Megalodon Cafe sets course for Ocean Shore’s Oceans411

This chalk drawing by Ocean Shore parent Julie Stock, done to size, looms from an Ocean Shore bulletin board and it represents the dorsal fin of the giant prehistoric shark, the megalodon. – Jean Bartlett/Pacifica Tribune


Recently, Ocean Shore Elementary students stepped back into time as they entered the parent-run Megalodon Cafe. A cafe runs every year to give students a “taste” of the school’s theme for the year’s Oceans411 event.

Formerly known as Oceans Week, Oceans411 is the school’s signature week-long program which provides students with an immersive learning experience — via small group instruction, field trips, research, presentations and hands-on activities — to gain knowledge and respect, and to cultivate stewardship for our marine environment. The “week,” which arrives after a year of prep, takes place in May and runs on a seven-year theme cycle. This year’s theme is Sharks and Prehistoric Seas. The other themes are: Coral Reefs, Deep Ocean, Marine Mammals, Polar Seas, Wave Zone and Wetlands.

Read more

Oceans Week grants provide a plethora of study

Back row, Teacher Sophie Korn, Principal Joseph Funk, Teacher Sheila Gamble-Dorn, Chip Rich and Eric Pleschner from Charles A Becker Foundation. Front row, Teacher Jennifer Mitchell, Vice Principal Seva Steel, Students Lauren DeVry, Percie Littlewood, Tyler Rosen, Mikaeli Escobedo, and Lucy Rich.

Photo by Jane Northrop


In a school filled with creative projects all year long, one stands out for its uniqueness and theme-based learning that inspires older students to be leaders – Oceans Week at Ocean Shore School. It’s not just a week. Oceans Week studies last all year in one way or another and span all the academic subjects. During one week at the end of the school year, though, all students devote themselves to a different theme study every year.

Read more

The Balclutha Report

By Donna Fentanes, on behalf of First Mate, Mr. Long |

Ocean Shore School students joining the crew of the Balclutha are (l-r) Stevedore Crew: Mate Eleanor Jonas, Zoe Kapp, Owen McIntosh and Ethan Titley, Tall Sailor Gus Gramling; Deckhand Crew: Mate Ashley Yoshii, Natalie Martinez, Eloisa Fentanes, and Maximo Marcelino, Tall Sailor Dana Jonas; Boat Crew: Mate Emily Yoshii, Eamonn Likens, Thanea Bobis, Nina Mayne and Emiliano Olsen, Tall Sailor Joby Deal; Rigger Crew: Mate J.C. Bobis, Mason Deal, Sophia Woehl, Simone Gramling and Devon Siu-Spaziani, Tall Sailor Joel McIntosh; Bosun Crew: Mate Ella Ryan, Allen Forte, Max Aylward and Caleb Sun, Tall Sailor Kim Yoshii. Onion and Capt. Long in forefront. Teacher Jeanne Bellinger between TS Gramling and TS Jonas.
Photo by Donna Fentanes


Captain Olson, Sir,

The following is my report on the crews commissioned by the Balclutha on Sunday, 23 October until sunrise 24 October. As always, Sir, I am disappointed with these crews upon first inspection. These scalawags were gleaned from the quaint Ocean Shore School in Pacifica, no doubt soft on discipline, and arrived at San Francisco’s Hyde Street Pier 1300 23 October. These rascally rapscallions were not prepared for the tasks that the honorable crews of the Balclutha have traditionally performed.

These lazy loafers made their way up the gangplank as slow as molasses. If it were not for my booming voice and hard-handed approach, this lot of miscreants would not have achieved the success they did. I confess I was flabbergasted with the remarkable fortitude these crews exhibited. Even when the nimble knave second mate, Swift, tried to lead them astray, they stayed faithful to you, Sir, yes sir, Sir, and resisted the temptation to gamble or murmur. That reprobate, Swifty, was right readily removed, and if he remains unrepentant, he will end up in Davy Jones’ locker.

Nonetheless, our jolly mates cheered when Onion Peel, formerly known as Onion, took over second mate duties. Onion Peel and her faithful, Stumpy, proved to be the right man for the job in leading these crews to certification. I commend the crews from the 7th Grade Ocean Shore Class for their ability to adapt to changing circumstances, to work hard, to follow instructions and to band together for the good of the Balclutha and her beloved captain, Sir, yes sir, Sir.

The following crews shall be commended for their tasks:

The Deckhand crew, ably led by Mate Ashley, not only successfully raised the ensign, but assisted in scrubbing the decks and cleaning after supper. Kudos to Natalie Martinez, Maximo Marcelino and Eloisa Fentanes.

The Bosun Crew was most handily lead by Mate Ella with most impressive assistance from Max Aylward, Allen Forte and Caleb Sun. Their swift learning of the ropes was just what we needed from a Bosun crew, Sir, yes sir, Sir.

The Rigger Crew, under your kind tutelage, Sir, superbly learned the rigs and was successful in raising the Bosun’s Chair. Mate J.C., as you know, Sir, yes sir, Sir, commandeered the Rigger crew to competency and your instruction was not in vain. Simone Gramling, Sophia Woehl, Mason Deal and Devon Siu-Spaziani are hands down the best rigger crew we’ve seen in years, Sir.

Although Swifty proved to be unworthy of the Balclutha, his efforts with the Boat Crew shall not go unnoticed. Ably led by Mate Emily, Swifty ran through all the tasks to fit them for a fine Boat Crew. Eamonn Likens, Thanea Bobis, Nina Mayne and Emil Olsen certainly won their certification for their whole-heartedness attitude to their tasks.

Finally, under the lovely hand of our Miss Onion Peel, the Stevedore Crew, headed by Mate Eleanor, not only thoroughly cleaned our decks, but prepared sumptuous meals which were enjoyed by all. Commendations to Zoe Kapp, Owen McIntosh and Ethan Titley.

No successful crew certification would be reported without the quiet help of our Tall Sailors. Although at times they were a little mischievous, their steadfast patience, call of duty and stoic servitude should be commended. Tall Sailors Joby Deal, Kim Yoshii, Joel McIntosh, Dana Jonas and Gus Gramling are fine mates and are welcome back to the Balclutha anytime.

Sir, we owe Teacher Jeanne a great deal of gratitude for providing a competent crew for the Balclutha. As always, Sir, it is an honor to be your first mate.

By Historian Fentanes, on behalf of First Mate, Mr. Long.


The 411 on Ocean Shore School’s Oceans Week

More than 25 years ago, Penny Keating was a parent in the Alternative School (now Ocean Shore). The school was founded on the premise that a partnership between parents and educators allowed for an enriched, experiential education through hands-on learning, special projects, small group instruction and frequent field trips for students. Keating, a member of Pacifica’s longtime and legendary surfing family, gave the school Oceans Week.

“At that time, the Alternative School was located at Cabrillo, so we could walk to the beach,” said Sheila Gamble-Dorn, then a parent with the school and now a third grade teacher with Ocean Shore. “The whole impetus behind Oceans Week, now Oceans 411, was that kids really need to know and learn about the ocean that they live next to. When our school moved to Sharp Park, we brought Oceans Week with us.”

Read more