The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

In Honor of the Premier of ABC’s Big Wave Hellmen, Some Home Video from the Cortes Bank

by Chris Dixon

CortesEmptyDixon 640x360 In Honor of the Premier of ABCs <i>Big Wave Hellmen</i>, Some Home Video from the Cortes Bank
A Perfect Peak Lunges up Above the Cortes Bank. Photo: Chris Dixon

Late last January, I sat on a jetski a few feet above a sea mount 100 miles off the coast of California with my heart in my throat. About a hundred yards to the north, a set of glassy smooth westerly swells were focusing and bending onto Bishop Rock, the pinnacle of a six-foot deep seamount known as the Cortes Bank. A surfer named Greg Long was sitting out there, completely alone, waiting for just the right wave. When it lurched in from waters a mile deep at around 25 feet, he paddled like a madman, leapt to his feet, and charged down it.

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Wish You Were Here: Fishing on Blues Dory, Long Island Sound

by Owen James Burke

IMG 2146 Wish You Were Here: Fishing on Blues Dory, Long Island Sound

Summer’s end on Long Island Sound is idyllic; the fishing turns on again after the midsummer heat sends fish out into the cooler Atlantic and water temperatures are still hovering around 75 degrees fahrenheit. A lull in the bite while testing rods and reels for The Wirecutter allowed for a late afternoon swim when the wind died and the sun began to set.

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It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane… It’s a Humpback Whale?

by Carolyn Sotka

enaxelrod082314new 640x361 It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane... It’s a Humpback Whale?

Humpback whale ‘spy hopping’ and an acrobatic breach with Empire State Building as its backdrop.

Photo by: Artie Raslich/Gotham Whale

New York, far more typically known for its bright lights, big city vibe, has a new and quite unexpected tourist attraction. Sightings of endangered humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) – more commonly seen off Alaska or the coast of Hawaii – have been on the rise in the waters around Manhattan and the Boroughs, and have more than doubled from two years ago.

The Big Apple’s best-kept secret won’t be a secret for long, with at least 52 humpback sightings this past summer. This increase in sightings may be due to an upswing in menhaden, one of their important prey fish.

Gotham Whales has been dedicated to study, advocate for, and educate about the whales and marine mammals of New York City. Through their citizen science program – they have started a catalog to collect observations, data and photo IDs of individual whales.

According to their site: “The juxtaposition of wild populations of marine mammals; seals, dolphins, and whales, with the millions of people that inhabit The City, can be the source of intriguing knowledge, incredible enjoyment, and sometimes, tragic disruption.”

To learn more about responsible marine wildlife viewing both in NYC and in your area see the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Viewing Guidelines.  

Check out CBS Evening New’s coverage of the whales with Jim Axelrod.

Win a $10,000 Grant for Your Ocean Conservation Project

by Owen James Burke

0 Win a $10,000 Grant for Your Ocean Conservation Project

The National Geographic Society Explorers, Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill, the Roddenberrys (of Star Trek fame) and Swift Engineering are working together to identify and develop your best solution for a more sustainable future for our oceans.

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A Tropical Island in the Middle of the Indian Ocean for $14 Million

by Owen James Burke

orivaru 640x396 A Tropical Island in the Middle of the Indian Ocean for $14 Million

Rich, bored and uninspired? Life’s terrible, we know. Buy this island and you’ll find [a] place in the sun. (Photo: Google Maps)

Orivaru is just one of the 13 inhabited islands of the 71 islands that make up Noonu Atoll, which lies along the equator in the middle of the Indian Ocean as part of the Maldives.

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Seed Beads and Sea Shells by the Seashore

by Carolyn Sotka

eleanor pigman beed copy 640x426 Seed Beads and Sea Shells by the Seashore

Before Eleanor Pigman started making arts with beads she was primarily a watercolor artist. She fell in love with the world of beading after doing an apprenticeship with a jewelry designer. When that shop closed, she inherited thousands of beads and was challenged to transform those beads into a completely new art form.

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Watch Scientists Dissect a Remarkably Intact Colossal Squid

by Owen James Burke

In the clip above, you’ll see the squid’s massive beak (shaped almost exactly like a parrot’s mouth) removed from its body. Although we have a faint idea, we still don’t really know what it is, exactly, that the colossal squid’s diet consists of.

This might be the best intact colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) science has had the opportunity to study, and if you’ve got three-and-a-half hours to watch a bunch of scientists counting, measuring and fumbling with a dead squid in a tub, then fry up some calamari, sit back and enjoy! Otherwise, we’ve fast-forwarded to a couple of the better, gorier parts.

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Watch a Gigantic Manta Ray Entangled in Fishing Line Request Divers’ Help

by Owen James Burke

0 Watch a Gigantic Manta Ray Entangled in Fishing Line Request Divers Help

This huge manta ray (Manta birostris) is apparently soliciting for help as it approaches these divers off Bat Islands, Costa Rica. All sorts of animals have approached humans to get them out of binds. Just the other day, a seagull came right up to my boat and stared at me with a hook in its beak within half an arm’s length. It’s almost like they figure with human logic, ‘you made this, why don’t you fix it?’ Read more »