Humpbacks Give Kayaker a Close-Up Encounter Off Santa Cruz

Whales Breaching by Kayaker in Santa Cruz

Local Santa Cruz photographer Paul Schraub, on assignment for the Santa Cruz County Convention and Visitors Council, captured this photo of spy hopping whales in the Monterey Bay on Tuesday. (Paul Schraub/Santa Cruz County CVC)

While working on a new marketing campaign Tuesday, a photographer for the Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council captured this amazing image.

Paul Schraub was off the Seabright State Beach shoreline when he shot the photo of two humpback whales breaching next to a kayaker.

Christina Glynn explained, “The photo shoot was commissioned to bring attention to Santa Cruz as a unique location for meetings, retreats and the conference market.” Whale watching is just one of the unique opportunities available when booking your next event within such a biodiverse ecosystem as the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary. Schraub was aboard a small boat operated by Pacific Yachting and Sailing out of the Santa Cruz harbor.

Whales have been observed being particularly active in the past week feeding on an abundance of anchovies off the coast.

Artists’ Studio Tour Weekend in Santa Ynez Valley

November 18-20, 2011

Kick-off reception on 11/18/11 at the Wildling Art Museum;
Tour 30 Artists’ Studios on 11/19-20/11

The Wildling Art Museum invites the public to spend the weekend of November 18-20, 2011, in the heart of the Santa Barbara County’s wine country, touring the unique and private studios of 30 area artists. The 7th annual Santa Ynez Valley Artists’ Studio Tour begins on Friday with a kick-off reception at the Wildling Art Museum in Los Olivos from 5:00-7:00 p.m. to get acquainted with all the artists, see examples of their work in the Barbara Goodall Gallery, enjoy local wines plus beer tasting from Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company and pick up the official event packet (pass, map, artists’ postcards).

Artists Participating in the 2011 Santa Ynez Valley Studio Tour reflect all genres and media—from watercolors to oils to acrylics to mixed media and sculpture to metals and jewels:
Donna AndereggWesley AndereggMike BradyBill CatesGwen CatesSarah ChamberlinJames ClelandVirginia Cooper dba VergiliaJim FarnumRebecca GomezMichelle GriffoulRon Guthrie • Suzan Hamilton-ToddChris HansenGene Inglis-WardJoseph KnowlesMike MagrillJamie McConnell • Teresa McNeil MacLeanZoë NathanRise Delmar OchsnerLarry R. RankinRichard RicePat RobertsJane SchwarzwalterBud TullisC. WoodNancy YakiSeyburn ZorthianPamela Zwehl-Burke

In addition to seeing their studio spaces, artists will have work for sale, with 20% of the proceeds going to support the Wildling Art Museum. More details here.

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Pairings in Paso: JK Wine’s Viognier and Artisan’s Shrimp

by Tina Swithin, Travel Paso Robles Alliance

“All four elements were happening in equal measure – the cuisine, the wine, the service, and the overall ambience. It taught me that dining could happen at a spiritual level” – Charles Trotter.

Katin_07viognierThe 2011 Sunset Savor the Central Coast embodied all of these things: fabulous wine, cuisine, people and ambiance.  I am left reminiscing about the delicious food and phenomenal wine that I was lucky enough to partake in.  I am also left remembering the new friends that I made through this event.  One such person was Justin Kahler, Winemaker at JK Wine Company who introduced me to a fabulous Viognier which I am excited to share with you.

Traditionally, when “pairing”, you select a dish and then choose a wine to compliment the dish.  Sometimes, I like to do things unconventionally.  I’m going to go out on a limb and be completely honest: I don’t like to follow rules.  Wine should be fun and food & wine pairing should be a delightful experience.  It only took a few “tastes” of Justin Kahler’s 2009 Viognier for me to select it as the October Pairings in Paso.  You can imagine my delight when Justin presented me with a recipe which turned out to be a dish from one of my favorite Paso Robles restaurants: Artisan. Serendipity at its most delicious.  Continue reading