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Showing posts from July, 2008

Toronto Star Runs Stephen Weir Whale Shark Story: Posting of the Orginal Version of the Story

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A whale (shark) of an experience
Toronto Star July 19, 2008

The Toronto Star published my whale shark story on July 19th. The three-page feature was the cover story on the Travel Section. I originally wrote a 1,300 word story for the Star. The assistant-editor Susan Pigg asked me to cut it back to 700 words. That shorter version appeared in the Star with only minor edits. You can see that story on the Star's website at: http://www.thestar.com/Travel/article/461491

What follows is the first version of the whale shark story.

A Whale (Shark) of a Tale and its all true
Dive Tourism in Land Locked Atlanta. Big Fish. Big Tank. Big Thrill

By Stephen Weir

The Georgia Aquarium dive master was a great salesman. He easily sold four scuba divers on the concept that the aquarium’s mammoth whale sharks are in fact gentle giants. So, no one flinched when a 3ft tall dorsal fin cut through the water within touching distance of their dangling flippers. But, after slipping into the lukewarm water all t…

Whale Shark Sidebars

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Sidebar #1

Getting in touch
Georgia Aquarium
225 Baker St
Atlanta, Georga
(404) 581-4000
Register for Swim With The Gentle Giant Experience at
www.georgiaaquarium.org

Sidebar #2

Indoor Diving for Scuba Tourists
The Atlanta Aquarium is not the only place you can dive indoors. Other locations that open their doors (and pools) to scuba tourists include:

Epcot Centre – Disneyland, Orlando, Florida. The Seas with Nemo & Friends is a 6-million-gallon indoor aquarium with more than 65 species of marine life, including sharks. $150 per dive.
Bonne Terre Mine – Bonne Terre, Missouri. The Bonne Terre lead mine flooded in the sixties. Qualified divers are escorted to see mining artifacts, and spooky tunnels. $65.00 per Dive
The Florida Aquarium. Located in Tampa, Florida the large aquarium has a Dive With the Sharks Programme in Shark Bay. $150 per dive
Blue Water Aquarium. Chester UK. Dive in 10 year old aquarium and see one of Europe's largest collections of sharks, £199 per dive
Nemo 33, Brussel…

Whale Shark Fact Sheet

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Tail of the Tape. A few factoids about the Whale Shark

Fact Sheet

The Whale shark is the planet’s largest fish.
Whale sharks can grow to a length of 18m (60ft) or more and weigh up to 34 tonnes (5 times the weight of a big elephant).
Whale shark skin is both striped and spotted. No two sharks have the same colour pattern
The Whale Shark is the only member of its genus Rhincodon and its family, Rhincodontidae
In Asia, Whale Sharks are known as Tofu Sharks because of the taste and texture
The Whale Shark is often called the: basking shark, the Shalaam Waan (Thai), requin baleine and chagrin (French), pez dama (Spanish) and the tuko (Tagalog).
Whale shark are found in all tropical and warm oceans and are pelagic for most of their lives.

They are filter feeders. They have capacious mouthes which can be up to 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) wide and can contain between 300 and 350 rows of tiny teeth.
A Whale shark has five large pairs of gills. Two small eyes are located towards the front of the shark…

A close look at seaside and lakeshore garbage

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The Make-Up of Seaside and Lakeshore Trash
By Stephen Weir
Writer Posts and Reader Responds
divermag.com


I don't usually post on this site articles of mine that Diver Magazine has posted on its website www.divermag.com. Diver's website gets an impressive numbers of daily visitors ( I get in the 10s they get in the 100s and 1,000s). However, one of the drawbacks of the Diver site is that there isn't a forum yet to show how readers have responded to the articles.

The following story was posted a few days ago (July 15) and almost immediately I received a thoughtful response that should get posted. So what follows is what was posted followed by a response from a reader.

The Washington-based Ocean Conservancy earlier this year released its annual report on trash in the ocean with new data from its 2007 International Coastal Cleanup Project. Their findings? Seashore trash is hurting the world!

Beach trash is clogging shorelines and killing birds, animals and fish.

According to th…

News from the Maple Gazette - B&B of the summer in New Hampshire

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Manchester’s famed Ash Street B and B is tankful guests are driving inn
By Stephen Weir
(from the summer edition of the Maple Gazette)

Aware of rising fuel costs, the owners of the historic Ash Street Inn have created a package for people taking a motor-vacation to their establishment this summer. The 123 year-old Manchester Bed and Breakfast Inn is offering a $20 refund per night to help guests fill that gas tank.

The Ash Street Inn is a three-story stain glassed filled Victorian home located minutes from Manchester’s cultural and sports attractions. This summer the award winning Bed and Breakfast Inn is offering three packages to lower the cost of a driving vacation.

Guests who spend two or more weeknights received a $20 refund per night. Their “Explore New England” package gives those guests who plan to take driving day trips a $20 a night rebate and for one of those day trips they will also pack a gourmet lunch in an insulated bag for a meal on the road (and guests get to keep th…