beach (287)

You Can Take the Boy Out of Baja…

Monday early evening, March 13, 2017

I’m out in a wonderful thatched-roof domicile about 12 miles east of San José del Cabo; it looks out to the ocean and gets the sea breezes. The surf is up and there was only one surfer out today. Surfing has become too much of a hassle for me lately, crowds and age the main detractors. With skateboarding, there’s no problem getting up, and there are no crowds. The drawbacks are, yes, pavement and cars (and age, que lástima).

So I’ve been swimming. Jeez, if I lived where water was this warm I’d be in it every day. Tonight I bagged it because of the shorebreak – steep beach means you can get handled coming back in – as I did yesterday, rolled around and thoroughly pounded – sand in hair, ears, coating body, I mean I was sanded!

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On A Totally Tourist Cruise

Chilon, his girlfriend Carolina, and Carolina’s girlfriend Claudia and me went on a big boat sunset cruise to El Arco de Los Cabos yesterday. Maybe 100 people, dinner and all you could drink. Party time! A good DJ, lots of dancing, people got pretty hammered everyone had their extrovert persuasion on and you know what? It was fun!

We went around the tip of land and into the Pacific Ocean on the west side to watch the sunset.

A mother whale and her calf were frolicking, the little one kept leaping and slapping and once in a while, mama would go airborne with her 20-30-or-so tons, to everyone’s delight. Boat guys said it was the first of the season.

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Surfing During Paleolithic Times

“…Wanna see our pictures on the cover

Wanna buy five copies for our mothers

Wanna see my smilin face

On the cover of the Rollin Stone”

People of a certain, um, age will remember the song from the early ’70s by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show.

Well, I finally made it on a cover, 61 (ulp!) years later in the just-out copy of The Surfer’s Journal. I was wearing a shorty wetsuit from the Dive ‘N Surf shop in La Jolla (pre-O’Neill). You sent them your measurements and they sent you the cut-out pieces and a bottle of Black Magic glue and some tape. You’d glue together pieces, glue tape over seams. Early wetsuits didn’t have nylon lining so you’d rub cornstarch on your body so as to be able to slip the suit on. Underneath it I was wearing on old-fashioned wool bathing suit. A 9′ Velzy balsa wood board (this was just before foam.)

This was about a 6-8′ drop to the water (at Steamer Lane), there was a ledge, and we did this when the tide was right in order to stay dry. We’d wait for a wave to hit the cliff, then jump as the backwash flowed outward.

Before wetsuits there wasn’t much of a crowd problem. I remember a foggy morning, 6-8’ at the Lane, 4 of us out. Ah, me.

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The Sea Forager’s Guide to the Northern California Coast

Anyone who fishes (or clams or collects anything from the California coast) will love this book. In fact, anyone on the west coast of the USA, from Baja California up to BC, will learn how to catch, gather, clean, and cook fish, clams, mussels, eels, crabs, and seaweed from this witty and complete fishing compendium. Kirk Lombard worked for 7 years as an observer for The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission before becoming “The Sea Forager” in the San Francisco Bay Area. He conducts fishing classes, does demonstrations, and sells sustainable seafood. IYou can get info on all his coastal activities and buy the book at: https://www.seaforager.com/

Full disclosure: I’ve been to one of Kirk’s fishing demos, attended a seminar on making pickled herring, and went fishing with him for night smelt (caught 15 lbs. that night, netting them in the surf).) I’ve gotten a ton of useful info from him, including tonight, when I used his technique for getting the skin off horseneck clam siphons (slit lengthwise, soak in warm water for 10 min.) before making clam fritters (below, left).

He tells you how to catch salmon, halibut, rockfish, striped bass, and 8-10 other kinds of fish, how to gather 15 different types of shellfish, how to pickle seaweed (I’ve got a jar of pickled kelp in the frig right now, and I put ground-up dried seaweed on omelets, potatoes, anything hot). He’s big on the small fish in the area — herring, anchovies, smelt, grunion, and mackerel — because they’re low on the food chain, super healthy, and take pressure off the popular fish.

He’s got a sense of humor, plays in a band (his oldest kid is named Django), and has fun with his work and teaching.

The book is very nicely illustrated by Leighton Kelly.

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“The Forgotten Victorian Craze for Collecting Seaweed”

Above: Selected plates from Margaret Gatty’s “British Sea-Weeds.” Biodiversity Heritage Library/public domain

“This woman…is one of… one of Victorian Britain’s many female seaweed hunters. Beloved by figures like Queen Victoria and George Eliot, seaweed-hunting became a popular way for women to tap into the enthusiasms of their era—and contribute to the burgeoning annals of science.…

…As the seashore itself gained a reputation as a restorative landscape, plenty of women found themselves there, either recuperating from illness or seeking family-friendly summer fun. Many of them were already diehard scrapbookers, and seaweed makes a particularly rewarding collage subject: not only does each specimen’s strange color and shape present a design challenge, its gelatinous inner structure means that, when pressed onto paper, it actually glues itself to the page.…”

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-forgotten-victorian-craze-for-collecting-seaweed

(Came upon this from following up on Kevin Kelly’s tip for using atlasobsura.com for finding “…obscure, very offbeat attractions…” to wherever he is traveling. https://kk.org/cooltools/)

If you’re not interested in seaweed, still check out https://www.atlasobscura.com.

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Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning…

I finally looked it up.

Usually, weather moves from west to east. In the mid-latitudes, the prevailing winds are westerlies. This means storm systems generally move in from the West.…

Red sky at night, sailors delight When we see a red sky at night, this means that the setting sun is sending its light through a high concentration of dust particles. This usually indicates high pressure and stable air coming in from the west. Basically good weather will follow.

Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning A red sunrise can mean that a high pressure system (good weather) has already passed, thus indicating that a storm system (low pressure) may be moving to the east. A morning sky that is a deep, fiery red can indicate that there is high water content in the atmosphere. So, rain could be on its way.…

In the Bible, (Matthew XVI: 2-3,) Jesus said, ‘When in evening, ye say, it will be fair weather: For the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today; for the sky is red and lowering.’”

https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/weather-sailor.html

Another source: https://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2009/09/14/q-a-sailors-delight-fact-or-fi/

Photo from: https://simple-pleasures.org/2013/09/05/red-sky-orange-sky/

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