Fear & Loving: Where Sea Level Meets the Deep – a literary blogstory – PART TWO

Dive Log 29: Freediving After Trump: I Can’t See 5 Feet

Sunday, 13 November 2016
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, FL

Freedives from shore

Mangrove live birth “babies” drifting out at sea waiting for the right time to come back to land and grow. How do they know what to do? Are they “thinking” anything at this moment?

Mangroves bear live young like mammals, even though they are trees! The offspring drop into the high tide and drift for days or years out in the water until they find a home back on land.

Man I love mangroves. They are the tropical ocean coasts from Africa to the Americas.

I told you the ocean is crazy.

Finally got in a shore dive. What was that shit Melville wrote in Moby Dick?

Moby Dick Book

© J. Manos

“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul … I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.” – Moby Dick; Herman Melville, 1851

We’ve had rough ocean for 6 weeks after the hurricanes. Some days the wind blew harder than when Matthew was here. Sand in your eyes and piled up like desert storms or snow drifts on the boardwalk.

Drifting in the sea. Least the sea was calm enough to get in.

The water was filled with suspended sand that clicked and raked against my underwater GoPro camera and mask.

We’ve had rough ocean for 6 weeks after the hurricanes. Some days the wind blew harder than when Matthew was here. Sand in your eyes and piled up like desert storms or snow drifts on the boardwalk.

Drifting in the sea. Least the sea was calm enough to get in.

The water was filled with suspended sand that clicked and raked against my underwater GoPro camera and mask.

Ropen and fins

© J. Manos

Could hardly see. I felt vulnerable, kind of in danger. I overrode it.

I had to get up close to see anything. Everything at any distance was diffuse or un-seeable.

I dove 20 feet down to our ocean’s bottom, repeatedly, and hung out with the gorgonians and sea fans as long as I could, holding my breath. My son loved Sponge Bob. Now I know why.

Gorgonian fan

Mound coral bleaching at its top. © J. Manos

And up at top this school of mangrove babies drifting upright like 7-inch green brown vanilla beans ready to give new life and having no idea that the United States even exists.

I’ve never felt safe; I’ve always been on guard for danger. But I will never be anybody’s victim, so my main concerns are not about myself. My job is to fight for fairness and justice, and the health and safety of all people and our planet.

Usually when diving you don’t think about anything. You’re just present. That is the great elixir of being in the water. But this time Trump faces kept coming into my eyes. Even that crazy Melania. And no I am not slut-shaming. Halp. I tried to shake it all out of my head repeatedly.

In all seriousness: working at coping against waves of ‘sick to my stomach’. Moments of almost-panic that threaten to retch out of my gut like bad seasick.

It’s very easy for societies to break down into ethno-scapegoating for perceived grievances that are then exacerbated by those in power to reap more power.

Stop it at the last second. Override it.

The corals below me know something has been wrong for a while because many show signs of disease or paling and bleaching.

coral

© J. Manos

But they don’t know what’s really wrong.

And what’s really about to come as a new president seeks to drill and mine and burn all fossil fuels and throw out all ecological protections. The corporations will make tons of money.

On top of increased direct-attack dangers to people everywhere who are perceived as “different”.

I had been looking forward to continuing to build society and the future. Now I’m girding for the resistance.

I wrote in Newsweek.com:

Note to Trump supporters: Just remember that your bodies, lives, children, families, economic stability, and general well-being are also in danger from climate collapse. Socially conscious people will not be the only ones affected. You and the entire world will be affected, and your plans set us on a runaway road to several billion people being killed over the next 100 years or so. There is nothing you can do to escape this fact. Your human bodies and lives depend on the same planet we do.

A fellow commenter said if I don’t like it I should move to Mars.


Sea Urchin

Finally saw my first long-spined sea urchin while diving. Saw them several times in northeastern Puerto Rico when I was writing my upcoming novel Her Blue Watered Streets, but that was before I was a diver. © J. Manos



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