Tag: Bonaire

Wild Mermaid Tales

Wild Mermaid Tales

SimoneLipscomb (1)A week has passed and sadly I must pack away my mermaid gear and make the journey back from Poseidon’s Realm to Gulf Coastal Sands. Can’t really complain about that though.

SimoneLipscomb (1)The moon and sea have shared many Mysteries with me, some of which will find their way into future writings. All of which enrich my life and help me be a better Ocean steward…and mermaid.

SimoneLipscombFish have befriended me, iguanas have claimed me as their sister and the Ocean has enveloped me in liquid love so sweet I can scarcely put it into mere words. An octopus danced with me, squid played with the dome port on my camera housing and my soul was washed clean and healed on levels I’m not even aware of at this juncture.

New friends who played with this mermaid.
New friends who played with this mermaid.

New human friends have come into my life and perhaps on some future dive trip we’ll get to splash into the watery depths and share the special magic of scuba diving….that amazing adventure that allows us to become, for a time, witnesses of the Ocean’s magnificent splendor.

SimoneLipscomb (22)As I was exiting the Ocean after my second swim this morning, I felt Her blessing and a gurgling giggle that said…’now get back to work.’ With a push from a gentle wave I stepped out of the water.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you….

Iguana Moon

Iguana Moon

SimoneLipscomb (32)The full moon called me to the sea. It was early this morning, before the sun peeked out from the eastern horizon on the far side of the island.

As I approached the steps to go down to the seaside patio, the moon glade of silver light on Ocean was so strong and powerful it was as if I was descending the stairs of Poseidon’s temple into the watery realm and could have continued on that silver path to reach the island across the way to places of magic and wonder beyond and beneath the surface.

Where are my mermaid scales? My tail? I feel so trapped by this mortal body.

SimoneLipscomb (19)Clouds passed in front of the brilliant moon and I sat drinking in her light with my eyes. So powerful is the pull of the moon’s magic…that fat, perfectly round orb. It weaves a spell with the sea to forever bind my soul to saltwater and the Mysteries contained beneath the surface.

Even as the gray of pre-dawn light began to overtake the darkness, the moon’s light illuminated the western sky and glowed brightly over Klein Bonaire. The sound of waves gently kissing the shore reminded me of the inner cycles, the coming and going, the building and diminishing of this flesh-bound existence.

SimoneLipscomb (6)As the moon faded and daylight grew, the iguana family awakened and began staring at me. Yes…of course. I’ll go get breakfast.

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SimoneLipscomb (18)I returned with honeydew melon and my camera. The container of melon was rushed as soon as I placed it on the concrete so I sat and chatted with my spiked-out friends as they breakfasted. They struck a few poses as my camera sat beside them so I got some really detailed shots of their best iguana-selves.

SimoneLipscomb (22)Once finished, they all turned to face the sea. I’ve noticed they do this and have wondered…what is the reason? Today I might have figured it out. A guy who swims laps each morning between two resorts passed and they all rushed to watch him. They either expect him to become dinner some day or they are telling secret iguana jokes about him. Either way it’s pretty hilarious stuff. Iguanas…what are you gonna do with them?

This shore, the elements of salt, sea, moon, tides…wildlife like my octopus friends, sea turtle friends, tarpon friends…the porcupine fish that actually got to know me and follows me when I dive….the squid that liked playing with my dome port….all of these things create a love affair with this place that will beckon me to return again and again.

SimoneLipscomb (1)As I sat on the concrete conversing with the iguanas during breakfast, I reflected back to a conversation with a girl and her family at dinner last night. After listening to some of my wildlife stories she said, “Simone, you know why the animals come to you don’t you? It’s because you love them so much.” Tears came as my heart melted. Yes, sweet friend. This is true. This is why I write and do photography and visit schoolchildren… to share about the Ocean and all Her magnificent creatures I love so deeply, so much.

Mermaid Magic

Mermaid Magic

SimoneLipscomb (1)The week continued with three fun dives today that advanced my mermaid-in-training efforts. Each was different and all were fun.

First, the morning started out with a pre-dawn communion with the sea…and birds, iguanas, gnats and clouds. I felt a loved one I have not seen in over three years join me…at least in my mind and heart…and we watched the sun rise together. A full account of this morning can be found in the previous post.

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The current had much of the soft coral looking very bendy.

Dive One was quite a surprise. Current that was crazy-strong was moving from the north to the south along the reef and it was very difficult to kick against it with The Beast (my large underwater camera housing and strobes). In reality, it would have been difficult without The Beast. It was probably the strongest current this mermaid-in-training has ever experienced in Bonaire. It reminded me of the current at Ginnie Springs…during river flood (when the usual cave flow is slower).

New friends who played with this mermaid.
New friends who played with this mermaid.

On the second dive a couple of new friends and I started at a site about a quarter mile north and our intention was to drift to the condo complex where our group of 23 people is staying.

SimoneLipscomb (2)We entered the beautiful dive site and started our dive but to my dismay there was hardly any current. So it would be a long swim to our take-out point….a one-way journey. But luckily as we got closer to our destination the current started picking up and delivered us safely to our take-out point in 47 minutes. After another few minutes spent taking photos and such we were out of the water 51 minutes from our start point. There was a lot of kicking involved but we had a little help from the Ocean as it pushed us a bit at the end of our dive.

The exit point after a quarter mile, one-way swim from out entry point.
The exit point after a quarter mile, one-way swim from out entry point.

After a required mermaid rest, I returned to the water did another nice dive. But this time, the current was completely reversed. I turned north as it didn’t feel like any current was present but while diving realized the current had reversed and was pushing me so my swim back was a great workout.

Later I wondered what would have happened if the current had shifted during our one-way drift dive. That would have made for a very difficult and interesting swim.

SimoneLipscomb (2)The water temperature began at 81 degrees on Sunday and shifted later that day as the visibility decreased. Water was 79 degrees from Sunday afternoon until this afternoon (Wednesday) which made for a cold mermaid who had prepared for warmer water with a thin wetsuit. But as the current shifted, the water cleared and warmed up! So two more diving days with better visibility and warmer water is what this mermaid hopes for.

Tonight was a special treat as I dined with a family and the two girls are also mermaids in training, taking their first scuba classes this week. We talked of magic, mermaids and dragons. It was wonderful connecting with others who understand the magic of life.

SimoneLipscomb (31)Lessons for the day? 1) Keep my heart and mind open and keep love alive. 2) A little hard work is good for me but if I can go with the flow, instead of against the current, it’s always better. 3) Life, like the currents of the Ocean, can change completely within a few hours. 4) Always dine with other mermaids if possible as the conversation is infinitely interesting and enlightening.


The Sea, Beatitudes and Dawn

The Sea, Beatitudes and Dawn

SimoneLipscomb (1)Sweet bird song awakens me and draws me outdoors. The sweet, salty air and soft waves reach out to me and I walk with paper and pen in hand toward the sea.

Beside the broken concrete, a reminder of the power of the Ocean, I sit. There is just enough light to see ink on the page. The wind is whipping around the corner of the pink sea wall and I wish I had worn my lightweight jacket.

The sea is rolling this morning, even here between Klein Bonaire and the main island. Shore birds are just awaking. A gull flew by, silent in her passing. A small heron follows her. Just now a tern shrieked and dove for breakfast.

A wispy, white cloud in the shape of an angel or sea gull hangs to the south. I face west, watching the gathering light illuminate the sandy edge of Klein Bonaire.

Within a few feet of me two tidal crabs walk, in their crab-like march, to their chosen breakfast spot. The iguana family are late-risers and must have had a long night as they are still asleep, safely curled up under the broken concrete.

More crabs are waking and walking from their night’s rest to breakfast. A fisherman putt-putts by in a small boat. It’s legal to line fish for locals in the National Marine Sanctuary but I feel sad to think about my fish friends becoming dinner for a two-legged species. So few large grouper are here these days.

Over the past 14 years of diving, I have witnessed a steady decline of large fish everywhere. But this morning, right now, I want to celebrate what is here and send love and gratitude to all Ocean life for it is the Ocean that gives most of our oxygen, that truly is the lifeblood of the planet. Without a healthy Ocean, life as we know it is unsustainable.

The angel seagull cloud has dispersed now and glows with a soft peach color. The turquoise and indigo water is brighter now and a soft line of peach-colored haze stretches across the southern sky. To the north, gray clouds hang over the mountains.

More terns are hunting now, flying and hovering, then diving over schools of small fish. The surface of the water ripples with thousands of tiny finned wonders. Something for which to be grateful and happy.

As the gray, pre-dawn light lifts, it’s as if my inner vision clears and mysteries I’ve never known are revealed. I cannot form words about them so must be content to know and trust the wisdom is kept and understood on some deep, visceral level.

A snowy egret just flew past, no doubt finding her perfect breakfasting location. Thousands of gnats are flying in great streams within inches of my face. It’s almost disorienting. Thankfully they don’t bite.

It’s easy to lapse into deep contemplation as the energy of sunrise wraps itself like a blanket around me. So many questions….and yet it seems pointless to engage in internal dialogue. In this eternal moment, everything is in balance. Peace, calm permeates my being and I realize there are no questions…not really. There is just an Ocean of Love.

That’s what it comes down to really. Love is the force that creates this magnificent world. The only thing that disrupts the balance is fear.

The Beatitudes come to mind and for a brief moment I see clearly how human fear is what destroys beauty. The continual drive for more at any cost has, at its base, an intense fear of lack. If we step away from fear and remember the wisdom found in the Beatitudes, we can live in a world of peace and balance….harmony…love.

Small silver-white clouds now dot the sky above me. As I sit with the breeze playing with my hair and chilling my bare skin, I feel a distinct impression of a long-time friend walking down the stairs to my left. So strong is this feeling that I turn to see if he’s there. Perhaps not in body, but in spirit he joins me in the silence and we sit quietly and watch the celebration of life unfold with the dawn.

A whirlwind from beside the step picks up a large, dried leaf and tosses it toward me…a reminder that love never dies, it simply changes form and evolves into higher expression.

I walk up the steps and as I reach the top the golden light of dawn kisses my cheeks. And I smile with deep knowing and understanding.


The Beatitudes….happiness with a focus on love and humility rather than force and exaction. A call for spirituality and compassion. This is the answer that came this morning and one that can heal our world…no matter what religion you practice or don’t practice or if you believe in God, Allah, a higher power, Great Spirit or any named deity.

Blessed are……

…The poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

…Those who mourn: for they will be comforted.

…The meek: for they will inherit the Earth.

…Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled.

…The merciful: for they will be shown mercy.

…The pure in heart: for they will see God.

…The peacemakers: for they will be called Children of God.

…Those who are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.


Professor Octopus

Professor Octopus

Vase sponge.
Vase sponge and coral.

Third day of Advanced Mermaid Training. The Beast (new housing and strobes) and I are getting along very well and even though its strobe arms appear to be a wild octopus out of the water, under water they behave quite well.

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Trumpet fish is master of disguise.

Today’s lessons were all about adjusting the octopus-like arms of the strobes, adjusting the direction of light, adjusting aperture to create the desired effects and learning ways to hold the heavy housing and strobes and more efficiently and safely enter and exit the water on shore dives. And enjoying being underwater…of course.

Relaxing at the entry.

The sandy beaches with no loose coral to slip on and a gentle-sloping bottom sure made it easier to get myself in and out of the water independently. That felt like a major accomplishment.

SimoneLipscomb (15)On the second dive I felt such bliss…slowly drifting along, communing with the Ocean and all life on the reef. I was completely relaxed and in harmony with the underwater world, my gear and myself. I think this is a key to every mermaid’s happiness and success.

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Professor Octopus demonstrating a perfect sea dance move.

Later, on the third dive of the day, I was completing a solo portion of the dive and spied a large octopus hunting. I got a couple of good shots and am very happy with them; however, a fish photo-bombed the best shot. But no worries. Mermaid Happiness Rulebook, Chapter One, Paragraph one states: “Sea creatures will be drawn to you so never, ever scold one for coming to say hello. Be gracious with every interaction of all sea creatures.”

This fish did a perfect photo-bomb when I was taking the octopus photograph.
This fish did a perfect photo-bomb when I was taking the octopus photograph.

I feel very joyful to have this week to reconnect with my most favorite island and all the friends who live under the sea here.

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Blissed out in mermaid mode.