Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sea Dragon Journals - Entry #1

Some 290 miles out to sea between Brazil and South Africa, it is almost impossible to try and think about what lies ahead of me for the next month. Just getting to Brazil was a trip in itself. Three flights, 15 hours of transit and one long crazy two-hour car ride, we (Mary Osborne and I) finally made it.

Unfortunately wires got crossed and there was no one waiting to pick us up once we had arrived at the airport. Luckily we jumped a cab and settled into a hotel in Copa Cabana. Before taking yet another two hour cab ride to a beautiful crystal green colored bay where the 72-foot Sea Dragon sat anchored, just outside of the harbor.

The Sea Dragon Crew

For the first four days we just cruised around the local islands. One day we found some fun waves to surf where the water was so clear you could see one’s surfboard through the wave.

Now we are down to business and on a course set towards South Africa. We will be trawling along the way for the effects of plastic pollution that plague our oceans today, before coming face to face with the never-before-seen South Atlantic Gyre.

Yesterday was a long day for me as I was on watch up on the deck from 12:00-6:00 PM and then again from 2:00-6:00 AM as somewhat stormy windy and wet conditions came in. So far the majority of the 13-person crew has gotten sick except for about four or five us. The main sail has now ripped and it’s only our second full day at sea. On this unique expedition to find the South Atlantic Gyre, I would be remiss to say it should be interesting, but for now I’m going back to sleep.


James Pribram

Eco Warrior Joins the Sea Dragon

I was recently selected to experience a once in a lifetime adventure and new educational experience pertaining to the environment aboard the Sea Dragon. The Sea Dragon is a sleek 72 foot Steel Hull boat sailing around the world to study the 5 Gyres (a sea current where garbage/debris accumulates) and the effects they have on our ecosystems.

I will be joining a elite crew of scientists, writers and film makers to study the South Atlantic Gyre and the effects of plastic in our oceans. We depart for Rio, Brazil this Tuesday, Nov. 3 for a 28 day crossing and land in Cape Town, South Africa tentatively Dec. 11 (if all goes smoothly). Predicted by ocean models but never verified, this trip will take an important first look into this part of the world’s oceans. It’s going to be a journey of a lifetime…

There will be no emailing and very little to no communication from me while away. For those who are interested in following our scientific adventure you can find GPS where the boat is presently.

Find more about 5 Gyres organization and how to get involved.

Read about daily ship blogs and what we are up to.

There is also great way for kids, students, schools and universities to get involved and ask questions directly to the people aboard the Sea Dragon. Over 1500 schools have joined in so please pass along to anyone who is interested and get signed up. I would love to hear from all of you while we are at sea…
For more information visit interaction at sea.

Special thanks to my sponsors O’Neill, Boost Mobile, Pacific Edge Hotel and XS Energy drinks for donating some funding to this great organization. If anyone you know or a company wants to get involved, every little bit helps.

I want to personally thank you all for your ongoing support.
Like I’ve always said, you only get one life. So you better live and live it I do…

See you when I return home! Happy Holidays!


E. Roscoe Shrader - Laguna Art Museum

E. Roscoe Shrader Exhibit

WHEN: Through Janury 23, 2011
WHERE: Laguna Art Museum
WEBSITE: www.lagunaartmuseum.org

Laguna Art Museum, Main Gallery, 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, CA / A dynamic and influential teacher and leader in the arts for three decades, E. Roscoe Shrader produced colorful, post-impressionistic paintings-landscapes, figures, and still lifes-that when exhibited elicited praise from critics and patrons alike. Shrader was influential as a teacher and head of the faculty at Otis Art Institute from 1919 to 1949. He was also president of the California Art Club for several terms during the 1920s and 30s. His devotion to his teaching and to his leadership role in the arts community precluded his attention to actively commercializing his art. Many of his paintings were often given to friends or remained with his family. As a result, Shrader’s work has heretofore been largely unknown. Fortunately, his heirs have made the works available through noted art dealer George Stern, who has produced the book The Art and Life of Edwin Roscoe Shrader which will be available for purchase in the Museum Store during the exhibition at Laguna Art Museum. More information: 949.494.8971.

Festival of Arts "Poster" Exhibit

WHEN: Through Janury 11, 2011
WHERE: Downtown Laguna Beach Wells Fargo
MORE INFO: (949)464-4282

A retrospective of Festival of Arts annual posters from the past 25 years is now on display at the downtown Laguna Beach Wells Fargo through January 11, 2011. Over the years many images for posters have been produced for the purpose of highlighting the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters. The posters' subject matter expresses various styles, classical, traditional and contemporary. The poster exhibit portrays not only the history of the Festival of Arts, but also that of Laguna Beach. The exhibit is on the third floor of the Wells Fargo building at 260 Ocean Avenue, Laguna Beach. The Sawdust Festival has an exhibit on the main floor of the building, while Community Art Project (CAP) has an exhibit on the second level. The building is open to the public Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m.- 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information call 949-464-4282.

Peter Pan - OC Performing Arts Center

Peter Pan

WHEN: Through 1/2/11
WHERE: Orange County Performing Arts Center
WEBSITE: Click here for tickets

Direct from the U.S Premiere in San Francisco, Peter Pan is a spectacular new stage production of J.M. Barrie’s classic story performed in a state-of-the-art 1350-seat theatre pavilion. Conceived by an award-winning creative team and featuring twenty-two actors, stunning puppets, epic music, and dazzling flying sequences surrounded by breathtaking video, Peter Pan was a smash hit when it launched in London in 2009. The world's first 360-degree video projection for live theater flies both cast and audience over Edwardian London. Generally, this show is not recommended for children under age five. Running time (approximate): 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Daddy Long Legs - Laguna Play House

Daddy Long Legs

WHERE: Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
WHEN: November 30 – December 26, 2010
WEBSITE: www.lagunaplayhouse.com

A musical by Tony and Olivier Award- Winner John Caird (Nicholas Nickleby, Les Miserables) and Tony nominee Paul Gordon (Jane Eyre). Set in the early 1900s, this exquisitely moving story is the vivid account of a young orphan girl as she blossoms into a beautiful, intelligent and vivacious woman. A trustee of the John Grier Orphanage offers a proper education to the 18-year-old Jerusha. The benefactor’s only requirements are that Jerusha never know his identity, and that she write him monthly (though he will not respond). She sees him once in shadows and invents a nickname for her mysterious patron–Daddy Long Legs. Her letters to him paint a moving portrait of her lonely life in the orphanage, and the development of her mind and spirit. Call (949) 497-ARTS (2787).

Meet James Pribram (our surf and eco ambassador for the hotel)

Having our unique ocean front location is not just a nice amenity for our guests but a responsibility to our ocean environment as well. Along with the benefits of our 300 feet of beachfront there are responsibilities to keep it clean, maintain access for all and involve ourselves in the overall oversight of protecting our amazing ocean environment. We recently formed an amazing relationship with Laguna Beach local and surfing icon James Pribram.

A bit more about James (Jamo for those who call him a friend, as we do!):

JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. His written work has appeared in the LA Times, Surfer's Path, Surfing, Surfer, Water and numerous other publications worldwide. He is an active environmental leader in his community where he has served on the Laguna Beach Water Quality and Environmental Committees. He co-founded the Eco Warrior project, a grass roots organization which is dedicated to protecting oceans, beaches and sea life worldwide, and They Will Surf Again, which raises money for people who have suffered from ocean-related spinal injuries. He is the owner and operator of Aloha School of Surfing, which teaches aspiring surfers of all ages the power of surf stoke. Pribram's Surfing Soapbox column appears weekly in Laguna Beach's Coastline Pilot, Huntington Beach Independent and Daily Pilot Newspapers which has a readership of over 100,000. In 2009 James was also selected by Riviera magazine as one the countries top ten 'Men of Style'.

Major environmental awards:
The John Kelly Environmental Achievement Award
The Orange County Heart and Soul Award
The Project Save Our Surf Hope Award
Laguna Beach environmental achievement Award
The MSA Blue Award
The My Hero Environmental Achievement Award
Better Shelter Green Award


James just returned from an amazing 6 week journey to confirm (and he did) the existence of 5 Gyres (a sea current where garbage/debris accumulates) and the effects they have on our ecosystems. He joined an elite crew of scientists, writers and film makers to study the South Atlantic Gyre and the effects of plastic in our oceans.

Please take some time and check out his blog entries and photos of this amazing and telling journey. Stay tuned for more blog entires from James as he engages our hotel in some fun beach and ocean experiences throughout the year!

Happy Holidays,
Kurt Bjorkman
General Manager