I’m pretty sure every kid, when they first start paying attention to the world beyond the sandbox, gravitates to the Mysterious World – the world beyond the veil, populated by unicorns, sea monsters, Bigfoot, Atlantis, and fairies. My parents wouldn’t buy me the Time-Life “Mysteries of the Unknown” collection (currently selling for close to $400 on Amazon!) and I always felt like I missed out on my true calling, as a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist, because of it.
This is an Indo-Pacific lionfish (from the genus Pterois) from one of my 2017 dives off of Fiji’s coral coast. Even though I don’t have a red filter on my GoPro and I’m using natural light at about 60 feet down, it’s I think the video conveys the beauty of the animal as it hovers in perfect balance, display its’ delicate fins in a threat display as I approach it.
If you’re not familiar with the lionfish, it’s a predatory reef fish and on those delicate fins are spines which can be used defensively to deliver a painful sting. As stated by divemaster Mike Ryan to Erin Spencer in National Geographic:
“It won’t kill you, but it’ll make you wish you were dead”.
Continue reading “Florida Diaries, Day 1: Die, Lionfish, Die!”
On July 8th at Shark-Con in Tampa, FL, I will be releasing a brand new collection of poems, essays, and art called “Cap’n Klute’s Ocean Almanac, Vol. 44 #2”! It’s probably the most ambitious project I’ve ever embarked on. It’s a collection of some of the essays and poetry, and I’ve commissioned a whole bunch of illustrations and drawings from some of Arizona’s top talent to present the work in a way you’ve never seen before. I’m really excited.
And to sweeten the deal, I’m including an exclusive book-only essay on tiki bar culture and sharks! The essay also includes two drink recipes I’ve created, the Blue Guadalupe and the Waidroka Angel, and if you come to Shark-Con you can buy tiki mugs to serve those drink recipes in (note: that tiki in the picture is not what I’m selling, that’s one from my private collection).
As always, any and all profits from the books, tiki mugs, t-shirts, and stuff for the little remoras in your school get donated to shark conservation groups.
So if you love sharks, if you love the ocean, if you love tiki bar culture, and like it all with a little chaser of sarcasm, you know where you need to be on July 8th and 9th.
Come to the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, FL and indulge your love of all things sharky, and stop by my booth, and say hi!
On July 24th, 2017 – Rep. Sinema agreed to Co-Sponsor #HR1456, the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act! Read my follow up post: The Sharks Want to Thank Rep. Kyrsten Sinema HERE!
As we all know, sharks are in trouble. Suffering from a laundry list of problems from overfishing, to habitat loss, to pollution, to a rapidly changing environment brought on by anthropogenic climate change, many species from the smalltooth sawfish to the daggernose sharks are teetering on the verge of extinction. The daggernose shark so endangered that the National Marine Fisheries Services got off it’s ass on May 9, 2017 to declare it an endangered species – under the Trump administration. That’s like the Flat Earth Society endorsing Buzz Aldrin for President of the Moon.
“The Prophecy of Teeth and Blood”, my first shark poem, written in 2010 after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. It was performed to great effect* by Team Mesa 2010 at the National Poetry Slam by myself, Brit Shostak (now of Portland, OR), Tristan Marshell, and Lauren Perry.
On this, the seventh anniversary of the disaster, I revisit Gulf of Mexico on that terrible day, through the unblinking, slitted eyes of a bull shark.
Continue reading “Poem: The Prophecy of Teeth and Blood”
A few months back I was asked to be part of a music video for the song “Take My Chances” by No Volcano, a Phoenix-area band. Directed by Troy Farah, who had previously turned my poem “The Doom that Came to Manhattan” (a Trump campaign commercial/Lovecraft short story mashup) into a music video. Since I had a lot of fun doing that, I said: “Why not?”. Here’s the finished product:
C. megalodon, whether you place it in the genus Carcharocles or Carcharodon is extinct.
Nothing would give me greater joy, reduce me to childhood giggling, and make me rush toward the nearest research vessel begging for a job than being able to say otherwise, but I can’t. It’s deader than the Dodo and Disco. There are theories why it died out, all of them intriguing, but none leave room for C. megalodon to swim in the world’s oceans. Let’s take a deeper dive.
Continue reading “The Mega-Low Down on the Megalodon”
I love sushi. Spider rolls, seared escolar, ebi, shrimp tempura rolls, etc. I’ve never been a fan of raw tuna or salmon, not because of the taste, or the idea of raw fish, but the texture of raw tuna and salmon leaves me cold. Crustaceans are my jam, which, if I were a shark, would put me in order Orectolobiformes, the carpet shark family. Easy access to crabs, lobster, clams (mollusks are pretty tasty too). However, as I point out in a post back in February (Fry’s Food Stores and the High Cost of Shrimp), you’re not just eating crustaceans when you order your plate of coconut shrimp or tempura roll, you’re laying waste to the marine environment.
Let me introduce you to a friend of mine. This is Whitetail, a yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares).
This weekend (April 1st, 2017) I attended the 2nd Annual Verde Valley Comic Expo, put together by the Northern Arizona Cartoonist Association, to spread the word about sharks and the peril they face. Many kids stopped by the booth either to ask questions about sharks, or to watch the dive videos from my recent expedition to Fiji’s Coral Coast, or my past expeditions to Isla Guadalupe in Mexico.