OCEAN Writing Contest
OCEAN Photography Contest
OCEAN Magazine Fall 2009, Issue 24
Call of the Dolphins
by Kathy Parra
by Diane Buccheri
by Andrea Applebee
by Tom Sheehan
by John Thomas Clark
by Murray Alfredson
Mangrove Forests of Grand Cayman
by Donna Mann
My Childhood by the Sea
by Grace Poirier
On Cape Cod Bay
by Saralee Perel
by Roger Singer
In the Still of the Night
by Melba Milak
A glimpse into this issue . . .
. . . the resonating sonar that dolphins send into a human body
changes the brain waves and blood chemistry. Dolphins create
ultrasonic vibrations with subtleties of frequency containing
messages, intelligent information, and emotions that penetrate
and communicate to our cellular receptors.
People who swim and interact with dolphins first experience delight
and joy, a feeling of love and relaxation followed by deep relaxation.
They often experience mental, physical, and psychological healing
affects. Brain dysfunctions are altered for the better. Cellular disorders
are often remedied. And emotional difficulties can be reconciled.
Through neurological and cellular alterations, people experience
improvement from epilepsy, spinal cord injuries, paralyzation,
neuromuscular diseases, hypotonicity, autism, mental retardation,
Attention Deficit Disorder, learning disabilities, speech impairment,
vertigo, and more. People also experience improvement or cure from
cancerous tumors, skin disorders such as endometriosis, depression,
post-traumatic stress syndrome, chronic pain, and eating disorders,
among other healing possibilities.
Because of the joy and wellness people who swim with dolphins
experience, we seek dolphin healing more and more. Dolphins live in
the ocean, their world on this earth we share, among family and friends,
within their own complex societies. They swim where they need to and
want to, and have lived thus for 10 million years, according to our estimates.
Their exceptional intelligence, perception, and friendliness lead them to
curiosity and exchange with us, as has occurred throughout our known
history. Our exchange is best in the open ocean, in their environment, where they may join us willingly and share their selves naturally, with humanity that comes to them gently, respectfully,
Those working with dolphins for human benefit are overwhelmed with learning the benevolence of the dolphin nature. They and others who swim with them describe overwhelming love, and peace
with a sense of community, of a communal blending that far transcends any we’ve known among ourselves. Their eagerness to please us with their acrobatics has been well-known for a long time, as
they are playful, skilled, and intelligent. We are now realizing that when we come to them in their ocean environment seeking their joy, love, and healing, they know this and are eager to work with us
for healing. This is a greatest benevolence of all. And for us, a true expansion of the heart and learning.
Written by DIane Buccheri
Photograph by Neil Ever Osborne, www.neileverosborne.com
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I stepped out into the spring sunshine to greet the warm day,
filled with the hope of spring. The ocean gently rocked onto
the land, a cool teal color, blue sky behind it, sparkles following
the sun’s path.
“Jonathan, you’re here! I’ve been waiting for you!”
Swirling overhead, he met me on the deck railing.
Oh . . . he’s not alone. He’s brought a lady friend. With their
spring and summer plumage yet unruffled they stood, side by
side, right in front of me, squawking, warning the others to stay
Jonathan stepped forward to take the tidbits of food I put out.
She followed. They took turns. Seemingly in perfect
synchronicity, Jon has found his match made in Heaven. She
too, stands closely to me, surprisingly secure in my presence.
Beyond the pair, past the dune and sand fence, seagulls swept
and swooped, dancing on the breeze. Jonathan and
Johanna, squawking between beakfuls, attracted the other
gulls. They arrived, their excitement uncontained.
Flying in for a landing, they snatched. Lined up along the railing,
they snatched. One landed as another took off, squawking,
flat feet and round bottoms paddling and waddling, black
caps velvety smooth, wings everywhere, pushing, falling.
With a flurry and flourish, Jonathan chased them to the back of
the dune, flapping furiously then gliding along at their tailcoats,
above the sand fence, onto the beach. “Scedaddle!”
Back on the railing, looking satisfied, Jon and his lady fluffed their feathers into place, tucked their wings in, eyes on me, waiting. Oh! I put more tidbits onto the railing. The flurry of activity had
This was Jon’s fourth spring to return from his late autumn through winter migration. Where he goes, he does not say, though we’ve asked. Surely, he has befriended people there too. That he makes
his way back to my neighbor’s deck and remembers us, is a thrill. We barely dared hope to see him yet again this spring.
Written by Diane Buccheri
Photograph by Candace Roth
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Warren’s Point, Rhode Island
What is this place I’ve come to snug between lawn and the sea touching
its million years on worn asteroids of rocks? Oh, the sea talks. And someone
else must live here, turned in, though spirit dwells in secret rooms, corners of
the house, and by the hearth that says: “Aha, I am warm. I have seen the
Whose legend is that? Who the scribe? What heat of heart? From what
tribe? Oh, someone in times past who passed by in single file, one act
borne of seaward trial?
Salt does not sting here, where iodine is water’s glee, and grass fights sand
for eternal sanctuary. Huge rocks, brute turtles taking the toss of tempest
tide, stand guard on the other side, where all elements meet in sudden beat
of heart or magician’s feat.
Again, again, again today, shroud of fog, voluptuous as secret lover, hides
in laces sheer as ghostly avenue of sea and cloudy traces. Sand, in turn,
takes on the waves, trees and bush take sea clouds, and the musical sea
moves its crescendos atop tomato rose like cathedral bells on cold gray
stone where each of us thinks he’s all alone.
Written by Tom Sheehan
Photograph by Cat Campbell
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MANGROVE FORESTS OF GRAND CAYMAN
The lush green carpet of turtle grass welcomes us from below as our
flat-bottom kayaks silently glide over transparent water. When
entering the kingdom of the mangrove forests of Grand Cayman,
you truly don’t know whether to look down, up, or around. A feast
for the senses is unleashed with each gentle dip of your paddle.
On this bright island morning, we are privileged to be in the
company of naturalists on staff at Ambassadors of the Environment
(AOTE). Jean-Michel Cousteau, standing on the shoulders of his father,
Jacques Cousteau, launched this organization in a resort setting in
2005. It had existed as an educational arm through the Ocean Futures
Society, developed by Dr. Richard Murphy. Maintaining the Cousteau
family’s legacy of “People protect what they love”, AOTE provides a
firsthand experience for children and their families to love, respect,
and protect the seas through educational adventures. These adventures
are launched from resorts where guests can select from over two dozen
offerings. We signed up for the “Mangrove Kayak Tour” from the
Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman.
Jess Leblond, naturalist supervisor, greeted my daughters and me as we
prepared for our adventure. After reviewing the safety aspects of the trip,
she reinforced Cousteau’s philosophies. “You cannot learn much about
animals who are in captivity. A classroom is good, but true learning takes
place in careful, firsthand exploration of the ecosystem. Playing in the
mangroves teaches children and their parents to love the mangroves.”
“The mangrove forests of Grand Cayman are possibly the most perfectly
balanced ecosystem in existence,” said Andrea Robertson, a marine
biologist with AOTE in Grand Cayman. “Mangroves and coral reefs work
together in complete harmony,” Robertson continues. “The twisted roots
of the mangrove form a protective matrix in the calm salt water of the
mangrove cove and provide a nursery for many species of coral marine life.
Juvenile fish, stingrays, and turtles are among the many types of animals who seek shelter from predators here until they are able to venture out on their own.”
Karen Lornie, the other naturalist on our trip, with a double degree in anthropology and biology, was drawn to AOTE from a lifelong love of the ocean. “Mangroves protect the beach and
coastline from erosion. Without the stability mangroves provide to an island, storms and construction sediment can quickly eat away at an island’s edges,” Lornie said. “The sediment then
washes out into the ocean, covering and killing living coral reefs. This killing of coral eliminates many life forms from the environment and recovery, if recovery is even possible, can take decades.”
According to Leblond, Robertson, and Lornie, many are only just learning the vital role played by mangrove forests.
Written by Donna Mann
Photograph by Donna Mann
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And so much more!