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Learning From Another Species

At the beginning of this month, I was fortunate to travel to Belize and go on my first ever “live aboard” on the Aggressor 3. For those of you who don’t know what a live aboard, is-it’s basically scuba diving camp! You are on a boat with about 18 other people and have the opportunity to do up to 5 dives a day. It’s not a typical cruise. Pretty basic and for those of you who need drinks, dancing and comedy, not the place to be. But if you want to experience the deep and appreciate how wonderful the world is, this may be for you. I really don’t know much about diving for persons with disabilities but if you are reading this and can share about your experiences, I would love to hear about them.

I'm not a big swimmer, having only learned how to in order to graduate Penn State! But thanks to Jagger, our oldest son who volunteered planting coral in 2017, learning to dive was my 2018 resolution. So, Craig, Jagger and I took this plunge together!

Kudos to Craig who did his first dive ever in the ocean & Jagger saying hi in the Blue Hole!

28 dives later, I am so happy I’ve done it. I guess one wonderful thing is how close you can get to sea creatures that otherwise you’d think are scary-like sharks and huge eels and spotted eagle rays.

What I’ve realized it that these wonderful creatures really do not mind sharing the ocean.

The variety of life is awe-inspiring.

Another great thing is that these creatures, are not making garbage and ruining the ocean, like we do. Instead, they are all living there in peace and tolerating each other. Sure, there is the food chain and big eats little, but they generally do this without wiping each other out. And they even help each other with their grooming stations and with smaller fish swimming closely to each other.

Another amazing thing is how mindful it made me. Maybe it’s because I’m a novice; but, I’ve realized how wonderful being under the ocean is to get away. An escape from nonstop news and traffic jams, and the crazy times we are in-- until I think about changing seas and what the ocean temperature is doing.

I hope you enjoy these pictures and they will remind you of how amazing the earth is and in particular, the ocean. These are all from our week in Belize. I did not take them. In fact, I didn't even see all of these fish myself, but I did see most of them and I think they are so beautiful that I want to share them.

I give thanks to Jay, Frank and Tom, who were on our trip and took them and said I could share them on line. What’s really amazing to me is how fortunate we are to have such a wonderful place to live and how I spent so many years not seeing it. I wish I did this sooner. But, it isn’t too late. We’ve got to take care our earth and the ocean and each other. It takes effort and thought and it can’t just be a grass roots effort, but if we can work together and start doing the little things, like saying no to plastic bags and straws, and appreciating what we have, maybe we can turn things around and keep the ocean amazing. We need it, like we need each other.


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