I’ve lived in Southern California since high school and never heard about this mythical surf spot at Cortes Bank, about one hundred miles west of San Diego.
We’ve all heard of the giant waves at Mavericks in Northern California which sadly claimed the life of Mark Foo in 1994, but this location was brand new to me — not that I’ll ever see it or surf there, considering I don’t surf at all, but I love all things ocean-related.
Apparently, about ten thousand years ago, an island used to exist in that spot called Kinkipar by native Americans, the ancestors of the Tongva or Chumash Tribes.
Presently, it’s entirely submerged, the top rising to within three to six feet of the surface with nearby shoals catching the largest swells on the planet from the North Pacific.
Monster swells that generate waves moving at incredibly high speeds as they move from the deep ocean, over a mile deep at the base of the bank, into a series of shallow reefs made of sandstone and volcanic basalt.
These photos of Nic von Rupp (amazing professional big wave surfer) were taken last week at Cortes Bank.
Because of its location, estimates are that the waves move fifty percent faster than comparable waves along Oahu’s north shore.
As I slowly emerge from the last two years, in my more melodramatic moments, I feel it’s akin to crawling out of a cave, eyes blinkblinkblinking against the light after being stuck for months in the dark.
The vagaries of life are such that one day I’m reseeding my lawn completely demolished by my wild bunnies (most likely a futile exercise); the next day I’m interviewing Tonya Mantooth, CEO of the San Diego International Film Festival.
Does the name Tonya Mantooth ring a bell for you? It did for me, and I followed a twisty windy Google research path to satisfy my curiosity.
A while back I wrote a post about my journey through the side effects of my Covid vaccine which included being enamored once again with the TV show Emergency! and its lovely cast, including Julie London, Bobby Troup, Kevin Tighe, AND Randolph Mantooth. Could it have been a coincidence with that unusual name? Well, it wasn’t. Tonya is his sister!
Long ago when I had visions of being somehow involved in the film biz, I used to write for the Theater Arts Guild newsletter and knew all of the talent agents in town. In that other lifetime I acted in a few things and was a production coordinator for a while, too…
Back to present day reality…
-The 21st Annual San Diego International Film Festival includes the return of in-person Opening Night Film Premiere & Reception, the Night of the Stars Tribute, Culinary Cinema, plus more parties. Looking for something memorable to do in San Diego? This is IT, a definite must attend event and there are plenty of films for every cinephile. Check out their website: https://sdfilmfest.com/
Honestly, where else can you meet meet filmmakers and actors, participate in dialogues and ask questions?
-I learned that not only will there be a screening of (MGK) Machine Gun Kelly’s film, Taurus, but he will be there IN PERSON to accept an award from CEO Mantooth. (I confess that I didn’t really know who he was, but a few of my younger demographic friends asked about him and were extremely thrilled to learn they could see him up close and personal.)
As we chatted, Tonya was excited to share with me the addition She Said, the film adaptation of New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s 2019 book on their investigation into Harvey Weinstein. This is the story that helped launch the #MeToo movement and shattered decades of silence around the subject of sexual assault in Hollywood. Produced with Brad Pitt, it stars Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan.
I’ve become fascinated by women who follow their passion — like Tonya Mantooth. It’s inspiring and empowering, don’t you agree? I plan to interview her more fully after the festival, but for now, I encourage you to attend this amazing San Diego International Film Festival.
According to Tonya Mantooth, attending the SDFF is an opportunity to participate in shared humanity, to bridge the divide, not increase the divide.” Viewing a foreign film “offers a glimpse into other cultures” as well as how important it is to “connect with community” and “explore fresh perspectives.”
Here’s a brief bio of the Festival’s CEO, Tonya Mantooth:
A ten-time Regional Emmy award winner with over 60 International Telly and ADDY awards,Tonya began her career as an Executive Producer when she became Director of Acquistions for CRM Films.Tonya co-founded and was President of The Dakota Group, a highly regarded film and post-production company in Southern California.Tonya has produced National TV campaigns and award-winning documentaries for Fortune 500 companies.Tonya launched Mantooth Studios and expanded her production scope to Entertainment Projects. Under Mantooth Films, Tonya Executive Produced four feature films, including GRAVE SECRETS, which became the pilot for a Nickelodeon Series. In 2012, Tonya took over the San Diego International Film Festival with a vision to bring international cinema to San Diego and grow the San Diego International Film Festival into a significant contributor to San Diego’s economy. Today the San Diego International Film Festival has grown over 500%.The spectacular six-day Festival features 120+ film screenings, panels and a red carpet Celebrity Tribute honoring actors such as Annette Bening, Adrian Brody, Geena Davis, Lawrence Fishburne, Sir Patrick Stewart and countless others.Tonya is steadfast in her belief that the experience of film allows us explore issues of global impact, to create dialog, and ultimately to develop empathy and understanding in an increasingly diverse and complex world.(From the SDFF website)
I brought a carload of donated items to House of Ukraine in San Diego’s Balboa Park. While I was there, the HOU was alive with many people who stopped by to help. An elderly gentleman brought 1800 sterile syringes while a person in military fatigues dropped off a Kevlar vest. Another, a retired soldier, brought the vest that had saved his life many years ago and he wanted to donate it, hoping it would do the same for a fellow soldier protecting his homeland in Ukraine.
There are no people pics because I thought it prudent to protect their identities. You just never know, especially active military.
This photo isn’t from World War II. This is NOW, 2022, Ukraine.
Did you hear this? A six-year-old girl died “alone, weak, frightened, and thirsty” after she was trapped under the rubble of her destroyed home in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol https://telegraph.co.uk.
Putin’s aggression needs to be stopped, but it’s going to take all of us to help Ukraine.
Before anyone gets too bored of hearing about Russia’s atrocities, this is scary info: In case you didn’t know, Russia is approximately ONLY 55 miles from Alaska. Pretty close to home, don’t you agree?
This horrendous invasion has names and faces, helpless victims of insane megalomaniacs. Animal rescuer Sasha chose to stay in Ukraine to take care of her animals. A Russian rocket hit her home. Her son found her body. Another innocent life ended.
The people I met with said their supplies are sent out every few days with materials eventually arriving by air to some of the surrounding European countries and then brought to Ukraine.
Not in San Diego area? Locate your own Ukrainian community and find out how you can help where you live.
1.High Priority Needs: – Military supplies (helmets 3A, Kevlar vests protection standard IV, Kevlar plates, monoculars with a magnetic arrow, thermal imagers, boots, knee pads, gloves, military clothes) – Military aid kits and medicines (QuickClot, First Aid Esmarch Medical Tourniquet Rubber, thermal blankets, hemostatic drugs, blood transfusion systems) – Thermal underwear: men’s underwear, warm socks – NO MORE DIAPERS NEEDED at this time. Cannot accept used clothing at this time.
Humanitarian Supplies: – Medical supplies (Theraflu, any painkillers, Gelofusine, dressing bags, needles №20,10, catheters, Iodine, antiseptics, needles КВ-3, Sets for measuring central venous pressure, infusions of sodium chloride, drip systems etc.)
Political Support: Write and/or call your area’s elected officials. *Sample template below, I didn’t craft the letter; take what feels right for you as I know the no-fly zone concept causes some concern regarding retaliation.
Write NATO urging no-fly zone over Ukraine. USNATOPAA@state.gov
Financial Support: There are several vetted charities; please research for your area.
My opinion is pretty straightforward. We simply can’t sit back and do nothing. I’m doing what I can, and I hope you will, too. ‘Nuff said.
I am a US citizen and I would like to express my concerns about the atrocities in Ukraine where homes and livelihoods are violently attacked by Russian troops.
Despite strong and consistent promises from the US government and its allies before the attack and invasion by the Russian forces, we are yet to see a strong and powerful response. The people of Ukraine are bravely facing the heavily militarized and massive Russian Army. We understand that the US is not ready to send American military forces to Ukraine, but we do expect that the US government should be able to help the Ukrainians.
The following is critically needed for an effective response by Ukrainian troops from the sea, air, and land: • Heavy anti-aircraft launcher systems similar to Patriot MIM-104 • Additional man-portable air defense systems similar to FIM-92 Stingers • Additional man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank missiles similar to FGM-148 Javelin • More ammunition
The people of Ukraine are in desperate need of protection and, unfortunately, expressing concerns and prayers alone cannot protect their children, women, and seniors, but No Flight Zone over Ukrainian territory can. The no-fly zone will provide for the protection of the civilian population against cruise and ballistic missiles and air assault debarkations.
This war is the largest and longest war in Europe since World War II. It began in 2014 because of Putin’s fear of Ukrainians striving for their democratic future and independence. Russia occupied Crimea and orchestrated a war in Eastern Ukraine taking over its territories and people. Russia’s recent invasion disrupts and threatens the lives of millions of Ukrainian citizens today and potentially millions of European citizens in the future. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
As a US Senator/Congressman/Congresswoman, you are in a unique position to stop the beginning of World War III.
Every so often the Star of India sails in San Diego Bay. I was clearing out some old photos and discovered this one from a few years ago. If you have seen this ship at all, it was probably lining the dock in downtown San Diego, but in case you didn’t know, this is the world’s oldest active sailing ship and still sails a few times a year with an all volunteer crew.
The Star of India was built on the Isle of Man in 1863. Iron ships were experimental at that time with most vessels still being built out of wood. Within five months of laying her keel, the ship was launched. She was originally named Euterpe after the Greek muse of music and poetry.
Euterpe was a full-rigged ship and would remain so until 1901, when the Alaska Packers Association rigged her down to a barque, her present rig.
She began her sailing life with two near-disastrous voyages to India. On her first trip she suffered a collision and a mutiny. On her second trip, a cyclone caught Euterpe in the Bay of Bengal, and with her topmasts cut away, she barely made port. Shortly afterward, her first captain died on board and was buried at sea.
After such a hard luck beginning, Euterpe made four more voyages to India as a cargo ship. In 1871 she was purchased by the Shaw Savill Line of London.
Subsequently sold to the Alaska Packer Fleet, her name was changed in 1906 to the Star of India to match the other vessels in their fleet. The Star of India made over 22 Alaskan voyages before becoming obsolete in the 1920s as steam power propulsion became more reliable than wind.
The Zoological Society of San Diego purchased the ship in 1926 for use as the centerpiece of a planned maritime museum and aquarium. The Great Depression in the 30s and World War II caused those plans to be put on hold and the Star of India lay idle until she was restored in the late 50s and early 60s.
Fully restored by 1976, the Star of India set sail as part of the United States’ Bicentennial celebration.
Launched five days before Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
On a more positive topic than local murders, here’s a quiet day at Tourmaline Beach, located between Pacific Beach and La Jolla. I haven’t been here in decades. It was a balmy seventy degrees and sunny, barely an hour before the foggy marine layer rolled in.
Sadly, no seashells or whales or dolphin, but I’m always looking for the magic. Also…no gems at all including zero tourmaline. What a disappointment!
The waves were a little blown out and not very big, in case that’s something you care about.
And nope, I didn’t surf, although I wish I had that Chanel board. I don’t go in the water. The last time I tried to surf, I got hit with the board, so it’s not the sport for me.
Before I was Princess Rosebud, I was Rowdy Rosie, did you know that? Something must have happened over the years to morph RR into PR, but she’s BACK! (You can read a previous post about RR here: https://enchantedseashells.com/2013/07/02/the-story-of-rowdy-rosie/)
All you need is a little patience, right? Well, to paraphrase my rock and roll crush, Axl Rose, I guess I needed twenty-plus years of patience, ‘cos that’s how long it took between Guns N’ Roses concerts. At least for me.
When my good friend from Cowboys and Crossbones told me their Not In This Lifetime tour was one of the best concerts she’d ever attended, my ears perked up. When I discovered GnR would end their US tour in San Diego, I knew I’d have to something about it.
I dusted off an old Rowdy Rosie sheer lace spandex camisole I’d kept safe (just in case) since the nineties nestled in tissue paper and wore it over a black and white polka dotted push up bra, squirmed into skinny jeans so tight there wasn’t an ounce of space to breathe, added studded moto boots, and the look was complete.
Not too bad for a grandma, am I right? (DO NOT ANSWER THAT RHETORICAL QUESTION!!)
After a slight mishap at the trolley station where I accidentally fell onto the tracks. No adult beverages nor any mind altering substances could be blamed…the sun was in my eyes and it was SUPER crowded-sometimes the truth is BORING, but the truth is what you get in Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife…
The opening act was the Cult, do you remember them? They did a great job of holding our attention until Axl hit the stage.
OK, here’s where more truth comes in.
We are all aware of the inexorable march of time; it can’t be stopped, we all get older, look older, feel older–none of us really has a picture in the attic (literary reference to Picture of Dorian Gray)-even Botox and a skilled surgeon can only for a brief moment hold back the tick-tock of aging.
So…when that sweet bad boy child of mine, the now fifty-four-year-old Axl Rose first appeared, I do believe there was a collective GASP from the crowd, or maybe it was just me? I mean, I know it’s been 20+ years, but I really expected him to still look like…
Side by side comparison…Where did he go?
And it didn’t matter at all. Once he started to sing, I was transported back to that special place where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky (lyrics to “Sweet Child of Mine”)
He’s still bad boy sexy though, and if I squinted, he kinda sorta-well no, actually not at all.
He’s aged, I’ve aged, we’ve all aged. He’s had some work done, not exactly a total Mickey Rourke, but a bit, and he’s brave to step on stage knowing how the world sees him in reality versus in dreams (oops, my bad, hee hee.)
I screamed like a teenager.
I danced like no one was watching (no one was) and had the BEST TIME OF MY LIFE.
The biggest difference in the two concerts from then and now -except for the cost of the ticket lol-was the ubiquitous presence of cell phones capturing every single moment. I’m guilty of that too.
When the first chords of “Welcome to the Jungle” started up, there was nowhere in the world I would have rather been than experiencing that iconic moment.
They played nonstop for more than 2 1/2 hours and ended with “Paradise City”.
As we ran to grab the trolley back to our vehicle, we saw Slash drive away in his black limo SUV and he waved to us.
BEST NIGHT EVER.
And now I’ll have a forever scar to remember it by…
For this #MothersDay, I’m honored to welcome a special guest poster on Enchanted Seashells by Princess Rosebud…my very own daughter-in-law, or as we fondly refer to her, DIL. I know you’ll love this post as much as I do. Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!
What Does a Cosmo, the Trauma Unit, and Mother’s Day Have In Common?
As we sit 20,000 feet up in seats 1C, 1D, & 1E, our little team can almost exhale as we head home from Boston to San Diego.
Rewind ten days.
What would you do at 4:00 a.m. when you’re terrified in the Emergency Room. Your husband is in agony. The surgeons’ don’t know what’s up and the pain meds aren’t working?
You call family.
Nobody wants to make that call. I knew that waking up MIL in the middle of the night to tell her that her Angel Boy was in the Emergency Room hooked up to morphine 3000 miles away would put the ice-cold, fear-of-God in her.
I took a deep breath and dialed. When she did not pick up I knew the panic she would feel when I called again right after.
No one wants to see their DIL’s number twice in a row in the middle of the night.
When I got through I told her calmly what was happening. I could hear the panic in her voice but she responded exactly as a mother should. She said that she was on her way. Not just hopping in the car or on the bus. She was booking tickets to fly across the country without a moment’s thought. I knew that I had opened them to that sick pain and fear I was feeling – but it had made me feel better. I knew whatever was coming I did not have to face it alone. And that’s what good mothers do. They take on your pain, so you can feel better.
From then on, I counted the hours until they arrived. Literally. I did not leave AB’s side until they got there and I knew another loved one could watch over him.
It had been fifteen hours in the hospital without even a cuppa. I had screamed, cried, fought, and begged every RN, CRN, resident, consultant, physician, surgeon, radiologist, you name it. But now I knew I had some people on my team.
The next ten days after the surgery went by on auto-pilot. I’m convinced Team AB drove the whole floor nuts. We were on their ass 24/7 – from wash clothes, to walks, to IV, to test, results, more CTs — we did not stop for a moment to breathe.
But me and MIL were on the same team, working together, side by side, to make sure our AB got better.
It’s true when they say you have to laugh or you’ll cry. Too true! In amongst all of the drama and fear we belly laughed. I mean really laughed. Even when Jason’s roommate “One Tooth Tommy’s” girlfriend overdosed him on her street Xanex. Or or when I got some sympathy gas in the canteen in front of a table of young cute residents.
The day AB was getting discharged, I woke up and I looked over in our hotel room to see MIL sleeping and next to her an empty glass of wine, vodka tonic, and the remains of my Cosmo. What can I say? It had been one of those weeks.
And now as we head home to San Diego, it could not be more perfect that tomorrow is Mother’s Day.
Because it’s definitely time to celebrate MIL.
When an emergency hits – it comes out of nowhere and the whole world stops.
Everything is stripped back and you see people for who they really are.
What we saw this week was the purest and selfless love of a mother.
AB, you are lucky to have such a mom.
And I am lucky to have a friend, a partner in crime, and the best MIL you could wish for!
So…we’re all sitting at Gate 36 at Boston Logan Airport, waiting for our flight to San Diego, the final leg of our massive journey to bring home Angel Boy. YAY!!!
We can literally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I feel like I gave birth to him all over again.
It all started with the call at 3am that propelled the labor pains to GET TO HIM at any and all cost.
‘Cos you never know, right? What if we had been flying and it was too late? What if we had landed, turned on our cells, and learned the worst had occurred while we were desperately working to make it to the hospital before his emergency surgery? The what ifs were killing us. What if the surgeon couldn’t fix him? What if he had a rupture? What if he suffered a massive infection that couldn’t be controlled? It was touch and go for a while, but he pulled through — we ALL pulled through…
Lucky for him AND for us, none of those fears came true, and that’s why we’re here at the airport and get back to my normal routine of going to the gym, cleaning the house, baking, and of course, SHOPPING!!
On a serious note…
This whole experience got me thinking…always a dangerous thing, right?
I believe that it’s critically important, if you’re ever hospitalized, to have a family member (or two) act in the capacity of an advocate — with the docs, the nursing staff, and the insurance company.
It’s next to impossible for the patient to communicate on his own behalf or even function at all –when he’s in pain and suffering — before surgery, especially emergency surgery, and after surgery when he’s basically comatose and drugged up, during the entire stay and up to the exit strategy.
RNs have about eight patients at a time; because of that, we handled most of my son’s personal care.
DIL and I stayed with him 24/7, taking turns sleeping in the recliner next to his bed.
We took his temp, cleaned him, took him to the bathroom, kept after him every few minutes to use the little tool to keep his lungs healthy, and when he started walking the very next day post-surgery, we walked him further and further every day.
It was back to basics: baby steps. Measuring his urinary volume, charting his temp, checking for gas, helping him to the bathroom — the simple joy of having his naso-gastric tube removed called for applause and cheers.
Baby steps. Walking further every day. Walking with the IV detached. Ditching the hospital gown and wearing his own clothes.
The first meal after eight days was spectacular. Chicken broth and apple juice constituted a feast. My already thin boy had lost so much weight. More baby steps.
Even though they check vital signs once an hour, we were there to monitor any changes minute by minute.
When he started to run a temp, we alerted the RN and she alerted his surgeon and because of our “assertiveness”, a ton of blood tests were ordered along with a CT scan to rule out infection or abcess. It turned out that he DID have a blood infection, but not MRSA, the scary one, and it responded well to antibiotics.
The final issues were insurance-related, and we had to literally drive the discharge process and all that red tape in order to leave the hospital in a timely manner.
They’ve just called for our flight; back to sunny SoCal, back to the beach, back to retail therapy. Holla!
It was a hellish ten days, but I really feel like I’ve given birth all over again…to a healthy thirty-three year old baby boy! Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!