ocean (187)

Northern California Ocean Rich With Life Right Now

What fishermen call “bait fish” (anchovies, herring, sardines, grunion, and smelt) have been abundant of late, attracting both fish and birds (which were swooping and diving this day last week). Can’t see them that well here, but the right third of this scene is dense with birds. Hey, gimme a “hard copy” of this photo, so I can see what’s going on.

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It's A New Dawn, It's A New Day…

This is the most vital, vibrant time of my life. A lot of things are falling in to place, or about to.

I look around these days, at the garden, or the book production process, or attempts to gather, hunt, or fish for food, or my workshop—and think, this is pretty good. A lot of it a long time in the making.

The book SMALL HOMES continues to unfold before my eyes. I’m in daily touch with, typically 4-5 contributors (as many as 25 emails in some of the folders), getting large enough photo files, editing text, doing pasteup. Not in any special order — well actually, in the order in which it comes in.

I’m really excited about getting a new iPhone 6 (s Plus) (hoping tyo make my way through the AT&T maze so as not to pay full price — I have another year to go on my present contract). I think Instagram will be perfect for my daily photos, I may be wrong, but it seems Instagram is replacing blogs — at least with the millennials. BTW, there’s a good article on this age group (11-33-year-olds)by James Wolcott (an excellent writer) in this month’s Vanity Fair. I think I can get a journalistic flow going this way, and use blog for the writing impulse– like here (and link them together).

We’re revamping our website (being built in SquareSpace as we speak by Sean Hellfritsch) and it’s lookin elegant. By the end of the year, we’ll have a completely different looking internet “presence.” It’s important for us because we have so much”content” — maybe 15,000 photos, a good portion of these on homes and building. We’re also going to redesign theshelterblog and make good on my promise of getting mostly original stuff there, rather than recycled material that’s already been posted (much of which, however, is great and worth sharing).We’re going to build it, with the hope they will come.

I’m negotiating with publishers in Russia,China, and Brazil about foreign translation rights for our book Stretching (now in 24 languages).

Got my (12′ Klamath aluminum) boat with15 HP 2-stroke recently rebuilt Evinrude motor working well and improving my lame backing-up-of-trailer technique.

Going to build a sleeping platform. I got really excited yesterday laying it out — 10’x10′, — just putting 4×4’s on pier blocks, 2×6 joists on top of them made me realize that I miss building. This is gonna be fun!

The Monarch butterflies are back in greater number than years, there are big flocks of quail patrolling every corner of the garden, a beautiful young fox appeared this morning, scaring the chickens, and them scaring him too. At the beach yesterday, windy, high tide, I got 3 weathered 2x4s, 3 bird skulls — each a different bird — a lot of dead birds the last month, big bag of seaweed for garden, and check out this bit of avian skeletal artistry, what is I believe the sternum with cortacoid/clavicle still attached by one remaining tendon.

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Less Blog Posts These Days

To tell the truth, it’s a great relief, not feeling the pressure of getting out a post every day. Almost 5,000 of ’em — time for a change

My main focus these days is on the new book, SMALL HOMES; I’ve got over 50 pages roughly laid out, am in daily contact with a slew of contributors. I figure making books is how I can reach the most people, the best use of my time right now.

We’re plotting a new online strategy. Right now, I’m thinking of doingTwitter and Instagram, with occasional blog posts. Right now there are 5 steps to getting a photo out there:

1. Shoot photo.

2. Load into MacAir.

3. Fiddle a bit with it in Photoshop.

4. Find Wi-Fi (or be in office)

5. Post it

My intention is to shoot photos with an iPhone 6, post on Instagram right then. If this works out, I’ll be able to communicate way quicker. Right now, am waiting to see what Apple’s got coming with the iPhone 7, maybe the 6’s will be cheaper.

Found a nearly deserted beach yesterday, clothes off, warm sand, swimming, the only time I’ve experienced NorCal water so warm was the last El Niño, so unusual to be in this ocean and feel comfortable. Gathered a big bag full of purple/green seaweed for the garden. Like my neighbor, surfer/fisherman Andrew said the other day (down at the beach), “We’re so lucky.”

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Pacific West Coast Ocean Warmer

Hi Lloyd, warm ocean down there! But same up here in BC.  Droughts in the rainforest, this year’s salmon in big trouble.
Readers of your blog can see the ever-changing blob for themselves here:
Drag the view you like and click anywhere to get a reading of sea surface temperature anomaly.  Click on “earth” to get full menus – wind mapping at any elevation too, very cool.
I’ve been tracking this slow-moving ocean heater for months, there were some +5.3C hotspots out there last week.
David Shipway

Cortes Island, BC, Canada

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Local Food This Week

It’s been a good week for food from close by. I went out Friday in my (12′ Scrambler) kayak and spent almost 5 hours between paddling and digging (and raking) for cockles and horseneck clams, resulting in clam fritters and tonight, clam linguine. Got 4 rock crabs that were scooting around in the shallows.(Also ended up pretty exhausted.)

Bought a small halibut from a neighbor fisherman, was given 4 rock fish by a friend, and got a bunch of smelt at night.

On Tuesday I was going to hike along the coast and noticed that the cattails were pollinating and got the pollen shown in the photo (you bend the stalks over and shake into a paper bag) — took maybe a half hour to get this much. I added it to oat pancakes this morning. All our vegetables are coming from the garden this time of year.

(Two weeks earlier I burned up my Evinrude 2-stroke outboard motor (seaweed clogged water intake) AND on same day got truck stuck in the bay and was pulled out by tow truck just as the water got up to the floorboards — close call! — but that’s all another story…)

Listening to Mojo Nixon’s “Loon in the Afternoon” program on Sirius Outlaw Country station right now.

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West Coast (Santa Cruz) White Sharks

Synchronicity: Before the last blog, about the shark on the east coast was posted, Ed Forgotson sent this link.

“A great white shark near Santa Cruz swam under a kayak on Tuesday – and the paddler, a marine biologist out to see the sharks, snapped a series of photos unlike anything ever seen on the central coast.

‘I was just off the cement ship when this 8-foot great white shark swam right under my kayak,’ said Giancarlo Thomae, who works as an interpretive specialist for a whale watching operation.

   The photographs also show great white sharks in the shallows just off Seacliff State Beach in Aptos on Monterey Bay, where campers on the beach watch the shark fins as they pass nearby.

   While paddling his kayak, Thomae sighted and photographed four great white sharks at close range along the shore. He then boarded Specialized Helicopters out of Watsonville for a sky view, where he and the pilot counted 14 great white sharks just offshore the state beach, within a quarter mile of the cement ship. In the photos, the silhouettes of the sharks are clear near the sea surface.…”

Photo: Giancarlo Thomae / KayakWhaleWatching.com

https://blog.sfgate.com/stienstra/2015/07/01/santa-cruz-great-white-swims-under-kayak-paddler-gets-photos-9-pics/#photo-658709

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