Archive for 'Ventura'

You may view Buyer's Guide listings for this location.

Big Surf

Posted by John Callender on December 24th, 2005 at 11:16 am

Mike Parsons catching a big wave at Jaws

I’ve been driving back and forth through Malibu over the last week, which has given me a front-row seat for some of the huge surf we’ve been having in Southern California. The LA Times has an article today about some of the people who’ve gotten into trouble with the waves, including a young man who apparently was killed when the boat he was in capsized off Ventura. From Deadly high waves batter coast:

Late Friday, an 18-year-old remained missing after a small boat carrying him and three other family members capsized in rough seas near the mouth of the Santa Clara River, officials said.

The skiff carrying a father, two sons and his daughter capsized about 12:30 p.m. roughly 100 yards from shore, authorities said.

Three of the family members made it to shore, but one son did not, said Fire Marshal Glen Albright of the Ventura City Fire Department.

The others were taken to Ventura County Medical Center with minor injuries. Authorities searched for the missing man until darkness fell. The search is expected to resume this morning.

The article also describes how a surfer drowned off Carlsbad State Beach on Thursday, and how the Venice Pier has been closed until further notice due to damage from the waves. The surf is expected to subside over the next few days, before building again next week.

Photo: That’s a still I snagged from an unauthorized video clip that’s been floating around the net for a while. It shows Mike Parsons being towed onto a big wave at Jaws on Maui during a competition a few years ago. If you haven’t seen the video it’s definitely worth a look. One commenter claimed the clip is from the movie Riding Giants, but having watched that movie I didn’t see that clip in it (though the movie is very much worth watching, regardless).

Update: Oh, and now another source I googled up indicates that the clip is actually from the beginning of Billabong Odyssey. And since brief moments of the clip appear in the film’s trailer, I’d say that’s a pretty good bet.

Later update: So I’ve now watched Billabong Odyssey, and I can tell you that yup, it’s definitely from that movie. It’s basically the first minute of the film, with Parsons’ big wave (which was the high-scoring wave at the Tow-In World Cup in January 2002) also being featured in the extended coverage of the event toward the end of the film.

Repairs Continue on the Irving Johnson

Posted by John Callender on November 30th, 2005 at 9:22 pm

The Irving Johnson aground off Channel Islands Harbor

I’ve talked before about how a grounding is the sort of thing that’s guaranteed to get a boater’s attention, and if the grounded vessel is a tall ship, even a smallish one, the interest level is going to be that much higher. That was certainly the case back in March of this year, when the Irving Johnson, a 90-foot replica brigantine launched in 2003, went aground just south of the entrance to Channel Islands Harbor. The boat remained hard aground for a couple of days before she could be refloated. Here’s an article on the event from Ocean Navigator Online: Sail training vessel runs aground off California coast. And here’s another, somewhat more breathless, account from the CBS News web site: ‘Horrifying’ spring break at sea.

Now The Log’s Coty Dolores Miranda has written an article detailing some of the ongoing repair work being done on the boat in Ventura Harbor: Irving Johnson reemerging, slowly but surely. There’s a fair amount of detail about the volunteers helping the Los Angeles Maritime Institute (LAMI) to bring the boat back to tip-top condition.

The photo above was taken by amateur photographer and Coast Guard Auxiliary member Michael Brodey, and is used here with his permission. In response to my request, he wrote back, “It just so happens that that particular photo won first place in the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Public Affairs Photo Contest this year.” Congratulations, Mike; it’s a great photo.

Ventura Harbor Village’s November and December Events

Posted by John Callender on November 6th, 2005 at 7:42 am

Ventura Harbor Village

If you need an excuse to visit Ventura Harbor over the next few months, you could attend one of the free afternoon concerts held each Sunday at Ventura Harbor Village. From’s events page, here are the scheduled events for November and December:

  • November 6: Mango – Hawaiian musical duo
  • November 13: Yogi Mango – Reggae music
  • November 20: Ron and Mike Show – Music variety show
  • November 27: Tim Seehusen Music – Holiday piano music
  • December 4: Ron Sexton Duo – Holiday music
  • December 11: Ventura Chorale – Holiday music
  • December 16 & 17: Parade of Lights
  • December 18: Phil Birdsell – Impressionist/karaoke style


Posted by John Callender on November 3rd, 2005 at 11:34 am

Welcome to SoCalSail. As you can see, the site is now running a weblog on its home page. In addition, I’ve added some new features in the site’s Buyer’s Guide. I look forward to adding a lot more content and features in the days ahead; in the meantime, please feel free to poke around and offer your feedback.

You can submit comments in response to individual weblog postings (like this one), or you can send me email at

Welcome aboard!

Weblog Home | Buyer's Guide | Weather | FAQ | Contact