Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always been drawn to the water. There’s something special about floating in liquid that’s almost indescribable. We begin to understand the relief of gravity and that feeling of weightlessness when in a body of water. Everyone who enters the ocean will feel these sensations to some extent, regardless of whether they are young, old, snorkeling, freediving, surfing, or just floating. And if you don’t feel it, maybe you’re not as in touch with your emotions as you think 😉
The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”― Jacques Cousteau
There’s a reason that my mind always finds its way to this quote when I think about the ocean and the way it makes me feel. The ocean is a mystical place full of wonder and life beyond our wildest imaginations. It’s a place where we lose our sense of gravity and are submerged into another world where time seems to slow down. As humans, we spend most of our time on land bogged down by gravity, but in the ocean, we are weightless and free. Beneath the surface, we find peace, tranquility, and purpose. Beneath the surface we find perspective.
The magic of the ocean
I’ve had some surreal experiences in the ocean throughout my life. I have swum with humpback whales, sharks, oceanic manta rays, turtles, and dolphins; I’ve laid on the ocean floor at 80 ft and watched the light dance on the surface above me; I fed my family fresh fish and lobster for dinner; I’ve surfed perfect waves until I’ve cried tears of joy. All of these incredible experiences have shown me how amazing the ocean is and have instilled in me this sense of awe and wonder of the deep blue. With all that said, even a simple quick dip in the water is enough to replenish my soul and bring me that perspective.
I document the ocean and its life in hopes that those who do not have the ability or means to have these experiences can still understand how magnificent it is and how important it is for us to take care of it.
Thinking beyond World Oceans Day
Every day should be World Oceans Day. Every day should be Earth Day. We need to go beyond celebrating and recognizing things on only one day a year and internalize it into who we are and how we live our lives. The oceans cover about 71% of our planet’s surface and are home to more creatures than you can ever imagine – some still yet to be discovered. Yet, every day we still pollute it with garbage and single-use plastic. Every day we dump oil and toxic liquids into the ocean. Why? Because it’s cheaper and easier than doing the right thing. We are privileged to be able to call this beautiful planet home, and it is our duty and responsibility to not destroy it – both in memory of our ancestors and for future generations.
Be part of the sea change
If you care about the ocean, there are many ways to help. Start by educating yourself about the many threats facing our oceans, from acidification to fishery collapse and garbage patches the size of Texas. Remember that your individual actions have a downstream effect, but the greatest way to create real change is by inspiring others and voting for leaders who will fight for change at the government level.
Get involved in a local nonprofit. Surfrider Foundation, Oceana and Save the Waves are three organizations working to protect the oceans from harm. Write or call your representative. Sign petitions. Support brands who are taking action. Educate your friends and family and encourage them to vote for the planet, too.
The oceans need our help. It’s up to each of us to care for this beautiful planet. How will you be the change you wish to see in the world?