nosy Be, the gem of Madagascar, is still a haven for the island escapist.

In addition to its glassy, gin-blue waters, Nosy Be is known as the perfumed island because the breeze carries the scent of its abundant ylang ylang. Eleven volcanic crater lakes sprinkle Nosy Be and small islets and rock formations lining the coastline mean personal, private beaches abound.

Beyond these beaches, there’s Nosy Tanikely, a small island off this already small island that’s home to a marine reserve with unspoiled snorkeling. Beach picnics complete with fresh catch are the eating experience of choice.

Any island where the modus operandi is “mora mora,” which literally means “slowly, slowly” in Malagasy, is surely one where taking it easy is celebrated.

Not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, Dominica is the Caribbean island with the Champagne Reef.

Though it’s not champagne exactly; it’s an underwater geothermal spring with hot bubbles that make divers feel like they’re bathing in champagne. Not surprisingly, Champagne Reef has been ranked one of the world’s top — and most unusual — snorkeling sites.

Known as the Nature Island, Dominica is the destination to pick for those interested in a little more land life, like hiking. The island is lined with 300 miles of trails running through Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and along the Waitukubuli National Trail, past volcanoes, mud baths, waterfalls and wildlife.

There’s more to the Indian Ocean than the Maldives. Though Reunion Island may be the Indian Ocean’s most prosperous, it isn’t the most popular, which makes it the perfect underrated isle to check out next.

A photographer’s paradise, the French territory has panoramas graced with rugged, greenery-coated mountains and the still active volcano Piton de la Fournaise. These vistas often serve as backdrops for open-air dining on Creole cuisine that foodies will fill their Instagrams with on the spot and salivate over later.

When it’s time for adventure, there’s canyoning, rafting and paragliding over Reunion’s pristine white and black sand beaches.

Indonesia has been thrust further into the spotlight of world’s-best-island lists, but Bali tends to get all the love. Sumba, however, seems to have all the beauty without the “Eat, Pray, Love” fan club flood.

For nonsurfer types, beach hopping awaits. Start at Watu Mandorak Cove, then on to Puru Kambera Beach and Tanggedu Waterfall, with drives past valleys of rice paddies serving as a reminder that it’s Indonesia.

Serene and relaxing, what more could you want? (Photo courtesy Oswin Browne)

One-half of the island duo that is Trinidad & Tobago, the much smaller of the two, Tobago, may be serenity incarnate. At just more than 6 miles wide, beaches on this petite paradise in the Caribbean are scarcely more than 10 minutes away from anywhere.

And without the throng of tourists to constantly cater to, Tobago has managed to remain true to itself. That authenticity appears in the cuisine, too, yielding mainstays like curry crab and dumpling and treats like homemade coconut ice cream served in restaurants that feel like a mother’s kitchen.

From the popular Pigeon Point with its postcard-perfect jetty to the more secluded Pirates Bay, beaches in Tobago are often just as calm as they are striking. On many, visitors won’t find two sets of people within earshot of each other.

The antidote to anything stress related, the 100 miles of beaches in Mauritius mean travelers will be spoilt for choice. With beaches that belong in a daydream or as desktop wallpaper, this island nation off Africa lures far fewer travelers than it should, but those who go are rewarded.

The only accessible-by-boat Ile aux Cerfs along the east coast is a perfect spot for snorkeling in a lagoon, beach barbecues and dancing to lively sega music sung in Creole.

Eaters will rejoice in Mauritius, too. The island’s Indian, Creole, Chinese and French influences find their way to tables in the form of highly rated spicy curries and seafood galore. Heaven, according to Mark Twain, was modeled after Mauritius.

Antigua’s other half, Barbuda rarely gets its own attention, though it’s very much deserving of those vacation days.

The no-frills Eastern Caribbean destination that was a beloved hideaway for Princess Diana is exactly what an island escape should be: tranquil.

With a population of 1,600, a handful of hotels, a couple of paved roads and not many attractions to speak of, Barbuda is much more about zen than zeal. But it makes up for any lack of happenings with beaches well worth idling on for hours. Some have pink sand. There’s also a slew of caves on the island that visitors can camp in, with petroglyphs carved into the walls by Barbuda’s original Amerindian inhabitants.

Bonus for birders: The island’s bird sanctuary boasts the world’s biggest colony of the Magnificent Frigatebird.

Four marine parks surround the island, catering to divers and sunbathers alike. With its 17,000-plus isles, Indonesia has beaches upon beaches, and the likelihood of too many people landing on one is pretty slim.

Guadeloupe = food haven. (Photo courtesy Ellen van den Doel)

There’s little that can’t be done on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.

Whether it’s chasing waterfalls that drop into secluded swimming holes, or diving in underwater volcano Sec Pt, or taking selfies with a submerged bust of famed explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, it’s all there on-isle. When it does come time for simple sun worshipping, though, don’t miss the beach vendors selling beignets.

Food is definitely feted in Guadeloupe. Every year on the Saturday closest to August 10, the Fte des Cuisinires, a celebration of the patron saint of cooks, takes place in Pointe–Pitre. Women dressed in their finest traditional Creole garb cook and have their dishes blessed at Mass before parading the streets until it’s time to feast and dance.

Africa may not be first to mind for beautiful beaches, but they’re definitely there.

It’s the “Blue Eye,” however, that gets the most attention. When the sun hits the sapphire-blue waters at Buracona, an underwater cave, the result is a brilliantly turquoise spot locals lovingly call the eye. Intrepid divers can swim through the eye into the natural lava pool, finding hidden grottos to explore under the sea.

Countering the flashier island destinations, Roatan feels no need to boast its beauty — those who should know will find it and those who find it will return.

The biggest of Honduras’ Caribbean Bay Islands has been calling divers for decades because of its position at the foot of the 700-mile-long Mesoamerican Reef, the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean Sea and second biggest in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Life is laid back on Roatan. Its seaside shacks serve up simple “baleadas,” a Honduran take on a taco. Made with a flour tortilla and filled with refried beans, cheese and cream, then topped with meat and avocado, they’re well-suited to be washed down with a Salva Vida, meaning “lifesaver,” a local and loved cerveza.

The Greek paradise of Alonissos boasts isolated Aegean beaches. (Photo courtesy Andreas Menayas/Creative Commons/Flickr)

Santorini and Mykonos have long been the popular kids among the Greek Isles, but Alonissos is a treasure it’d be best not to miss.

With all the beauty of the Mediterranean without the pretense, Alonissos caters to those looking to slow down and soak up a local culture. The cobblestone streets of the island’s old town, Chora, beg to be explored. Other don’t miss experiences: An ouzo at an unassuming tavern, a stroll through olive groves and orchards and dolphin watching.

Of course, there are the Aegean beaches, which are best enjoyed by boating from one to the next. Milia, Marpounta and Glyfa are all worth a stop.

In Bequia, (pronounced bekway), life — not surprisingly — is centered on the sea.

The 5-mile long, half-mile wide island that’s part of the Caribbean’s St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is a magnet for the yachts often dotting Admiralty Bay, though its petite size keeps it from being overcrowded.

Because of its centuries-old dependence on trading, the island is accustomed to welcoming visitors and has been counted among the friendliest in the Caribbean. Beaches here, like Spring Bay on the eastern side of the island, are lined with palm trees and visitors will likely find themselves solo.

For a taste of other Grenadines, board the Bequia-built SS Friendship Rose, the last operational schooner in the Caribbean.

La Gomera has never much worried about what the rest of the world’s doing.

One of Spain’s Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the quieter La Gomera has remained much the same as it always was, thanks at least in part to an abridged airport runway that can’t accommodate international flights and the masses that come with them.

Playa de Santiago on the sunniest side of the island boasts volcanic black sand beaches. An ideal post-basking snack consists of “almogrote,” a spicy cheese pat, and some locally made Gomera white wine, which has gained acclaim but remains exclusive to the island, because production is too small for much export.

Listen for “el silbo,” a pre-Hispanic whistling language preserved as part of the island’s cultural heritage.

Yes, England has island paradises too. (Photo courtesy Paul Walter/Creative Commons/Flickr)

Contrary to common knowledge, England has a set of tropical-looking islands all its own.

The Isles of Scilly, off England’s southwest coast, are an archipelago made up of mostly uninhabited isles surrounded by turquoise waters ripe for all manner of water pursuits.

There are sea safaris, snorkeling with seals, stand-up paddle boarding and, for the really adventure-inclined, coasteering — or exploring a rocky coastline without boats, opting instead for cliff jumping, climbing and swimming.

Frequent ferries run between Scilly’s five main isles when it’s time for a change of pace or a new coastline to coasteer.

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17 of the world’s most overlooked islands – CNN