Virgin Oceanic is taking the next step in human exploration.
This time, the voyage is to the last frontiers of our own Blue Planet: the very bottom of our seas.
Virgin believes that the Oceans offer exciting possibilities for human exploration and scientific research.
Their vision through Virgin Oceanic is to explore the possibilities of enabling adventurers and pioneers to participate in oceanic exploration.
If Virgin Oceanic is successful in their mission with this innovative design of submarine,
then they will have proven that a vehicle can be built to withstand the extreme pressures of the oceans and
that it is possible to take humans at far reduced risks to the bottom of our Oceans.
Virgin may explore the possibility of future missions involving other submarines that can collect samples and facilitate science and research.
When they have evolved their capacity for exploration,
Virgin will unlock opportunities to discover vast areas of our planet that we currently have no knowledge of.
Fantastic new technologies and materials harnessed by the world’s foremost submarine designer, Graham Hawkes (with Hawkes Ocean Technologies),
make it possible to push the boundaries of human experience.
The two greatest challenges to human exploration of the deep oceans are pressures of over 1,000 atmospheres
(approximately the equivalent of 8000 elephants standing on a Mini-Cooper) and the extreme cold (just slightly above freezing).
Not only is this submersible capable of withstanding both of these extremes,
but its built-in cost efficiencies make extensive deep water "flights" much more accessible,
bringing science and wonder ever closer, which is what Virgin Oceanic is all about.
But why send people instead of robots to the bottom of the oceans?
As Stephen Hawking said:
"Humans are an adventurous species.
We like to explore and are inspired by journeys to the unknown.
Science is not only a disciple of reason but, also, one of romance and passion.
Exploration by real people inspires us."
Imagine if you could pilot a submarine anywhere in the ocean – crushing pressures and freezing temperatures no longer an obstacle to your journey.
Where would you go? What would you hope to see? The possibilities are infinite…
Chris Welch is the Chief Pilot of the Virgin Oceanic exploration.
Chris is an accomplished entrepreneur, sailor and aviator who recently finished 25,000 miles of intense competitive sailing.
Born and raised in Newport Beach, CA, Chris has made five LA-Hawaii crossings and one LA-Tahiti-Tonga-Auckland-Tasmania crossing.
These trips included skippering his 65' (20M) race boat &Ragtime&
to winning class in the 2008 Sydney-Hobart Race and winning overall the 2008 LA-Tahiti Transpac Race.
Chris also won the 2010 Double Handed Guadalupe Island Race.
Chris has raced Ragtime in all west coast venues from San Francisco to Cabo San Lucas.
Adventure travel has included swimming with Great White sharks at Guadalupe Island,
several cross country dirtbike trips including two 2,000 mile journeys exploring Baja California and
two trips in the dirt from LA to Phoenix.
Chris is also a pilot with Single Engine, Multi-Engine, IFR, Glider, Seaplane and
Helicopter ratings and has flown extensively in the Western United States, Alaska and Baja.
He has flown his twin engine plane and his helicopter across the continental U.S.
May 12, 2011 - Ladies Night - Dr. Laurie Marker - Cheetahs
In association with the Southern California Chapter of the Explorers Club,
come to The Adventurers' Club and hear an amazing presentation on cheetahs by Dr. Laurie Marker
and her efforts to save this endangered species and how she has pioneered ways for cheetahs to roam safely but co-exist with people and livestock.
Dr. Marker is the Founder and Executive Director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF)
Dr. Marker has pioneered new ideas in cheetah conservation and has formed cooperative alliances on behalf of the cheetah that had never before been possible.
She is recognized around the world as one of the leading experts on cheetahs, both in the wild and in captivity,
and began her in situ research in Namibia, Africa, in 1977,
As Founder and Executive Director of CCF since 1990, Dr. Laurie Marker pioneered new ideas in cheetah conservation
and has formed cooperative alliances on behalf of the cheetah that had never before been possible.
In the early days, with no one to learn from or lean on, Laurie broke new ground with every new program and effort.
She has contributed vital information on cheetah health, reproduction, mortality, evolution,
and genetics from her biomedical work on every cheetah that has passed through CCF's hands (almost 1,000).
This huge volume of data gathered for two decades has proven invaluable to the world of cheetahs.
Laurie's efforts to unite a nation, a continent, and the world in the effort to save the cheetah are impressive.
As former chair of the Conservancy Association of Namibia,
Laurie used education and collaboration with local farmers and landowners to form conservancies to provide thousands of contiguous acres of land
where cheetahs can roam safely.
She has developed unique wildlife management techniques, including the introduction of the concept of livestock guarding dogs to sub-Saharan African.
She has bred more than 350 Anatolian shepherds to give out to farmers.
She is working to restore millions of hectares of cheetah habitat that has been overrun with invasive thorn bushes by harvesting the bush
for use as fuel logs and, hopefully soon, a source of biomass for fuel.
Dr. Laurie Marker with Thorn Bush Fuel Logs
In addition to many international awards for her work in cheetah conservation,
in 2000 she was recognized as one of Time Magazine's Heroes for the Planet
and in 2008 was given the Gold Medal Award from the Society of Women Geographers,
the Conservation Medal of Lifetime Achievement Award from the Zoological Society of San Diego,
and the Intel Environmental Prize of the 2008 Tech Awards.
She was awarded the 2010 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement
and has been named a finalist for the Indianapolis Prize twice.
In 2010 she was also an Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award recipient.
May 19, 2011 - Ladies Night - Gil Garcetti - Water is Key
Although Gil Garcetti spent 32 years in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, eight years as the elected District Attorney,
much of his life has been spent as an urban photographer.
His first photo book, IRON: ERECTING THE WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, (November 2002, Balcony Press),
received much critical praise in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and other publications.
The photographs emphasize the contribution of the ironworkers to the building of America,
but they also document not only the danger in the construction, but also the beauty of the curved, angled,
and bent raw steel of this building before being covered by its exterior skin.
His current and most powerful photo book and project which we will hear from Gil much detail on,
WATER IS KEY, is about safe water, health, and the empowerment of women in West Africa.
Through his photographs and interviews of villagers in Niger, Mali, Ghana, and Burkina Faso,
Gil has and hopes to focus more world attention on the vital issue of safe water and how it makes an immense difference in people's lives.
The beauty and the power of the photographs resonate deeply with all who see the photographs and read the accompanying quotes and essays.
Though this is Garcetti's fifth book, it was his first photographic project.
It is a project so important that it has drawn significant attention from all over the world.
It is a call to action to people in the industrialized world to become involved in helping bring safe water to the people of West Africa.
All of Garcetti's profits from the sale of this book and limited edition photographs are going to non-government organizations working in West Africa on safe water projects.
Water is Key is envisioned as a catalyst to energize people and organizations in the industrialized world to be
financially involved by supporting non-governmental organizations (NGOs) delivering safe water projects in Africa.
Through compelling photos and quotes from villagers and others, the book shows the need of the
millions of people without safe water and the successes and hopes of villagers that come with providing safe water.
Gil has had solo exhibitions at the National Building Museum, Washington D.C., United Nations, New York City, Millennium Art Museum,
Beijing China, UCLA Fowler Museum, Virginia Center for Architecture, New York Public Library for Performing Arts,
Pasadena Museum of California Art, Barnsdall Art Park Municipal Gallery, Los Angeles County Music Center,
University of Southern California School of Architecture, Peter Fetterman, G. Ray Hawkins, B and A, VIVA ,
Lawrence, Duncanmiller Galleries, UCLA, and other institutions.
In 2003, American Photo named Gil one of the country's four master photographers.
TIME magazine profiled Gil in a two-page article about his change from "high profile D.A. to stylish photographer."
Photographs that "are at once haunting and joyful" (October 2005).
On May 28, 2006, the television program, 'CBS Sunday Morning', featured a segment about Gil as a photographer.
Gil is also a featured speaker at conferences and conventions speaking on his photographic art and the crucial importance of his project, Water Is Key.
May 26, 2011 - Pierre Odier - Mongolia on Foot to U.S. via Siberia
Trekking across Siberia to Alaska with Expedition Leader, Pierre Odier
1994, an American/Russian land expedition originating in Beijing, China, crossed Mongolia via Ulan Bator, and
consolidated with Russian team members to trek across Siberia to Alaska.
They crossed the Bearing Straights in traditional native vessels called Baidarias.
The objective was to produce a scholarly publication on the Paleosiberian Society of hunters and gatherers.
Visual documentation, (film and video) was acquired of the native peoples, Chukchi, Koryak, Yukaghir, Asian Eskimo and Evenk.
Info about the traditional costumes, festivals, trade arts, crafts, medicines, etc. was also collected in abundance.
Come and enjoy another fun and fact filled adventure from our world class explorer, adventure and author, Pierre Odier #988.