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SANTA CRUZ WAVES M AG A ZINE

PUBLISHER TYLER FOX

EDITOR ELIZABETH LIMBACH

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PHOTOGRAPHY

SCW PHOTOGRAPHERS TYLER FOX ALISON GAMEL BRYAN GARRISON  DAVID LEVY JEFF MARTIN SEAN MCLEAN   DAVE “NELLY” NELSON JEFF SCHWAB 

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS SALLY ALDRIDGE JAIME BODDORFF RYAN "CHACHI" CRAIG JUSTIN HOFMAN MARA MILAM AL RAMADAN

EDITORIAL

WRITERS JAIME BODDORFF ERICA CIRINO DAVE DE GIVE TYLER FOX JOEL HERSCH NEAL KEARNEY LINDA KOFFMAN

LESLIE MUIRHEAD J.D. RAMEY ARIC SLEEPER KYLE THIERMANN

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On the Cover: No, we didn't enlarge the moon. You just need a 600mm lens and to know exactly where to set up to capture one of these magical full moon rises. Photo: Dave "Nelly" Nelson

The content of Santa Cruz Waves magazine is Copyright © 2020 by Santa Cruz Waves, Inc. No part may be reproduced in any fashion without written consent of the publisher. Santa Cruz Waves magazine is free of charge, available at more than 100 local distribution points. Anyone inserting, tampering with or diverting circulation will be prosecuted. Santa Cruz Waves assumes no responsibility for content of advertisements. For advertising inquiries, please contact steff@ santacruzwaves.com or

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I

t’s Sunday, Sept. 1 and I’m avoiding the Labor Day weekend hordes by hunkering down at my home in the Aptos Mountains. A warm breeze gently combs through the redwoods while the resident sparrows sing in the late summer sunshine. Assuming life is still operating as usual, you’ve just picked up our October/November issue and are starting to dive in to the meat and potatoes within its pages. Whether you’re sipping on your favorite smoothie or are midway through your morning meditation upon the porcelain throne, I will be about half way between Tahiti and Hawaii in the middle of a 2,500mile sailing voyage with a small crew from Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Floating

2 6 | SANTA CRUZ WAVES


LETTER FROM THE FOUNDER

THE YOUNG WRITERS CHALLENGE By TYLER FOX

HEY, YOU!

Yes, I’m talking to you. Are you currently attending high school or middle school in Santa Cruz County? If the answer is yes, keep reading. If the answer is no, keep reading. You see, we have a problem in our society and it’s getting worse every day. From the time children are born, they are placed in front of screens. Parents use these screens to distract a crying toddler or appease a whining teen. There was a time, not that long ago, when children had to actually wait for a reward. With the rise of the “dumb phone”—sorry, I mean “smartphone”—we are now living in a world of “instant everything,” where teens get more attention exploiting their bodies than promoting their minds. Emojis have erased sentences and, sadly, kids are choosing a virtual world over our natural one. It’s no wonder, then, that the suicide rate among people ages 10 to 24 climbed 56 percent between 2007 and 2017, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you’re still reading and haven’t been lured away by your phone, congrats! Here’s where the good stuff comes in. I’m going to award one lucky reader this space. My Letter from the Founder will be all yours. Write about life in school. Write about your new surfboard or the time you went to the lake and almost died whilst tubing. Write about your idea to save the planet or an individual who inspires you. If you don't have access to a computer, grab a pen and a piece of paper and just start writing. And if you don’t fall into this age range, please share this with the teens in your life and encourage them to turn off their phone. Guidelines: The deadline to submit is April 15. Our favorite submission will be published in the June/July 2020 issue. The story should be 300 words (give or take) and emailed to info@ santacruzwaves.com with YOUNG WRITERS in the subject line, or mailed to PO Box 7203, Santa Cruz, CA 95061. Please include your name, age and what school you are attending. Good luck!

SANTA CRUZ WAVES | 2 7


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INSIDE

INSIDE

VOLUME 6.5 - FEB/MARCH 2020

48

32

64 FIRST LOOK

27 Letter from the Founder 31 Best of the Web 32 Causes: SeaTrees 38 Local Legend: Réne Ouellette

DROP IN

42 In Depth: The Social Media Effect 48 Behind the Lens: Justin Hofman 58 Environment: Power Problems 64 Adventure: The Odyssey 72 Art: Amadeo Bachar

72 FOOD & DRINK 81 Local Eats: Barceloneta 84 Dining Guide

COOL OFF

90 Company Feature: Ethos 94 Event Gallery: The Soiree

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BEST of the WEB I INSTAGRAM

5 VIDEOS

R NEWS

DAZZLING DISPLAY. @levymediaworks ♥ 2,585

DISQUIET BY MARK O’CONNELL Mesmerizing footage of waves in slow motion. No surfers, just the pure and raw power of the ocean. 13,456 views

FRIDAY THE 13TH LUCKY DAY FOR ENTANGLED HUMPBACK WHALE A response team was able to free a humpback that was tangled in fishing line in the Monterey Bay. 5,757 views

@GOOCH_D RELAXED AND SMOOTH ON A BEAUTIFUL PEAK. @hermansphotos  ♥ 1,798

NORTH SHORE SANDBARS WITH JOHN JOHN FLORENCE After being injured, Florence goes crazy on an insane sandbar for his new video edit. 12,349 views

WOMEN’S ADVENTURE FILM TOUR COMES TO SANTA CRUZ This short film festival is a celebration of inspiring women around us who are doing extraordinary things in the name of adventure. 3,296 views

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT! @wetfeetphoto ♥ 1,668

KNOW THE FEELING “Know the Feeling is about this sensation, this magic that connects us all. To the girls who see the horizon not as a limit, but as an invitation.” 9,005 views

CIGGY BOARD BRIGADE Our friends at the Cigarette Surfboard have been busy making a film for the past twoand-a-half years. They have also built five more cigarette boards over the course of a year.

THE CAPITOLA PIER TOOK A BEATING. @jschwab_24 ♥ 2,588

GIANT JAWS GOES BALLISTIC Nathan Florence leads you through an epic day at massive Jaws. 15,898 views

BEST O F THE WEB

ELUDE PREMIERES AT RIO THEATRE A film by Santa Cruz’s Perry Gershkow premiered Jan. 10 in Santa Cruz. 6,109 views

2,902 views

VISIT US:

santacruzwaves.com/videos @santacruzwaves santacruzwaves.com/local-loop

SANTA CRUZ WAVES | 3 1


KEEPING the BALANCE

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CAUSES

SUSTAINABLE SURF LAUNCHES A CREATIVE INITIATIVE TO OFFSET CARBON EMISSIONS By ARIC SLEEPER

W

hether you’re a professional big-wave surfer or just an avid amateur squeezing in sessions whenever possible, pursuing the next swell often means hitting the highway or taking flight. Although there is a multitude of ways to minimize the depth of your carbon footprint on the day-to-day, like going vegetarian or walking more, sometimes a weekend trip to Baja or a flight to Tahiti for a 10-day getaway is an inevitable reality of being a surfer. The nonprofit Sustainable Surf has devised a solution to help balance out the massive climate impact from planes, boats, and automobiles. “It doesn’t matter what element of your life or product we’re talking about, there’s going to be a carbon footprint involved, and we wanted to address that fact with a program that has a direct connection to surfing and the ocean,” says Brett Giddings, Sustainable Surf's Manager for Sustainability Services. The resulting program is called SeaTrees. Launched in June 2019, the SeaTrees project helps surfers and travelers balance their carbon footprint by planting, you guessed it, sea trees—mangroves, to be exact. SeaTrees is the latest initiative from Sustainable Surf, which was founded by Kevin Whilden and Michael Stewart. The environmental advocates and

H Michael Stewart from Sustainable Surf planting mangroves with locals in Biak Island, West Papua. PHOTO: SUSTAINABLE SURF

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IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, SEATREES IS WORKING TO REGROW KELP FORESTS THAT HAVE BEEN DECIMATED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS BY SEA URCHINS AND CLIMATE CHANGE. entrepreneurs were inspired to create Sustainable Surf while helping event organizers curb the environmental impact of the 2011 Rip Curl Pro Search in San Francisco. “Michael and Kevin were both active in the local Surfrider Foundation, with Michael being a chair, and both of them wanted to get out of their day jobs working in the carbon space, and do something that hadn’t been done,” says Giddings, who joined Sustainable Surf in 2016. Since its inception in 2011,

F Two-time Big Wave World Champion Greg Long supports SeaTrees and kelp restoration in California. PHOTO: SUSTAINABLE SURF

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Sustainable Surf has developed a number of ocean-positive programs, most notably the ECOBOARD project. The project established a certification program for the production of watercraft, whether it be surfboard or kiteboard. In order to be considered a certified ECOBOARD, watercraft must be produced with reusable materials and minimal waste. After establishing criteria for ocean-friendly board production, Giddings and the crew at Sustainable Surf turned their focus on another

environmentally impactful and inevitable aspect of surfing: travel. It’s easy to forget that just a threehour flight creates about one ton of carbon dioxide, and burning one gallon of gas spews out 20 pounds of CO2 fumes. To offset the carbon footprint that comes with surf travel, Giddings and the SeaTrees team crafted a circuitous strategy—replanting mangrove forests on the other side of the world to sequester carbon, promote biodiversity, and create jobs. “We choose projects based on


CAUSES

Planting mangrove propagules with Eden Projects, a local planting partner in Indonesia. PHOTO: EDEN PROJECTS

TO OFFSET THE CARBON FOOTPRINT THAT COMES WITH SURF TRAVEL, SEATREES PLANTS MANGROVE FORESTS TO SEQUESTER CARBON, PROMOTE BIODIVERSITY, AND CREATE JOBS. how well they sequester carbon, but ultimately we judge the effectiveness of each project using the United Nations Sustainability Goals,” says Giddings. “And those go beyond sequestering carbon. We work with local partners to create jobs with a good salary, and the positive social impacts that come out of that help give these projects their longevity.” With the donations made to SeaTrees, local communities on Indonesia’s Biak Island sustain themselves and help to restore the mangrove forests, which sequester carbon at a higher rate than terrestrial forests. In Cambodia, SeaTrees funding is used to preserve and protect the Cardamom rainforest, and, closer to home, in Southern California,

SeaTrees is working to regrow kelp forests, which have been decimated over the last 100 years by sea urchins and climate change. SeaTrees funding comes directly from individuals seeking to wipe-out the footprint of their recent travel or an entire year of estimated carbon impact (the annual average is 15 tons in the United States), and also from companies like Awayco, which offers an option to plant trees at checkout. It’s through these partnerships with brands like Volcom and Route One Surfboards, who have neutralized their carbon footprint using SeaTrees, that the nonprofit has had its most success. And with advocates like pro surfer Greg Long and Waves’ own leader, Tyler Fox, on board, SeaTrees is trying to

raise awareness in the surf community that there’s a painless way to balance out the environmental impacts of their sport that helps people and the planet. Looking at the horizon, Sustainable Surf plans to expand SeaTrees’ kelp reforestation projects across the Pacific Coast, develop a strategy to restore coral reefs, and continue to expand and strengthen their existing projects in Cambodia and Indonesia. “We’ve had nothing but positive feedback, so we’re only going to continue developing and expanding these projects to keep our momentum,” says Giddings. “And our long-term plan, our 10-year vision, is to plant a billion sea trees, and if we stay on this same trajectory, it’s totally feasible.”

SANTA CRUZ WAVES | 3 5


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My family and I take pride in owning a beach home in beautiful Pleasure Point (Santa Cruz, Ca.) which means it can be very scary to think about renting our property to just anyone, but Beachnest has not only eliminated our stress, they have become a true extension of our family. We rest easy knowing that each and every potential tenant has been through their screening process, and being local we also know that whether a simple maintenance or emergency issue arise, I know we can count on Beachnest to handle the situation. Being a business owner with very little time to tend to our property, yet maximizing our income, communication is also very important to me in any relationship and I could not be happier in choosing both Liz and John Pickart to manage all aspects of our rental property. —R. and S. ROSITANO

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RAINEY WITH A CHANCE OF NOSERIDES Log legend Réne Ouellette styles his way into seniority By NEAL KEARNEY

It doesn’t seem possible. A lanky,

tanned man with a mop of white hair has been perched on the tip of his longboard, “hanging ten,” for what seems like an eternity. Oozing with soulful style, the 67 year old’s balance appears effortless, conveying grace and nonchalance as his toes curl over the nose of his 10-foot longboard. Behold the anomaly that is “Rainey.” Rainey is one of the many names, along with “Rainman,” “Raindog,” and “Raindance,” that Réne Ouellette accumulated while surfing Pleasure Point’s Second Peak, where he was a fixture for years. An animated yet humble surfer with an über relaxed, classic longboard style, Ouellette has since relocated his aquatic efforts to Shark’s off of Opal Cliffs, where he still surfs religiously at an age when most hardcore surfers have thrown in the towel. His lively, stoked-out energy is proof that our ocean truly is the Fountain of Youth—in fact, he’s a strong candidate for the world’s oldest grommet. Ouellette moved to Santa Cruz in 1974 from Canada. The then 22-year-old Canuck was shocked by the transition in geography. “I played ice hockey as a kid and when I came here, I was kinda dumbstruck,” recounts the longtime eBay seller of eclectic items and vintage longboard collector. “Coming from the cold to here seemed like paradise! I’ll always remember driving down Morrissey Boulevard, looking at all the palm trees in amazement. I

hadn’t even made it to the beach, yet I already felt like I was in Hawaii or something.” He started surfing Cowell’s that year, picking up an old beat-up longboard from the ’60s. Inexperienced yet focused, the young man made his way to the water’s edge, where he watched, studying the dynamics of the lineup. Before long, Ouellette threw himself into the mix, where he proved to be a quick study. After he mastered the playful entry-level break at Cowell’s, Ouellette found himself drawn to Pleasure Point, where steeper stuff awaited. As he’d done previously at Cowell’s, he started by studying the lineup—watching where the locals paddled out, where they sat, and how they surfed. “I just watched all the good guys out there, kept my place, didn’t burn anybody, worked on my surfing by looking at what guys were riding and the way they rode them,” he explains. “Taught myself, basically.” During those years, surf sessions were very social, as most everyone who longboarded Second Peak lived in the Pleasure Point neighborhood, and Ouellette became tight with local pro loggers such as Matt Tanner, Kevin Miske, and the late, great Jay Moriarity.

He still surfs religiously at an age when most hardcore surfers have thrown in the towel.

PHOTOS: BRYAN GARRISON

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LOCAL LEGEND

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LOCAL LEGEND

He started by studying the lineup—watching where the locals paddled out, where they sat, and how they surfed. He gained a ton of respect during his days logging the Point. Longtime pal Howard “Boots” McGhee has a good idea as to why. “I’ve always been impressed with his ability to ride the nose so well: style for miles,” says McGhee. “It all came together many years ago when I watched him roller skating like an Olympian—flexible and stylish.” These days Ouellette has moved his act down past the Hook to Shark's due to the influx of new surfers that now choke most of the breaks along Pleasure Point. “It got so crowded for me and I didn’t really know anyone out there anymore,” admits Ouellette. “When I used to paddle out, I recognized just about everyone out there from living in the neighborhood. All the guys I used to surf Second Peak with are gone, so I’ve moved down to Shark’s, where I’ve been pickin’ off waves for the past 10 years.” While he misses Second Peak, he’s gotten into a good groove in his golden years. He continues to surf most days, and his noseriding prowess is as impressive as ever.

He even has a sponsor: A couple of years ago, local longboard legend CJ Nelson came to Ouellette and asked him if he’d ride one of his new “Soft-Top” longboards and give feedback. Crime Surfboards, a limb of Nelson’s expanding surfboard-building empire, are epoxy shapes with a rubber top on the deck. One could think of them as a high-quality, yet affordable design for beginners. Ouellette reckons he’d buy them even if he weren’t sponsored. “I think it rides as good as 95 percent of the boards I’ve ridden in my life,” claims the sun-kissed senior, who has owned and ridden a ridiculous amount of boards over the past 40 years. Ouellette maintains a youthful stoke, with his eyes lighting up like a giddy grommet while he describes the new shape he’s looking forward to riding next. “They [Crime] are coming out with a ’60s-style, 10-foot-2-inch noserider,” he exclaims with a twinkle in his eye. “I’m chomping at the bit for it!”

SANTA CRUZ WAVES | 4 1


#nature Is social media changing our shorelines? Story and Photos By JAIME BODDORFF

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}


IN DEPTH

You

are looking out over the ocean as waves crash against rocks in the distance. Scanning the horizon, you search for whale spouts, or sea otters diving and bobbing. Keep scanning, and as your line of sight hits land, there are hordes of people clambering for a selfie with the perfect wave-crashing backdrop. They snap a photo and are so focused on reviewing it that they miss a whale breaching just off shore. We’ve all experienced this: the classic “Instagram vs. reality” moment, where the photo depicts how dreamy the moment could have been, had the moment not been so focused on the photo. On platforms where users share the events they attend, their clothes, or their favorite products, nature itself is becoming a similar status symbol. It can be touted like a luxury item, depending on the amount of time and resources required to visit certain locations. A desirable location like Bixby Bridge in Big Sur has an Instagram hashtag count of 94,700 and Facebook check-

AS MORE PEOPLE COME TO VISIT, SNAP PHOTOS, AND EXPLORE THESE “INSTAGRAMMABLE” LANDSCAPES, AREAS BECOME SUSCEPTIBLE TO OFF-TRAIL EROSION, INCREASED POLLUTION, AND THE RESULT OF TOO FEW, OR NO, BATHROOMS AT ALL. SANTA CRUZ WAVES | 4 3


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“IT’S A FOUR-LANE WORLD ALL AROUND US, AND WE’RE TWO LANES, SO AT TIMES WE’RE OVERWHELMED, AND IT’S DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS TO THE VISITORS AND THE FOLKS THAT LIVE THERE.”

IN DEPTH

—BUTCH KRONLUND, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION OF BIG SUR

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ins numbering 125,000. Point Lobos in Carmel, meanwhile, has 85,700 tags and 38,000 Facebook check-ins, and both landmarks’ tags increase by about 1,000 per month. Instagram geotag counts are unavailable, but they generate up to 80 percent more engagement on posts, so their use is likely far more popular. Chris Burkard, a well-known outdoor adventure photographer based in the Central Coast region, is careful about exposing a photo’s location to his 3.5 million followers on Instagram. “I’m usually incredibly hesitant to geotag any location, as I think it takes some joy out of discovering these places,” he says. He spends countless hours researching shoot locations on Google maps, and encourages others to approach travel with the same sense of wonder. His early posts contained more specific location information, which often spurred trends in adventure photography, but he now uses ambiguous tags such as “Pacific Ocean.” When it comes surf culture, Ryan “Chachi” Craig, a Santa Cruzbased surf photographer with 30,500 Instagram followers, is torn regarding social media. He doesn’t feel it’s the sole reason our beaches and waves are changing, but he thinks it does play a role in the way we talk about, view, and approach surf culture. “I wasn’t the first person to surf any of these places, and I certainly wouldn’t want to tell someone else that they couldn’t, but at the same

time I’m not a fan of what it’s seemingly doing for surfing as a whole,” he says. While Craig appreciates the boost social media has given his photography work, he says it’s a constant balance for him. Out of respect for surf culture and the attitude that comes with certain areas, Craig created personal ground rules: One, don’t post in real time (except at Mavericks and Pipeline, which are OK). Two, don’t post sensitive locations with identifying landmarks. And, three, in certain locations, don’t

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MOST PEOPLE SAID THAT THEY WOULD DO ANYTHING TO PROTECT THEIR FAVORITE NATURAL PLACES. even bring a camera. While it’s generally known among the surf community to avoid geotagging surf shots, photographing areas with telling landmarks is a slippery slope, so he tries to be respectful by posting less identifiable photos. For those with a large following, the impact of geotagging can be significant. Klear, an influencer marketing platform, surveyed 2,500 influencers in 2018 to determine the average payments they received from

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brands, tourism boards, businesses, and services. Influencers with 30,000 to one million followers received payments on a sliding scale of anywhere from $500 to five figures per photo for those with a million followers or more. These payments are fully justified by the return in sales. Translate that to nature: We go hiking or to the beach because it makes us feel good, and when we feel good, we want to share. When those with a large following post and pinpoint locations like Shark Fin Cove or Bixby Bridge, it can easily create the same effect as paid advertising in areas that might already be at tourism capacity, or have no staff to manage tourism. As more people come to visit, snap photos, and explore these “Instagrammable” landscapes, areas become susceptible to off-trail erosion, increased pollution, and the result of too few, or no, bathrooms at all.

On any given weekend in Davenport, an area notorious for cliff injuries and deaths over the years, people can be seen scaling down to the Davenport Pier ruins along dangerously steep, 150-foot sandy and unstable cliffs in flip-flops, sometimes carrying their dogs. Once at the bottom of the cliff, people wait their turn for a chance get their photo taken on the swing overlooking the ocean. Butch Kronlund, executive director of the Community Association of Big Sur, has witnessed firsthand the influence social media has had on tourism in Big Sur. “It’s a four-lane world all around us, and we’re two lanes, so at times we’re overwhelmed. And it’s downright dangerous to the visitors and the folks that live there,” he says. Big Sur has seen some of the greatest effects in the Central Coast region, along with Point Lobos, where there are murmurs of implementing reservations during peak tourist seasons.


IN DEPTH

“It’s just a significant increase in cars with people wanting to take photos with their cell phones, and it is confirmed by the rangers who have had to give a lot of citations,” says Patricia Clark-Gray, district interpretive specialist at California State Parks. She says the immediacy of Facebook and Instagram on our phones—and the hit HBO show Big Little Lies—creates more impact than traditional photography. “I still remember there was a weekend when it was literally a madhouse,” she adds. “There was a woman in a wedding dress taking her photos there. People were parked illegally, and some of the rangers have commented that people stop on the bridge, making it very dangerous.” Social media is a tool. Just like a hammer, you can use it to build something great, or smash something to pieces. One of the ways social media can be beneficial to nature is as a call to action. #BeachCleanUp has 256,000 tags, while #SaveOurSeas has 331,000. Photographers with large followings like Craig and Burkard reinforce good behavior: Craig carries reusable bags and water bottles and posts these

impactful, small changes, admitting he loves seeing others do the same. Burkard’s career is shifting, and he’s begun to focus on conservation issues. “I have the ability to direct millions of people’s attention to issues that I feel are important and worth discussing, and that’s something I’m incredibly grateful for,” he says. There’s a fine line between inspiring action and igniting fear, for example with photos of trashed beaches or entangled animals. Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, author of Blue Mind, explains that our gut reaction to create urgency through outrage can shut people down. “If that approach was a good way to change people’s behavior, then every ad on TV would be trying to freak you out,” Nichols says. At his speaking engagements, he noticed people would light up when given a chance to talk about their favorite natural spaces. When asked what they will do to protect these places, most people say that they will do anything. This approach of creating a deeper connection to fuel conservation efforts can be mimicked on social media. Daniel Williford, California State Park

interpreter at Point Lobos, works with schools over livestream to introduce our local habitat to those too far away to visit. “We introduce primarily the kelp forest, so sometimes I’m out there on a kayak,” Williford says. “It’s like no other place, so we have to work together to make sure it’s being taken care of. Social media can perpetuate that message, too.” Kronlund is hopeful, as his work and his community promote the “Big Sur Pledge,” a series of affirmations encouraging tourists to respect and give back to our natural spaces, starting in Big Sur. Some of these affirmations include messages such as “be mindful of the impact of my actions” and “honor the spirit of Big Sur as it honors me.” Since the early phases of the movement, visitors have been receptive, and that’s the first step. “I think we’ll all get over this social networking and get back to the depth of things,” he says, “and start interacting with Big Sur in a way that can be meaningful and powerful for self transformation.”

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J U S T I N

H O F M

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BEHIND THE LENS

WHAT MAKES THE WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER TICK By LINDA KOFFMAN

E

A N

ven a Q-tip can be a powerful subject.

Just ask Justin Hofman, whose infamous underwater shot taken in Indonesia—of a seahorse lugging around a tiny piece of human trash—went viral in 2017 and made him a finalist in his category for the Natural History Museum’s prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year award. It even got pop culture love by way of Kim Kardashian, who retweeted the image. “I still can't believe how my seahorse photo has found its way into so many people's lives,” says Hofman, a 36-year-old Pacific Grove resident. Titled “Sewage Surfer,” the now-iconic photo is proof of how human byproducts intrude on even the seemingly unreachable. Today, plastic waste has become a common travel companion for delicate creatures, while overfishing has left underwater terrain barren of inhabitants nature intended to be there. That disturbing reversal of roles makes the impassioned photojournalist tick, and his commitment to conservation deeply informs his work. At the time of this writing, Hofman’s public Instagram bio reads, “My personality is like global warming: seriously messed up and probably too late to change.” He bought his first SLR in 2006 after being inspired while helping out a National Geographic photographer. At first he explored macro photography—“because all I had to shoot were the bugs and little things I could find around the house”—and then he moved on to bigger beasts. But before diving into the world of film, he studied H “ This photo serves as an allegory for the current and future state of our oceans. What sort of future are we creating and how can our actions shape our planet?”

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BEHIND THE LENS

At the time of his interview with Waves, globe-trotting nature photographer Justin Hofman was on location in Antarctica for a forthcoming BBC program.

marine biology at UC Santa Cruz, where he also completed a professional scientific illustration certificate in 2006. “I loved to illustrate and it has helped my photography greatly, but I just couldn't spend that much time inside,” says the self-described functional introvert. “I need to be out with the animals to be happy.” It’s no surprise that when we catch up with the photographer during a rare moment of downtime, he’s in Antarctica documenting Weddell seals with the BBC Natural History Unit for “Frozen Planet 2.” “We've managed to capture scenes no one knew existed and will result in a new understanding of this species of seal,” he reveals of the expedition. Hofman then goes on to share with Waves how he balances exposing places in photographs while trying to protect them (much like the way surfers stay hush about a firing break), what keeps the continent-hopper curious, and why he now has regret for taking that wildly popular seahorse photo.

How does photography differ in satisfaction from creating science illustrations? With illustration I am never quite as fulfilled because I have full control of the scene. I can literally create whatever I want, so in that way it feels pretty contrived. A photograph is a moment. It's something that happened in reality and I was there at just the right moment to capture it. I don't have any of my art hanging on the walls of my house, but I have lots of my photos. Not being in control but still capturing something beautiful is way more satisfying that spilling ink onto the page.

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JUSTIN HOFMAN

" The southern elephant seal: warriors of icy beaches and masters of hidden depths. These giant males are capable of holding their breath for over an hour and enduring weeks on end without eating. They are some of the most extreme creatures on Earth and also damn cute (when they're young)."

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JUSTIN HOFMAN

“Stalking them with teamwork precision like a pack of marine wolves, these Antartic killer whales worked together to wear out this unlucky gentoo penguin.” 5 2 | SANTA CRUZ WAVES


BEHIND THE LENS

“The deepwater jelly is called Stygiomedusa Gigantica and it really is huge, with curtain tentacles around 30-feet long.”

How does the field of conservation photography direct your work? This is such a tricky question. Unfortunately, I think that conservation photography is heading in the wrong direction much of the time. I find that social media is causing a lot of people to get the feeling of false hope by what they are seeing online. They may see a striking photo that hits hard and they hit 'like.' They see that thousands of other people have also liked the photo so there is a bit of relief in thinking that something must be happening as a result of their likes. This is false. We are mindlessly consuming so much important content and just moving on to the next issue without thought or action. A double tap doesn't mean you're actually affecting the planet. How do you resolve the tension of taking photos that expose an environmental concern but may also expose a place to further human damage? I have stopped tagging specific locations in my work. I think this may come from my surfing experience and trying to keep lineups from getting crowded. If the waves were firing, you wouldn't rock up and go spouting off to all your friends that such-and-such spot was epic today, because tomorrow it will be packed. I have been guilty of oversharing on social media in the past, but that was before it became evident just how massive this wave of social media would be. ... I will continue to be a champion for beautiful places by sharing my photos, but I will either be incredibly vague or purposefully misleading in some cases. If people don't like that, then tough shit. Surfers will understand; some people on social media will not. What do you hope viewers take from your “Sewage Surfer” photo? I wish people would understand that their actions at home can have great impacts on marine wildlife. I wish I had captured an equally-as-impactful photo that had to do with overfishing or fisheries conservation, because honestly that is way more important to our ocean's health than plastic. In some

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BEHIND THE LENS

"Much has been said about polar bears and their strong association with sea ice, yet it appears that bears will utilize glacial ice just as readily seasaid ice.about Evenpolar more Much hasasbeen bears remarkable: on this same day and their strong association withwe sea witnessed a mother a ice, yet it appears thatbear, bearswith will utilize cubglacial in tow, catch and kill a seal ice just as readily as sea ice. inEven open water hundreds of same feet from more remarkable: on this day we shore. Where there is food, witnessed a mother bear, withthe a cub in bears find way." tow,will catch andakill a seal in open water hundreds of feet from shore. Where there is food, the bears will find way. | 5 5 SANTA CRUZaWAVES


JUSTIN HOFMAN

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BEHIND THE LENS

“I find that social media is causing a lot of people to get the feeling of false hope by what they are seeing online. ... A double tap doesn't mean you're actually affecting the planet.” ways, I really do wish I had never taken the photo because I fear that it has distracted the general public from much larger issues at hand. But, selfishly, I am glad that it happened because it really helped my career. Guess we can't have it all.

You’ve been to every continent. What’s left to explore that excites you most? I would love to do more dives in submarines. We recently took a sub over 700 feet down on a wall in Antarctica and it was really mind-blowing to see all this stuff that no one else gets to see. The deep is where real exploration is going to happen next. So, what’s next? Next year I will be working on a project that will highlight the importance of national parks and marine sanctuaries, with a specific emphasis on the grandeur of our home, Monterey Bay. I can't share too much about the project, but it's going to be big. Lastly, what would surprise people to know about you? I'm really into heavy metal. Obscure European black metal bands and ultra-heavy doom. That seems to be what people find most surprising about me once they start to get to know me. I don't know why my love of heavy music is so surprising. Nature is so metal and has also been the inspiration for countless bands.

H " Throwback to a few years ago when a massive wildfire swept through Big Sur. That first night, the scene was truly remarkable. I took this photo on July 23 and then promptly flew out to the Arctic the next day, wondering what would happen to my beloved coastline. This fire would end up burning for two months and become one of the most destructive and expensive wild fires in U.S. history. The cause? An illegal camp fire."

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POWER SHIFTS

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ENVIRONMENT

Last winter, PG&E cut power on expansive sections of the grid for extended periods in an effort to reduce fire risks. With days-long power outages looking like a new norm during certain weather conditions, resilient energy systems could become a new priority. By JOEL HERSCH

By JAIME BODDORFF

THE WESTERN MONARCH POPULATION HAS DECREASED BY 99.5 PERCENT SINCE THE 1980S.

T

he extended power outages in California last fall—when more than a million people’s homes went dark for two, three, even four days at a time—tested our dependency on the electrical grid. But they have also driven a new sense of urgency to develop resilient energy systems that don’t rely on that main grid, which is operated by the embattled and now bankrupt power utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E). The grid shutdowns were a controversial safety tactic aimed at preventing wildfires, which have plagued parts of the state. Heavy winds have caused trees to fall, which then strike power lines. Paired with dry conditions in rural areas, those downed power lines can produce devastating fires, most notably the infamous Camp Fire in 2018 that incinerated Paradise, Calif. and killed more than 80 people. That series of horrific events led PG&E—which serves 5.4 million electric customers—to a $270 million settlement, extreme public

PHOTO: ERIK LANDRY

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2656 Mission St. Santa Cruz, CA 831.469.8888 | sandbarsc.com 6 0 | SANTA CRUZ WAVES


PHOTO: COURTESY OF SANDBAR SOLAR

ENVIRONMENT

"When we built the building, we designed it to be a fully sustainable microgrid, which has solar on the roof, [battery] storage to store that energy, and then we have a natural gas generator that runs in the event of not having enough solar energy, during the winter months when the sun isn’t out as much."—Scott Laskey, president of Sandbar Solar scrutiny, and now, also proactive damage control. From PG&E’s position, it is better to have customers wait in the dark than risk another community being burned to the ground. And while many residents and municipalities are prepared for the occasional power outage, the real complicating factor now is the extended duration, making full energy resilience—a term known as “islanding”—increasingly appealing. “These shutdowns are very different than what we’ve been used to,” says Mark Dettle, the director of public works at the City of Santa Cruz. “Usually it’s a short duration, but these

are much longer; it can get up to three or four days. And they’re happening in areas that we’re less accustomed to, like parts of downtown.” A key example of how the extended shutdowns impact municipal infrastructure is the loss of traffic signals at busy intersections, which Dettle says can get ugly. “Traffic signals only have a six to eight hour backup operation time,” he says. “Usually that’s long enough for the power to be restored, but you can’t handle that for three days." Dettle says that if cities can expect PG&E to initiate multi-day blackouts whenever it is very windy and dry

out, the backup technology for power outages will have to change. And in many cases, the backup would likely be new resilient battery systems that can endure longer periods. What that resiliency technology looks like is generally a combination of solar panels, battery storage, and backup generators, which altogether establish a microgrid. While most of the city’s critical infrastructure has backup generators, they run out of fuel during an extended grid shutdown, leaving the complication of ongoing refueling, Dettle says. In response to increased public interest, and specifically the recent

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ENVIRONMENT

Sandbar Solar President Scott Laskey says there is an opportunity to "disrupt the way we generate electricity." PHOTOS: TYLER FOX

PG&E blackouts, the Community Choice Energy nonprofit Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) has established a new fund for the development of resilient energy systems at critical facilities—places like hospitals, police stations, fire departments, and possibly traffic signals. The fund is called the “Uninterruptible Power Supply Fund” and allocates $25 million to develop resiliency within MBCP’s growing service area, says J.R. Killigrew, the organization’s director of communications and external affairs. “We had an interesting insight from staff at the City of Santa Cruz during one of the power shutoffs during November 2019,” Killigrew says. “A lot of traffic signals got cut, so from a public safety perspective, lack of power there was a big problem.” Killigrew says they are also evaluating a fund for residential MBCP customers who are in high fire-risk areas and have an increased likelihood of future power blackouts. This second fund, which would be a million dollars, Killigrew says, “could provide onsite power supply systems and include solar with [battery] storage,

or just storage, fuel cells, natural gas or diesel generators.” Dettle says the city is putting in a grant request to MBCP’s new Uninterruptible Power Supply Fund to bolster power resiliency and redundancy. A great example of a fully resilient building is the Sandbar Solar & Electric warehouse on Santa Cruz’s Westside. The company set up its facility in an undeveloped lot across from the Ow Building (formerly the Wrigley Building), and decided to completely bypass the PG&E utility hookup, says Sandbar Solar president Scott Laskey. “When we built the building, we designed it to be a fully sustainable microgrid, which has solar on the roof, [battery] storage to store that energy, and then we have a natural gas generator that runs in the event of not having enough solar energy, during the winter months when the sun isn’t out as much,” Laskey explains. “Then the generator can kick on and recharge the batteries.” Their gas generator use represents only about 6 percent of their annual energy consumption, he says. Sandbar Solar has installed about two-dozen residential microgrid systems that couple a solar array with battery storage.

“We are seeing an uptick in folks making the investment in storage, and we project next year will be even greater as the costs come down and adoption goes up,” he says. There are 30 percent state tax credits and cash rebates offered for solar and storage projects, Laskey adds. “We have a real opportunity to disrupt the way we generate and use electricity, and I would encourage everyone to look into renewables and storage,” he says. Meanwhile, PG&E was quick to address their customers’ dissatisfaction with the safety power shutdowns. “The devastating fires that we saw in 2017 and 2018 made it overwhelmingly clear that more needed to be done in order to adapt to and address the threat of wildfires, and the overall extreme weather that the state of California has been experiencing,” says PG&E spokesperson Jeff Smith. “We understand that these public safety power shutoffs are frustrating for our customers. At minimum it’s an inconvenience, and in some situations it’s much more than that. It’s why we’re trying to work with customers so that they’re prepared for the shutoffs, and we appreciate our customers’ patience.”

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ADVENTURE

CHASING

DREAMS from Tahiti to Hawaii SAYING YES TO A 2,500-MILE CROSSING AND THE MOMENTS THAT WOULD SHAPE MY FUTURE By TYLER FOX

I

have dreamt of sailing across an ocean since the time I was a little teenage terror. My aunt and uncle were avid sailors and had a house full of memorabilia from all over the world. Old shark teeth, faded maps, foreign coins and books galore were a few of the many treasures that filled their Capitola cottage. I remember being so engrossed in their pictures from far-off lands that even a whopping plate of Thanksgiving turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy couldn’t pry me away.     Fast forward 20 years and this opportunity finally finds its way into my reality. I would be joining a 2,500mile, 14-day voyage from Tahiti to Hawaii on a 52-foot sailboat named Sweetheart. I was overwhelmed with feelings of excitement and disbelief upon first getting the invitation.

I was also a bit surprised to find myself dealing with some doubt and anxiety. These worries did not stem from the caliber of the crew, but from all the things that might go wrong while I was away. The “what ifs” were attacking and making their way to my amygdala (the area of the brain associated with anxiety). I was worried about the costs, being away from my business and employees, time away from loved ones, and so on. There was only one way to solve this vacillating situation. I wrote down the pros and cons of this scenario and threw them all on the scale. If you haven’t figured it out by now, the positives prevailed and I pulled the trigger on what would be a trip of a lifetime. In the following pages I’ve compiled a handful of my most fascinating moments—a few snippets

of insight paired with a little digital digestif. So, whether you’re 15 or 55, try not to let those “what ifs” dictate your decisions. Simply throw it all on the scale and I guarantee you’ll be surprised at the outcome.       

The CREW

When it comes to planning an adventure, the crew you pick or the crew you might be joining is of the utmost importance. Whether it’s five dusty days at Burning Man or 50 farflung days in a remote country, these individuals can make or break your experience.   Before I go any further, let’s consider this quote from the founder of Patagonia, Mr. Yvon Chouinard: “The word ‘adventure’ has gotten so overused. For me, adventure is when

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Al RAmAdAn ( C o - O w n e r & C a p t a i n )

Gosh, where do I start. Al is a complete legend. His long list of accolades includes successful tech entrepreneur, author, avid surfer, sailor, mentor and family man. My personal favorite attributes are his patience, humility and generosity. For the amount of success this man has had in his life, it’s a wonder he remains so down to earth and sincere. Thank you Al for including me on this trip of a lifetime. SALLy ALdridgE ( C o - O w n e r & C a p t a i n )

everything goes wrong. That’s when the adventure starts.” I would have to agree. It’s easy when everything is going smoothly. It’s how a person handles themselves when shit hits the fan that is the real acid test. Luckily for us, we had a rockstar crew during our 2,500-mile, 14-day voyage at sea. We hit squalls, things broke, food spilled. It got hot—really hot. Our patience was tested and so was our nerve, but we always kept it together. I’ll never forget the first evening I had to steer the 52-foot sailboat. The winds were stiff at around 25 knots, and as the orange glow disappeared into black I quickly found myself in a most unfamiliar situation. Testing my focus and having to react to the ever-changing movements of the vessel. Feeling the pressure of the wheel in my hands while the large boat drastically heeled over. Keeping one eye on the navigational instruments while simultaneously dodging the pelting spray exploding over the bow. I had never before sailed a boat at night so manning the helm was a huge confidence booster. Slowly but surely, I found comfort in the chaos while forging forward into the darkness.   Now, enough about me and my fleeting little moment. Let me introduce you to the crew.  

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Funnily enough, Sally was one of Al’s first employees at Quokka Sports in 1996. Similarly to Al, Sally has found much success within her business ventures and is currently mentoring young women entrepreneurs. She also offers her time to coach an after-school mountain biking course for high-school girls. Sailing is in her blood and she is not one to shy away from a challenge. One remark she made continues to make me grin: As we approached one particularly ominous squall and the three of us boys were trying to figure out a way to dodge it, she confidently interjected, “Why waste time going around it when we could go straight through it?” Yep, she is a charger. 

Will PAtton ( C r e w )  

When I first sat down with Will to discuss the trip, I didn’t really know how to read the guy. He didn’t order a beer during our lunch. Weird. He rarely smiled and his sense of humor was quite odd. It goes to show that you can’t judge a book by its cover, because ol’ Willie was the rockstar of the trip. He was the workhorse, whipping up incredible meals in the kitchen. He was first up and last to go to sleep and he took me under his wing, realizing I didn’t function if I hadn’t eaten. My nickname soon became Gasket, because he didn’t want me to blow a gasket. He patiently taught me how to tie knots, and loaned me his head lamp on more than one occasion. If I were to go into battle with anyone, I’d want it to be Willie by my side.   BiAncA VALenti (Crew)

Bianca is a woman on a mission. She’s been featured in countless articles as a voice for gender equality in big-wave surfing. She is also a mentor to young girls getting into the sport and has recently launched Big Wave Drops, a product specifically aimed at surfers to reduce the risk of ear infections. Bubbly Bianca, the little ball of muscle, brought the laughs and kept things fun even when situations were less than pleasant.  


ADVENTURE

TyLer fox ( C r e w )

Not sure how I found myself on this list of overachieving badasses, or how I go about writing this blurb, but I will say that when you really want something and you put that energy and belief out into the universe, you’d be surprised how often things materialize. I’ve wanted to cross an ocean via sailboat for years. And, after a bit of persuading about how my big-wave surfing experience has taught me so many crucial lessons about safety—blah, blah, blah—I finally sold it to big Al. The rest is history.    

TERROR at TEAHUPO’O In the middle of the South Pacific Ocean on the island of Tahiti there lies a small village called Teahupo’o. It is a powerful place, both spiritually and quite literally. The people are big, the mountains pierce the clouds, and the waves are furious. Teahupo’o in Tahitian actually means “place of broken skulls” and was in reference to an ancient king who would collect the heads of his fallen

enemies. Those times are but mere lore, however the cannibal king has emerged once again—only this time as a saltwater beast who rises from the depths of the ocean. This famed wave was first surfed in 1985 by a local named Thierry Vernaudon and ever since then its steep vortexing tubes continue to lure the world’s best surfers year after year. If you’ve never seen this aquatic wonder of the world, do yourself a favor and search on YouTube for “Biggest Teahupo'o Ever, Shot on the PHANTOM CAMERA.” Your mind will be blown!   Bianca, Will and I are all adrenaline chasers so we were ecstatic when, instead of setting off on our long voyage up to Hawaii, we’d get a bit of an intro crash course and sail Sweetheart from Papeete (Northern Tahiti) down to Teahupo’o. We spent the next four or five days anchored in a protected little bay with towering emerald peaks on one side and the vast blue of the Pacific on the other. During our time here we got one day that’ll be seared in the memory banks for quite some time. We had been getting a fair amount of strong crosswinds, but on this particular day we woke up to sheet glass conditions and a building 6-to-8-foot swell. It was the type of day we surfers dream

about. As the morning progressed, a gentle offshore breeze combed the tops of the swells, adding to that razor-line perfection.   A handful of local chargers were on it, holding prime position at the top of the take-off spot and sending it over the ledge on some thick ones. As the swell kept building we nervously played cat and mouse on the inside, collecting the ones that slipped under the pack. One set in particular caused everyone to frantically start scratching for the horizon. The dark blue wall marched toward us with authority, sucking water off the reef then absorbing it back into its mass. I remember having a split second of safety to turn and look back down the face of the mutant creature. The reef 15 feet below now resembled the brain of a god with its grooves and intricate channels. Mere inches of water now covered the coral, as the wave proceeded to detonate down on it with such force that it sent an explosion of white 30 feet into the air. I remember thinking that if someone fell on that, there’d be no way they would survive. Thankfully everyone escaped the session unharmed and we now have another fireside story to entertain the grandchildren.

SANTA CRUZ WAVES | 67


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ADVENTURE

DAYDREAMS & REALIZATIONS There’s nothing like being pent up on a boat for two straight weeks to really start contemplating life, from personal goals and aspirations to self realizations and frustrations. Sure we’d converse often and I thoroughly enjoyed our discussions, but there was also plenty of time to be alone with your thoughts. You start looking at life from a higher vantage point and begin asking the big questions: Should I propose to my lovely girlfriend? How will I ever be able to afford buying a home in Santa Cruz? Do I really want children; and why the hell haven’t I spent more time with my dad, who just had open-heart surgery? At least those were some thoughts whirling around in my 38-year-old brain.     For Al and Sally, getting the news of a friend having been murdered was a huge shock, and I could only imagine the challenge of having to compartmentalize those emotions in order to focus on the mission at hand. Bianca was most likely envisioning herself on the podium as the women’s big-wave surfing champion, and Will would be thinking about the smiling faces of those contented customers at the launch of his new restaurant. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that it’s good for us to get away and give our minds a little break from the grind of our daily life, because these moments of pause can lead to some life-changing reflection. Oh, and she said “yes,” by the way. 

My TRANSFORMATION

f rom SLI MY POLLYWO G to TRUSTY SH E LLBACK When Al finally emerged from below, we couldn’t help but bust out in laughter. He proudly shoved the fishing gaf high in the air as if wielding a magnificent trident and proceeded to bellow commands from underneath the fake white beard barely clinging to his face. “Here, here! I’m King Neptune and it is time we put you slimy pollywogs to the test!” Soon after, Sally emerged as Queen Salacia, or goddess of the sea, with her shimmering mermaid tights and crown of shells. More laughter ensued from us rookie mariners.   You see, this line-crossing ceremony is a ritual dating back

hundreds of years that observes a mariner’s transformation from slimy pollywog, or a seaman who hasn’t yet crossed the equator, to trusty Shellback, also called a son or daughter of Neptune. It was a way for sailors to be tested for their seaworthiness, and many times these ritualistic hazings were brutal in nature, sometimes even resulting in death. Thankfully for us, our linecrossing ceremony was not aboard a naval vessel or merchant ship in the 19th century. However, we did have our commands, which we had to obey. There would be three tests: One, walking the plank—or, in our case, crawling to the end of the boom, getting to our feet then jumping off into the water. Two, getting keelhauled, where we clung to a rope and were dragged underwater from one side of the boat to the other. And, three, shark bait, where we were left treading water until the boat was 50 yards away. When the captain yelled “shark” we had to sprint back, with the last person to touch the boat awarded the shark bait title. These tasks were pretty easy for us big-wave surfing athletes but that wasn’t really the point. It was a time for all of us to break the monotony, have some laughs and pop a chilled bottle of Krug to celebrate an accomplishment few ever get to realize.     SANTA CRUZ WAVES | 6 9


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ADVENTURE

SPINNAKER For those who might not be in or around the sailing scene, let me explain what a spinnaker is. A spinnaker is a type of sail designed specifically for sailing off the wind or when the wind is coming from an angle that is more behind the vessel. When launched, it balloons out in front of the boat like a big, bright beach ball, adding an extra boost of power and speed.   I had always been mesmerized while watching these beautiful bulbous sails, but had never actually been on a boat with one up and flying. Knowing we had two tucked away in Sweetheart’s bow was super exciting, and we were all anxiously waiting for the right conditions. The moment finally arose after departing the doldrums and coming into some nice consistent trade winds. “OK boys and girls, time to pull out the kite!” Al said with a big grin. We kicked it into gear and started prepping the lines, making sure nothing was twisted or suspicious looking. “OK!” Al shouted. Hand over fist, Will and I pulled the lines. The brightly colored sail slowly started ruffling out from inside the sock cover.  Higher and higher it went until the sock ring made it to the top of the mast. The sail luffed loudly for a second then with a loud “pop!” inflated completely, sending gorgeous hues of turquoise across the deck. It was a magnificent sight.  We spent the better part of the day taking turns steering Sweetheart, finding the optimal angle for speed and efficiency. We actually got it so dialed

that we decided to run the autopilot. Due to the finicky nature of a spinnaker, this combo is not a super normal thing, but it ended up working out like a charm. As technology and nature harmoniously worked their magic, we sat back and enjoyed the ride. This system was running so smoothly that

we kept it going into the night, as a full moon emerged from a distant thunder cloud to illuminate our way. There were no thoughts of the outside world, nowhere to rush to and no social media to check. At peace with the universe, we glided gracefully across the shimmering sea.  

SANTA CRUZ WAVES | 7 1


I NSPIRE D BY TH E

SEA

Santa Cruz Waves talks shop with marine artist Amadeo Bachar By J.D. RAMEY

W

hen Amadeo Bachar isn’t creating beautiful, lifelike paintings and drawings of marine life at Studio Abachar in Aptos, he can be found teaching scientific illustration at California

State University, Monterey Bay. His work, which has appeared in publications like National Geographic, Scientific American and California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Outdoor California, reflects his deep love of the ocean and its inhabitants.

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF AMADEO BACHAR

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ART

What are some of the hardest things to convey as a scientific illustration teacher? The hard part is to convince people that the volume of things they need to take into account when they’re doing an accurate scientific illustration is much more than what, say, a fine artist who is just messing around or doodling or playing with rendering a critter is going to have to go through. A science illustrator has to take way more into consideration to accurately portray that organism to their audience. Usually the target audience is going to be people who have a little bit of knowledge about the subject, or the text is trying to explain something, and it’s using the image to help convey that. If you put an illustration in a scientific magazine, and it’s not accurate, there’s going to be some passionate person that’s going to send you an email! [Laughs]

SANTA CRUZ WAVES | 73


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ART

SANTA CRUZ WAVES | 75


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ART

Studio Abachar is plastic-free. What are the reasons for that? We’re trying to lead by example. We use reclaimed wood for our frames; we do everything in-house; we don’t have a giant printing factory running our waste in the water; we do the printing here. I just think that’s one of those things that’s important to remember to do and to be a good steward of this area we’re in. I say that not as an environmentalist, even though I consider myself that, but as someone who consumes in the environment and who lives and plays in it and also enjoys it in other ways. Tell me more about the reclaimed wood you use. Chris and Paige Curtis [of Alibi Interiors] do 99.9 percent of my frames. They’ll go tear a barn down in Gilroy or Mendocino or something every once in a while, but for the most part, all the wood is coming from Santa Cruz County. Their warehouse is right in the building next to mine, so we can put their deliveries on a cart. Chris rolls it over with a cup of coffee, and we load ’em up! [Laughs] Their operation is awesome: get the wood, prep the wood, cure it so that there are no bugs—but they don’t cure it with chemicals, they just let it sit in a good spot where things are going to move out naturally—and then they break the wood down and turn it into frames. I love the way it looks on my art, and, fortunately for us, the look is still “in.” [Reclaimed wood frames]

are always going to stay in the main part of what I’m doing with the artwork, I think. I couldn’t see myself moving to fabricated, painted frames that take up a lot of energy and a lot of waste for the bulk of my stuff that gets shipped out and is stored in the studio and the warehouse.

What have you learned about balancing business with the love of your craft? One of the big reasons I got into this, that I’m definitely not in denial of, is that there’s a positive reinforcement that I got from doing art that was good and that people liked. When you get into the business world, and people are trying to pay you money, they know that stuff, too. That’s why you get a lot of contests: “Hey, we’re redesigning our logo!” They’ll say, “You won!” Now they have a free logo, and they got a bunch of people to do all this work, and no one’s getting any money for it. You start from behind as an artist, a lot of times. The more that I’ve gone along, the more I’ve realized that we need to recognize that there’s value in ourselves and in what we’re doing, not only when we’re doing it, but [also] over time. I’ll be learning that for the rest of my life. To learn more about Bachar, visit abachar.com or find him on Instagram at @abachar.

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FOOD & DRINK

Barcelona

Little Bites of

Downtown Santa Cruz’s Barceloneta taps into the charm of Spanish tapas By JOEL HERSCH

T

he defining trait of a Spanish tapa is the size of the culinary creation—the item is a morsel; by its very nature small. Which is convenient for foodies, because it means the eating inevitably spans many dishes, meaning a festive assortment of flavor profiles, a range of textures, and, likely, two to five glasses of red wine. Santa Cruzans can now embrace this tapas tradition at the Spanish-themed restaurant Barceloneta, which opened its doors on Pacific Avenue last fall. “Tapas are so great. They’re these small, yummy little nibbles,” says Elan Emerson, who, along with her chef husband Brett Emerson, is behind the new eatery. “They’re crispy, crunchy, salty taste-getters, which just makes them so fun to share and eat with friends.”

Barceloneta is the couple’s follow up to their first restaurant, the also Spanish-themed, now-shuttered Contigo, in San Francisco. Following their 10-year run serving up Catalan-style tapas for the city’s Noe Valley, the Emersons relocated to Santa Cruz with a similar vision. “We’re definitely a niche restaurant, there’s a real identity behind it, with a focus,” Elan says. “Contigo was a passion project, this is mom and pop passion project, and it all feels very familiar. [But] Santa Cruz is a place where we think we can make a bigger impact.” A key draw for the couple to relocate to Santa Cruz was the abundance of farmers markets, from which Brett sources much of his fresh produce. Many of the ingredients, however, are imported from Spain: the likes of Serrano hams, chorizo, and

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THESE TAPAS

FOOD & DRINK

AREN ’T TO BE MISSED

Hot Dates: Wrapped in bacon and served

with Queso Valdeón and almonds. ($8)

The classic Pan Con Tomate:

Grilled toast with tomato served with olive oil. ($3/piece)

The Bombas:

Sardine and Avocado Toast:

Sausage stuffed potato meal, affectionately nicknamed “Amazeballs.” ($10)

Barceloneta also features a full cocktail bar, with speciality Spanish drinks. Try these:

Served with pickled onions and smoked salt. ($10)

Rebujito ($11)

Fino Sherry, sparkling lemonade, mint

olives are all paired with the fresh bounty from local farms. Elan calls this Spanish cuisine with a “California overlay.” The restaurant’s namesake, Barceloneta, is the popular coastal neighborhood in the port city of Barcelona. Barceloneta— back in the mother country—is spanned by a series of touristic beaches, where “Chiringuitos” (little snack bars) serve up quick, tasty bites for beachgoers. It was visits to these establishments, among other Spanish eateries, that helped inspire Brett’s vision of becoming a restauranteur. “Contigo became a kind of culinary love letter to all of the places he loved during his travels through Spain,” says Elan, “and now Barceloneta [is], as well.”

Chiringuito ($13)

Gin Mare, celery juice, lime, mint

Sparkling Sangría ($11

glass/$29 pitcher) Cava, Rosé Lillet, pomegranate, orange, mint

While Barceloneta boasts a number of more filling Spanish delicacies, such as the grilled octopus and a cooked-to-order Valencia-styled paella—one of the restaurant’s must-try staples— the tapas options are a sure bet for catapulting appetites into full discovery mode. “We’re very happy to offer Santa Cruz a taste of Barcelona and the whole tapas experience,” says Brett. “It’s delicious stuff.” Barceloneta is open for dinner six days a week from 5 to 9:30 p.m., and is closed on Tuesdays. Find them at 1541-B Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 900-5222, and eatbarceloneta.com.

SANTA CRUZ WAVES | 8 3


CAFE CRUZ

DINING GUIDE Downtown 515 KITCHEN & COCKTAILS

HULA’S ISLAND GRILL

PACIFIC THAI

ZOCCOLI’S

California twist on Hawaiian island grill and tiki bar. 221 Cathcart St., Santa Cruz,

Authentic Thai cuisine and boba teas in a modern and casual dining atmosphere. 1319 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 420-1700, www.pacificthaisantacruz.com

Iconic delicatessen, sandwiches, salads, sides. 1534 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 423-1711,www.zoccolis.com

With a focus on inventive small plates and cocktails,

(831) 426-4852, www.hulastiki.com

515 Kitchen & Cocktails has been offering a nuanced

IDEAL BAR & GRILL

take on internationally influenced California cuisine in downtown Santa Cruz since 2006. 515 Cedar St., (831) 425-5051, www.515santacruz.com

AQUARIUS DREAM INN Spectacular oceanfront dining just off the beach in Santa Cruz. One of Santa Cruz’s top dining destinations, Aquarius offers seafood and organic Californian cuisine. Open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on Sundays. 175 W. Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, www.dreaminnsantacruz.com

BETTY’S EAT INN Locally owned burger joint with a fun vibe. Features award-winning burgers, fries, salads, beer, wine and shakes. Soak up the sun on the outdoor patios at all three locations. Expanded menu and full bar at this location only. 1222 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, (831) 600-7056, www.bettyburgers.com. Other locations: Midtown (505 Seabright Ave.) and Capitola (1000 41st Ave.).

8 4 | SANTA CRUZ WAVES

A Santa Cruz institution with amazing beach, boardwalk and wharf views. Open every day, featuring nightly specials and a full bar. 106 Beach St., Santa Cruz, (831) 423-3827, www.idealbarandgrill.com

KIANTI’S PIZZA & PASTA BAR Located in the heart of Downtown, stands boldly amongst fellow businesses with it’s vibrant colors and welcoming atmosphere. The indoor lively and update vibe is a crowd pleaser, with weekend performance. For those preferring a more relaxed experience, dine within the heated patio and cozy up to the fireplace. Kianti’s is as kid friendly as as they come. 1100 Pacific Ave. Santa Cruz (831)469-4400 www.kiantis.com

MISSION ST. BBQ

PONO HAWAIIAN GRILL AND THE REEF Traditional Hawaiian grill, poke bar, fresh ingredients, full bar. 120 Union St., Santa Cruz, (831) 426-7666, www.ponohawaiiangrill.com

SOIF RESTAURANT & WINE BAR A comfortable place to drink great wine, eat food that is as good as the wine, and then—if the wine is to your liking—buy some and take it home. The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 105 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 423-2020, www.soifwine.com

STAGNARO BROS. SEAFOOD INC.

Serving up smoked barbecue, craft beer and live music. 1618 Mission St., Santa Cruz, (831) 458-

Seaside eatery turning out fresh seafood staples on the Santa Cruz Wharf with views of the Pacific. 59 Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz,

2222, www.facebook.com/missionstbbq

(831) 423-2180

Harbor THE CROW’S NEST Iconic restaurant and bar located at the harbor. 2218 E. Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, (831) 476-4560, www.crowsnest-santacruz.com

Midtown AKIRA Sushi made with fresh-caught seafood and locally grown produce. 1222 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 600-7093, www.akirasantacruz.com

CHARLIE HONG KONG Vegan-oriented menu. Southeast Asian fusion, organic noodle and rice bowls. Chicken, beef, pork and salmon offered. Family and dog friendly. 1141 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 426-5664, www. charliehongkong.com


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FOOD&DRINK DINING GUIDE EL JARDÍN RESTAURANT

MALONE’S GRILLE

Delicious and authentic Mexican cuisine featuring locally grown, fresh ingredients. 655 Capitola Road, Santa Cruz, (831) 477-9384, www.eljardinrestaurant.net

Long-standing eatery and pub offering steak, seafood, burgers, vegetarian options and patio seating. 4402 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley, (831) 438-2244, www. malonesgrille.com.

LA POSTA RESTAURANT With inventive Italian dishes crafted from local and seasonal ingredients, La Posta is a neighborhood restaurant that brings the soul of Italian cuisine into the heart of Seabright. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. 538 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 457-2782, lapostarestaurant.com.

SEABRIGHT BREWERY Rotating beer selection, with dog-friendly outdoor patio. 519 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 426-2739, www.seabrightbrewery.com

TRAMONTI RESTAURANT Made with organic, local or Italian-imported ingredients, Tramonti’s authentic recipes reflect its family traditions and the simplicity and warmth of true Italian cuisine. The original Italian-style thin crust is baked in a brick oven, with fresh for di latte mozzarella and San Marzano tomato sauce. 528 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 426 7248, www.tramontisantacruz.com

Westside/Scotts Valley BRUNO’S BAR & GRILL Offers American cuisine for lunch and dinner all week long and brunch on the weekend, plus onsite and offsite catering and banquet space for special events. With two bars, it’s the perfect spot whether you are craving burgers, steaks, ribs or salads, or just want to have some fun in Scotts Valley. 230 Mount Hermon Road, Ste. G., (831) 438-2227, www.brunosbarandgrill.com

Serving up smoked barbecue, craft beer and live music. 1618 Mission St., Santa Cruz, (831) 458-2222, www.facebook.com/ missionstbbq

PARISH PUBLICK HOUSE British-influenced pub food with full bar. 841 Almar Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 421-0507, www.parishpublickhouse.com

SUSHI GARDEN Japanese cuisine specializing in fresh sushi, creative rolls and hot entrées. Spacious dining area with live music performances every Friday and Saturday night. 5600 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley, 831-438-9260, www.sushi-garden.com

VIM Vim is named for the energy and vitality that it brings to the Santa Cruz culinary scene. Patrons are invited to linger over approachable New American cuisine, decadent desserts, and modern cocktails. Chef Jesikah Stolaroff brings the feeling of home together with local ingredients and refined technique to create food that fills the heart. 2238 Mission St, Santa Cruz, (831) 515-7033, vimsantacruz.com

Eastside/Capitola AVENUE CAFÉ

Grass-fed beef, fun atmosphere, and a great beer menu. 1520 Mission St., Santa Cruz, (831) 425-5300, www.burgersantacruz.com

Serving traditional breakfast and lunch, along with some Mexican favorites. 427 Capitola Ave., Capitola (831) 515-7559, www.avenuecafecapitola.com

BURN HOT SAUCE

BURN HOT SAUCE

BURGER.

Burn Hot Sauce hand-made sauces are fermented for a year with local organic peppers, and are loaded with natural living probiotics. Spice levels range from mild to wild. Available at Santa Cruz Westside and Live Oak Farmers Markets. (831)888-6576

Burn Hot Sauce hand-made sauces are fermented for a year with local organic peppers, and are loaded with natural living probiotics. Spice levels range from mild to wild. Available at Santa Cruz Westside and Live Oak Farmers Markets. (831)888-6576

CASCADES BAR & GRILL AT COSTANOA

CHILL OUT CAFE

California cuisine, local, organic, and handcrafted ingredients. 2001 Rossi Road at Hwy 1, Pescadero, (650) 879-1100, www.costanoa.com

8 6 | SANTA CRUZ WAVES

MISSION ST. BBQ

Breakfast burritos, espresso drinks, beautiful garden. 2860 41st Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 477-0543, www.chilloutcafesantacruz.com


FOOD&DRINK

DINING GUIDE

EAST SIDE EATERY, PLEASURE PIZZA Offering traditional pizza, as well as new and exciting tastes and textures. 800 41st Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 431-6058, www.pleasurepizzasc.com

KAITO

SUSHI GARDEN Japanese cuisine specializing in fresh sushi, creative rolls and hot entrées. Relaxing atmosphere with a beautiful koi pond. Separate sake bar with extensive list of sake pairings and local wine/beer during dinner. 820 Bay Ave.,831464-9192, www.sushi-garden.com

Quaint atmosphere specializing in ramen, sushi, Japanese tapas, beer and sake. in the heart of Pleasure Point. 830 41st Ave., Santa Cruz, (831) 464-2586,www.smilekaito.com

ZELDA’S ON THE BEACH

MARGARITAVILLE

Soquel

Waterfront restaurant offering a lively setting for casual Californian cuisine and cocktails. 231 Esplanade, Capitola, (831) 476-2263, margaritavillecapitola.com

PARADISE BEACH GRILLE Fine dining in the Capitola Village. An awardwinning beachside restaurant with spectacular ocean views. 215 Esplanade, Capitola, (831) 476-4900, www.paradisebeachgrille.com

THE POINT CHOPHOUSE A traditional neighborhood steak “chop” house restaurant where generations of local families, friends and visitors to the area meet to celebrate in a casual setting. With good honest food, local draft beer and wine, and premium cocktails, the Point Chophouse offers something for everyone—even the little ones. Dinner and happy hour daily; breakfast and lunch weekends. 3326 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz, (831) 476-2733, www.thepointchophouse.com

PONO HAWAIIAN KITCHEN & TAP CAPITOLA Hawaiian-style kitchen featuring 16 rotating taps with craft beer from the islands and beyond, Sabe cocktails, ciders, wine and, of course, the aloha spirit! Pupus, poke plate lunches and more. 3744 Capitola Road, 831-476-7458

THE SAND BAR Capitola’s new hot spot for great food, cocktails, and weekly live music. 211 Esplanade, Capitola. (831) 462-1881

SHADOWBROOK Fine dining with a romantic setting, cable car lift. A Capitola tradition since 1947. 1750 Wharf Road, Capitola, (831) 475-1511, www. shadowbrook-capitola.com

SOTOLA California farmstead concept focusing on local farms, ranches and seafood. In convivial quarters with an outdoor patio. 231 Esplanade Ste. 102, Capitola, (831) 854- 2800

Indoor and outdoor dining with a beachfront deck, where American dishes, including seafood, are served. 203 Esplanade, Capitola, (831) 4754900, www.zeldasonthebeach.com

CAFE CRUZ Rosticceria and bar, nice atmosphere, fresh and local. 2621 41st Ave., Soquel, (831) 476-3801, www.cafecruz.com

SURF CITY SANDWICH Fast-casual dining with craft sandwiches, gourmet soups, salads, and a micro-taproom. 4101 Soquel Drive, Soquel, (831) 346-6952, www.surfcitysandwich.com

TORTILLA FLATS For more than 25 years, their Mexican food has blended the fieriness of Mexico with the sophistication of French sauces, and the earthiness of the Yucatan and complexity of Santa Fe with all the freshness and lightness that Californians expect. 4616 Soquel Drive, Soquel, (831) 476-1754, tortillaflatsdining.com

Aptos/Watsonville AKIRA Now in Aptos, sushi made with fresh-caught seafood and locally grown produce. 105 Post Office Drive, Ste. D,  Aptos, (831) 708-2154,  akirasantacruz.com

APTOS ST. BBQ Santa Cruz County’s best smoked barbecue, craft brews and live blues every night. 8059 Aptos St., Aptos, (831) 662-1721, www.aptosstbbq.com

California Craft Restaurant

BITTERSWEET BISTRO With its vast menu options from burgers to filet mignon, locally sourced produce, fresh fish and amazing desserts, the varied ambiance is perfect for an intimate dinner or casual gathering with family and friends. Enjoy a local beer on tap in the lounge while watching one of your favorite sports. Relax during happy hour with a handcrafted cocktail. The heated outdoor patio welcomes good dogowners and their furry friends. 787 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Aptos, (831) 662-9799, www.bittersweetbistro.com

OPEN 4pm-6pm for happy hour specials Dinner 5pm-9pm Tues - Friday & select Saturdays.

Indoor & outdoor seating available with spectacular views of the bay!

Reservations Open Table or 831-459-9177 | 20 Clubhouse Rd., Santa Cruz 9506 SANTA CRUZ WAVES | 87


FOOD&DRINK DINING GUIDE BURGER. Grass-fed beef, fun atmosphere, great beer menu. 7941 Soquel Drive, Aptos, (831) 6622811, www.burgeraptos.com

CAFE BITTERSWEET Breakfast and lunch served Tuesday through Sunday. Outdoor dog-friendly patio. 787 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Aptos, 831-662-9799, www. bittersweetbistro.com

CAFE RIO Enjoy ocean-front dining with breathtaking views. 131 Esplanade, Aptos, (831) 688-8917, www.caferioaptos.com

CANTINE WINE PUB Winepub serving wine, craft beer, cider,

MANUEL’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT

SANDERLINGS IN THE SEASCAPE BEACH RESORT

Traditional, delicious recipes, cooked fresh daily, served with a genuine smile. 261 Center Ave., Aptos, (831) 688-4848, www.manuelsrestaurant.com

Where your dining experience is as spectacular as the view. 1 Seascape Resort Drive, Aptos, (831) 688-7120, www. sanderlingsrestaurant.com

PALAPAS RESTAURANT & CANTINA

SEVERINO’S BAR & GRILL

Coastal Mexican Cuisine. Extensive tequila selection. Happy Hour, and dinner specials. 21 Seascape Blvd., Aptos, (831) 662-9000, www.palapasrestaurant.com

Award-winning chowders, locally sourced ingredients. 7500 Old Dominion Court, Aptos, (831) 688-8987, www. severinosbarandgrill.com

PARISH PUBLICK HOUSE

SUSHI GARDEN - WATSONVILLE

Two full bars, rotating taps, delicious pub fare, patio seating and thirst-quenching cocktails. 8017 Soquel Drive, (831) 688-4300, theparishpublick.com

Japanese cuisine specializing in fresh sushi, creative rolls, hot entrées and unique house specials. Casual and friendly atmosphere.   1441 Main St. Watsonville, 831-728-9192, www.sushi-garden.com

bubbles, and tapas. 8050 Soquel Dr, Aptos,

PERSEPHONE

www.cantinewinepub.com, 831-612-6191

Persephone serves a seasonally changing farmto-table menu with influences ranging from Italian to Middle Eastern. All of the dishes are based on the locally available products and produce. Locally owned and family operated. 7945 Soquel Dr., Aptos, 831-612-6511, www.persephonerestaurant.com

FLATS BISTRO Coffee, pastries and wood-fired pizzas. 113 Esplanade, Rio Del MarBeach, Aptos, (831) 661-5763, www.flatsbistro.com

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San Lorenzo Valley COWBOY BAR AND GRILL Sandwiches, steaks and American fare served in a kid-friendly joint with a countrywestern theme. 5447 Hwy 9, Felton, (831) 335-2330, www.feltoncowboy.com

THE CREMER HOUSE The perfect spot to enjoy a cold, handcrafted beer, a glass of local wine, or a homemade soda while trying dishes using local, organic, farm-raised sustainable ingredients, as well as vegetarian items. 6256 Hwy 9, Felton, (831) 335-3976, www.cremerhouse.com

SUSHI GARDEN - APTOS Brand new location in Rancho Del Mar Center, serving fresh sushi/sashimi and delicious hot entrées in a spacious dining area and large communal bar seating. 38 Rancho Del Mar, 831-661-0721, www.sushi-garden.com

Bon appetit!


FOLLOW US ON I & FB F TRAMONTI_SANTACUZ

HAPPY HOUR WED-FRI & SUN 3:30-5:45 CLOSED MONDAYS & TUESDAYS

Come join us for our new 2020 specials... $20 ENTREES AND $20 BOTTLES OF WINE

Authentic Italian experience in the heart of Seabright ORGANIC•LOCAL•GENUINE & IMPORTED INGREDIENTS Open everyday for lunch & dinner. Private parking & dog friendly patio.

Available Wed, Thurs & Sun.

787 Rio Del Mar Blvd, Aptos | 831-662-9799 | bittersweetbistro.com

528 Seabrignht Ave, 95062 | tramontisantacruz.com RESERVATIONS (831)426-7248

•AN AMERICAN RESTAURANT & ALEHOUSE•

Thoughtfully prepared meals with organic ingredients •21 rotatating beer taps •10 wine taps

We love our locals so here’s the 411 on our specials

Tuesday Nights TACO TUESDAY & choice of beverage*

Wednesday Nights POT PIE NIGHT

Chicken in a cream sauce with winter vegetables and potaoes in a puff pastry & choice of beverage*

Thursday Nights Pasta Special & choice of beverage* $15 each Vegetarian options available each night *Includes a $7.00 discount on your choice of beverage. 5-7:30 p.m. While supplies last.

Now serving craft cocktails! santacruz waves.com

831-335-3976 SANTA CRUZ WAVES | 8 9


ET OTLH O S I V E B Y F

THE CAPITOLA STORE ETHOS IS A HUB FOR LOW-WASTE LIVING By DAVE DE GIVE

or Meredith Keet, the journey toward a sustainable lifestyle began in 2013, when she heard about a family of four that had produced so little trash over the course of a year that it fit into a single mason jar. She and her family were inspired by this to give their own home a sustainability makeover. A few years later, they took a yearlong trip around the world, and witnessed inconceivable amounts of pollution along the way. From this experience, Keet decided to help raise consciousness about sustainable lifestyle habits. She solidified this in March of 2019, when she opened Ethos, a shop in the Capitola Village that specializes in low-waste living. Originally named the Zero Shop, Ethos has honed a sensible set of criteria for sourcing environmentally friendly products, utilizing small local companies whenever possible with an eye toward products produced, packaged, and shipped with little to no plastic. Keet craves products that are zero-waste, but also carries those that can be recycled or repurposed. The store seeks out companies that avoid deforestation, embrace fair trade, and prioritize cruelty-free products. While few products check off all the boxes for zerowaste, many check off most of them—a realization that influenced changing the name of the store from the Zero Shop to Ethos. “There's a quote that's out there,” says Keet, paraphrasing a well-known environmentalist adage, ”[that says] ‘instead of having a handful of people living zero-waste perfectly, we'd rather have millions of people living it imperfectly.’” Waves recently visited Ethos, where Keet showed off some of her favorite product lines.

PHOTOS BY TYLER FOX

NO TRACE WAX WRAPS Beeswax wraps are reusable, biodegradable alternatives to Saran wrap and aluminum foil. They work great for covering bowls and plates, or wrapping sandwiches, burritos and leftovers. They’re clingy, washable and reusable for up to a year or longer. The wraps are non-toxic and breathable, but also maintain moisture to keep food fresh. “This is something a lot of people haven't heard of,” says Keet. “They’re actually made locally by a woman that lives up the street. It’s 100-percent organic cotton fabric that she's coated in beeswax or candelilla, which is a vegan substitute … At their end-of-life you can cut them up and compost them.”

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TO-GO WARE BAMBOO REUSABLE UTENSIL KITS o-Go Ware estimates T that their handy utensil set, which includes a fork, knife, spoon and two chopsticks, replaces 1,300 single-use utensils during its lifespan. The convenient carrying case is made of recycled plastic water bottles and includes a carabineer for clipping to backpacks and outdoor gear. The bamboo utensils are heat and stain resistant, and can be easily hand-washed with soap and water (preferred), but will also sustain being tossed in a dishwasher occasionally. “It's super handy, something I always have in my bag ready to go,” says Keet, adding that besides meals it can also be used instead of a plastic spoon for eating ice cream in a shop or in place of disposable coffee stir-sticks. At the end of its long life, “you can throw it in your green waste [bin] or you can throw it in your compost.”

ELATE COSMETICS “The cosmetics industry is hugely instrumental in packaging waste as well as deforestation,” says Keet, who enthusiastically recommends Elate brand cosmetics. “They’re trying to go zero waste, but it's [also] all vegan, 100-percent natural, and cruelty free.” Customers develop their own palettes of cosmetics by building kits called capsules with eye shadow, blush and other make-up essentials. Magnetized aluminum containers that stay secure in the capsules are recyclable, an eco-friendlier method than shipping them back to their Canadian manufacturer. Customers make a one-time purchase of the capsule container, which lasts for years. “The refills that you get come in seed paper, so it’s plantable,” says Keet, explaining that the packaging will grow into flowers in the ground.

UNWRAPPED LIFE SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER BARS

COMPANY COMPANY FEATURE FEATURE

The convenient, vegan, and zerowaste shampoo and conditioner bars are sold unwrapped with an optional reusable tin container. Each bar provides about 50 to 75 washings and eliminates the need for plastic bottles that clog up landfills. “These shampoo bars are one of our top-selling items and I personally use them and love mine,” says Keet. The products ship from Canada to Ethos with individual bars completely unpackaged, together in one big box lined with just a bit of craft paper. The biggest barrier to this product may be in people deciding to try it for the first time. “I think people are really hesitant,” says Keet. “But I don't think I've had anyone who switched to these from a packaged product that doesn't like it.”

BULK CLEANING PRODUCTS Ethos has an entire wall dedicated to various brands of bulk cleaning supplies. “It's a great selection of bulk homecleaning [products] as well as shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and body lotion,” says Keet. “You can buy a reusable container from us or you can bring your own and refill it.” The effort to find the most environmentally sound sources and delivery methods is ongoing. ”We're working with [one] company that ships the product in plastic bladders and then we send them back [empty],” says Keet, noting that while there’s circularity to that process, she’s transitioning toward local vendors who take back their bulk containers (usually glass) and reuse them to deliver new product. Visit Ethos at 101 Capitola Ave. in Capitola Village or find them online at thezeroshopsc.com or ethossantacruz.com.

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MAKING

WAVES Photos: Sean Mclean and Alison Gamel

T

THE SOIREE

he First Annual Santa Cruz Waves Soiree brought the heat to a chilly January evening with hundreds of fashionably dressed fun hogs. The event unveiled the Santa Cruz Waves Stories documentaries and offered live entertainment from The Wily Minxes, Boostive and The Surfing Magician. Tasty bites were on hand from Santa Cruz Salmon Jerky, Mission St. BBQ and Full Steam Dumpling, with libations from Cantine Wine Pub and NuBo Brewery. Documentary sponsors included Allterra Solar, Save Our Shores, Pacific Wave Surf Shop and Swandive Media. Special thanks to Alison Gamel, Paige Events, The Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium and all of the volunteers who made this event such a success. See you next year!

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MAKING WAVES

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Candra Jordan is one of the few longboarders who's not of afraid to mix it up in punchy beach breaks. Her versatility matched with an awesome attitude is why she's a crowd favorite for many Santa Cruz sliders. PHOTO: BRYAN GARRISON

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