I am a water baby. One of my earliest memories is sitting on the beach in Honduras and letting waves crash over my chubby toddler legs. Even when the tide was strong and I’d get toppled, I’d come up sputtering with salt water in my nose, but I did not want to move from that spot.
If you are a lover of the ocean, then you already know that our Oceans are the lungs of the earth. According to the UN, the Oceans produce 50% of the planet’s oxygen and absorb 30% of our climate damaging carbon dioxide. The oceans are struggling because of how we are abusing the planet and it is critical that we step up and start thinking about the impact to the fish and wildlife who keep 40 million people employed in ocean related industry globally.
As I considered this special day, I could recall countless moments by various Oceans.
- Mourning my dad standing alongside the Atlantic in Lisbon
- The best girls’ trip of my life with my BFF in San Diego
- Moments on the Baltic Sea (part of the Atlantic) remember that the pandemic wouldn’t always keep us captive
- Swimming with my friends off the coast of Hermosillo Mexico in warm soothing waters
- Ice cold dives into Puget Sound (part of the Pacific) while sailing with friends
But the memory that I spent time with was my first time whale watching with my sweet niece Sierra. She was visiting me in Seattle during the summer and we decided that an adventure whale watching was in order. Anyone who knows the Pacific Northwest, knows that being on a boat in the Sound in summer can be quite cold. So while most of the other passengers spent the majority of the journey inside drinking cocoa, Sierra and I bundled up and sat on the bow of the boat. We snacked and talked. Sierra helped a photographer by telling him when she saw animals on the small islands of the San Juans.
Then the captain told the passengers that we were very close to two pods of Orcas. He cut the engine and we stood there in silence with other passengers watching the water for movement. When the first massive Orca breached, everyone onboard gasped. As it went back into the water with a big splash, Sierra turned her face up to mine and we both laughed as we saw matching tears in each others eyes.
We’d seen something holy. Maybe not to everyone. But to us…that moment…that Orca…and every Orca who showed off for us for the next 20 minutes was a holy offering. We wiped our eyes and held hands while watching in every direction to catch a glimpse.
It was perfect. The cold and wind were worth every single minute for that sighting of majestic animals in the cold Canadian waters off British Columbia. We were deeply satisfied with our day and ourselves as the boat turned for home.
Please take a moment and consider how you can help make the Oceans a healthy and thriving ecosystem. You can read more about World Oceans Day here.