Can I get you to wear pink tomorrow? Tomorrow is Pink day for Lika – my friend Marisa’s little cousin who lives in South Africa. We’re not asking for money. We’re only asking you to help make her smile again by posting a picture of yourself wearing pink. People all across South Africa and now the UK will be participating in this as Lika has made the local news in her efforts to fight this rare disease.
Now a mere two years old, Lika was born without bone marrow, and without the ability to produce it. It’s an extremely rare condition called Aplastic Anemia and there is no cure – only the option to have a bone marrow transplant. She received this two weeks ago – her sister is a perfect match. Bone marrow transplants involve the process of chemotherapy – before introducing the new bone marrow to the recipient. This is extremely dangerous for (any) such a little person as there are no white blood cells to fight infections due to the chemo.
Sure enough, she contracted a viral infection – the one commonly causing ‘pink eyes’ – such a common, quite harmless virus is now having Lika fight for her life as she has no white blood cells to fight the infection – but they are slowly building, so she might yet still win this round! Antibiotics are out of the question of course as this is a viral infection. Her lungs are struggling and she is on ventilator. The worst is that the main concern is still to be addressed – the possibility that Lika’s body is rejecting the transplant.
She is a little fighter – every day the doctors are standing around her bed in awe of how she is fighting against all odds!
Your support would be much appreciated! Your positive thoughts and prayers even more so! We believe with all our hearts that little Lika will be well and dancing to life soon.
Capital FM’s Dave Berry meets RNLI helmsmen Keith Cima and Craig Burn
Capital FM presenter Dave Berry kindly agreed to lend us his support this year for London Lifeboat day. He joined us at Tower Lifeboat station and spent a couple of hours afloat with the crew. You can find a few pictures from his visit here.
I’m extremely pleased to have been awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal this
year. I guess there can’t be many French people presented with it!
A number of people have asked if I had received the medal as a result of a particular shout with the RNLI. So to clarify things, here’s an excerpt of the official line…
- emergency services personnel who have been in paid service, retained or in a voluntary capacity, who have to face the prospect of dealing with emergencies as part of their conditions of service, and have completed five full calendar years of service on 6 February 2012
So I’m only one of a few hundred thousand people with more than 5 years’ service proudly wearing it!
Having spent Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday on a D Class lifeboat as part of the RNLI crew working on the Queen Diamond Jubilee Pageant, I am considering applying for a knee transplant! But the wet weather and leg discomfort could not have dampened our spirits for this once in a lifetime event. I was lucky to be right in the front and the cheers from the crowd made the day even better. Apparently, over 1.2m people lined the banks of the river to celebrate the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.
I didn’t know it was possible to have such good fun on the river Medway !
Leaving Chatham Marina on board Spirit, one of Elite Sailing‘s Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 35, we headed towards Garrison Point, off Sheerness. For Becky and Elaine, it was a discovery weekend while for experienced sailor Keith, it was more like a refresher trip. For me, it was the start of the dayskipper practical course.
After a slow run downriver, we practised changing headsails, tacking and gybeing. The weather on the saturday was… well… interesting. We were incredibly lucky not to get soacked.
We spent the night moored at Queensborough and headed towards Wade on Sunday morning before sailing close-hauled back up the Medway.
For my 40th birthday, quite a few months ago, Becky had arranged a day at Goodwood motor circuit to test drive 3 hot blooded red Italian supercars. Because of our house move, and then winter arriving, I kept postponing the event. However, we could not have picked a better day yesterday.
The first car I sat into was the Ferrari 308 (the Magnum PI one for those of you old enough to remember). This was my childhood dreams’ car and I was so excited to take it out on the track. After 3 laps, I decided I wanted one. Surely, they must be quite affordable by now…
The second car I got to drive was the Ferrari348. Quite a bit more powerful than the 308, it was also great fun on the track. The clutch and gearbox were very hard and I very much enjoyed the handling. As I was only discovering the track, I was far from putting the car through its paces, but it was a very pleasurable experience. I wanted one too!
Finally, I got to do 3 laps in the Ferrari 355 F1 GTS. No more gear stick, but a paddles and… a lot more power. By then, I was getting a lot more comfortable with the layout of the track, and especially that double apex just before the chicane. Flooring the throttle, the response was unbelievable and the speedometer needle climbed very fast indeed! And that noise! It was like horsepower symphony! The 355 was such fun to drive that I immediately wanted one too!
So I still can’t decide which one to get!
Check-out images from the day here, courtesy of Becky, Will Kitts and Ben Tanner Photography
We have just returned from a fantastic trip to Tulamben and Menjangan on the Indonesian island of Bali, staying at the Mimpi resorts.
Although the rainy season was not quite over, the trip was very successful and we managed to put together quite a collection of images. This time, it was not all about diving. Chill-out time in the afternoon was spent between our own personal hot spring tub and the spa. I can recommend Balinese massages!
Nous venons de rentrer d’un voyage fantastique à Tulamben et Menjangan sur l’ile indonésienne de Bali. Nous avons logé aux centres Mimpi.
Bien que la saison des pluies n’était pas terminée, le voyage a été fructueux et nous avons amassé une bonne collection d’images. Mais cette fois, ce n’était pas que pour la plongée. Les après-midis paresseux étaient partagés entre notre propre baignoire thermale au au spa. Je recommande les massages Balinais!
Having served 4 years of a 3-year mandate, it was about time I stood down as BSoUP Chairman. I am staying on as a committee member but it’s now time to have some fresh leadership. And after 3 years under ruthless American dictatorship (sorry Martha ) and 4 years under French rule, it was time to hand the British Society of Underwater Photographers back to Britain !
Another cover, but this one is real, unlike the Narked Diver one I created as a joke last year !
Sport Diver used my turtle & model shot for the cover of their May 2011 edition and I have to say I’m rather pleased with the result. I had shot this image with a front cover in mind, trying to put together marine life and a human element while keeping some space around the edges of the picture to dive the mag designer some freedom to add text.
After a break of nearly one year, I have tasted tropical water again in March-April 2011 with a trip to North Sulawesi, Indonesia. I spent a week in Lembeh, split between Divers Lodge and Lembeh Cottages, and then headed to Kima Bajo to dive in the Bunaken National Park with Eco Divers.
Images from my recent Maldives trip have been used on the cover of Narked Diver, the magazine for sport divers who don’t take themselves too seriously.
The magazine features an article about Jamie who gets thrown straight at the deep end after joining a 2-week liveaboard in the Northern atolls. In this issue of Narked Diver, you can also read about the discovery of the spreadeagle ray and get new tips on natural buoyancy skills.
I’d like to thank all the participants for making this trip memorable.
Images from the Maldives trip are available in the gallery.
informal visit to Lifeboat Pier in central London, where the crew of RNLI Tower Lifeboat is based. Her Majesty spent a lot of time talking to the crews of the four Thames stations, as well as RNLI staff and fundraisers.
Images from the Royal visit are available in the new gallery.
The Pilot of Plastic Oceans is available online, filmed and edited by John McIntyre. The documentary will highlight the risk posed by the amount of plastic we throw away, which ends up as tiny particles in the oceans and up the food chain back into our plates.
Lifeboat crew members from Tower RNLI lifeboat station in central London had a phenomenally busy Saturday when they were involved in rescuing a total of 106 people who were participating in a rowing race on the River Thames.
The majority of people assisted were either in the water after their ‘dragon boat’ had already sunk or capsized, or were in danger of sinking and being plunged into the icy depths of the river.
Who said the Med was dead ? Steve Warren, from Ocean Optics gave me the opportunity to spend a few days in the company of pilot whales in the Mediterranean. It was an unforgettable off-the-beaten-track experience and I never imagined that snorkelling could be so much fun !
Images from this trip are available in the new gallery.
I travelled to the town of Funchal on the island of Madeira to dive the wreck of the Bowbelle, the dredger that was involved in a collision with the pleasure boat Marchioness in August 1989, in with 51 young people lost their lives.
You can read the article I wrote for Dive Magazine here or see images from the trip in the gallery.
Having discussed the possibility of a seal photography trip with Alex Mustard for a while, I called Clive Pearson at Clovelly Charters to see if he coud accommodate a few snappers for a couple of days. Staying at Millcombe House on Lundy, Alex & I were joined by Eleonora Manca, Dan Bolt and Dan Hopkins. The trip was quite productive and the grey seals were extremely playful !
Images from this trip are available in the gallery.
I had the priviledge to be able to take part in a joint RNLI / Royal Navy SAR exercise on the Thames with Gravesend and Tower Pier lifeboat crews. After meeting-up for a briefing at Lifeboat pier with the helicopter crew, we headed towards Dagenham to practise winching with the Sea King.
Images from this exercise are available in the gallery.