Weird Season: Bristol Bay Fishing Report


RourkeEliWell it was a bit of a strange season for salmon fishermen in Bristol Bay this year.  For a variety of reasons, the run came early, which led to some good early June fishing for the crews that were wise enough to start during free week.  It is possible a number of fish made it upriver before the fish counters were even in place, but by July 4th  escapement goals were technically not being met in the Naknek river so they held us Kvichak river fishermen back for a full 6 days until it was met. For those of you that don't know the lingo, "escapement" is the number of fish that Alaska Fish and Game requires make it upriver to ensure healthy runs for the future. Escapement for the Kvichak was 2 million this year. img120 img119 By the time we were fishing again the drifters had cleaned up most of the bay of the remaining big groups of fish, so it was scratch fishing from then on out. But even with low catch numbers the season was sort of saved by a 50 cent per lb. price increase, the biggest increase in a long, long time. But hey "that's why they call it fishing" is something that people seem to say for no reason, so despite it all Graveyard was as lively as ever and many good times were had. netimg114 img111 photo (24) img118 A fisherman from a small village up the Kvichak brought a litter of puppies to Graveyard this year. Of course many of us were suckers and started feeding the little wandering warriors. img137 photo (21) photo (20) It seemed like I made a big mistake when I first got her, we were fishing long hours at the time and I had to try to keep her quiet while my crewmates were sleeping. But soon after they shut us down, so there was plenty of time for puppy attention pupp photo (19) Nakeen the pup came out fishing towards the end of the season, she fell in the bay and then I fell in trying to grab her. Here we are drying off in the 11pm sunset webchad I brought up some flash bulbs from the 50's that my grandfather had passed on to me, hooked it up to my 35 mm and gave it a shot during the few night tides we had. Unfortunately that damn puppy chewed the one part of the bulb box with the chart on it, so I was kinda winging it. I only had a handful of bulbs to try, but here are some of the results. img142 Tricky gauging distance on drifting boats at night. blured web1 I'll have to track down some more bulbs and give it a shot again next year, its fun blinding friends. img129 img122 img132At the very end of the season we made our annual exploration at hightide, this year returning to Nakeen, an abandoned cannery upriver, which I had not been to for a few years. Its the same place I got some old salmon boxes years ago, which then turned into paintings. Anyways, thanks for reading, time to get back to the studio life, technology, microwaves, and all that.  

Personal Container Management


Came across these amazing shots from the 80's on an interesting site called http://www.bricoleurbanism.org/ You could be forgiven for thinking these are clever examples of Photoshop par excellence – but they’re not. They were published in the Nautical Institute’s “Seaways” magazine in January 2006 with the following caption:
“‘These remarkable photos were taken in the 1980s, when a liner company called Unicom operated a service to Moroni, Comoros Islands. At the time, this was the only means of getting the containers ashore.”
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New collaborative Zine with Ryan Beavers


Just released a new zine with my pal Ryan Beavers, its a double sided deal with each of us taking a half and meeting in the middle. These are all signed, an edition of 100.   You can pick up a copy at these fine establishments: highinthebay.com if you want it shipped to you, at RVCA on Haight street if you are in San Francisco, or at Oakland Surf Club in the East Bay.
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Museo Diego Rivera Anahuacalli


The next of the Clipperton Project's art events will be kicking off this thursday Feb 21st in Mexico City at the Museo Diego Rivera Anahuacalli. Check here for info on the event. Shown here is the painting I just finished and sent down for the show. ("The Albatross and the Container" Ink on Paper 45x45", 2013) The show will be up through May and includes some great work from some of the talented participants that joined on our journey to Clipperton Atoll last spring.

Jack O’neill 60th Anniversary Tour


JackOneill   In November the annual Cold Water Classic surf contest was happening in Santa Cruz, CA.  Along with it came the final show for an around the globe traveling art show that O'neill put together to celebrate 60 years since Jack started the wetsuit company. I was lucky enough to get this painting accepted into the show and I got down to SC for the event to celebrate Jack. The evening was a ton of fun, with lots of pro surfers among the crowd, partying on what was a down day for the contest due to small waves.

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I was so happy that Jack's daughter ended up purchasing the painting as a gift for her dad. She was kind enough to ask me bring it to his amazing house perched on Pleasure Point. Jack, now about 90 years young, was sharp as a tack and so kind, chatting about surf spots, art, and the old days in San Francisco. Normally I would not talk about someone who purchased a painting, but I had to make an exception in this case.  What an amazing man, and for those who do not know, this guy INVENTED THE WETSUIT! Wow.

The Spanglish Armada at Establish SF


Goofy title, serious show...well sort of. If you live out in the beautiful Sunset District of San Francisco, you must go check out your new neighborhood store Establish. The lovely ladies that put this place together have gathered goods from tons of local artists and craftsmen. From hand-made jewelry and wood workings, to recycled skateboard things and surf collectables; they've got it all there and more. I covered their walls with paintings, a few photos, and my etched glass "shipping containers" arrangement is hangin in the window. Go say hello, they're good people. Thanks to all who came out to the opening last weekend, it was a lot of fun meeting everyone, I think you win coolest community in SF.

Back from another great fishing season


Well it was a great salmon season, as I can feel by the carpal tunnel in my wrists still. This magazine cover shows myself and my longtime pal/crewmate Conor Kelly, doing our thing.  Our Graveyard Point neighbor, the talented Corey Arnold, was kind enough to use this shot for Pacific Fishing magazine. Keep a heads up for Corey's show this fall in Portland, which will be focusing on our fishing community at Graveyard! Also, things really seem to be heating up on the Pebble Mine issue up there. Which if you havn't heard, would put a massive strip mine directly in front of the spawning grounds of the Kvichak river (the district where I fish) and others. Please check out this video that Frontline has put together to educate folks on the situation. They point out it may be the greatest ecological battle of our time.