Monday, June 2, 2014

Belize: An Ocean of Calm

Aquarium coral biologist Randi Rotjan, PhD, is in Belize studying changes in the reefs off Carrie Bow Cay along with diver Sarah Taylor and aquarist Pete Gawne, both also from the Aquarium. Over the next couple weeks, she'll be posting from the tropics, sharing pictures and stories from this familiar spot. Learn about previous expeditions in 201320122011 and 2010.

Today's post come from Randi.

One of my favorite things to do in a New England summer is to swim in a lake or pond. I love the stillness of the water, and the quiet sounds of surrounding wildlife.

Glassy, flat-calm seas

Of course, at the beach, it's the opposite. The shore roars with sound—waves crashing, seagulls calling, wind rushing. Don't get me wrong—I love the seaside too (!!), but there's just something special and private and contemplative about a wooded lake (think Walden and Thoreau).

Yesterday, we had the perfect hybrid of both. :-) Flat calm glassy ocean waters reminiscent of a New England pond. No wind. Silent waves barely showing a crest of white as they rippled towards the shore. A white heron standing in the backreef, staring at an opaque surface mirrored with his own reflection.

Sea grasses and calm

Instead of bouncing around on the boats between dives, trying to keep your stomach calm while getting a requisite surface interval, our whole team got to have a peaceful break between dives at the surface. No rocking. No wave chop. No puking. No pitching. Just... calm.

An oasis of calm

Days like that are rare at the ocean, and so as we head off to work this morning, we'll hopefully retain a bit of yesterday's zen. Our commuter woes out here mostly consist of choppy seas, current, and the occasional frigate bird on our tail.... much better than a crowded T, or bumper-to-bumper highway traffic, or an aggressive bike-car war on the streets of Cambridge. We'll be back home in a week, fighting the typical morning commute along with you. But until then, it's frigate birds and waves for us. And maybe if we're lucky—really lucky—another day of flat calm glass. Wishing you all calm seas!


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