The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Month: December, 2011

A Little Van Adventure

Took off in the van for about 9 days to clear my head. Drove all night to Palm Springs from San Francisco to meet up with Mollie and Beamer. Camped in Joshua Tree where it snowed and I had to break out the propane heater. (Last time I used them I almost burned the van down.) Bought a poncho and a dream catcher with a coyote face on it. Stopped in the Salton Sea which by driving alongside a yellow train painted with an american flag. Headed towards the Encinitas coast where I didn’t have enough time to see Ed and Reis but saw Cyrus. Sat in Los Angeles traffic, picked my brother from New York up at the airport, saw some friends in Laurel Canyon, jumped up to Big Sur where I paid 6 dollars a gallon for gas and ran home after that. Took the dogs. Didn’t get much writing done. Even though waves back home were head to double overhead high, I got skunked every step of the way. Zero waves. No big deal. Plenty back home at Ocean Beach.

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Untitled, By Three Thoughts

*Three Thoughts via Magic Bus*

Orca Hunting Shark

Eyewitness Tracy Thomas said it looked like the orcas, also known as killer whales, were hunting the sharks, with one wounded shark washing ashore with a bloody gash on its snout.

This happens, apparently. Here’s a video of a shark being held upside-down putting the shark into a passive state until it drowns, according to Nat Geo, found via Boingboing.


A Christmas Swim in Catalan

From Lisa Abend’s article in the Times:

Like so many things in life — soccer, sex, pigs’ feet with snails — Christmas is better in Barcelona. Not for the Catalans the tinsel, the candy canes, the celebrity reindeer with his blinking nose. No, Christmas in Barcelona is an altogether sleeker affair, whimsical and exotic in equal measure. The lights lining the avenues are more artistic, the parades better choreographed, the cakes more elaborate and the exertions more athletic. (Witness the Christmas day group swim, when hundreds of Barcelonans launch themselves into the chilly Mediterranean.)

Go, Surf Mats, Go!

YouTube Preview Image

Watch Mark Thompson of Krypt surf mats ride some waves on his inflatable craft. The video is long but if you watch the last section, you won’t believe how much speed he can generate on what you’d think would be a dumpy little toy in the water. The secret to using surf mats is in the way you grip and shape them to make them harder and softer and to shape the body of the vehicle to the contours of the wave. I tried to ride one once with these principles in mind and I got destroyed, so don’t ask me for any tips.

P.S. Sorry for not posting recently. I’ve been on a van trip through the desert and coastline of Southern California for a few days.

A Visual Guide to Sailor Tattoos: A Scuttlefish and Bowsprite Creation

Compromised as they may seem, sailor’s tattoos once held significance, and occasionally they still do. In collaboration with Christina Sun at Bowsprite, we’ve put together a compendium of sailor tattoos and their respective meanings.

Hold written on one set of knuckles and Fast written on the other is meant to give a sailor good grip in the rigging.

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RipSurfer X – Please tell me that this is a joke

Feast your eyes on this monstrosity.

It’s called the RipSurfer X, a product put together by the brain trust at SurfSet Fitness. Basically, it’s a surf board strapped on top of two medicine balls, and ropes so that you can simulate paddling to. The idea is that you can “surf” in the gym. These are not available for home purchase, only at gyms in NYC and Boston, and apparently at the classes they play looping sounds of waves crashing and project surf videos on the wall to watch.

I understand that people like to surf, and that sometimes you get landlocked and want to get a surf-focused workout in, or even just somehow, someway, simulate surfing. For example, when we were kids, my little brother used to put on a wetsuit and skateboard around our neighborhood, just to fill the gaping void that was left because we were away from the ocean. So I get it.

But RipSurfer X is just ridiculous. It looks dumb, the ad has a guy doing push-ups on the board which is just ridiculous, and it’s not even made by surfers. The inventor is a retired hockey player.

I really hate this thing, but maybe there’s something to it after all. It’s can’t be all bad, right? So to defend it just the tiniest bit, I think that RipSurfer X is sort of like masturbation. No one prefers it to the real thing, but sometimes when you need it badly enough, you’re willing to take matters into your own hands.

With that in mind, head to your nearest gym and enjoy masturbating on the RipSurfer X!

*via SurfSetFitness, Wall Street Journal

Yeti Crabs Grow and Eat Food On Their Claws

An Alvin (The manned sub WHOI operates) diver, Gavin Eppard, observed Yeti Crab near a cold seep waving their arms back and forth. The crabs, which received a formal name of Kiwa puravida in PLoS article last week, are suspected of growing bacteria on their arms and nurturing them by waving their arms around to feed the alien life form. Here’s a video:

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