Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lighthouse in fog

This fantastic picture is of an lighthouse on a foggy night

"This spectacular sky is mostly human-made. Once a year, the Light Station at Pigeon Point near San Francisco, California, USA is lit as it was over 100 years ago. During this time, light generated by five kerosene lamps pours through 24 rotating Fresnel lenses, warning approaching ships to stay away. Early last week, light emanating from the Pigeon Point Lighthouse was particularly picturesque because of a thin fog, also blurring the distant Moon"

Monday, November 26, 2007

The wreck of the SS Thistlegorm

The Thistlegorm was a merchant navy transport ship that was sunk of the coast of Egypt in 1941.

The Thistlegorm set sail on her last voyage from Glasgow on 2 June 1941 destined for Alexandria. She was carrying supplies to relieve the 8th Army in preparation for Operation Crusader. As Germany controlled the Mediterranean sea during this period, the ship had to sail in a convoy around the Cape to the Red Sea. In September, Captain Ellis anchored north of the Straits of Gubal at what is now known as Shag Rock near Ras Muhammad National Park.

The Suez Canal at that time was closed as a result of a ship collision. For two weeks the ship stood moored at this supposedly safe position awaiting instructions to proceed through the canal. Thistlegorm was a sitting target for two German bombers returning from Crete. Allegedly they were searching for a large troop carrier when they ran low on fuel, turned home, and stumbled upon the Thistlegorm. They dropped two 1000 lb (450 kg) bombs directly onto the ship. These bombs penetrated No 4 Hold detonating much ammunition. The explosion killed nine crew members and was so forceful that it launched two railway locomotives stacked on deck into the air. They currently stand upright alongside the wreck at a depth of 33m / 108 feet.

Thistlegorm sank immediately, leaving no time for the crew to operate the lifeboats. Instead, they jumped into the water and were later rescued by the HMS Carlisle, another British ship moored nearby.

We dived the Thistlegorm in 2000. It has become a very busy dive site now unfortuntely. I suppose the thrill of sitting on a motorbike or in a jeep at 30 meters is too much for poeple.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Something for the weekend

There were a bunch of quality photos available today, so I thought I would put some up for you.

I keep intending not to publish anymore photos of Auroras, yet I keep coming across fantastic photos of them; and each one better than the last! lol

There is another fantastic close-up of Comet Holmes. And a wonderful shot of Earthrise! Taken my a Japanese probe that is orbitting the Moon right now. Beautiful :)

Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


When travelling some of the most memorable places are places that you weren't expecting to be so good; or didnt even know they existed until you get there.

Some of the great sights can even be a little underwhelming sometimes!! Perhaps because you already know them so well, it can be a little "Oh, ok then" and move on.

I knew nothing about Palenque until I read about it in Lonely Planet, and we decided to stop there on our trip across Mexico. Palenque is a ruined Mayan city, deep in the lush Mexican rainforest. There were not many people there, and it was scorching hot. It didnt take much imagination to imagine you were playing Tomb Raider or something.

Palenque is one of the most beautiful and exotic places I have ever visited! :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Long exposure

This fantastic photo is a 30 second exposure on the night sky in Arizona. The photgrapher was able to capture, far more brighter than usual - Venus, the Moon, and the International Space Station flying through the sky.

The exposure is how much light is allowed in to the camera. The weaker the light source then the longer the exposure. When they took the famous Hubble telescope Deep Field shots, they pointed Hubble at an empty patch of sky, and just left the lens open for a whole day. This is what they were able to see after that much exposure.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Comet Holmes

We have a comet going through our solar system at the moment - Comet Holmes.

With the vast array of telescopes and cameras available to us now, we have capture some amazing shots of it.


Monday, November 12, 2007


Teotihuacan is the ruined capital city of the Aztecs; north of Mexico City. It is a ruined city, with numerous temples, public buildings, and palaces, and domocilles.

But it is dominated by two monster pyramids - the temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon. Both a staggering to see, and to climb!

Turns out Mexico City is at 3000 metres, making it very high indeed for a capital city. It is so high, that you actually need a bit of time to aclimatise to the altitude; so that tasks like climbing pyramids dont kill you!

Of course, we went to climb them on day 2, and didnt appriciate any of this. So, we just panted our way to the top, and couldnt realise why the climb seemed so bad! lol

The Aztecs worshipped the god Quezacotl, the feathered Snake or Boa. Thats a big snake god, and not a piece of clothing that my family may worry I might buy now! ;) So the Temples are carved with these fantastic stone heads of Quezacotl.

All in all, a fantastic place to visit! Just go a few days after youve aclimatised!

Friday, November 09, 2007

We interupt this broadcast!

We interupt this broadcast! Well, thats as good a start as any to what will be undoubtedly my most personal post on this blog to date.

I have come Out. Of the closet, as in finally telling my parents and brother that I am gay.

This has been a funny and intense year this year. I finally decided that as I was trying to make a new life for myself with my job, I should also finally admit and confront those other parts of me that I had nicely suppressed for years.

So I came out in my own head about May/June. I came out to my friends in September, who were absolutlely great about it! And finally today, to my family.

Dad and Richard were both brilliant and supportive of me, but Mum has disowned me. As I suspected she might. Now all I can do is hope time and her ususally endless supply of love brings her around. Que sera sera. We will see.

So I hope you will forgive some of the more maudalin and reflective posts over the past few weeks. As you can see, I have had a lot on my mind.

So onwards and upwards into the future! Who knows what the future holds, but at least I can meet it head on now, what ever it is.

Now back to posting pictures of Moons and Mexico in future! Broadcast continues!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sunrise Sunset

One of lifes little pleasure is a dawn or a sunset. For sure!

And when your travelling, the sense of the exotic and the foriegn is intensified when the sun comes up or goes down. Everything looks beautiful and/or mysterious. It must be something I like as I have sunsets from everyplace I've visited lol.

Here are a few of my favourite.

1. Sunrise over Saudi Arabia and the Dead Sea, from Mount Masada in Israel.
2. Sunset over a faluca on the banks of the Nile.
3. Sunset over Acapulco beach, Mexico.
4. Sunset from Isla Mujares in Mexico.
5. Sunrise over Koh Phangan in Thailand.
6. Sunset over Koh Pgangan in Thailand.
7. Sunrise over Koh Phi Phi in Thailand.
8. Sunset over the ruined city of Ayuhthuaya in Thailand.
9. Sunset over Koh Tao in Thailand
10. Sunset over the Zambezi River in Zambia.
11. Sunset in Franschhoek, in the wine region of South Africa

Sunday, November 04, 2007

My family

Aren't these new digital photo great? Along with all the other technical revolutions that have about in the past few years, the ease of taking and sharing photos is also so much easier.

This photo is of my whole family. I'm sharing it because we all love this photo, taken last Christmas and scanned with my fancy new printer thingy. For once, everyone is smiling, doesnt look silly, or have had the top of out heads cut off. In fact, when you do get a good photo you should keep it! You never know when its going to be the last perfect one!

So this is Sam and Wendy Walker; my brother Richard and his wife Rebecca, and his sons Harry (7) and Matthew (4); and me (34!). Happy families!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007 much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked

"Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not
understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and
recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked"

Baz Luhremann - Everybodys Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Converting my photos into digital has been a real trip down memory lane. What a soft git I have become! lol. Looking at them all brought to mind the wonderful lyrics from the song above!

The photos are from Israel/Egypt 1996, Thailand 1998 and Mexico 1999.