October 1st was such a magical day. I was blessed with the opportunity to swim out in the ocean to meet up with the DANA PRIDE.
YES, I was a mermaid swimming in the open ocean!!! the water was a wonderful 70*, the sun was shining, and a lovely breeze swept over the water. It was a beautifully perfect day to be out in the ocean making a life long fantasy a reality, and to do so primarily to bring smiles to the faces of a group of children was the icing on the cake.
A wonderful program called Fish for Life was hosting a special event for a very special group of children and I had been asked to help make their day just a little more magical.
It was quite literally a dream come true for me on so many levels.
While I was swimming I caught the attention of a nearby ‘huge’ sea lion, who apparently swam right up behind me to check out my tail.(I really hope someone got a picture of it!!!) I wonder if I had seen it, if I would have freaked out a little. Apparently it did not want me to see it, and while I eagerly wanted to focus on finding and seeing, having a surreal moment with the sea lion, I was after all there to greet this boat of children who stood staring in disbelief as a mermaid splashed around in the water. And I turned my attention to them with a splash
At one point I just floated listening to the sounds of the ocean, and the humming of the boat motors. Peaceful and calm as a multitude of thoughts swam through my brain. I must admit it was just a bit daunting in water 50+ feet, not being able to see more than 10-15 feet through in any direction, knowing there were was so much life swimming around just beyond my sight. All I could see in any direction was sun streaked green fading into black towards the sea floor. The beauty of it was breathtaking, quite literally, I had surface to take a breath.
Floating like this in the ocean has been one of my absolutely favorite things to do since I was young, but never had I been able to do so so far out in the ocean, feeling my body rise up and down with the swells, before I flipped tail over head to make an exciting splash I had been practicing.
Jim Holden the organizer of the event, asked me where I was heading, and asked another nearby boat, (hosting my dive team) to give me a ride back to the wharf so that the children could have the opportunity meet with me and take photos etc… Getting into the boat was a bit of a challenge, but I managed to pull and flip and flop up and over the seat, though likely not very gracefully. Having some time before the DANA PRIDE was due to be back we sought out some whale watching boats to see what we could find. I made sure my fellow boat mates Brian and Mahassin Weaver, and Brian Caughlin knew that I would likely flop overboard if the opportunity to swim with dolphins presented itself. Unfortunately we didn’t see any dolphins, but we did get to see a few glimpses of a minke whale. Something I had never seen before.
Once back on the harbor, how to get me off the boat and settled onto a park bench was the big question. The dock itself was a bit crowded, so carrying me in the traditional manors was out of the question. My son came running up to great me as my team of Brian’s got me out of the boat, I sat there on the docks for a few moments when one of the Brian’s came back with an up right dolly to roll me up the dock. Every one got a giggle to see the unique catch of the day roll up from the boat, and my son gleefully handed passers by my business cards, exclaiming proudly that his mommy is a real life mermaid.
Once settled on the park bench my wonderful son and hubby brought me lunch,…MMM fish and chips from John’s Fish Market. Before long the DANA PRIDE had docked and bright eyed excited children came to meet me. Including on of my swim students from a yea 1/2 ago who excitedly asked if I remembered him. One by one excited smiles greeted me and posed for pictures, many of which were taken by a sweet volunteer named Baylee, who I’m sad to say I didn’t get a picture of. The excitement of these children and their parents seemed to electrify the air, I didn’t ant it to end, but I get to do it all over again in November, Buuurrr. Oh well the cold (water) never bothered me any way……….
I also was honored to be interviewed by Fred Swegles!!!!
Here are some of the pics taken with the kids and I.
As I get the pics of me in the ocean, I’ll post them too.