The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Month: October, 2015

Happy Halloween From Your Friends at The Scuttlefish!

2576e93fd3fd1104d9b9d7b55f531e18

Image from Lizclimo.tumblr.com.

Halloween_Pumpkin-FurSeal2

Halloween_Pumpkin-SeaLion1

Trainers at the New England Aquarium provided pumpkins for the seals and sea lions to explore as a festive means of enrichment. Exploring new textures and shapes and smells is a fun activity that keeps these marine mammals healthy and happy. This is how the Leu the fur seal and Zoe the sea lion celebrated Halloween! Image from the New England Aquarium.

0ec4e1d102ebbfda7556440c6abc9a2a

To all of our readers! Have a safe and happy Halloween!

 

 

 

Wish You Were Here: Kayaking Through Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand

Scuttlefish writer Owen James Burke is currently rambling around New Zealand in a camper van with a camera, surfboard and speargun in search of stories, waves and fish. We’re putting together a waterperson’s guide to the island nation, but meanwhile, we’ll be publishing stories and photographs, short updates along the way from the Yankee in Kiwiland. -CD

FullSizeRender (1)

The Cook Strait is a tricky but enchanting body of water. It’s best to get on it early in the morning before the afternoon breeze kicks up. Photo: Owen James Burke.

Find a kayak, shove off the gold sand beach into gin-clear water and weave your way between granite and limestone cliffs. That’s the first thing you have to do when you get to the shores of Abel Tasman National Park. the rest is up to you, but I assure you, there’s no shortage of wonders small or large.

Read more»

Meet the Man Who’s Made $15 Million Diving For Golfballs (and Dodging Alligators)

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 3.07.47 PM

Screenshot from CatersTV’s video below.

“One day, I was partially unemployed and I was stealing golfballs out of a golf course lake where I lived and, um, then I realized that wasn’t the way to make money–stealing. This business just blew up.” – Glenn Berger.

It’s hard to fathom how Glenn Berger developed this business plan but there’s no way of arguing that it’s anything short of brilliant.

Over a decade ago, Mr. Berger calculated that by collecting lost golfballs, he could earn at least $1, sometimes $2, by retrieving, cleaning, and reselling them to courses around Florida.

Read more»

“He thought it was Wonderful. I Thought it was Absolutely Horrifying.” Talking Story with Barbarian Days Author William Finnegan, Part II.

DocsGamesII

William Finnegan. Surfing Ocean Beach. Photo from Barbarian Playing Doc’s Games, The New Yorker, 1992. 

Editor’s Note. Last week, I fired up Skype for a chat with author and longtime New Yorker reporter William Finnegan. Finnegan, 62, is a personal hero. He’s a Manhattan-based, hard-nosed, badass, no-bullshit, journalist’s journalist, and surfing’s most accomplished wordsmith. In his recently released New York Times bestselling memoir Barbarian Days, A Surfing Life, Finnegan has written a sweeping, engrossing narrative that literally took six decades of living to write. Earlier this week, we talked about the immorality of surfing hurricane waves. Today, Finnegan discusses how hard it was to write Barbarian Days, his seminal New Yorker article “Playing Doc’s Games,” the drop-knee cutback, and the terror of big Ocean Beach. — CD 

BarbarianDaysCover

Barbarian Days. Well worth 1926 pennies.

Chris Dixon: Ok, let’s talk about Barbarian Days. I’m wondering from your verbal perspective, why did you feel it was time to write a book about your own personal life experience as a surfer when you, aside from “Playing Doc’s Games,” which got somewhat into that – you haven’t written much about your own personal life.

William Finnegan: My other books have all been more journalistic, it’s true – although my first one, Crossing the Line, about teaching at a black high school in South Africa was pretty first-person. Still, I was strongly trying to report on South Africa and what I saw there.

CrossingTheLine

I didn’t recently decide it was time to write this book (Barbarian Days). It was twenty-something years in the making. It just finally got done now. It started with that piece in The New Yorker in ‘92 – “Playing Doc’s Games” – which in itself took 7 years to write. So really this is a long, old project.

The genesis. I was living in San Francisco, freelancing. I sent a short political piece over the transom to The New Yorker and someone in the editor’s office said, “If you want to write longer pieces, this would be a good time to submit something to the editor – you’ve got his attention.”

So I felt like I needed to come up with something in five minutes – right now. And I didn’t have any ideas. So I just sort of looked around and proposed a profile of Mark Renneker. I was surfing with him at Ocean Beach at the time – and he was this big colorful character that struck me as a John McPhee type hero. Not that I’m John McPhee, but I could see Mark in The New Yorker. Perhaps under someone else’s byline!

Read more»

Sea Lion vs. Thresher Shark. Guess Who Wins.

thresh2

Sometimes you eat the seal, and sometimes the seal eats you. Photo: Slater Moore Photography. Video below.

The photographs and videos were captured aboard a whale watching vessel off Newport Beach in Southern California on Wednesday.

Read more»

Wish You Were Here: Watching A Giant Elephant Rise Up from the Sea in Heimaey, Iceland

rock-formation-elephant-heimaey-iceland-21

Photo via Shaefierce

The series of basalt cliffs lining the shores of Heimaey, the largest island in the Vestmannaeyjar Archipelago off Iceland’s south coast are a sight to see, no doubt. But this particular formation, which looks like an elephant rising up from the ocean, or maybe a mammoth with a taste for seawater, is something else. You might even swear it was shaped by human hands. It is in fact, however miraculously, the mere creation of molten rock cooled and crafted by North Atlantic swells.

Roca_del_elefante,_Heimaey,_Islas_Vestman,_Suðurland,_Islandia,_2014-08-17,_DD_036

Photo: Wiki Commons

Heimaey is home to a nearly 400-year-old hunting and fishing community which in 1973 was almost all but incinerated during a six-month-long deluge of boiling basalt.

Read more»

Semper Paratus: Watch The USCG Coordinate the Rescue of 36 Fishermen from a Burning Vessel. . .Over 2,000 Miles Southwest of Hawaii

burningship

Credit: USCG. Video below.

The United States Coast Guard’s 14th District in Hawaii is responsible for a 12.2 million square mile swathe of land and sea (that’s almost twice the size of Russia). When the 70 meter (230-foot) fishing vessel Glory Pacific No. 8 activated their EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), it was the USCG’s responsibility to organize the rescue of the Papua New Guinea-flagged ship, which had caught fire 2,071 miles southwest of Hawaii.

Read more»

Life In Salt. Talking Story with Barbarian Days Author William Finnegan, Part I. Joaquin and the Indefensible Lust for Hurricane Surf.

YoungBillFinn
William Finnegan. Portrait of the author as a young man. Photo from Barbarian Days, courtesy: William Finnegan.

Editor’s Note. Last week, I fired up Skype for a chat with author and longtime New Yorker reporter William Finnegan. Finnegan, 62, is a personal hero. He’s a Manhattan-based, hard-nosed, badass, no-bullshit, journalist’s journalist, and surfing’s most accomplished wordsmith. In his recently released New York Times bestselling memoir Barbarian Days, A Surfing Life, Finnegan has written a sweeping, engrossing narrative that literally took six decades to write.

BarbarianDaysCover
Barbarian Days. Well worth 1926 pennies.

Finnegan and I planned to spend fifteen, maybe twenty minutes talking about the book. But by the time we wrapped it up, we’d had a two hour long discussion on the the state of the world, climate armageddon, fatherhood, surfing, relationships, youthful selfishness, growing older and hopefully wiser, and, oh yeah, the book.

Over the next several days, I’ll run excerpts from our talk in installments. First, the glory, frustration and indefensible immorality of lusting after, and chasing hurricane waves.

Read more»