Archive for July, 2007
San Francisco long has been renowned for its hills, bay and bridges — but not for expanses of sand dunes. That’s liable to change.
It turns out there are more than 2 square miles of dunes right next to the city, and world-class dunes at that: Only a few sites around the globe have larger dunes of this sort.
Access, however, will remain difficult unless you’re a sand dab or Dungeness crab. The dunes are just west of the Golden Gate, submerged in 100 to 350 feet of sea water.
Scientists grasped the extent and size of the underwater dunes — technically known as “sand waves” — only recently, aided by sophisticated, multiple-beam sonar that provides stunningly detailed images of the submarine topography.
“These are some of the largest sand waves in the world,” said Patrick Barnard, a coastal geologist with the Santa Cruz office of the U.S. Geological Survey. “They’re certainly in the upper 10 percent.”
The sand waves range up to 700 feet long and reach heights of more than 30 feet, Barnard said. It is a dynamic system, he said, with the configuration of the individual dunes changing significantly with each tidal cycle. But overall and over time, the net change to the entire field is slight.
Hats off all, and a moment of silence to commemorate a black, black day in nautical history. For on this day in 1970 the Royal Navy stopped the 300-year-old practice of issuing noon spirts to crews around the world. After “Black Tot Day” things just haven’t been the same.
Grog tub for mixing rum
Black Tot Day – July 31st, 1970, when the last “tot was drawn in the fleet around the globe; a rather touchy subject with the old and bold!”
Half gill (2 oz) rum tot cup (replica)
Big-game fisherman Zyg Gregorek, who represents England in shark-catching contests, is convinced the man-eaters have lived off Britain for a decade.
He said: “I’m the only man to catch Great Whites in two oceans – so I recognise the signs.
“I’ve been fishing for these monsters off Cornwall for ten years because I know they are there.
“It’s only a matter of time before I catch this fish. It is man against beast – and I will win.”
[full story at The Sun] [via Fark]
The Discovery Channel is using Sharkrunners, an online game, to teach people what it’s like to be a marine biologist who is tracking sharks. The game play is easy to play, but original.
Players are given a virtual boat and virtual crew. They use it to track real-life sharks that have been tagged with a GPS recievers. When a boat encounters a shark the player is alerted via email and/or SMS. The player has three hours to select how to try to collect data about the shark and its behavior. The goal is to gather as much data about sharks as possible.
[via Boing Boing]
Noodling, grabbling, call it what you will. Fishing for catfish bare handed. In Scotland and Northern England, it is called “guddling” [LINK]. Jacky teaches the D’s to guddle or ‘tickle’ for trout in Arthur Ransome’s The Picts and the Martyrs. What better pedigree for a sport could you ask?
In the US, handcatching trout is illegle, not to mention much harder than it looks (I’ve tried). Hard core good ol’ boys in Oklahoma and similar get down in rivers and pull out 100 lb cat fish. Sometimes there is a beaver, snapping turtle, or cottonmouth in the hole instead of a fish, and sometimes the fisherman is trapped and drowns. Seems sporting to me. While mostly a guy-thing, girls can get into it as well, as the video attests.
NEWPORT BEACH, California (AP) — A fisherman accused of stabbing a sea lion with a steak knife after the animal stole his bait has been arrested.
The sea lion, a six-foot female weighing about 150 pounds, was stabbed in the heart and was euthanized, said Dean Gomersall, animal care supervisor at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach.
“It’s a horrible thing,” Gomersall said. “My crew is extremely upset, and we’re just glad the person was caught.”
Hai Nguyen, 24, was fishing off a Newport pier about 12:30 p.m. Friday when the sea lion snatched the bait from his fishing pole.
“It was close enough so he could just reach out and stab it in the water,” said Sgt. Evan Sailor, a police spokesman. “A number of people witnessed it and called police.”
Nguyen was arrested without incident at the pier and held at Newport Beach Jail on $20,000 bail. He was expected to be arraigned next week on a charge of felony cruelty to animals, authorities said.
The case also was being investigated by the U.S. attorney’s office for possible federal charges under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Nguyen could face a $25,000 fine and up to a year in prison if convicted on the animal cruelty charge. A conviction on federal charges of violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act could add $12,000 in civil penalties, criminal fines of up to $20,000 and additional jail time, authorities said.
Everyone knows you shouldn’t try to stab them. In Monterey Bay, responsible fishing boat skippers just scare them away with a shotgun, or a Glock 9.