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HEALTH
April 16, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
Swans have a seemingly placid demeanor, and their monogamous mating habits have long made them a symbol of lasting love. But the creatures -- generally snowy white, with long graceful necks and a black "mask" around their eyes -- are territorial and can be quite aggressive when threatened. This aggression makes them good at driving off geese; it can also lead to tragedy. Anthony Hensley was a 37-year-old married father of two who worked for a company that uses dogs and swans to shoo pesky geese from properties in the area. Hensley had taken to a kayak Sunday morning to check on the swans in a Des Plaines-area pond when one of the larger birds turned on him, the Chicago Sun-Times reported . Cook County sheriff's investigators believe Hensley either got too close to the swan or the swan's nesting area, the Sun-Times said.
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BUSINESS
April 2, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
With airfares to Europe on the rise, it looks like Americans are planning to rediscover the good ol' U.S.A. this summer. As a result, perhaps more Americans will use the opportunity to visit some of the country's landmarks such as the Alamo and the Grand Canyon that sometimes get overlooked. Summer airfares to Europe have climbed about 11% compared with last summer, according to travel website Kayak, which attributes the jump to airlines trying to cash in on travelers visiting the London Olympics starting in July.
NEWS
January 10, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
The Galapagos Islands never go out of season. That's the pitch from Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, which has created "prime-season" rates available now through March on selected 10-day tours of Ecuador's famed islands, which are temperate year-round. The drawing card here is the unparalleled opportunity to see wildlife up close. You can snorkel with sea turtles, photograph blue-footed boobies on the beach and hike to highland forest trails during this tour of the islands made famous by Darwin's voyage on the Beagle.
NEWS
November 17, 2011 | By Julie Sheer, Los Angeles Times staff writer
With mild temperatures, calm water and minimal fog, this can be a good time of year to visit the Central Coast , and there's no better place to see it than on the water in a kayak. For those prepping for a "big year" of bird-watching, this section of coast, with its diversity of waterfowl and shorebirds, is possibly the finest in California . If you've kayaked only on lakes and prefer water on the tamer side, Morro Bay is the place to paddle. Open-ocean kayaking is a whole different ballgame, and launching from just any beach shouldn't be attempted by novices (as we learned on a recent trip; more on that in a bit)
NEWS
November 14, 2011 | By Julie Sheer, Los Angeles Times staff writer
With mild temperatures, calm water and minimal fog, there's no better time of year to visit the Central Coast than the fall, and no better place to see it than on the water in a kayak. And for those prepping for a "big year" of bird-watching, this section of coast, with its diversity of waterfowl and shorebirds, is possibly the finest in California. If you've kayaked only on lakes and prefer water on the tamer side, Morro Bay is the place to paddle. Open-ocean kayaking is a whole different ballgame, and launching from just any beach shouldn't be attempted by novices (as we learned on a recent trip; more on that in a bit)
NEWS
October 31, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
The Peninsula Valdes nature reserve is a remote mix of mud flats, cliffs and stony beaches so rich in wildlife that UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site in 1999. In these waters off the east coast of Argentina, southern right whales thrive and orcas snack on sea lions and baby elephant seals.  Travel outfitter Adventure Life organizes five-day sea kayaking and camping trips that take travelers to see penguins, sea lions, elephant seals and, of course, whales -- up close. The trip starts and ends in Trelew, Argentina, and spends two nights camping at El 39, a beach where southern right whales are studied.
TRAVEL
October 23, 2011 | By Terry Gardner, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Kauai has been a favorite film location since it stood in for Bali Hai in the 1958 movie version of "South Pacific. " It has been Maui in the Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy "Just Go With It" (released this year), and it played the Caribbean in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," the fourth of the Johnny Depp swashbucklers. Sometimes it even plays itself. In "The Descendants," which is to open next month, a father (George Clooney) takes his children to Kauai after his wife is incapacitated.
NEWS
September 26, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Ferry service Catalina Express offers a discount pass with savings on mini-golf, kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals, and other activities in and around Avalon on Catalina Island . The pass is free and easy to get: Just download it and go. The deal: A glance at some of the discounts: -- Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Gardens , one free admission with an adult ticket ($5). -- Descanso Beach Ocean Sports , rent one-hour of kayaking ($24 to $30, depending on size of kayak)
NEWS
August 16, 2011 | By Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times staff writer
It's been a good summer for orca sightings among kayakers in British Columbia's Johnstone Strait, and at least one outfitter is offering discounts on its last trip of the season. The Johnstone Strait, home to the Robson Bight (Michael Bigg) Orca Preserve, draws many kayak-trip outfitters, including Sea Kayak Adventures , which is based in Idaho but has been running Johnstone Strait trips since 1996. This year, said S.K.A. co-owner Nancy Mertz, “they had a late spring, and it suddenly blossomed into sunshine and orcas.
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