Nantucket's "Slurpee Waves"

Snow's been on National Seashore beaches for over a month and may still be on the dunes at the start of spring. Meanwhile, Nantucket has been in the news with photos of "Slurpee Waves" by photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh. You can his stunning images HERE.

The video below gives another perspective:

Octopus vs Crab

Thanks to Brad Golstein for sharing this:

Walk to the Beach February 16, 2015

Sunday afternoon as the blizzard blew by, my daughters and I stood at the edge of the newly created 6' cliff at Pochet, trying to keep from being blown off of it in the 50mph+ gusts. The sea was heaving like a herd of running buffalo and waves were breaking 1 mile offshore. It was awesome in the full 19th century sense of the word.

President's day was calmer and warmer. We walked down the road to the Pochet washover. The destruction of the dunes had left blocks of peat and ice scattered across the beach:

The Worst Kind of Writing to Help the Environment

Who the H E Double Hockey Sticks Was Heraclitus?

When I take those online tests on which party fits me best in an upcoming election I end up left of the Democrats and somewhere in the middle of the Green Party. It surprises me because I'm fairly conservative relative to my friends. But then again, I grew up in West Los Angeles, went to school at UC Berkeley, became an adult in Manhattan and now live in the bluest of blue states.

Surrounded by tofu and Volvos, I nonetheless developed an antipathy toward certain types of liberals and a sort of kinship with the likes of Rush Limbaugh and dare I say it, even Sarah Palin. It is this: I hate weepy, cry in your green tea, hectoring of woe are us, the world is ending, we must save the planet. There's a voice on NPR's Living on Earth that embodies that feeling and makes me sick to my stomach; even when I want to hear what the guy's talking about I feel so nauseated by his syrupy overly sincere tones of concern that I turn off the radio.

This morning I read an Op-Ed in the NYTimes that gave me that same feeling of indigestion. It's a short piece by Ariel Dorfman titled "Heraclitus Hikes the Andes" with the subtitle, "Global Warming Changes Everything."

It was immediately annoying to have to google "Heraclitus". "Hikes the Andes" got my back up too. What? We don't have good hikes in America? Dorfman goes on to write about revisiting a beautiful place he'd been to forty years before, a magnificent spot that's being ruined by a combination of global warming and development. His observations, like those of many other writers in this time, foreshadow looming environmental catastrophe. The intent is to awaken people to take action before it's too late. The intent is good. But his method fails because only the choir will listen to his preaching. Those who need to hear his message, the true fans of Limbaugh, Palin et al., don't read the New York Times and would never get past the title of his piece if they did.

If environmentalists want action against destructive development in general and Global Warming in particular, they need to engage people outside of liberal enclaves. They need stories and anecdotes that connect with hunters in Wyoming and farmers in Nebraska. They need more blogs like Andrew Revkin's Dot Earth and more books like Elizabeth Kolbert's, The Sixth Extinction. Revkin and Kolbert won't be read by many GW deniers, but those who do will find unemotional and engaging discussion of environmental problems that most everyone agrees need solving.

Yo, environmentalists! Stop whining, crying and lecturing and start connecting.

So anyway, who was Heraclitus of Ephesus? He was a Greek guy who wrote that we can never step in the same river twice (nice!) and was known as the, "...Weeping Philosopher", because he apparently would sob uncontrollably as he meditated on the state of the world. The italics are Dorfman's words.
I rest my case.

- Mike Marks

Ghost Wave - Story of Cortes Bank

Ghost Wave at Cortes BankGhost Wave by Chris Dixon is a story about the massive wave that breaks 100 miles off Southern California at Cortes Bank. There may be a handful of surfers in New England qualified to ride that wave but the story is one that everyone can enjoy. Dixon does a great job of describing the experience of big wave surfing and explaining why guys risk their lives doing it - even when they have wives and young kids. As he circles the story of the wave at Cortes Bank he diverts to Jaws, Mavericks, Todos Santos, Teahupoo and other spots. He offers up vignettes of guys like Greg Noll, Greg Long, Mike Parsons, Peter Mel and Laird Hamilton along with surf writers, photographers, editors and men who might as well be called pirates.

The book isn't entirely surf-centric. Dixon details the interesting and absurd history of the place. Did you know that the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Enterprise ran aground there (the Captain was fired) or that the USS Constitution sailed by it in 1846 during the Mexican American War? The most interesting bit of trivia is that a ship was intentionally scuttled on top the bank in 1966 by guys intending to found a new country they planned to call "Abalonia".

The descriptions of riding massive waves are gripping. But equally hair raising are the descriptions of boat (and jet ski) rides out to the bank, anchoring there and how spooky it is to see a 100' wave breaking in the middle of the ocean, beyond the edge of the continental shelf.

Worth reading. Available at Amazon.