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Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Mission's Metamorphosis

A debriefing~ from tip to tail...

Well, it started out as a mission to save endangered sea turtles.  Impassioned by the cruelty and stupidity of bp, and the powers that be, I threw my hat into the ring of this revolution.  You guys did too, when you helped me step forward.  Thank you so much for your support, and the endurance of your attention span.

How do you activate an activist? For me the recipe was simple; take two parts crude oil, one endangered sea turtle, baste the turtle in oil, add fire.  Ignite the turtles, ignite the kurmalliance, and small group activism.

Many of you will remember the day that they announced bp was corralling & burning sea turtles alive, in the surface collection booms.  That was all it took.  I felt like it was a sign from God. That was June 22, it happened to be my birthday.  He said, " You ready?"  I said, "No, but I'm going in anyway."  A revolution never comes with a warning.

And so... In I dive, with you by my side.  We can't be stopped!

...unless it is by a felony offense and a $40,000 fine!  The Feds issue a mandate making it illegal to step 65 ft within any boom, any oil, or any wildlife.  Only "approved" persons such as the fish and wildlife dept. are issued permits to rescue distressed wildlife.  They don't want people on the scene. bp uses this smokescreen from the federal government to slather as much chemical dispersant on to the gulf as humanly possible.  Way above the limits of what has been approved by the EPA, and beyond the limit they set as a cutoff date. (by the way, corexit, the brand of chemical dispersant used in the gulf, is manufactured by nalco.  A company subject to $164 million bailout by the federal government just prior to the spill.)  In the meantime, everything is dying.  Turtles, dolphins, sharks, baitfish, plankton, sea cucumbers and yes, even whales.  All the while, with their massive resources and infinite reach, these people are able to put together ONE turtle rescue boat.  To cover thousands of square miles.  ONE.

It has been a real roller coaster ride of scare and stall tactics as bp and the government play footsie, and sleight of hand.  Now you see it, now you don't. Fuckers!  That doesn't mean that it is not there! Do they think we are that stupid?  Problem is, we just might be.  Much of the public is buying it. Today, the story is out of the headlines, out of folks consciousness, under the rug and waiting...  surprise, strangle hold!

Is it any wonder that they treat us, let alone the oceans, any other way?  They see us as disposable. One use, one purpose.  Single serving. If it doesn't work?  To the trash!  They have no accountability.  They have no humanity.  They have no face.  They are a corporation and they don't give a shit about what is good or what is right.  We do.  And we have to stand up for it. If not now, when?  This is the tipping point.  No turning back from it.  If they can get away with this, it changes our planets future.  If we don't allow them to, it changes our planets future!

So in this spirit, I decide to continue with my mission at all costs.  Arrest me if you want to!  Two days after the unveiling of the felony offense announcement, I arrive on scene in NOLA, with my trusty navigator, Peter Lawrence on a recon mission to find out what the hell is really going on.  

Let's just be honest...  A whole lot of nothin'. The scare tactic worked.  It was a ghost town.  Every single piece of transportation, every hotel room, all the locals, on bp's payroll, and sealed up tight as a drum.  We collected enough information to figure out how to slip through the cracks and decided to return home, to regroup and recharge, see if we could raise the funds to re-charge.  My plan was to raise enough dough to buy a boat, and therefore answer to no one.  Unfortunately, We weren't able to raise enough to make this a possibility, though we did damn good guys, and I am proud and grateful for all our efforts!

We did however raise enough for a second deployment, this time for a longer and more action packed stint.  In the time spent at home, I was able to cultivate alliances with key players in the gulf.  The first was with the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, and most notably my main man, Dr. Chris Pincetich. Don't let the doctor part fool you, this dude is a bro, and a fearless ambassador for the sea turtles.  We spent hours bantering back and forth, cooking up hair brained schemes of how we could put an end to the hundreds upon hundreds of sea turtle deaths that occur from drownings in the shrimper's trawl nets.  My kind of guy!  Besides that, dude's a genius.  It was a pleasure to spend a week working alongside him, learning some of the scientific method for sampling water, and sargassum, to test for toxicities in the home environs for many species of sea turtles. Our third member on this crew was Cap'n Al Walker.  A true champion and hero of the gulf.  Chris and I are actually going to make an action figure of this dude, to give to his son. We want his son, and everyone around, to know of his tireless dedication to the sea turtles, and his home waters.  Al is a world class spear fisherman, and has forgotten more about fish, their behaviors, their history, and their habitat, than I ever even knew in the first place!  Suffice to say, I learned a lot from Al, and not the least important was how to handle a power catamaran in rough seas.

The second alliance that I had the good fortune to stumble upon was with renaissance lady, Bonny Schumaker.  At this point Bonny probably has a more indepth eyewitness, & birdseye view of the gulf oil spill than anybody on the planet.  That's because she spends most of her time off the planet, hovering above it in her souped up cessena, called Bessie.  She has logged hundreds of hours flying low and slow over the gulf and witnessed the spill from the first horrifying days, through the transitionary stage of the dispersant debacle, to the current period of observation and inquisition into the effects of this tragedy on the wildlife and the gulf at large.  Bonny has an organization called, for which she uses her aircraft to help critters in need.  That ranges from ferrile cats in so cal, to whales in the Antarctic.  She is also a  sublime tango aficionado, a rocket scientist for NASA, and last but not least an officer in the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

It is to that end that we connected.  I have always held Captain Paul Watson, and all Sea Shepherds in high regard, so I was honored when Bonny asked me to join in Operation: Gulf Rescue.  Through the beginnings of this op, it was up to us to keep Sea Shepherd's involvement in the gulf under our hats, as not to raise too many eyebrows, and maintain a low profile. Hence the hush hush, and minimal disclosure.  Sorry 'bout that.  But our mission was a tremendous success! and I can now let you know that we were able to collect boatloads of water samples, ocean bottom samples, mud samples, sargassum samples, shrimp and oyster samples, and wildlife observations up and down the gulf coast.  I was given the responsibility of trailering a small twin vee boat, (whom i affectionately dubbed Vievey)... launching her from different points along the coast to gain a smattering of information taken from waters in which bp claims "no oil is present, and no dispersant exists"!  We will get the results back from the lab in about one week.  Brace yourselves...

A summary and layout of reports and information that I collected in the field can be found on  My good friends at Trimble Outdoors created a very useful tool to help document and log GPS coordinates of any field findings, along with pics, notes and video, directly onto a central database straight from my iPhone!  Genius! I was able to use the gps chip in my phone to log data even when I was off the cellular grid. Thanks so much to Kris and Aly at Trimble. The app proved invaluable to me, to Sea Shepherd, and hopefully to the rest of the world as we try to light a fire of truth under some very high falutin bp and governmental ass.

While flying the Sea Shepherd flag, the crew (5 very stand up fellas btw, Rex, David, Charles, Kevin, and our very own yogi, Dean!) and I had the good fortune of hooking up with the Gulf Coast Research Lab. Pioneers in the study of whale sharks!  Most of you know that aside from my fond affinity for sea turtles, sharks are very tops on my list!  So suffice to say that I was stoked to get out into the water and commune with the big guys.  Bonny flew her plane Bessie to spot sharks from the air, as the boat crew scoured the seas for an opportunity to tag a whale shark. The truth is that we know very little about the big kahunas. Any information we can garner about migration, mating habits, social interaction, or effects of the oil spill would be absolutely priceless.   They are some of the most challenging fish in the sea to study.  Good news is, we were able to locate about a dozen or so whale sharks!  Bad news is, it wasn't in the cards to tag any of them on this particular mission.

But you know me, I don't give up easily, and neither do any of the other cats involved in this wingding.  So there are plans beginning to hatch, aiming toward one more joint Gulf Coast Research Lab/Sea Shepherd whale shark tagging rodeo.  Bonny is trying to wrangle me into being onboard. I'd very much like to be there.  My challenges lie in the sustainability of leaving my life, my work, and my lovely and supporting wife, one more time in such an immediate proximity. Remains to be seen...

Regardless, kurmalliance is a major and permanent factor in my life now. In fact, it is my way of life.  What started as a humble and necessary mission to save sea turtles has culminated into a new purpose and a new direction...  A new way to use my practice, and my training, to cultivate a revolution, and to create positive change.  Wanna join an army?  Kurmalliance is all about yogactivism and oceaniconservation.  Rest assured, that whenever I can, I will step up to rescue sea turtles, I will dive in to save sharks, and I will rise to fight for the ocean. Because I simply can not bear the thought of living in a world where we can not swim in the sea.

So glad to have you onboard!

With gratitude, Brock

The majority of these amazing photos were shot by my brotherfromanothermother, Jerry Moran.  He became a very vital part of our crew, as well as a key hitter in the smashing of bp's bullshit pinata.

Please check his website at for the full Monty.


Sent from my edge of the Revolution!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A whale (shark) of a weekend!

Shoowee sweeties!

Out of the last 48 hours, We have spent 37 of them at sea. Man, that was awesome.

The good news...  We had multiple whale shark sightings.

The bad news...  We failed to tag any of them.  They were shy yesterday.  When we would get close, they would dive.  I just couldn't quite seem to keep up!

The hopeful news... We might get another crack at it tomorrow, if we can raise the right boat!  And get all the pieces to line up.  My fingers are most certainly crossed...

Most of you know that whale sharks are some of the coolest, high vibration fish in the sea. They are most certainly the largest.  They are the big dudes, and one of my favorite fish to swim with.  They will sit and meditate with you, if you are chill. Whale sharks are filter feeders. They survive on a mostly vegetarian diet of plankton, and tend to follow the bloom, showing up in certain spots at the same time every year. Otherwise we know very little about them. Their mating habits, their migrational routes, what they do for fun on a Saturday night, all pretty much a mystery. I aim to find out more.

It is hard to say what effect the oil spill has had on these dudes.  We don't have enough historical data on their activity in the gulf to make an educated judgement, but I have to say, it was really encouraging to see these guys out there! Although one thing that has us a bit concerned, is that their diet seems to have changed to be more concentrated on bait fish. This has also altered their eating habits a bit.  Typically, they swim horizontal style and scoop massive amounts of plankton through their filtration system.  Over the past days, we have observed them feeding vertically on the bait balls, and letting the tiny bait fish jump into the gaping hole of their mouth. We are worried there might not be enough plant bloom food to sustain their typical diet. Send me some of your juju to get some tags in place tomorrow!  We would sure like to learn more.

And the most exciting news of the day...  I got a sweet kiss right on the mouth from a tiger shark!  She cruised directly up to me, was very curious, gave me a little peck, and then turned and bailed.  Aside from the kiss I am going to receive from my smokin hot wife that I will really enjoy when I return home later this week, it was one of the most exciting kisses of my life.

Pucker up, xoxo Brock

Sent from my edge of the Revolution!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A rather LARGE development

Oh my my, my homeys,

So sorry I have been incommunicado, been up to my gills in missions, and trying to make good happen... but 'twill be worth it! I have many stories to relay, many alliances to devulge, many new insights and philosophies to spin, visions from the frontlines and love from the trenches to send your direction, but alas... As we say down ona bayou, y'all gonna hafta wait on a minute. Because a 4am wakeup call is looming on the horizon! And guess why? We are on a mission to find, observe, study, tag, and love whale sharks for the next two days!  Oh hell yes.  Stay tuned.

Massive love, Brock

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Subsurface Investigations

Lowandbehold rockandrollas!

I can see more clearly now. I have had an opportunity to dive beneath the bullshit that lives on the surface.  The truth of the matter is that the ocean has taken a massive hit.  A sucker punch straight to the neck.  But she is strong, she is gorgeous and proud, and with a little support and intervention, she can get back on her feet; with some active retaliation, she may be able to thrive again.  To regain her glory and her confidence.  It is essential...without her, were all goners.  Her fate will remain to be seen.., depending upon how many jump in to kick her when she is down, or how many jump in to come to her rescue.

I jumped in yesterday, and went scuba diving on an exxon/mobil oil rig out of southwest pass, offshore of Venice, Louisiana.  These rigs, aside from being the bastards that rape the ocean, also strangely enough, provide structure to create an artificial reef system.  Corals and barnacles attach to the pilings of the rig, and provide some habitat and shelter for the ecosystems of the Gulf.  This was the first time that I have dove in the Gulf of Mexico, and the first time that I have dove an oil rig, though I have well over 500 dives under my belt.  So truth is, I don't really have any thing in my repertoire to compare this dive to, nor a baseline to judge it against.  But I do have to say, that I was quite shocked at the amount of sea life swirling in and around the rig.  I half expected everything to be dead or dying.

The first 15-20 feet were a brackish murky green/brown layer of freshwater, as it sits on top of saltwater. Freshwater is less dense than saltwater, and therefore floats on top.  There is typically a layer of freshwater in this vicinity due to it's proximity to the Mississippi River.  This year in particular they released a lot more water out of the mouth of the Mississippi, to create a flushing effect, and push the oil back away from the shoreline and wetlands as much as possible. This is not without it's own set of problems. But I digress...  As always in this fiasco, there was a layer of surface shit to excavate, before the blinders come off.

Once beyond the 20 ft mark, I began to see the structure of the rig unfolding before me, and was immediately entranced by a blacktip reef shark. Most of you know that I have a real fond affinity for sharks!  Damn, it was good to see him!  I followed him as quickly as I could to a depth of about 70 ft, till Cap'n Al started banging on his tank to hail me back in.  I reluctantly turned around and made my way back up toward 50 ft.  We proceeded through the rigging and observed a good amount of fish life, a couple a barracudas, and ah! At last! A Kemp's Ridley sea turtle!  My first sighting in the gulf. She appeared to be healthy and was zooming around, looking cute as a button.

As it became time to surface we had to levitate through the shit layer to come back to the real world. I took a few moments on my safety stop to observe the sediment, and other strange detritus floating in the brackish layer.  I noticed traces of oil and some dispersant looming in the water table.  I felt a minor irritation on my skin, and surfaced with a small headache, but both quickly passed, and I feel fine. 

Cap'n Al and Scott Porter, both local hardcore divers, informed me that they typically would see a lot more turtles on this dive site, and that the sea life and reef have suffered a pretty large blow, but they are noticing a marked increase in water clarity.  ...If not water quality.  We took several samples of the water, and I am anxious to send them off for analysis.

Isn't it funny how I'm starting to sound more like a scientist, hanging out with these dudes all the time?!  Don't you worry!  I'll be back to my ol' swagger in no time, because my main homey Dr. Chris Pincetich, lead turtle biologist and organizer of this stage of the mission has got to return to Cali tomorrow and start applying his findings.  I'm gonna miss him alot.  I have learned a ton from him, and will carry the torch in his honor.

Thanks for listening.  Your support means everything to me.  Try to find new ways to use less fuel, and cut plastics out of your daily routine.  There is always an alternative, it may not be the most convenient, but it is worth it.  This is how we come to ma oceans rescue!

 ~ If we were logical, the future would be bleak, indeed. But we are more than logical. We are human beings, and we have faith, and we have hope, and we can work. ~ Jaques Cousteau
Everything worth anything lives beneath the surface.  

Love, Brock

Sent from my edge of the Revolution!

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Monday, August 23, 2010

What lies beneath?

Man oh man.  Well, we found oil out there guys.  But we didn't find any sea turtles. ...Yet.

As we left the mouth of the Mississippi river to head out into the gulf, we fell in behind a rather large cargo ship.  I'd say it's propeller was churning at a depth of about 20 feet.  Directly in it's wake was a trail of brown sludge that totally freaked all of us out.  The best explanation is that there was a pocket of subsurface oil that was being drawn up in the ships prop wash.  Wow!  Again, as always in this fiasco, there is something devastating hidden just beneath the surface layer. All it takes to reveal it, is a bit of churning, a bit of investigation.

A bit further out we ran across a frothy snot line of dispersed oil. It was really weird to behold, guys.  This is the stuff that will give me nightmares.  As I have told you before, the oil is toxic, the dispersant is toxic, but when combined the toxicity increases exponentially.  You may remember the video I posted earlier of the sample of seawater, crude oil, and dispersant exploding the test tube that contained it.  Combustible!  I wonder what it would do to the soft tissue surrounding a turtles mouth, or a dolphins blowhole?  Or Obama's kids?

Not to far away from this site, we encountered a pod of extremely friendly dolphins. The good news is they seemed quite healthy and happy.  I am really hoping they steer clear of the snot line!

Aside form the disappointment of not encountering a single sea turtle, the most devastating information came from a conversation with my main man, Cap'n Al Walker.  You may remember him the from earlier posts.., he was the dude that finally finagled the go ahead out of bp to assemble the turtle rescue navy. His plan was to start with five boats, and then ramp up to twenty.  As he embarked on this process, he was directed to interact with a makeshift board of directors and phd's.  They were placed in charge of the funding and resources that Al needed to make his mission possible.  Somehow they decided that the best use of these resources was to put together one boat comprised of the "right" people.  For fux sake, you already know my position on this!  We need every single possible boat in the water.  We need every pair of able hands getting dirty.  We need every mind working on possible solutions.  And we need everybody involved.  We need to do our best to find and rescue endangered wildlife.  Bad news is, it might be to late.  One boat?  Give me a break!

The good news is Capn Al's a scrapper, and he is not willing to give up without a fight.  He wants to take down the people that have impeded his attempts to save the lil dudes.  He wants to bring to light the willful murder of hundreds and hundreds of sea turtles. All because a board of directors didn't want to ration out and share the contracts and funding to make rescue viable.  He wants to sue these people so they can never be held as credible in a position like this again.  I'll tell you what, Ive got his back, and I hope you do too.  People like Al are the true coast guardians.  It doesn't take a blue uniform. Will you guard our coasts?  Pretty please?     

Mad love, Brock

Sent from my edge of the Revolution!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Back in the ring. Ding ding!

Top o the morning to you, amigos!

Well here I am, back in the saddle, riding down to Venice, Louisiana.  It has been a wild ride to get back down into the thick of things, but I made it, thanks to you guys! ...And the support of the yoga community at large. Awesome!  I really can't thank you enough for getting involved.  It is such an important time, as the media and the government tells us that the spill is over, all is well.  Move along.  (Cough, cough, bullshit.).

I promise to tell you the truth, and nothin' but the truth, as I see it.

I have been so lucky to make some fine alliances.  Team turtle now is comprised of oceanic ambassadors from all walks of life!  We have turtle biologists, boat captains, an airplane pilot, a navigation company, yogis, and activists.  Most importantly we have you!  

Yesterday, was my first opportunity to get back on the water.  We cruised Barataria Bay. I had an opportunity to see Pelican Isle, and the degradation of our fine feathered friends habitat.  I met a pod of super enthusiastic and sweet dolphins.  Luckily, they seemed pretty healthy. I got a chance to see oil in the marshlands, on the grasses and on the shoreline.  As we got in close to the barrier islands, the boat prop churned up some mud bottom, which also churned oil and brought it to the surface!  That was interesting to me, and this is our mission. Bringing the truth to light.

Today, we get to focus on the motivating factor of this mission.  We get to go offshore, and search for sea turtles!  Yes!  I have been waiting, for what feels like my entire life, for this day.  I'm excited!

I will let you know how it goes.  I'll send you some pictures and all that jazz later... but I just wanted to break radio silence, let you know I am back on the scene.  Wish me luck!  Time to get on the boat!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Well Played Chess Match.

Touché bp!

From their perspective, everything is working out perfectly. Not only have they got a cap on the well, but they have successfully capped all real information, imagery, upheaval, and unrest in the gulf. They have succeeded in doing this by calculating very intelligent moves, well thought out in advance, to throw dispersant on the story, and kill it before it spreads. Either that, or they are just damn lucky.

Their first order of business was to sneak a chemical dispersant past officials, and start dumping it directly into the ocean at an alarming rate. Btw, this chemical, Corexit, is manufactured in association with bp, but has been banned in the UK. They have stockpiles of it that they could not even use in many places. Somehow, they slid it past the EPA? Makes great financial sense for them to slather the gulf in it. This chemical effectively breaks up congealed crude oil on the surface, sinking it down into the water table, where it can not be seen, and has a greater tragic effect on all forms of life in the ocean. We know the effect of crude oil on wildlife and the environment, shabby to say the least. We do not however, know the outcome of crude mixed with this chemical. But here is a link to video of gulf seawater, including this mixture, exploding within a test tube!

This dispersant tactic is socially akin to the brilliant move of buying up every hotel room in the area. As I told you before, there are no vacancies anywhere near the ground zero sites of Venice, or Grand Isle, LA. People can not get close to get the scene, and bp wants to keep it that way. Another genius strategy was to drum up some bunk felony charges, $40,000 fine, a no fly ceiling of 3000ft, and media ban, to bury the story. Have you heard of anyone actually being arrested? No, because no one is even down here! It effectively scared everyone off the case, and to my knowledge no one has pushed it. Hell, it nearly scared me off as well. I half expected to be followed and questioned, and have my camera confiscated, and be involved in some cloak and dagger weirdness. Maybe I watch too many movies... But maybe we all do, because it is quieter than a graveyard down here. In the same vein, bp has commandeered nearly every boat and captain in the area and put them on the payroll, in a program called vessel of opportunity (VOO). Of course, this could be seen as kindness, seeing that the fisherman's jobs and livelihood have been ripped out from under them, and they have got to feed their families. An alternative way to view this, is that this action is an undercut to keep them fat and happy, and from making too much noise. Many of these dudes became fishermen in the first place so they would not have to answer to anyone, they could be their own boss, and live life on their own terms. Not so anymore. Making a paycheck, and afraid to rock the boat, because they might get kicked out of the handout line. Also, it prohibits people from getting out into the water, again effectively sealing the scene. You can not get a boat chartered to save your life, ...without paying a boatload of money. It is a logistical nightmare down here, and bp wants it that way.

We all know bp has deep pockets. They are throwing tons of money at the situation to keep it quiet.

What they don't want you to know...

The story has been drawn out long enough that people are starting to lose interest. bp wants to sweep it under the rug. I really hope that we do not allow them to do this. We are strong enough and have enough endurance to continue to stand for what is right. This is why we practice.

I love you guys, and I just thought you should know... These are my reflections from my time in the gulf. These, nor any other obstacle, will deter me from my mission to get into the water and rescue sea turtles. We have made massive headway on launching the Team Turtle Navy. We hope to have the operation underway within a couple of weeks.

I will be home on Thursday. I hope I get to see you! Please keep the fire alive. Continue to raise vibe, awareness, and if you can, even some dough. Talk it up, forward it on. Be a revolutionary.

Wanderlust next week! See many of you there!

Much love from the trenches, Brock

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Evolution of a Revolution

Hola from NOLA rocknrollas,

Progress report: turtle rescue mission.

It is coming along!  We started with, no chance in hell, moving on toward well maybe we can do a back alleyway undertheradar kind of mission,  evolving to at least, the sea shepherd boat will come in and kick the door down, and we can be on board with that... To finally, yes we can get some boats in the water and start rescuing turtles.  Our friend Cap'n Al Walker reported yesterday that he has gotten the go ahead to assemble turtle search and rescue teams, beginning with 5 boats, quickly ramping up to 20!  This is great news for Team Turtle!

We are raising a navy.

And this is due in large part to y'all. (I love saying that) Thank you so much for stepping up, making your voice heard, supporting the mission, and believing in action!  We have made a difference. Now it is time to get to work.

There has been so much red tape, smoke and mirrors, half truths, full out lies, and non action down here that I don't even know where to begin. I will fill you in on that later... For now, let's celebrate the small victory, regroup, raise some dough, and get in the water!

So much love to you all, and great heaps of gratitude!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Land of Confusion

Pardners, I gotta admit... I am a bit confused.

I mean, isn't the gulf oil spill the biggest ecological disaster of our time?  It is, that's a fact.  

I spent the day in Venice, Louisiana.  One of the areas hardest hit by this tragedy. Venice is world renown for off shore sport fishing. Of course their way of life down here will never be quite the same. The captains are out of work, for years at a minimum.  Only time will tell how the gulf will recover.

My confusion lies in the issue that not much of shit is happening down here. I mean, I just can't figure out what in the world is going on. There are three hotels in all of Venice, and they are booked solid. BP has commandeered all of the rooms in town, but at the marina's only restaurant, there were 8 people at the dinner rush.  It feels like a ghost town.

Granted, there is a whole army of police rolling around. Though by the looks of things, I can't be certain as to why?    

The boat captains have all been put on salary as part of BP's compensation package, and they get paid whether their boat leaves the dock or not, so much of the time they are forced to sit around the marina shootin the breeze.  Once in awhile they will get the call to ferry some BP dudes, or the coast guard fellows here or there. It is a bit of an insult to their skill set, and potentially harmful to their boats. But it is their new job. I gotta admit, some of them were stoked with their new digs, easy money, and guaranteed income.  ...For a finite period anyway. Many of these guys were worried that as BP got the cap on the well today, that they would start pulling out, and one of the first things they would cut would be the captains salaries. Can't say that I blame their suspicions!  

Let's just note that even if the leak is stopped, there will be plenty of work to be done around here. You think BP will step up and handle it?

More intrinsic to my mission was what I witnessed as far as wildlife rescue. Let me begin by telling you that it is a federal felony, carrying jail time and a $40,000 fine to handle any at risk wildlife with out a permit.  The only people that are being issued any permits are the fish and wildlife dept. Not marine biologists, scientists, zoologists, or any other highly qualified personnel. This is insane! And if qualified personnel were to be issued permits, the process takes two years! As far as I am concerned, we need every pair of possible and willing hands getting dirty, every pair of eyes scanning the sea, and every boat in the water to make rescues.  I talked with two girls today that have been volunteering for the audubon society by overseeing the transportation of recovered birds from the docks to the proper authorities. Thus far, in their three days of duty, they have seen three birds come in. One of them was alive.  I witnessed the other two today.  They were dead.  As the birds came in there was a chain of evidence paper trail to be filled out, but nobody really knew the proper procedure. It took four  peoples signatures to get the birds from the boat into the van for transport. One dude brought the birds from the boat, then some official guy with a radio had to verify that they were in fact birds, then the volunteer girls, and finally into the hands of the transport driver. Economy of energy?

Well I will say this... The lack of organization may just make it a lil bit easier to slip through the cracks.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mission: Challenging

But I would never say impossible!

Word, and greetings, Team Turtle! Well, here I am onboard an aircraft bound for New Orleans, perched on the edge of my seat, and the edge of the greatest undertaking of my life. In the last ten days we have managed to raise over $12,000 for the kurmalliance, operation: turtle rescue. I am so grateful to all those who have donated and spread the vibe of the project. This is a completely grass roots campaign supported by the yoga community at large, all over the country, and all over the world. Yogis have been donating generously from their own pockets, teachers have been rallying their troops, and studios have been holding fundraisers to raise awareness, as much as dough. I have been moved to tears several times as I have been reminded of the passion and dedication that the yoga community stands for. I mean, shit, it is what we practice every day.  It is brilliant to watch our practice move beyond the confines of the mat and into action!  Thank you yogis! Thank you so much. Yogactivism, baby! It is a beautiful thing. 

There have been a few major developments, which have caused a slight recalculation in the original plan. I am headed down now for a one week intelligence gathering mission; to collect stories,  information,  images, and footage. As we all know, it is hard to learn something until you truly experience it. I am hoping to lend you my eyes, my ears, and even my emotions over the course of this trip. Please stick with me on it. I don't think I can do it alone... There are going to be many obstacles in our path on this one guys. As you may or may not know, BP has effectively shut down the entire gulf to the public. There is a complete media ban in the area, and the only news that is now being leaked, are press releases from central command, and it's tributaries. Wonder how accurate they are?  Also, they have imposed a no fly zone over the gulf, and federal felony charges carrying a $40,000 fine for anyone caught within 65 feet of an oil boom, collection operation, or endangered wildlife. That is going to make my job a little tougher!

I have spent my whole life training to make impossible tasks merely challenging. Here we go!

As promised, I will hoist any information possible onto the Internet through new social media. This blog, facebook and twitter will be my smokesignals from the frontlines. Please, stay tuned! And even more importantly feel free to ...pssst, pass it on! We simply must keep this tragedy in our consciousness, as well as in our conversations. We simply must insist that this debacle begin to be handled with the gravity that is necessary. We must demand that our government get involved, balls deep, and not continue to let the criminal run the crime scene. BP has no interest in doing what is right for our people, for our wildlife, for our ocean, or our planet. For them it makes much more financial sense to cover their asses, and cover it up, to amortize the costs of the clean up over a twenty year period. That is the whole philosophy behind this chemical dispersant tactic. Please watch in the media as they start to spin the story, saying we've got it under control, there is a cap on the well, the oil is no longer on the surface, and we are working on clean up. This is a line of bullshit. First of all, the nondisclosed chemicals used in the dispersant are very much akin to napalm gas. They are being dumped at an (also) undisclosed rate into the gulf, then becoming aerosol, and traveling onshore with the winds.  Experienced first hand by Josh Tickell, documentary film maker (Fuel -which I highly urge you to see) and his crew as they approached the beach. At over 100 ft away, their eyes began to burn, and they all walked off the beach with some form of a skin rash. This is going to be massively toxic for all life forms. We must get them to cease and desist using this right away. Sign a petition, send a letter to your congressman, let the government know that we are not ok with this! The second issue in using these dispersants, is that it simply breaks down the oil that has congealed on the surface. Effectively sinking the oil down into the water table where it will be much harder to clean up, and honestly, much harder on all the life in the sea. But it will look better from a satellite picture!  Oh man. Shortcuts suck. We gotta do this right, and it is so obvious that it isn't going to be BP that gets it done. 

We still need to raise a boatload more dough to put the original project into motion.  Once we have acquired the boat, wildlife rescue training, and equipment that we need to get in to the water to save turtles, I promise that I will not stop fighting to do so. If you are moved to get involved, you and your crew can donate at

Revolution, Brock

Follow on Twitter @gravity_cowboy cowboy

Saturday, July 10, 2010

amigos!  word.

first i want to thank all of you guys so much for your support, your outreach efforts, your kind words, and your generous donations.  if there is a silver lining in all this mess, it is that the beauty of humanity shines through in times of darkness.  sometimes, it does take an earth shattering event to motivate us.  we all know what has been going down in the world over the last few decades, but now we see the effects of it first hand.  we say enough is enough!  it is time for us to take the power back, and i for one, am stoked for the revolution!  we all know that we need a separation of corporation and state.  our first great american revolution was due in part to separation of church and state.  this could be our second.  if you want it.  it is time for more than just the bottom line.  or at least the bottom line must include the survival of our children, of our species, and of our home.  aren't these as valuable as money?
uh oh... spilled.

as many of you know, kurma is the sanskrit word for turtle.  sanskrit is the ancient language of india, hinduism, and yoga.  roughly translated our project, kurmalliance, is yoga for the turtles!  beloved Kurma, is also the second avatar of Vishnu, who, in my humble opinion, is the coolest god in the hindu trinity.  he is the preserver,  the dude who comes to the rescue.  the dude we need now!  in an age old story, Vishnu comes in earthly form as Kurma, to save humanity, by hoisting a great mountain upon his shell, churning the seas, and distilling the elixir of life.  that was the first time the turtle saved the world.  the second is now.  the turtle is the totem of this revolution.  he is providing the motivation to get involved in the war, and fight for what is right.  he saves humanity once again!.. by getting us involved, recognizing that the nectar of life lies with the ocean, and if we continue to kill it, we will be faced with our own death and extinction.  oh mylanta!  wonder how they knew 5000 years ago that the turtle would play such a huge role in our potential evolution, or our possible extinction.

the turtle needs us now!

poor lil dude!  there are more out there, waiting to be rescued.

we have made alot of progress in the last week.  our good friends at the insights foundation have offered us an umbrella, so that we can partner through their non profit organization, and your donations are tax deductible! you can send a check made out to insights foundation, and in the memo line please write kurmalliance- turtle rescue.  you can mail it to:

brock cahill
1529 1/2 andalusia ave.
venice ca, 90291

if you prefer to donate online, easy...

i have also aligned with a brass balls crew... set to document, and distribute all of the information that we uncover as we are on the mission.  it will be a wild ride.  stay tuned.
we will hoist all information up on the web as possible.

the whole purpose of this mission, is that we are up in arms at the debacle this catastrophe has become.  we believe in the power of individuals to make a difference.  we want to get involved!  and we dont feel like making a donation to some organization... where you never know where the money ends up, you never see any real action, and you forget all about it once you have signed your check.  we want you on board.  we want your support, and we want you to stay engaged.  i promise to do my best to assure that.  this is our army for peace, and evolution.  i know that the turtle rescue mission is not going to stop the spill, but i believe that it is a catalyst to doing so.  by getting involved, and getting you involved.

our plan remains the same:  get to the gulf, get a boat, and get to work saving turtles.

"when the people lead, the leaders will follow."  ghandi

i have attached our official funding request.  it is much more professional, than me.., your highly motivated local yogi, that has had enough of this shit, and cant digest another spoonful.  have a look at it.  it is poignant!

much love from the trenches!    -brock

ps: if you'd like some background info on how this project was hatched, and would like to read the original mission statement...!/event.php?eid=129234927115240&index=1

Friday, July 9, 2010

the new gulf war
operation: start with the turtles, stop the spill.

i know we are all sickened and saddened by this catastrophe in the gulf, and how it has been handled.

man alive, huh? now, check this out...

my name is brock cahill. i am an avid lover of the sea and all its creatures. i must admit, i do have a special and fond affinity for sea turtles. they are such beautiful, serene, and graceful animals. if you have ever swam with one, you know what chillers they are.

the unfortunate truth is that many species of sea turtles are endangered. their numbers have dwindled tremendously over the last century, but most especially in the last 50 years. one of our lil buddies in the most grave of danger is the kemp's ridley turtle. in 1947 40,000 ridley nests were counted on a single beach in mexico. by 1985 the number of nests had dwindled to less than 200. more recently the number of nesting females has climbed back upward toward 6000. great news! but a long way from a full recovery.

enter bp and the deepwater horizon oil spill... so far the turtle death toll has reached 407, and that is just the corpses that have washed up on the beaches. this is a massive percent of the population. the kemp's ridleys follow their annual migration to the same beach in mexico every year. guess what, it leads directly past the deepwater horizon site. many lil dudes are getting caught in the oil as they come up to surface for breath. once fouled by the oil they cant swim and are trapped. bp is now towing collection booms behind fishing trawlers to wrangle oil on the surface, and once collected, burn the oil to get rid of it. i wonder what else they are burning in that mass of collected oil? ...oh shit. you got it. juvenile kemp's ridley turtles, amongst a plethora of other sea creatures, including pelicans and other sea birds, fish and anything that gets fouled on the surface of the oil. burning them alive! here is the kicker... it is in bp's best financial interest to burn the evidence, as there is a mandatory fine of up to $50,000 that they will be liable for, for every turtle killed. there have been a few organizations out in the water trying to make rescues for these turtles, and bp will not let them near where they need to go. they have had some successes on the periphery of the spill, reaching some of the turtles and getting them cleaned transported back to the audubon aquarium in new orleans and nursed back toward health. but of course no one is being allowed near the collection booms, or the burns! hmm. wonder why..? this is not okay with me. not for a single frickin second! this is when my mission became clear. i simply can not sit by and watch this happen. im not the kind of guy that is going to let bp get away with this, at least not without having a severe problem with me.

my plan is to head down to louisiana, get a boat, and get to work saving turtles. i am a strong individual, both in will, and physical nature, and i tend not to let impossible obstacles stay in my path. my work ethic helps me turn impossibilities into mere challenges. i am not afraid of hard work, my only fears lie in letting this go down without a fight; without standing up for what is right. we cant go down like this. oh man, the gulf, my beloved caribbean, the entire ocean..? the integrity of our humanity, as well as our planet and home depend on our action now, more than ever. of course my mission is to save the turtles, but my real motivation lives in creating enough political outrage, enough social unrest, that we as a public, force the government into action. i cant sit around and talk about it. i'm hoping this story, and my example will light a fire under the ass of the nation, and the world, to get this spill stopped now. it is so urgent, and i dont feel as though the magnitude of this urgency has been comprehended. there are ideas on how to fix this, to stop the leak, and i am hoping that we as a people will not rest until we have exhausted every single possibility and come up with a solution. i know at times it feels helpless, but we must keep it on the tip of our consciousness, keep talking about it, keep brainstorming, and finding things that we can do as individuals to point our energies in the right direction. to fight the good fight.

so... the details of my mission are, that i hope to travel to the gulf for one month, to see how much i can accomplish, and then reassess. to put the plan into action, my target is that i will need to raise about $100,000. this will include a minimal travel & living expense as well as charter for boat, captain and crew. no small chunk of change, especially when the outcome is so uncertain. but... if i can save 33 turtles, the price tag looks manageable at $3k per turtle saved! that might be optimistic, it might be easy. not sure, and really hard to say until i get down there. the reason for this is that no accurate or trustworthy information has been funneled back to our communities. thorough my network, and new social media, i know i can get information out to people, and i wont rest until i do, so folks can really see what is going on down there. as i said before, my hope is that this will ignite a whole new army of activism.

this is really a grass roots effort. i believe that our community can pull this off. it is massive, but we have to get involved. here is a good first step! please, pass this around, if you know of any organizations or individuals or businesses that may want to help with donations or grants, could you talk it up to them? i got 5 days to raise the dough. i know you want to help, so lets do it together. if you are a yoga studio, perhaps you could throw a fundraiser or something? is there a chance that some of the yoga community businesses might donate? if you are a yoga teacher you could ignite your communities and rally the troops! etc...
get in touch with me if you have ideas.

i hope to leave on the 4th of july. that's sunday. time is of the essence!

please help. please get involved. we all have our part to play in this revolution. find yours! and maybe help me with mine?

you may want to take a look at this video link. this is mike ellis. he is my boat captain, and we will make a difference.