Saturday, June 24 , 2017, 7:25 pm | Fair 67º

 
 
 
 

Judy Foreman: Christian Beamish Sees an Ocean of Opportunity All Around Him

Carpinteria waterman and author of The Voyage of the Cormorant headlines Santa Barbara Channelkeeper fundraiser

Carpinteria resident Christian Beamish will be the keynote speaker at Santa Barbara Channelkeeper’s 16th annual Blue Water Ball on Saturday. “I’ve always looked at the hills here in California and the ocean, and felt compelled to go out there, into that open space, and see what’s there,” he says. Click to view larger
Carpinteria resident Christian Beamish will be the keynote speaker at Santa Barbara Channelkeeper’s 16th annual Blue Water Ball on Saturday. “I’ve always looked at the hills here in California and the ocean, and felt compelled to go out there, into that open space, and see what’s there,” he says. (www.christianbeamish.com photo)

Every spring, my mailbox is flooded with invitations from some of our community’s most important nonprofit organizations. One of the best, but maybe less well known, is Santa Barbara Channelkeeper.

Founded in 1999, it’s a grassroots group that takes action to protect and preserve our oceans, beaches and marine life, and advocates for clean water — for today and for tomorrow.

Channelkeeper will be holding its 16th annual Blue Water Ball on April 16 in the beautiful rotunda at Deckers Brands in Goleta. The keynote speaker each year is always much-anticipated. Past speakers have included Robert Kennedy Jr.Yvon Chouinard and Wallace “J.” Nichols.

This year’s keynote address will be given by Christian Beamish, a Carpinteria resident, surfboard shaper, big-wave rider and boat builder.

He’s also the author of The Voyage of the Cormorant, which chronicles his solitary quest for surf along the coast of Baja in an 18-foot sailboat he built in his garage. Now, he’s building a new 27-foot sailboat with a cabin to accommodate his family for future aquatic adventures.

The father of two young children, Beamish and his wife, Natasha Elliott, a landscape designer, relocated to the Central Coast two years ago to be closer to grandparents. 

Beamish has lived up and down the coast of California, from Newport Beach and San Clemente to Santa Cruz, where he received a BA in literature and creative writing from UC Santa Cruz.

He went on to earn a master’s degree from San Francisco State University in 2001. He’s a contributing writer to The Surfer’s Journal and SURFER Magazine and to Patagonia’s weblog, The Cleanest Line.

Every morning after he gets his kids off to school, Beamish checks the ocean conditions at Linden Avenue. If he has an open day, he rolls the Cormorant into the water at the Carpinteria boat launch.

“I’ve always looked at the hills here in California and the ocean, and felt compelled to go out there, into that open space, and see what’s there,” he told Noozhawk.

“When we finally go, on foot or by boat, we see the ocean, like the hills, is made up of specific places — a stand of oaks, or current line, a deep pool in a creek or a cover anchorage.”

Beamish credits world champion surfer and motivational speaker Shaun Tomson — “one of the first people I met in this area” — with introducing him to the work of Channelkeeper.

“This organization truly understands the connectedness of the watershed and the open sea all the way to the incomparable islands offshore,” he said.

Christian Beamish navigates the Cormorant, an 18-foot sailboat he built in his garage. He wrote a book, The Voyage of the Cormorant, about his adventure sailing the coast of Baja in search of surfing hot spots. Click to view larger
Christian Beamish navigates the Cormorant, an 18-foot sailboat he built in his garage. He wrote a book, The Voyage of the Cormorant, about his adventure sailing the coast of Baja in search of surfing hot spots. (www.christianbeamish.com photo)

He says he likes the idea that the Blue Water Ball raises funds to help protect the Santa Barbara Channel.

“The work reflects my values by helping ensure our water system is safe and habitable for people and marine life,” he said.

“For those of us who are lucky enough to call Santa Barbara home, their work ensures it will remain one of the most beautiful coastal communities on earth.”

The Blue Water Ball promises good energy, delicious food and lively music, including an impressive array of auction items, from local food and wine resources, beauty and adventure experiences, and a selection of merchandise from water-loving companies like Patagonia, O’Neill, Toad&Co and the Santa Barbara Sailing Center.

The gala is almost sold out, but names will be accepted for the waiting list until noon Monday. For more information, call Morgan Coffey at 805.563.3377 x2.

Click here for more information about Santa Barbara Channelkeeper. Click here to make an online donation.

— Judy Foreman is a Noozhawk columnist and longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >