Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We're Moving...

This is a hard post to write, our family is leaving Bodega Bay. We've absolutely loved our three years of living in paradise here on the beautiful California coast, but due to job opportunities, we've decided to move inland. We'll only be an hour away and of course we'll be back frequently to visit. We've been coastal people our entire lives and have never been able to stay away for long.

Many thanks to those of you who have followed our blog and given us such positive feedback and encouragement over the years. We have always appreciated the support of our friends and neighbors.

I just discovered another mom who blogs here in Bodega Bay and I encourage you to check her out at Mama Loves the Beach. Darris recently moved to Bodega Bay with her family, and she writes about her coastal adventures with an environmental twist.

So long, but not goodbye. We'll see you at the beach!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bodega Bay Fish Fest this Weekend

The 38th Annual Bodega Bay Fish Fest is happening this weekend, April 30 and May 1, 2011. Here are some details from their website:

The Bodega Bay community will celebrate its 38th annual Fisherman’s Festival packed with music, food, and entertainment. A favorite attraction is the wine tasting booth, featuring more than 25 Sonoma County wines. Food booths have something for every pallet from lamb or oyster barbeque to local fish and chips, to vegi burders, salads, and sandwiches. Live music and entertainers perform on the band stage all day Saturday and Sunday. Artisans and vendors from all over California and beyond offer a wide selection of arts and crafts.

The festival has its origin as a celebration of the start of the Salmon fishing season and the annual Blessing of the Fleet. Saturday will feature a golf tournament at Bodega Harbour (707-875-3538) and at the Festival site itself a wooden boat challenge where participating teams build a vessel and then compete in a boat race.

Sunday morning will feature the blessing of the fishing fleet, when decorated boats parade out of the harbor to receive a blessing from local clergy. A flower wreath is cast upon the waters honoring the fishermen lost at sea. The festival is a great venue for kids, with a play area for face painting, spin paintings, games, free kit lessons, pony rides and llamas (and guest pets) on parade. There will be a drawing for raffle prizes from local merchants.

The Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival is a nonprofit organization run by local community volunteers under the leadership of chair Ginny Bassi. All proceeds of the festival benefit local service and volunteer organizations. For more information call the Bodega Bay Visitors’ Center at 707-875-3866.

Our family has really enjoyed going to this community event over the last couple of years. You can view our previous reports and photos here and here. And the weather this weekend is supposed to be spectacular!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Film Festival Coming to Bodega Bay!

Great news, Bodega Bay is hosting film festival in May! Here's the official press release:

The Sonoma, California coast promises to be lively this Memorial weekend (May 28th-29th) where the inaugural Bodega Bay International Short Film Festival is launching a celebration of independent filmmaking from Santa Rosa, California to Hamilton, New Zealand. Whether filmmakers and audience members are attracted by the spectacular seaside location of the festival at UCD Bodega Marine Lab*, or the draw is from the growing Hollywood panel of film judges, Bodega Bay is quickly becoming a cultural focal point for film.

Ever since Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” was shot there in 1963, the town’s cinematic glory has been relatively dormant. But the sleepy, crab fishing town of Bodega Bay has the necessary characteristics to rival Park City, Utah (where the Sundance Film Festival takes place). It’s a little over an hour’s drive from the robust cultural powerhouse, San Francisco, and the Bodega Bay region is an established destination for wine tours, honeymoons, coastal retreats, and excursions.

Local filmmaker, Dan Schieberl of Santa Rosa, is thrilled to have his very short first film take the stage as an official selection of the festival. His film, a family comedy called “Bathroom Drawer” is story of sibling rivalry that was based on a true story. Schieberl remarked “I’d give up my contracting job in a second if I could make films for a living. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by movies.” At the other end of the emotional spectrum comes a grim drama from India called “Wind,” (created by Manikandan Mathiyazhagan). It’s the uncomfortable story of a policeman who is the first person dispatched to a grisly crime scene, when suddenly, a cell phone rings in the corpse’s pocket and the caller really wants to speak with the policeman. And among other international selections for the festival, comes “Lily White” a touching drama by New Zealand directors Scott Granville and Ben Woolen, who plan on traveling to the event. Other countries represented at the festival include South Korea, Israel, Argentina, Switzerland, France, Spain, & Australia. Even Hollywood filmmakers are making a show at the festival. Regionally, San Francisco-based director Richard Levien’s film “Immersion” will pull at heartstrings while posing important questions about our education system.

The festival’s growing panel of film judges includes actor Jack McGee, who most recently starred alongside Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg, and Amy Adams in the Academy Award nominated “The Fighter.” Also on the jury is Ed Begley, Jr., (Six Feet Under, The New Adventures of Old Christine, St. Elsewhere) who, apart from appearing in over 200 television and motion picture productions, is an activist for environmental issues. Representing strong women in film on the jury is Hollywood producer Share Stallings, who recently produced “Death At A Funeral” starring Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, James Marsden, and Danny Glover. Due to their jam-packed schedules making movies, it is unclear if any of the judges will be attending the event itself. But they will definitely be watching and judging the finalists and sending in their votes.

The festival takes place on Memorial Weekend May 28th-29th at the UCD Bodega Marine Lab, at Bodega Bay, California. The festival is expected to sell out as the facility only has about 100 seats per screening. For ticket ordering information, along with more details or high definition press photos, please visit the official website: BodegaBayFilmFest.org

*The UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory (BML) is one of the oldest academic marine laboratories in the U.S., and its long history of research and training students has contributed invaluably to our knowledge of coastal systems and the policy that protects them. Throughout the years, BML has led the way in multidisciplinary scientific inquiry required to solve complex environmental problems on the marine and terrestrial sides of the tideline, and BML-trained students have become leaders in the field of marine science and policy. http://www-bml.ucdavis.edu/index.html

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Home Cooked Meal Delivery

I just received a colorful postcard announcing a new meal delivery service. Melissa Freeman, owner of the soon-to-open new Bodega Bay restaurant The Birds Cafe, is now delivering fresh, home-cooked meals on a weekly basis.

Melissa has lived in Bodega Bay her entire life. She was a real estate broker for many years, but says her real love is cooking. Her family owns Compass Rose Gardens, where she spent a significant part of her life catering events. Melissa is going through the steps to open The Birds Cafe across from Pelican Plaza, overlooking the bay. Meanwhile she's providing a service that family, friends, and locals have told her is much needed in our community - fresh home cooked meal delivery. Meals will be prepared in a rented, fully equipped commercial kitchen under her catering license from Sonoma County. Far out, I wish her great success!

You can reach her at 707-875-2900 or through www.thebirdscafe.com.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Vanishing Boat Mystery Solved

Many thanks to CalRecycle for solving the mystery of the vanishing boat!

As you may recall from my last post, "Hapi," a boat abandoned in the Bodega Bay harbor mudflats, mysteriously disappeared from last month. We couldn't figure out why nobody saw a thing, and I received this reply from CalRecycle:

Hapi was removed from the Bay in the wee hours for a very good reason! The salvage company used low tide to pump the vessel out and attach flotation and then took advantage of the high tide to help float it so it could be pulled off the mud flat. The highest tide in the window the crew had to remove the vessel occurred at 3 AM. After she was released from the mudflat, Hapi was tied up at Spud Point Marina, and deconstructed the following day. --CalRecycle

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Abandoned Boat Removed From Bodega Bay Harbor

An abandoned sailboat that had become something of a tourist attraction was finally removed from Bodega Bay harbor this week.

“Hapi” had been stuck at a tilt in the mudflats since fall 2007, when her owner fell behind in mooring fees at nearby Spud Point Marina and was evicted. The owner tried to move the boat, but the Coast Guard intercepted him and said the boat was not seaworthy. He then anchored it in the channel, and a storm blew it onto the tidelands.

The boat was too badly damaged to save. The keel, which has a ferroconcrete hull, became firmly lodged in the mud; the sail was shredded and flapping in the wind.

Hapi became a great conversation starter and in fact, our local wine bar Gourmet au Bay produced a private wine label in her honor called Tilted Cellars. We enjoyed kayaking around Hapi, people told tales of her being haunted, or a pirate ship.

But while some found the abandoned boat charming, others said it was a hazard that should be removed. A spokesman from Sonoma County said “In reality they blow around, they can be come potential hazards to navigation, they leak toxics into the water, kids go out and play on them, they can get hurt."

This week, according to a press release, Hapi was among five abandoned commercial vessels that state and local agencies removed from the Bodega Bay area. The coordinated effort involved the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Marine Services Unit, and the Department of Fish and Game.

They said, “Abandoned and derelict vessels along California’s coastal and inland waterways are a threat to public health and safety and the environment. They can harm water quality due to the hazardous pollutants they contain, including oil, PCBs, antifreeze, gasoline, diesel, asbestos, paints, and sewage. As vessels deteriorate, they become sources of debris that wash onto the shore or remain a water hazard. In addition, vessels are typically abandoned on or very near shorelines where they present ‘attractive nuisances’ for additional dumping from the shore.

“The five commercial vessels--the Elizabeth Ann, Ocean Star, Loretta G, Bonnie, and Hapi--were designated for removal because they have no identifiable responsible parties and they pose environmental and navigational hazards to the public. Measures have been taken to prevent a release of hazardous materials during the salvage operations. As a precaution, spill cleanup equipment has been pre-deployed in the event of a release. Fish and Game’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response is overseeing operations to ensure there are no impacts to state waters.

“Funding for this project was provided through CalRecycle’s Solid Waste Disposal and Co-disposal Site Cleanup Program. CalRecycle, which manages the project on-site, contracted with Pacific States Environmental to remove, dismantle, and recycle or dispose of non-hazardous solid waste and hazardous materials from the vessels.”

Surprisingly, no locals seem to have seen or heard a thing during the removal process. Knowing it was controversial, did they quietly haul Hapi out in the black of night? If you saw anything, or took photos or video, please share in the comments section!

Please note, when leaving a comment, if you get an error message, just click to submit again and it should go through. Weird quirk with Blogger templates. Thank you!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Whale Photos from New Bodega Bay Vet

I love it when blog readers share their wildlife photos with me, and I recently received some whale shots from Dr. Michael Trapani, veterinary practitioner & surgeon. After chatting back and forth, I found out that he is opening a new veterinary hospital here in Bodega Bay! I'm so excited, BB can really use a vet. He's setting up his full service pet hospital in the old laundromat, in the Pelican Plaza shopping center, and hopes to be open by March 1, 2011.

I read more about him on his Facebook page "Bodega Bay Veterinary Hospital." Look through their photos, you'll love the story about the Pied-Billed Grebe that he rescued at Salmon Creek Beach. And check out the video of the deer and kitten---sooo cute!

But back to the whale photos. As you may have heard, it's been a banner year for whale watching here along the Sonoma coast due to an unusually high amount of krill in the water. Here are some images Dr. Trapani took from Bodega Head this fall. He saw four California Grey Whales that day, feeding in the near shore channel northwest of Bodega Rock.

This whale seemed to pay absolutely no attention when fishing boats came through the channel. He'd been underwater when the New Sea Angler approached, then surfaced within ten yards of the craft, which came to a dead stop. The whale took his time moving away, still feeding. (This picture has been adjusted to bring out boat details.)

Whale watching season out here is traditionally January through May, when thousands of California Gray Whales pass right by Bodega Head. I wrote a little about it here. Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods are looking for docents to help out every weekend for the five months to help the public spot the whales and to answer questions about them. For more information, please contact Ruby Herrick, Programs Manager, at rherrick@mcn.org or (707) 869-9177 ext. 1# or visit Stewards of the Redwood Coast.