Of Presidents, Policy, and Faith – National Oceans Month, Part 1

It’s National Oceans Month here in the United States, but if you’re like me – every month is National Oceans Month!

What is National Oceans Month?  Well, it’s basically when the government acknowledges that while we may be a terrestrial species, we’re still at the mercy of the tides.  And as Chief Executive of the United States Government, the President is the one who dedicates us to the seas during this month of June.

The great orator and 35th president, John F. Kennedy, spoke of the sea in personal, human terms. I could quote him, but in this video, you can hear the man speak…


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February ReefBox Unboxing!

So, subscription services are all the rage these days.  Everything from food to dog toys, it’s like getting a little gift (that you paid for) once a month.  I really like the concept, and about a year and a half ago, I signed up for the Waterman’s Pack (which was meant for fishermen, surfers, and SCUBA divers), and happily, signed up to get a box in July, which was timed for Shark Week (check out my Shark Week reviews here at Nerdvana!). It was a box curated by Andy Casagande IV (the Shark Week veteran photographer and diver), and a portion of that month’s profits were donated to my friends at Shark Angels, who I wound up diving with 8 months later in Fiji.  I got a nice little dive knife, and a few other things, including a print of an Andy Casagrande shark encounter.

And then a month later then ditched the fishermen and SCUBA divers portion of it, and started going marketing directly to watersports.  I kept going for a month and got a tshirt and hat, but not really my thing, so I cancelled it.

And then thanks to the miracle of Facebook Targeted Advertising…  I found ReefBox!

reefbox
Promotional image/ReefBox.Com (used under Fair Use guidelines)

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Florida Diaries, Day 1: Die, Lionfish, Die!

This is an Indo-Pacific lionfish (from the genus Pterois) from one of my 2017 dives off of Fiji’s coral coast.  Even though I don’t have a red filter on my GoPro and I’m using natural light at about 60 feet down, it’s I think the video conveys the beauty of the animal as it hovers in perfect balance, display its’ delicate fins in a threat display as I approach it.

If you’re not familiar with the lionfish, it’s a predatory reef fish and on those delicate fins are spines which can be used defensively to deliver a painful sting.  As stated by divemaster Mike Ryan to Erin Spencer in National Geographic:

“It won’t kill you, but it’ll make you wish you were dead”.
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The Fiji Chronicles: Prologue – Sustainability and the Ethics of Eating Fish.

The one thing that is very hard for a person who loves the ocean is the idea of eating wildlife, aka fish.  I touch on it a little in my poem “Suicide Bomber“, that everything from the lowly crab to the mighty marlin is classified as “seafood”, as if there is some common thread between these animals, beyond the fact that they both live in the ocean.

Oh, I’m a “soupfin” shark? Thanks for the name, jerks.
Image via Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Poem – The Hunt

So, last night I performed at the Erotic Poetry & Music Festivus at the Alwun House in Phoenix, AZ.  It was a great show, with some fantastic performers that it was an honor to share the stage. Thanks to Ernesto Moncada and Rosemarie Dombrowski (Phoenix’s poet laureate!) for asking me to perform!

When I walked into the venue, I was introduced as “Phoenix’s leading shark expert” – which, flattering, but probably not true!  Ernesto, when inviting me, asked me to consider writing a shark erotica piece. I was up to the challenge!

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