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Galaxy freckle makeup trend takes off on Instagram Daily

Galaxy freckle makeup trend takes off on Instagram Daily

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Introduction & Background Staff and Cadets from Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing recently returned from a week camp based on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean.  Central & East Region ATC organised the “opportunity of a lifetime” for Air Cadets from the six Wings in its area.  It is hoped that the camp can be installed into the Corps annual programme of overseas visits.  In a sense, this was a trial run to assess the practical feasibility and benefits – in which it succeeded admirably. Cadets from each Wing were selected from their record within the Corps.  The trip was confined to Cadets over the age of 17, indeed many of the W & B contingent were approaching their 20th birthday, recognising their individual efforts over the previous 6 or 7 years. Due to the rugged nature of the terrain on the Island and the expected daytime temperatures of between 30 and 35 degrees Centigrade, the programme was based on the adventure training aspect of the Air Cadet syllabus, requiring a good degree of physical fitness.  Further, as conservation work is such an important part of the Island’s activity, the Cadets were to assist the local conservationists in their work protecting habitats of the native plants and animals to prevent their extinction, under pressure from introduced species.  This work was physical in nature reinforcing the selection criteria. Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island, 400 miles south of the Equator and halfway between Africa and South America.  It is some 4,200 miles from the UK and is named after the day of its recorded discovery, Ascension Day 1503.  Ascension is approximately 35 square miles in area and the whole island is visible from the summit of Green Mountain, at about 2,800 above sea level, easily the island’s high point.  It is a volcanic outcrop and much the island is a wasteland of lava flows and cinder ash. Historically, it has served as a safe haven for ships and later, commercial flying boats.  Ascension was garrisoned by the Admiralty following the capture and imprisonment of French Emperor, Napoleon on the island of St Helena in 1815 as a precaution against his rescue. In 1836 Charles Darwin visited Ascension, at the end of the 5 year voyage of HMS Beagle. It was this experience from which he formulated his views on evolution, and led to the publication of ‘The Origin of the Species’.  Later in 1843, botanist and explorer Joseph Hooker advised the Royal Navy that they should import and plant trees to capture more rain and improve the soil.  By 1880 there were pine trees (to replace damaged sailing masts), eucalyptus, bamboo and banana trees all growing in lush profusion on Green Mountain, creating a tropical cloud forest. This has caused the indigenous plant species to become overrun and some have become extinct.  Other native flora and fauna are endangered and the island is the focus of many conservation programmes and schemes, with which the cadets were able to provide assistance to the very limited resources available on Ascension.  See the account below. In WW2 it was an important naval and air station, for both the UK & US forces, providing an antisubmarine warfare base during the Battle of the Atlantic.  The island was used by British forces during the 1982 Falklands war, becoming for a while a very active station, refuelling both ships and aircraft.  Indeed, Wideawake Airfield was reputed to be the busiest airfield in the world at one point in the hostilities. Currently, the island is the location of the RAF base, serving the “Air Bridge” to the Falklands, from RAF Brize Norton.  It also acts as a base for the US Air Force, the European Space Agency rocket tracking station (to monitor the Ariane Programme, an Anglo-American signals facility and the BBC World Service Atlantic Relay Station.  It has also housed the NASA tracking station and served as a possible site for landing the Space Shuttle.  As we were to discover during the trip, it is also an ideal location to observe and monitor global climate change, many of the smaller facilities given over to the world’s scientific community to undertake their studies and sharing findings with colleagues across the planet. Account of the CampWe were due to fly out, from RAF Brize Norton on Wednesday 26th March.  We had arrived at about 19:00 in to check in - the flight was due to depart at 23:00.  Along with other travellers, mostly heading to the Falklands, we queued at the departure desks awaiting our turn.  A number of the cadets had already checked their baggage when there was an announcement that the flight had been postponed for 24 hours due to a technical hitch with the aircraft.  I think the first thought to pass through the minds of all the staff was what were we going to do about the 12 cadets.  We had already sent back our minibus and trailer.  In any event, had we gone home, we would have a problem returning the next evening.  We were mighty relieved to be advised that accommodation was available in the Gateway Hotel – a modest establishment containing all the minimum requirements to sustain life and soul. The following day we and the other stranded folk lounged about the accommodation, being fed and watered frequently. We could not travel any great distance as the flight might be brought forward and we needed to be ready to go.  We were informed later in the day that transport would take us to the departure gate at 20:00.  It duly arrived and back we went. We checked the bags with ease and awaited take off at 23:25. Although a longish haul, the Voyager aircraft, operated by AirTanker, is a brilliant piece of engineering – quiet, smooth and lashings of leg-room.Many took the opportunity to rest the eye-lids, only waking up for food and drink.  Before landing we had a breakfast as the next meal would not be till lunch time at the Travellers Hill Mess.  We landed at about 08:00, there is no time change as Ascension uses GMT – it is nearly due south of the UK.  Collecting luggage, through Customs & Security checks with passports stamped, we had arrived.  Our Camp Commandant, Flt Lt Neil Watson was waiting.  It was Friday, we were a day late and he had been kicking his heels since the previous Wing had departed on the Tuesday evening.  Such a burden, but I can confirm that he seemed to be bearing up under the circumstances.We loaded up the limousine transport and were whisked up to the accommodation. We had a short time to acclimatise ourselves, becoming used to the considerable change in temperature, and were briefed with the outline of the plan of action for the day.  We quickly unpacked, and dressed in our greens, the wealthier cadets resplendent in new MTP’s for the visit.  We’d heard reports from the returning cadet trips that the food is excellent at the Joint Ranks Mess – I can confirm this.  We made our way there, and with full bellies prepared for the afternoon activity. The first item on the agenda was a 13:15 briefing at Ops.  We were duly whisked back to the Airhead for the brief, about the RAF role on Ascension and the dos & don’ts regarding effects of heat and direct sun on delicate northern hemisphere skin.The warnings noted, we immediately trooped outside for the usual camp photos.  The thermometer was now rising and for the first time since landing we were able to take stock of the island itself, from the mountains and hill surrounding the airfield, its amazing geography and geology was apparent – it is a strange looking place to those from England’s green & pleasant land, even to the Brummies.  It might have been a movie set for a distant alien planet.  The evidence of volcanic activity was everywhere, giant boulders and black & red ash covered the landscape.  It is a magical place that grows on you and now we’re home it is missed.Following the photo-shoot, we returned to the accommodation, completed the unpacking and changed into less formal attire to complete the afternoon programme – a visit to one of two swimmable beaches on the Island, Comfortless Cove, for swimming and relaxation following the protracted journey to Ascension.  Oh what a life, oh what a camp. The original programme allowed for an overnight camp-out at Comfortless Cove, but the loss of a day meant that the schedule was revised to maximise the time available and an evening excursion to North East Bay with the Conservationists had been planned for that night.  Comfortless Cove is also the site of a unique graveyard.  The Bonetta Cemetery preserves the memory & bones of unfortunate sailors who lived out their few remaining years and were buried in the Cove following an outbreak of yellow fever.  Although isolated, they were not forgotten by their shipmates.After Dinner, we were transported to North East Bay to see a rare migration march of the large crabs on the beach, taking care not to run any over on the drive down.  The islands conservation team are keen to educate both visitors and residents of Ascension of the delicate eco-system and prefer to organise guided tours of the wildlife in a controlled manner rather than risk individuals stumbling about and causing unintended harm to the fauna.  About a hundred people gathered to walk along the beach to see the thousands of crabs, of all sizes and colours on the move.  Most had a camera and a torch, and many of the Cadets and the Islands school children were encouraged to pick up the crabs, following safety advice relating to the pincers.During the slow return walk along the beach, we stumbled across dozens of turtle hatchlings scurrying about.  They had only seconds earlier, inadvertently popped up into a field of legs and were obviously confused by the torch lights.  They normally by instinct head for the sea, guided by the lighter sky in that direction.  The conservation team advised us to switch off the lights and make our way to the car park. Within minutes everybody was gone.The limited transport arrangements meant that a small number of us had to wait for pick up by the returning drivers.  Following a period of time accustoming our eyes to the dark (there being absolutely no light pollution to spoil the view), we witnessed our first glimpse of the southern hemisphere stars; we could see the Milky Way and constellations not normally visible from the UK (and those that we recognised were upside down!).  The Southern Cross was hidden by cloud, but what a sight!  We eventually got back to the accommodation quite late.  We knew we were due for Reveille at 06:45 so straight to bed was the order.  Before slumber we pondered the experiences – had we only been on the island for one day? it seemed longer.  Saturday dawned, too quickly.  Following breakfast we went to the Conservation Office in Georgetown, where we met by daylight our guides of the previous night.  By 08:00 we were being briefed as to the mornings work.  Turtles are fussy individuals who are particular about where they lay their eggs.  They select a site and dig out the sand to form a nest pit.  If things are not just right they abandon the site and move elsewhere. Our duties were to help clear the beach of obstructions.  We walked down to Long Beach, where the group was split into two working parties and issued tools for the job.  One was to dig up and remove unwanted beach weeds; these are not native to the island.  Their long roots dig deep into the sand and obstruct the turtles in their nest building activities.The area of beach had been cleared by an earlier group of cadets, but the plants had returned in a matter of weeks.  The second party assisted with the removal of a large and heavy construction sheeting material, dumped, possibly years ago.  The sheet was buried and folded over on itself many times, each fold containing tonnes of sand.  Although still early in the day, the sun was warm and the work hard.  After a couple of hours hard digging in relays and ripping out sheets of varying sizes, a large section of the material was exposed.  This piece was then severed from the still buried remains and rolled forward.  The cadets then dug a small trench under the roll, a rope passed around the obstacle and the other end tied to the Land Rover.  All diggers stood clear and slowly the vehicle, built in the West Midlands, dragged the sheet clear of the sandy trench.  It was much too heavy to lift and too big for the Land Rover anyway.  Its final removal would require a more substantial machine.We returned to Travellers Hill for lunch and to pack for a Letterbox Walk to the summit of Lady Hill.  Lady Hill is the closest hill to the accommodation.  A large ATC Ensign affixed to the summit marker post by earlier camps was clearly visible from the accommodation blocks.  We walked to the start point and slowly ascended the mound, it was warm and we took time and care passing large cactus plants and other thorny flora on the way.  At the summit plateau there was plenty to observe, following photographs of each other, time was taken to view the vista.  It was here that for the first time the volcanic geology of the island was seen in all its glory.  No amount of internet research can prepare one for sights like this – you have to see it in the flesh.  A small metal box located adjacent the Ensign contained a stamp, so that visitors could evidence their efforts in their guide books.Rather than descend back the way we came, we followed the track deeper into the “bush” and descend via a zig-zag track to the dirt road at the base of the hill, turning left and after passing the WW2 Hydroponic Beds, we returned to the tarmac road and thence back to the accommodation.Following dinner, a trip was made to the beach to watch the sunset, and mighty fine it was too.  By chance, the Base Commander was there with his family, but was only too happy to take time to talk to some Cadets about the logistics from a Base perspective in getting the camps up and running.  This was followed by an opportunity to watch the incoming Voyager landing from the Falklands, and followed by our first chance to rest and take stock of the trip so far.  An opportunity for all to visit the NAAFI and relax for a while was taken.Earlier in the week, whilst waiting for the Cadets to arrive, Flt Lt Watson had by chance given a lift to a lone jogger who had been toiling in the afternoon sun. This turned out to be none other than the co-pilot of the Voyager aircraft we’d just seen land.  Not long after we arrived in the NAAFI, the AirTanker Crew turned up to ‘refresh’ themselves (boy, they were quick!).  It meant that the staff went immediately into “full scrounge mode” and before long it had been agreed that the cadets could visit the aircraft while it re-fuelled between UK and Falklands and that they could sit in on the pre-flight briefing which started at 07:00 prompt – all to take place on Monday morning.  And so to bed.  End of Day 2.Sunday, a day of rest?  This morning we took our first trip to Green Mountain.  We drove up the winding steep road (for those familiar with Wing DofE Gold camps, think Caerwych track on steroids…), past Two Boats, a small settlement, and into the man-made tropical plantation at the summit. We had planned to do a letterbox walk by the old NASA site, but chose instead to do a circumnavigation of the peak, via the Elliot’s Pass route.  The route was man-made in the 19th Century to allow the British to watch out in all directions for incoming ships.  A small garrison was also constructed on the site to accommodate the Marine Guards.  The group was split into two with each walking in opposite directions, meeting half way, and stamping the guide book on the way.  The views from the walk over the surrounding land and out to the deep blue ocean were stunning.  Both natural and man-made features were visible in all directions.  The builders of the path had known what they were about.Following lunch, we went to the second swimmable beach, English Beach, for swimming and fish feeding, passing lunar landscapes, and the BBC Atlantic Relay Station, which receives signals from none other than Daventry!  A species of black fish inhabit the surf zone around the island, they are related to piranha fish and act in a similar manner when a piece of biscuit is dropped into the water.  The boiling cauldron of fighting fish amused the cadets and are not fussy what they bite during the feeding frenzy as a few cadets can bear witness.  We also witnessed an unfortunate sight further up the beach, where a Green Turtle had become stranded in the rocks, and had clearly expired.  A chastening reminder of the fragility of the island eco-system.As a reward for our efforts in clearing the beach on Saturday, the Conservationists had arranged an evening visit to Long Beach to see Turtles laying eggs and hopefully witness some hatchlings as they made their way to the sea.  First, we were shown a video of the Green Turtles, for which Ascension is justifiably proud.  Many will have seen TV documentaries of these lumbering (on land) but elegant (in water) beasts who return to their place of birth, to lay their eggs.We then walked to the beach to see for ourselves.  The team advised us of what to do and telling us about the beasts.  They live for perhaps up to 100 years, and can still be fertile  past the age of 80.  Older females can lay many batches of eggs in a season, potentially six times of up to 150 eggs per batch, with a worrying statistic of only 1 in a 1,000 surviving to adulthood.  They make the 4,000 mile round trip from Brazil each year, eating nothing for months to lay eggs on the beach of their birth.  We were allowed to take photographs during the laying, they being in a trance.  As soon as laying was complete they used their giant flippers to cover the brood and return to the sea.  While we were watching, we could hear other turtles, all around, going about their business.  The Conservation Team were unable to locate a hatching nest, but most of the cadets had already seen this in North East Bay anyway.  The team took the opportunity to measure the turtles, assessing their age and counting eggs laid.  We were then taken down to the harbour to see the pair of Loggerhead Turtles, who swim and feed by the pier, attracted by the floodlights.  Another long day in paradise and we retired to bed happy, if weary.Monday: 06:15 reveille.  We were transported down to the Airhead before breakfast to visit the Voyager aircraft.  Whilst driving down to the Airfield, we were lucky enough to have a grandstand view of the aircraft as it arrived from the UK.  Although there was a very limited time window during which the outgoing crew could guide us after taking over from the incoming crew, Captain Fritz and Co-Pilot Mark had planned the visit with, dare I say, military precision?  Following their Pre-flight brief we split into two parties, each group to follow the Captain and Co-Pilot on the eyeball check of the outside of the aircraft and then inside the cockpit to view the instruments and controls of the mighty aircraft.  Following the short but interesting visit we left them to get on with their day job, and returned to the mess for breakfast and prepare for our second round of conservation duties.For the second time we took the winding road to Green Mountain.  We were to meet Stedson Stroud MBE, Conservation Officer and Park Ranger of the Green Mountain National Park, which opened in 2005. Stedson explained the botanic history of the island and explained the importance of the work we were to do.  We were asked to continue the path clearance work started by earlier groups of cadets, using machetes.  We received a safety brief and were showed which plants to cut back and those native plants to leave.  Stedson is an amazing character, clearly concerned for the flora of Ascension; it was a privilege to provide some little support to his efforts to maintain these native plants. During our delayed departure from Brize, we had a chance meeting in the Gateway Hotel, with Dieter, a scientist working for the Max Planck Institute in Germany.  He was tasked with the periodic maintenance of unmanned research equipment on Ascension, investigating global climate change and ozone depletion. We arranged a short visit to his facility where he briefed the Cadets on his work.  The same site housed the European Space Agency, Ariane tracking station.  In a wonderful air conditioned office, team leader Caroline explained the work they do.  We were also shown the tracking equipment and aerial dishes. Rockets are launched in South America and make their way across the South Atlantic before crossing the African coast.  The Ascension tracking section is covered in just 6 minutes.  When asked how often this happens, we were told 6 times a year – how do I get a job like that?We then strolled along the cost to see the famous blowhole, the incoming waves are forced through a natural fissure in the volcanic rocks and a mini geyser erupts upwards, a phenomenon which draws the curious onlooker too close to the action to remain dry.  Following dinner we started to pack, as this was to be our last night on Ascension.Tuesday, 1st April – Happy Birthday RAF. After breakfast we visited Georgetown, the Capital of the Island to visit Fort Hayes, being part of the original Garrison, and the Museum, packed with many interesting artefacts showing the history of the island.  We took the short walk into Georgetown to do some souvenir shopping and a few final photographs of each other before lunch.We were now winding down and visited Comfortless Cove for the last time for a final swim with the Piranhas before the final packing and dinner. We were due at the departure desk by 18:00 in preparation for the 22:00 flight back to the UK.  A bit of a rush but we made it.The Island security staff informed us that a few select individual would be subjected to random searches of luggage. The usual trick of avoiding eye contact not working, I was invited to empty the contents of my rucksack for examination, to the amusement of all gathered.  AWO Kier Hart, a retired Police Officer, offering unwanted advice regarding contents of carry-on luggage, once a copper ……Security satisfied, we passed to the departure lounge which, as with everything on Ascension, had its own unique character.  With a few hours, to contemplate matters before boarding, we reflected on the week, with each other and privately.  We appreciated how lucky we had all been to be offered the chance to visit and knew, excepting some freakish good luck, would never return.  We had been on the island for five short days, but had managed to pack in so many different experiences, it did seem longer.  We took a little bit of Ascension back with us, but also left a little of ourselves there too.A few words of thanks are due to Wg Cdr Paul Bower and the team at Central & East Regional HQ for doing the spadework and assessing the feasibility of the venture.  We at Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing are very grateful for their efforts.  I’d also like to thank our Camp Commandant, Flt Lt Neil Watson, the staff and the cadets, who easily, made this the best week of my Air Cadet career and that’s 42 years so far. Also a word about the people who live and work on Ascension: The good natured friendliness of all the people we met: the Service Personnel, the Contractors and especially the St Helenians whose good humour and relaxed manner infected all.The last word goes to the Conservation Team and Stedson Stroud.  I’d like to thank them for taking the time to educate and entertain us during the week. The obvious enthusiasm for their vocation was more than apparent.  Their task to preserve the native species of the island is onerous.  They deserve recognition for their work and greater support.  I hope that the ATC Ascension Camp can be continued in future years and an enduring commitment to the conservation of Ascension Island be made by the Air Cadet Movement.View More Images from the RAF Ascension Island Camp  Article Submitted by:- Flt Lt Brendan O’Neill RAF VR(T) 05 May 14





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