Cousteau Reaches Remote Pacific Atoll

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 4, 2003   View Article

After 20 days at sea, Jean-Michel Cousteau and his crew of 22 landed the Searcher July 26 at Kure, the northernmost atoll in the world and turning point of their expedition to make a documentary film about one of the last pristine, large-scale coral reef ecosystems on the planet.

Speaking via satellite phone from the sun-splashed deck of the vessel en route back to the mainland, Cousteau told National Geographic News that now more than ever he and his crew believe every effort must be made to protect the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Cousteau Finds “Horrifying” Trash on Desert Islands

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 28, 2003   View Article

Derelict fishing nets, plastic bottles, cigarette lighters, television tubes, spray cans, broken toys, and thousands of other pieces of plastic and non-biodegradable junk converge on the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands every year, scarring a seascape nearly void of people with tons of human waste.

“It’s absolutely horrifying the scope of seeing it uncontained out here and definitely impacting the environment,” said Jean-Michel Cousteau in an e-mail to National Geographic News sent from the Searcher. “Every time we go ashore, we are startled and shocked by the amount of debris that systematically litters the coastlines and reefs.”

Cousteau, Hawaiians Set Sail to Raise Awareness

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 21, 2003   View Article

On board a modern research vessel laden with cutting-edge scuba gear and high-definition video cameras, Jean-Michel Cousteau is documenting a 1,200-mile (2,000-kilometer) long chain of remote islands and coral reefs in the tropical Pacific Ocean to raise awareness of its uniqueness and the need for its protection.

Hot on Cousteau’s trail a group of native Hawaiians will sail from Kauai in the main Hawaiian Islands to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in a traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe on a mission to restore the Hawaiian concept of malama—caring—to the land and sea to ensure a balance among all forms of life.

Tour Guides Research While Whale Watching

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 9, 2003   View Article

Hundreds of humpback whales spend their winter months breeding, giving birth, and caring for their young in Mexico’s sun-splashed Bahia de Banderas to the delight of the millions of tourists who flock to the resort community of Puerto Vallarta each year.

The humpbacks and most of the tourists have gone north for the summer. The whale breeding season runs from November through April and coincides with the high season for tourists seeking warm sun during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter.

Cousteau to Explore Remote Pacific Islands

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 7, 2003   View Article

Jean-Michel Cousteau embarked Sunday on a voyage along a 1,200-mile (2,000- kilometer) chain of remote islands and coral reefs in the tropical Pacific Ocean to document the marine life that thrives there and the traces of humankind that linger.

The atolls stretch out towards Asia from the main Hawaiian Islands and are known as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The islands serve as nesting grounds for green sea turtles (Chelonia brongniart), home to millions of seabirds, and a refuge for rare monk seals (Monachus fleming). The surrounding reefs swarm with life. But their remoteness has kept them out of the public eye and out of reach of even the most intrepid ocean explorers.

Rare Total Eclipse for Africa, Australia

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 3, 2002   View Article

Amateur and professional astronomers are flocking to the southern hemisphere to catch one of nature’s greatest shows—a total eclipse of the sun. The spectacle gives earthlings a rare glimpse of the corona, the scorching hot and faint outer atmosphere of the sun.

“Solar eclipses are spectacular to watch because of the drama of the sky going dark in the daytime, the blue sky going away, the rapid changes in the sun,” said Jay Pasachoff, an astronomer from Williams College in Massachusetts.

Machu Picchu Under Threat From Pressures of Tourism

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 15, 2002   View Article

In 1911, an innkeeper from the Peruvian town of Aguas Calientes led Hiram Bingham on a scramble up a steep, jungle-tangled embankment to the extensive ruins of an Inca settlement that was named Machu Picchu for the neighboring mountain.

Bingham, a professor from Yale University who was exploring in the region, later wondered in his book, Lost City of the Incas, whether anyone would believe what he had found.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach