Monday, June 7, 2010

Wear blue and tell two

For World Oceans Day tomorrow, June 8, I am choosing to "wear blue and tell two," since Cris from Here and There and Everywhere is hosting an Oceanic Blog-a-thon. She's collecting, from all over the world, people who are willing to write something on their blog for the United Nations day. From the Ocean Project's page about the 2010 theme:
This year’s theme focuses on our ocean’s great diversity of life and how we can all help in its conservation. Since everyone has a favorite ocean animal, we are interested in connecting their favorite species with what they can do to help conserve our world's ocean. Pick your favorite and protect it - try to pick just one favorite; it’s hard! We can help motivate people to take conservation action: Together, we can make a difference!
So, on the "Wear Blue and Tell Two"page, it suggests that you wear blue that day and tell two interesting facts about the ocean. So here's my first interesting fact:

Years ago when I was spending an extended holiday in the Yucatan (Mexico), I stayed for a month on an unspoiled beach in a palapa, a structure made of palm leaves with no floor, just sand. My girlfriend Donna and I strung hammocks inside where we slept, and spent our time collecting shells, traveling around the area, and basically hanging out. The beach was inhabited by other hippie types like us, and the locals sold us oranges, tortillas, and other items that we needed. We made friends with other North Americans, and one night, we walked along the beach under a crescent moon, half a dozen of us. It had rained but cleared enough to make a spectacular sunset. As it began to get darker, I noticed that behind us, our footprints lit up! Some phosphorescent creature in the surf had caused the surf itself to shine from within, and our footprints glowed for a few minutes as we walked. It was a magical moment.

Now, that beautiful place is no longer. I believe that the Mexican government has constructed big hotels and now it costs a lot of money to stay on the beach. There are no more crude palapas to hang out in. But I did get to experience one moment there that will stay with me forever.

My second interesting fact is that I am a big fan of the humpbacked whale. Ever since I saw the movie, Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home, where intelligent life from another planet tried to contact the whales, I have believed that this movie was prescient. The former crew of the USS Enterprise travels to Earth's past in order to save their present from a probe attempting to communicate with long-dead Humpback whales. And now, with the tragedy in the Gulf, and all marine life in that area likely to be made extinct for decades, or even forever, who knows what our future holds?

I believe that we are paying for our crimes, and the unfortunate thing is, as seems to be true in so much of humanity's history, we make the innocent and unwary creatures that surround us pay for our crimes, too. Today, in June 2010, the world's oceans have never been in more dire circumstances. If you can, take the time to join The Ocean Project and help to wake up others.


  1. I have yet to see that movie... :p

    But I have seen bioluminescent plankton (responsible for those glowy foot-prints), but at night on the ocean, never on the shore. That must have been quite eerie!

    Thanks for participating and getting the word out! :o)

  2. I know what "palapa" looks like DJ, and it meant like the way you described it. We also call them palapa in our national language and like you I would prefer staying in a palapa hut while on the coasts. There are still a lot them here in the coasts especially in the remote areas, but some people prefer to stay in hotels while taking vacations, in developed places near the beach. These establishments had only one thing in their minds and that is to rake a lot of money, they dont care, how many trees would be cut off or how much sands would be shovelled out, just as long as the return of investment is fast and it would easily be accessed by tourists! And it's sad to know that some tourists preferred it to be that way. Sigh!

  3. I loved your story, I have always wanted to stay on a beach with a grass hut and a me that would be the ultimate relaxation:)

  4. Yes, it is sad what is happening in the gulf right now. All that marine and bird life lost. Who knows how long it will take to clear up.

  5. Visit the Ocean Project to learn more about ocean conservation!

  6. There's a blog where you can purchase art for $10 to benefit the oil leak clean up. That's my next art project.

  7. Bioluminescence is by far one of the coolest things the ocean has to offer. I'm glad I FINALLY logged into blogger or your post wouldn't have informed me it was World Oceans Day! I, of all people, should know that!! :) -kate

  8. That's not the way I travel...though there must have been great freedom in it! I have heard of bioluminescence but never seen it; how wonderful!

    The whole situation with the Gulf is heartbreaking and scary. I'm a person who thrives on security and the future is now very shaky.

  9. A palapa on the beach sounds wonderful, the closest I have come is a tent.

    Water covers two thirds of our planet yet we know so little about the oceans and how they affect our daily live. It is a sad state of affairs and as you said the innocent are suffering for our transgressions.

    My post last night was intended to be more in depth but blogger got so slow I finally gave up.

  10. My parents bought a home in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida in 1979. We had a beautiful view of The Bay out the front windows and a stunning view of the Gulf of Mexico out the back. I watched, as slowly over the years, those views were blocked by those who followed us to this quaint small town and thought that "taller" was better. Sad.

    You're absolutely correct when you say the ocean's critters are paying for our crimes against nature and this latest oil spill reiterates that point. Will we learn before the damage is irreversible or is it already too late? I recently moved from the Gulf to Coastal Georgia and there is speculation it will end up here as well.

  11. Excellent post!

    I loved the story of the sparkling footprints! That surely was a magic moment.

    The Voyage Home was a favorite of mine. It had quite a moral lesson about how we are destroying the planet. If only we could get a crew to travel back in time to the Gulf and stop BP from the carelessness that caused the spill.


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