Mermaid School

Mermaid School

SimoneLipscomb (2)Today’s class began once again before sunrise. Small green and black crabs clung to rocks covered with sea vegetation as waves washed over them. They taught me to hunker down, hang on and allow life’s challenges to proceed without getting caught in the chaos.

SimoneLipscomb (5)Next came a quick rain shower as I stood in the salt water picking up pieces of sea glass. It felt like a salt-water baptism and a good old-fashioned christening. A cleansing, a rite of purification.

SimoneLipscomb (3)First dive of the day was at Salt Pier. The Beast went with me and while I have simply fallen in love with the ability to produce images that do justice to the underwater world, it makes shore entries with surge and waves and loose coral and holes very challenging with such a heavy and awkward set up. Thankful for helpful friends.

SimoneLipscomb (1)Many huge schools of fish welcomed me into their midst as I floated weightless among them. Being a mermaid requires joining large groups of underwater creatures in certain rites and celebrations. Today we collectively moved our gills back and forth and learned to change direction by moving only our tails.

SimoneLipscomb (7)The second dive was at a site near downtown called Something Special. There are many small fish at this location and lots of trash as well. But it’s mostly old trash that ocean life has utilized for homes, as anchors and it has become part of the ecosystem. The teaching here? All of our lives are valuable, even the past…even situations we thought were over and done can be used to build something new and wonderful.

SimoneLipscomb (4)Rest time in mermaid school is very important. Today’s recess involved fixing and eating a healthy lunch, uploading photographs from the morning’s two dives and uploading video footage of two iguanas having breakfast. After a few hours of shade and relaxation, it was time for one more session of class.

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Sponge at Something Special dive site.

The Ocean was the instructor on this final class of the day. The water clarity was as bad as I’ve ever seen it in Bonaire. Brown clouds of particulate matter created a strange color underwater and turned the usual bright blue a strange icky green-brown. But part of being a mermaid is embracing the Ocean no matter what.

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Damsel fish requested her photograph be taken.

After about 30 minutes my dive buddy turned back and I wanted to check on a coral farm further north so I kept going. Not long after we parted, a beautiful hawksbill sea turtle, foraging on sponges, allowed me to approach and respectfully observe. I suppose this was my reward for persevering in less-than-ideal conditions.

After saying goodbye to the turtle I swam to the elk horn coral ‘trees’ and greeted the corals growing and the fish utilizing these unique, man-made trees where coral is grown and then transplanted to areas where coral has died.

I set a strong pace returning back to the exit point to feel the strength of my body and to test my swimming legs a bit. It was great fun and a wonderful way to end the day.

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A selfie taken with The Beast….so grateful to be in this beautiful place and have the right equipment to bring the beauty of the Ocean to those wanting to see.

As my head broke the surface of the water, the sun was close to setting and almost ready to slip beneath the watery horizon. I paused before exiting the water to send gratitude to the Ocean for Her most magnificent day of teaching. Thus ended the second day of Mermaid training, Level 10.


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