The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Month: April, 2011

Kitesurfing Mavericks

Big wave surfing has become so ubiquitous that it is almost blase. We nonchalantly watch video clips of guys flying down the face of 50 foot waves, and then turn away to sip our coffee and go about our day. It’s kind of sad that we have de-mystified such an awe-inspiring feat.

Lest we forget, big wave riding is very, very dangerous. Sion Milosky drowned at Mavericks this winter, and he was a bonafide big-wave surfer.

And so into this arena we introduce kitesurfing on big waves. Jean-Marc Mommessin and Frederic Stemmelin strapped on their kiting gear, and about a dozen GoPro cameras each, and charged Mavericks on a day when the waves were around 20-25 feet. GoPro cameras are notorious for shrinking the size of waves, but you can still tell that these bombs are big.

YouTube Preview Image

Sure, the video is a tad bit cheesy at times, but the stoke experienced from 1:56-2:10 is anything but cheesy…more like an exhilarating reminder of what these guys were out there doing.

Under the Boardwalk

*via retrogasm*

The Vertical Blue Annual Invitational

William Trubridge of New Zealand, 30, descends nearly 400 feet (121 meters) on one single breath

The world’s top freedivers lined up at Dean’s Blue Hole off Long Island in the Bahamas last week for the annual invitational competition, Vertical Blue.  Dean’s Blue Hole is the deepest in the world–660-foot, but it is surrounded by ankle-deep sand flats, from which spectators are able to watch.

To reach his record depth of nearly 400 feet, Trubridge held his breath for an astounding 4 minutes and 13 seconds.

Contest protocol requires that for a diver to claim their achievement they must remove their goggles, nose clip, give an okay sign with their fingers and say ‘I’m Okay’ upon surfacing, as to announce that they haven’t blacked out or succumbed to narcosis.

“Your body thinks you’re still diving and doesn’t breathe; you have to be reminded,” said Simon Bennett, 43, a freediver who…has broken the Chilean national record several times during competition, which is held over 10 days.

After a certain point of holding your breath, oxygen and carbon dioxide are compressed into the blood system and divers can become severely impaired.  Resurfacing too fast can bring about a similar effect on the body when the reverse happens, if the oxygen in the blood is released too fast.  This is where yoga comes in handy for Trubridge:

‘“I try not to think,” Trubridge said of his technique…”I concentrate on the spaces between the thoughts.”’

*via nyt*

HMS Friday: Repulse Bay, Hong Kong

Repulse Bay is a swank area of Hong Kong. The beaches are popular during the hot summer, and the coastline is dotted with luxury apartments.

One of those apartments has a giant hole built into it.

The hole is 8 apartments tall, and 4 apartments wide. It is obviously no accident.

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How To Measure a Shark (Safely)

Measuring a shark. You could do it by catching one, and holding up a tape measure from its fin to its head, without harming it or yourself. Or you could use a camera rig.

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The First Jet-Powered Surfboard

New jet-powered surfboards will add between 6 and 10 knots to your speed in water, along with 14 pounds of extra weight, which is not always a bad thing in the water.  The extra speed when surfing seems a bit unnecessary with the kinetic energy of a wave, but if one were interested in paddling a long distance, either to surf a specific spot that has no beach access or to make it out past impossible breakers, this PWP (personal water-propulsion) device may come in handy.

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The Armament Race Was Getting Pretty Racy!

The Sex Ray by Clyde Allison

Agent 0008 book cover, ‘The Sex Ray’ by Clyde Allison — via hoodoothatvoodoo

The American Museum of Natural History’s Most Bizarre Sea Creatures

The-American-Museum-of-Natural-History's-Most-Bizarre-Sea-Creatures

I grew up in New York’s American Museum of Natural History, spending a good amount of time staring up at the great belly of the Blue Whale in Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. I figured they’d have some opinions about weird ocean creatures, and I had the fortune and opportunity to talk to Doctor Mark Siddall, Curator and Professor of Invertebrate Zoology and Doctor Melanie Stiassny, Curator of Milstein Hall and Professor who specializes in Vertebrate Zoology and Ichthyology.

Here are some of the weirdest ocean creatures they could think of.

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