The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

How Mexico’s Cabo Pulmo Is Paving the Way for Marine Conservation

by Owen James Burke

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Thousands upon thousands of bigeye jacks, now worth more dead than alive, swarm David Castro, whose father spearheaded the conservation project. Photo: Dr. Octavio Aburto Oropeza.

Two decades ago, the fishing industry–and ecosystem–of Baja, Mexico’s remote seaside village of Cabo Pulmo was on the verge of collapse. A local took initiative, scoured the oceanography world and grassroots activists (from near and far) to bring the bay back to what it once was.

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A New Take on the Surfin’/Snowboarding Safari: School Bus Style

by Carolyn Sotka

nomad bus

Photo by Let’s Be Nomads.

One year ago, diehard snowboarders/surfers Val and Tim from Belgium dreamed of a nomadic life, chasing waves and moguls. Like many who seek outdoor adventures, nature doesn’t always play nice – waves go flat, powder turns to puddles. Frustrated by the difficulty of changing direction on a whim, the couple envisioned a new way of life that would blend a tiny house concept with movability. What they came up with was the perfect hybrid – a converted 12 meter U.S. school bus, equipped to easily find the next mountain with the best powder. But the ride doesn’t stop at the mountain. The bus morphs into a surf-chasing machine this summer 2015!

I Was Drowning.

by Owen James Burke

Pedro Calado at Puerto Escondido, Mexico, in the right place at the wrong time. Photo:

Brazilian surfer Pedro Calado–who frequents Jaws on Maui and Nazaré in Portugal–is no stranger to big waves or big wipeouts, but this, he says, was the worst of his life.

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Screenshot from Surfline’s “Greatest Wipeouts”.

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Watch as Greenpeace Destroys Historic Artwork to Protest Shell’s Deep Sea Drilling in the Arctic

by Owen James Burke

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William Bradford’s “An Arctic Summer: Boring Through the Pack in Melville Bay”, up in smoke. Screenshot from Greenpeace’s YouTube video, “A Song of Oil, Ice and Fire”.

The imagery is of chaos, doom and gloom, but the message is clear. Shell is now within weeks of beginning their exploits in the Arctic Circle, and as protests like last week’s “kayaktivist” blockade in Seattle take place, Greenpeace hopes this video will help fuel the spirit of resistance.

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Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World, charred. Screenshot from Greenpeace’s YouTube video, “A Song of Oil, Ice and Fire”.

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In the Galápagos, Crabs Hitch Rides on Iguanas

by Owen James Burke


“Crabbing a Ride.” Fernandina Island, the Galápagos. Photo: Nancy Leigh/National Geographic Your Shot.

The relationship here has been observed on several occasions, and is said to be a cleaning symbiosis between the “Sally Lightfoot” (Grapsus grapsus) and the marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), unique to the Galápagos.

The “Sally Lightfoot”, or red rock crab feeds off of the dead algae on the iguana’s skin, and the iguana is then able to forego the inconvenience of having to maintain its own hygiene. Where can I get one of these things?

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Point Break, The Remake. Oh No.

by Owen James Burke

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Screenshot from Point Break Movie Trailer.

Well, Swayze’s gone, and Keanu Reeves isn’t in on it. What can we expect but feeble dialogue and outrageously cheeky stunts?

Surfers, sorry to say, are likely to be left wanting. The robber-barons are now on dirt bikes and snowboards and in wingsuits, but they still leave room for the gratuitous big wave scene or two.

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The Story of the Drug-Running Freighter That Became One of Dutch Bonaire’s Favorite Reefs: Hilma Hooker, Lady With a Past

by Owen James Burke


Above: The Hilma Hooker, (presumably) before her contraband-running days. Photo: Maritime Connector.

Built in the Netherlands and launched in 1951, the Hilma Hooker had quite, humble beginnings. She sailed to the Caribbean and had changed hands nearly half a dozen times before she was sold to the San Andrés Shipping Line of San Andrés, Colombia in 1979, and renamed Hilma Hooker. It was under this appellation that the vessel ran into trouble.


A photograph of the Hilma Hooker hard up on a Dutch Bonaire reef, apparently snapped by a man named Hieronder, according to

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“Barbarian Days”: Writer and Surfer William Finnegan’s Self Portrait of His Life in Salt

by Owen James Burke


“To be thirteen, with a surfboard, in Hawaii.” Photograph: New Yorker/William R. Finnegan.

Lifelong surfer, writer and wartime reporter William Finnegan was 13 years old when his family packed up their Ventura, California digs in the mid-1960s for the surf mecca of Honolulu, Hawaii.

“The budget for moving our family to Honolulu was tight,” recalls the New Yorker staff writer in his upcoming memoir, Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, “judging from the tiny cottage we rented and the rusted-out Ford Fairlane we bought to get around.”


“At Waikiki, 1967: Waves were the playing field. They were the goal. They were the object of your deepest desire and adoration.” Photograph: New Yorker/William R. Finnegan.

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