Join Us Aboard our Newest 90′ Yacht – Wed 10-10-12


Join Us for a Free Event Wed 10-10-12 starting at 5:30 pm

Attention San Diego Funeral Directors:

We have been given the go- ahead to invite our colleagues to the Open-House event on our beautiful 90′ yacht – available now to serve your family groups of up to 130 for attended scatterings at sea. 

This is great news for families, since we are able to offer this yacht at a significantly lower cost than the other big name yachts in San Diego Harbor…

FREE: There is no cost for this event, but space is limited.
The event is on-board, but we’ll be dockside, serving food catered by Buckboard Catering. There will be drinks as well as beer provided by Coronado Brewery.You are going to LOVE this boat! Join us and we’ll give you a personal tour 🙂

WHEN: Wednesday Evening October 10, 2012 starting at 5:30 p.m.
WHERE:  San Diego Harbor – We will email you directions and more details after your RSVP.

Please email or call Anya or Ken 619-520-9550 as soon as possible if you would like to attend! We will have to close the guest list when it reached 30 as there will be other attendees invited by the Yacht owner.

You can also RSVP on Facebook: Or request an invite via Evite.


Biodegradable Urns Now Legal Off California Coast


Until June 25, 2012, it was “officially” illegal to use a biodegradable urn, as a method for dispersing human ashes (cremains) at sea. Existing law required that cremated remains be removed from their container before scattering. This obviously applied to non-dissolving urns, such as the hard plastic or “temporary” urns, metal, or other permanent urns, but, as it was written, also applied to ANY container, even those that would dissolve over time.

The old law presented a number of problems for families as well as funeral homes. Funeral Homes regularly purchased biodegradable urns from reputable companies, such as Passages International, and sold them to families planning on carrying out a memorial at sea off the California Coast. No one was really clear on how far-reaching the law was. Even the State was not enforcing the law as it applied to biodegradable urns – although still stating emphatically that it was illegal. When burial at sea companies were presented with such urns, it presented a moral dilemma: Would they refuse to allow the family to carry out their wishes? Would they, according to the strict application of the law, open the urn at the place of disposition, pour the ashes out, and return the urn to the family? Most did neither, and just allowed the memorial to take place, feeling it was the right thing to do, and why cause any more grief to the family?

Finally, California modified the law, effective June 25, 2012, excluding biodegradable urns from the containers that had to be opened up. The law was signed by Governor Brown on July 10, 2012. This makes sense on many levels! The original law was written before biodegradable urns were so popular. The law was not created with bio urns in mind. Many bio urns are designed to be ocean friendly. Using a biodegradable urn as it is designed to be used presents no major differences than opening a container and pouring the cremains out. Another benefit is that it prevents the often-feared “ashes blowing back on the family” scenario. Also, the law will (hopefully) help to prevent other urns sold as biodegradable, but not quite, from washing up on shore and being found by beach-goers, surfers, and swimmers.

Now, new questions arise: What kind of urns qualify under the new law? Are there any specific methods that must be followed?

The urns pictured here qualify under the new law, which requires the urn dissolve within a certain amount of time.

Other notable changes: The ashes must be transferred no more than seven days prior to placement at sea. How this would ever be enforced is left to your imagination. The industry has always called these containers “biodegradable urns” or “bio urns.” The law calls them “scattering urns.” “Scattering urn” is described as “a closed container containing cremated remains that will dissolve and release its contents within four hours of being placed at sea.”

The exact text of AB 1777 can be found here. The Bill was introduced by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, CPA who wanted family members to have more peace of mind that their loved ones were being properly “disposed.”

“AB 1777 will protect the remains of loved ones from being stranded in a vulnerable container and most importantly, it will ensure that they are peacefully laid to rest in a manner that is not only lawful, but safe for the environment.” –  Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, CPA

Read more about Ma’s bill here.

Ashes on the Sea applauds this change as it relates to forward thinking in the funeral industry. Almost half of those who die will choose cremation. Laws relating to post-cremation choices thus need to be looked at and addressed on a continuing basis.

Your thoughts?

When Celebrations Are Painful, Not Joyful


Celebrating Events Without Our Loved Ones

Holidays and other life celebrations can bring on new waves of grief, even when you feel that your healing has been going well for some time. Now is a good time to prepare yourself. Here are some tips for those enduring grief and for those who want to help.

Face it, don’t fear it or fake it:

  • If you try to push the pain out of the way, by ignoring it, by over-drinking, or otherwise masking it, you will make things worse. Instead, try talking to a close friend or other family member. Voicing your pain gets it out of your head.
  • Create traditions that help you remember your loved one in happy times. Craft projects, digital projects, that utilize photos, videos, and other items are a meaningful and productive way to grieve. This is an especially good idea when assisting children grieve in a healthy way.
  • Get professional help when needed.

Do You Know Someone Who Might Be Affected by Holiday Grief?

Check in on neighbors, friends, or family who may be at risk for Holiday grief, especially if this is the first year an event will be celebrated without their loved one. Wedding Anniversaries are other occasions that can be difficult to bear – also the anniversary of the death. It is easy to forget these dates, but be assured, your friend, family member or neighbor will wake up knowing what day it is. Why not put these important dates in your calendar now?

I Don’t Know What To Say or Give

You do not need to “know what to say.” Just making your presence available will help the grieving one know that he or she is not alone…

Gifts That Keep Giving

Never before in history have we seen such a diversity of remembrance items that you can either make or purchase that say “I still love you and you are not forgotten.”

For example, some choose “living gifts” like trees and seeds that grow and have meaning for years to come. When you send someone a New Growth Tree Gift Box, the experience begins when they receive the specially-designed package, and open it to reveal your personal message and a beautiful living tree.

Please visit the Grief and Healing section of our website for more information.


Here is a recent article by LiveStrong on the subject for more information:

Pin This: AARP “Dealing With Grief During the Holidays

Follow Ashes on the Sea Burial at Sea Services’s board Grief & Healing on Pinterest.

Bud’s Last Fishing Trip


Every once in a while we receive a very specific request. Bud’s final wishes were for his ashes to be scattered at his favorite fishing spot, Alijos Rocks. Alijos Rocks is located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of lower Baja California – a several day journey by boat from San Diego, California, our home port. Surely this would be an expensive trip for the family, and not very comfortable. We made a few phone calls, however, and soon Bud was on his way…

It turns out that Bud has gone fishing on a long range fishing vessel departing out of San Diego Harbor – the Red Rooster III. The Charter Master offered to take Bud out on their next trip to Alijos Rocks. He suggested we even send along a photo and they would post it on the information board so that everyone could remember Bud on the trip. They even offered to take a few photos and send them via email when they returned.

The captain, crew, and charter master, Sonny, of the Red Rooster III could not have been more accommodating for this request. We placed Bud’s ashes (cremains) inside a biodegradable urn, gave a laminated photo to the Charter Master, Sonny, and said goodbye to Bud on September 30, 2011 as the Red Rooster III left the dock.

Dorado and Bud

Paying Tribute to Bud via Dorado (Mahi Mahi)

The email we received when the Red Rooster III returned was a great tribute to Bud. We cannot thank the captain, Charter Master, crew, and fishermen on board the trip enough for helping this family fulfill Bud’s last wishes.

Fishing Trip Honors Bud

The Whole Fishing Trip Pays Honor to Bud

Here’s the letter we received from Sonny on the Red Rooster III:

We decided to place Bud’s ashes at the  “23 Fathom Spot”.

Lat: 25 14.2011  Lon: 112 49.0020. 10/3/2011 @ 8am. We all stopped fishing to have a moment of silence for a fellow fisherman named “Bud”. I showed everyone his picture and then told them what an honor it was to help Bud go where the fish were biting. We all knew he was happy at this spot and said good bye. Fishing was epic after the service.(Over 175 yellowtail,20 tuna, and 75 dorado after the service!) We kept his picture in the galley for the day to remind us he was still fishing too. Thanks for letting me be of service. Sonny

No, Sonny, we thank YOU!

Ken & Anya Shortridge
Ashes on the Sea

Sometimes “thank you” is too good not to be shared


We received the following email from a family whom we served in January 2011 out of our Dana Point, California location. It is sometimes hard to know if we are doing too little or too much on services. We so appreciate getting letters like this one…


Hello Crystal,

I am writing to thank your company for the professional, courteous, and respectful service that each of the ship crew provided during the commitment services for my father and grandmother on the morning of January 08, 2011.

Although her name escapes me, I want to express my most heartfelt thanks to the young lady who served as a facilitator on the boat that morning. She was a pleasant and welcome presence, who brought much peace of mind and spirit to us as we prepared for the ceremony. Her ability to establish and carry gentle, at times humorous, and open conversation with people who were still reeling from a loss, as well as her willingness to be so helpful in providing gentle and concise instructions on the commitment ceremony, while preserving respect for the remains of the deceased were very comforting.

I hope that everyone who requires your company’s services has as great an experience as we were so blessed and fortunate to have had.

Thank you, and may God bless you and your staff with all of the good fortune you deserve for providing such great services to those in need.


J. I. B.

(By the way, the facilitator on the service this day was our very own Melissa…)


Welcome to Ashes on the Sea’s Official Blog


Ashes on the Sea Logo

Welcome to our new blog.

Get to know more about us:

With so many topics to discuss in our industry, we hope to share more on inspiring stories of the folks we meet in our business. Less on procedures and processes. More meaningful photo and video content. Less “we’re great” and more here’s why

We would like to invite you to share with us what you would enjoy seeing here. We welcome your input…

Warm Regards,