Help legendary Oregon surf photographer Mark McInnis rebuild after losing everything in devastating Holiday Farm Fire!

"His home, his digital photographs, film negatives, family heirlooms, clothes and everything he owned is gone."

The recent fires in Washington and Oregon have devastated so many. As an Oregonian, I watched in horror as complete towns became engulfed in flames, entire regions laid bare. The Pacific Northwest’s surf community is small and tight and I discovered, yesterday, that the legendary PNW surf photographer Mark McInnis had lost everything as his house burned to the ground.

Chris Burkard, who recently appeared on Dirty Water and is very near a saint, set up a Go Fund Me for his good friend, writing:

Friend & photographer, Mark McInnis, has brought joy to many with his images of distant waves and remote landscapes. He recently moved back to his home in the PNW only to have the recent Holiday Farm Fire completely decimate the community of Blue River, Oregon. And with it, his home. The salt in the wound is that this tragedy occurred just prior to finishing a year long project of backing up his entire collection of images offsite. He was left with nothing. His home, his digital photographs, film negatives, family heirlooms, clothes and everything he owned is gone. We are talking well over six figures of loss. The harsh reality that Mark’s cameras and entire library of images and backups were all set ablaze is a learning lesson for any creative person, especially when your livelihood depends on it. My hope is that we can give back to Mark to get him back on his feet and hopefully repay the joy that he has given all of us through his photographs. And, for the record, Mark refused to set this up himself. It took some harsh words from a friend for Mark to realize that we are grieving as he grieves and that the way we heal, is to help. So while he may not ask for help, but he genuinely needs it. Furthermore, in true McInnis fashion, Mark is insisting on donating 10% of all donations over the $30,000 mark to The Upper McKenzie and Volunteer Firefighter Relief Fund. Thank you in advance for supporting my great friend, a valued member of the photography community and an inspiration to us all.

If you have every enjoyed McInnis’s beautiful work, or care to help, please click here.

And thank you.

Surf-adjacent dentist who removed patient’s tooth while riding hoverboard gets 12-year prison sentence: “You darn near killed some people!”

Very tough.

Oh to feel that surf life, to need that surf life, but to be trapped somewhere difficult to live that surf life. Such was the predicament of dentist Seth Lookhart who had set up his practice in Alaska, a state that has surf (listen to photographer Chris Burkard describe) but difficult to easily access surf.

What did Dentist Lookhart do to itch that scratch on a regular basis?

Extract teeth while cruising a hoverboard, of course, also extract teeth without patient permission etc. Giving him the sensation of riding the foamball over a treacherous stretch of reef. Many consequences. High stakes etc.

We surfers, we understand this feeling, this need, but the Anchorage Superior Court does not and handed dentist Lookhart a 12-year sentence for reckless endangerment and fraud. The judge declaring, “In reviewing all this over and over again, I have this visceral response — you darn near killed some people….” as Dentist Lookhart was whisked away.

If you were locked behind bars in Alaska for 12-years what sort of hobby would you take up?

I might begin carving miniature totem poles from soap.

Or maybe become an expert in training street tough Killer Whales in order to unleash them on my enemies upon release.

Win-win, I suppose.

Cabarita foilboarder describes hit by White yesterday. | Photo: @linda_sinclair62

Foil-boarder hit by Great White described as a “tank” at site of Tweed Heads Pro “Then it came back and I was out without the board”; Broken Head cleared after surfer bumped by twelve-foot Great White; fisherman says Gold Coast is infested with sharks, “It’s out of control!”

"There is definitely no shortage of Great Whites."

A foil-boarder has been hit by a shark at the site of last weekend’s Tweed Heads Pro, the animal leaving behind a tooth in the foil’s resilient carbon fibres. 

If you remember, competitors in the event which was held at a B-grade point called Cabarita half-an-hour south of the Superbank where a surfer was killed by a Great White less than two weeks ago, were cleared when an eight-foot shark swam through the contest area.

Photos and video of the foil-boarder flew around Instagram, the man, a local surfer Christian, surrounded by onlookers as he describes the event.

Dorsal Watch reported a fifteen-to-eighteen-foot Great White, as big as they get, “a tank”, swimming through the lineup around the same time.

At Broken Head, same day, a twelve-foot Great White swam through a crowd of fifty surfers, bumping one surfer on its way through. 

At Kirra, a few hundred metres down the beach from the Superbank, surfers were cleared when a shark swam though the lineup. 

Meanwhile, a Gold Coast fisherman says shark numbers are “out of control” and that there is “definitely no shortage of Great Whites. We see them all the time and we never saw them before.

Joel Merchant, thirty-nine and from Tweed Heads, says he’s been fishing for twenty years off the same stretch of coast where there’s been two fatal hits on surfers in the past two months, Rob Pedretti at Kingscliff, Nick Slater at the Superbank. 

“People say they are hungry due to overfishing but you never seen a skinny one, they are all healthy and there is plenty of food for them, they have been left alone and bred up so well and thriving. The chance of interacting with a shark is more and more because there is so many of them.” 

Commercial fisherman, Adrian Cottee, who is based in Yamba two-and-a-half hours south of the Gold Coast, said he he had to “leave the Tweed area two years ago because the sharks were eating the net and everything would fall out. There’s certainly big numbers of sharks out there.” 

Buy your crank-shaft tourniquets here. 

Patagonia sews provocative message into waistbands of “regenerative, organic, stand-up” shorts: “Vote The A**holes Out!”

Environmental warrior and billionaire Yvon Chouinard describes Trump administration as "evil".

If you buy a pair of Patagonia’s regenerative, organic stand-up shorts, ninety-nine-ninety-five, you’ll find, embroidered on an inside label, the message, Vote The Assholes Out.

It’s billionaire climber Yvon Chouinard’s hit on any politician that “denies” the climate crisis, not ‘cause they don’t see it happening, but because they’re in the in the pockets of oil and gas companies.

The slogan previously appeared on a t-shirt (buy here) and Chouinard also included the pithy slogan as a postscript to an open letter to 1% for the Planet supporters, a movement created to convince companies to give one percent of sales to environmental tax groups.

“Remember, vote the assholes out — all of those politicians who don’t believe we should do anything about climate change,” Chouinard wrote. “Vote for the planet and against those who would do nothing. We have the power and now is the time to use it.”

(Read here.)

Chouinard, who is eighty-two and founded Patagonia in 1973, has form when it comes to putting his considerable fortune where his mouth is.

Patagonia donates 10 percent of profits to various charities, they do this thing on Black Friday where they donate total profits to grassroots environmental organisations (in 2016 it was ten million dollars), used Patagonia gear can be traded-in via their Worn Wear website and, true to its central coast roots, has its office and flagship store in Ventura.

Chouinard describes the current Trump administration as “evil”.

Patagonia, I’ll admit, doesn’t do a hell of a lot for me. The ritual use of dull browns, the lingering smell of piety, the full silhouettes suited to the fashionably retarded.

And, yet, I’ve always found Yvon Chouinard, the climber and surfer who founded Patagonia, deeply interesting.

One of those men whom you would’ve loved as a childhood mentor.

Teach me to make tools, teach me to scale mountains, teach me to live in the wild.

Read his divine life story as told by The New  Yorker here.

Pod of Killer Whales accused of carrying out “orchestrated attacks” on boats off Spanish coast: “They were ramming the keel, there was this horrible echo, I thought they could capsize the boat!”

Extremely troubling.

The end of humanity is just over the horizon, without a doubt, what with pandemic, climate change, an increasingly belligerent China, a looming Joe Biden and/or Donald Trump presidency etc. but I feel we have our eyes on these threats and will handle by hook or crook.

It is the sneaky terrors that will undo us. Tik Tok, for example, or pods of Killer Whales carrying out orchestrated attacks on our boats.

But let us travel to the Spanish/Portuguese coast where nine orcas are wreaking, reeking, wrecking havoc and causing very much alarm.

Sailors in those waters have made multiple distress calls in the past two months and let us read Victoria Morris’s account. She happened to be on a 46-foot delivery boat and says that the whales continuously rammed it for over an hour, spinning it around and breaking the engine.

“The noise was really scary. They were ramming the keel, there was this horrible echo, I thought they could capsize the boat. And this deafening noise as they communicated, whistling to each other. It was so loud that we had to shout.”

Days earlier, Nick Giles was out sailing his 34-foot yacht when the wheel suddenly jerked and he heard what sounded like a sledgehammer.

“The boat lifted up half a foot and I was pushed by a second whale from behind.” While he was resetting the cables an orca hit again, “nearly chopping off my fingers in the mechanism.”

On yet another delivery boat, a crewman’s shoulder was nearly dislocated after an attack.

Researchers are very confused as this behavior is not common. Ruth Esteban, who has also studied the region’s orcas extensively, told a local newspaper that it was unlikely multiple orca groups would display such unusual behavior and that a single group was therefore most likely responsible.

A gang.

A gang of toughs.

Street Killer Whales with devil may care attitudes, smoking cigarettes etc. Making lewd comments at passing Killer Whale dames.

And you are certainly aware of T.S. Eliot’s famous phrase from The Hollow Men:

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Wrong, I suppose, and should be re-written:

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a horrible echo.
I thought they could capsize the boat.
And this deafening noise as they communicated,
whistling to each other.
It was so loud that we had to shout.