Photo by John Krzesinski.

I am looking out at a gorgeous kelp-filled cove on the Northern California coast. Waves crash on jagged rocks, quarrelsome seabirds swoop and dive over the foam, and the tidepools around me teem with anemones, crabs, and tiny, tiny fish. This place appears as wild and pristine as any spot on the American seashore.

Until I look down at my feet. Because I am standing on an engine block.