All posts filed under: sea

we have a gift, and it’s everywhere

There is nothing else in our galaxy like our earth. Nothing that sustains life like our planet. We are blessed. But we don’t all know it. How can you teach someone to love the earth? If you can teach them, will they care about what they do to it? Will they love it like they love a friend, a husband, a mother? Will they teach others to love it too? I was at home recently in Texas and as I rode with my family on the interstate, my father pointed out some adjacent land. He asked “see all of that land and how it’s cleared?” I noticed it looked freshly sculpted, like someone came through with a rolling pin and created a hilly landscape and removed all the trees. I asked what was going on and he said “they are extracting oil” and he commented on how nice the land will look after all the grass grows back. Those rolling hills will be so beautiful, he said. The land that was once covered with the …

Island Hopping: U.S. Virgin Islands

My best friend Morgan just moved to St. Thomas. From Chicago. Big change. Her and boyfriend are blessed with the ability to uproot at whim and transplant wherever their hearts desire (in some sense of the phrase) because their jobs are computer/internet based. Of course not everything has the glamorous appeal that it may seem, they definitely face similar job related struggles that many independent contractors do. But for the next year, they get to experience the Caribbean in the U.S. Virgin Islands. So naturally, after just giving them about a week to settle in, I had to island hop over to pay a visit. At the same time that Tropical Storm Erika was making her devastatingly drunken path up the Antilles. So as we prepped for her demise of the USVI, we watched from their balcony overlooking Red Hook bay and St. John to see….. pretty¬† much nothing. No rain, just lots of wind. Lots of scary wind, but that’s all. St. Croix and Dominica seemed to take the brute of the hit, while …

Vamos a Sur: A Day Trip to Puerto Rico’s Southeast Coast

It was early in the morning as we loaded up the truck and headed south on the 115. The town of Rincon was just beginning to wake up as we drove through the main square, past the grocery store, and through the tunnel of mango trees that shade the road to Mayaguez. We made it through the city before traffic got too bad and then we were off, heading south in search of adventure and hopefully some fun, little waves. Our goal was Playa Inches, a beach nestled in the town of Patillas, located on the southeast corner of Puerto Rico. My boyfriend Brian had been here before, but I had never been to this area of the island so I was excited to see something new. Patillas, which is the Taino (indigenous people of PR) name for a native type of watermelon that was grown in the area, is surrounded by San Lorenzo to the north, Yabucoa to the east, and Arroyo and Guayama to the west. This entire area is known for producing …

menagerie: island vibe

Time for island inspiration! Summer is closing in, and while I’m away basking in the sunshine of Bali, here are some of my favorite pins to share that island fever with ya! Where you headed this summer? Share your vacation plans with us! Especially if you’re visiting an island!

ocean conservation and why you should care: part two

Thanks for reading yesterday, and coming back today for more. It delights me that this topic interests you, and that you can’t wait to find out why protecting our ocean will benefit you. Did you know that the estimated net worth of coral reefs and the ecosystem services they provide is about $29.2 billion/year? I have seen a few examples of figures of this magnitude, but their message is the same. This $h*t is worth protecting. Imagine a time you went to a beach (if not a beach, then imagine a time you were mesmerized by marine life in an aquarium or on TV). That beach is pristine, there are white sands, no trash, gorgeous healthy plantlife all around the coastline. You dive into the ocean and you see bright, neon colors of live, vibrant coral reefs. The reef is just alive and full of reef fish, octopus, lobsters, crabs. A world abundant. Now imagine that same beach but this time, it’s crowded with people. Each of these people has brought an ice chest and …

ocean conservation and why you should care: part one

There is this term in science we often use to describe how one generation views the ocean, versus a past generation: shifting baselines. This term was first coined by Daniel Pauly, a renown fisheries biologist who warned us that continuing to fish like we do will undoubtedly lead to overfishing and severe issues for our oceans, and ourselves. He wasn’t wrong, that’s exactly what happened for several fisheries around the US and the world. Now as we try to climb back out of this hole we’ve dug ourselves, we’ve discovered that this “shifting baselines” is a real situation. This means that the fisheries, the coral reef ecosystems, the rainforests that we see today is what we refer to as our “baseline”. This is what we need to protect, because it’s all that we have left. Let’s get grim… there is about 10% of live coral reef in the Caribbean. That is amazing right? Can you believe that is all that is left? But imagine if you were a scientist, a diver, a recreational fisher, a …

mermaids & paddling: finding time for you

How blessed can one be to have such amazing people in their life? Is not the most important – and forever lasting – thing in this earthly time truly relationships? I believe so. Friends do come and go, but I believe that you meet certain people in life at exactly the right time. There are no coincidences. Some of you may know that I recently became a brand ambassador for the boutique paddleboard company, Suplove. Their fast growing reach first started Down Under, but was then moved to California where they currently reside. I cannot say enough good things about this board, and I will share that with you another time. Today, I just want to share about the importance of finding time to unwind (which relates to paddleboarding for me). That may seem¬† ironic coming from the girl who lives on a tropical island, but let’s not forget that this very same girl is also a graduate student (can I get an Amen?). But for real, when was the last time you took a …

inspired by rachel carson

Rachel Carson was an inspiration to science and an incredibly influential woman, way before her time in writing, biology and protection for our planet. She pledged her life to environmental conservation, which sparked a movement that led to the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As a woman in science – a marine biologist living and working in a man’s career – she inspires me like no other scientist. Rachel Carson was a fisheries biologist for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife, but was perhaps most well known for her incredible nature writings. She authored several books including the infamous Silent Spring , which alerted the American public to the dangers of pesticides and fertilizers leeching into our ground waters, poisoning our fields, animals, and ourselves. Her book was met with opposition from chemical manufacturers, and many fought to hush her attempt at public awareness of these environmental issues. Luckily for us, someone was listening, which is why DDT has now been banned, amongst several other chemical pesticides that were once deemed suitable for human …

surf session photoshoot

A friend of mine needed a small favor last week. She is being featured in a newer yoga/lifestyle magazine that required some photos for the article. We were at yoga, and she told me the story. I offered to help. I know she wouldn’t want me to share any headshots because she hates having her picture taken, so instead I at least just wanted to show you the beauty of the island and how I love the colors of her leggings and surfboard against the stark contrast of the rocks and sky. Her mantra pretty well seems up life: “If I’m salty, I’m happy. If I’m happy, I’m grateful” And being grateful means you’ve found that bliss. I’m no professional – not even an amateur – but I like how these turned out. And I’ll get a paddleboarding cruise up north to her favorite hidden spot (caves!) out of it, so not a bad afternoon spent shooting and editing!

why choose to live on an island

When I chose the path to marine science, I had no idea I would end up where I am now. In the middle of the Caribbean. On an island. Far from home. If I could revisit my senior year of high school self and say “guess what, after college you’re going to spend 5 years in Puerto Rico”, I would laugh. Puerto Rico? I don’t even know where that is (lies, I’d like to think I knew about US territories when I was in high school…). You know my story: Texan girl goes off to summer camp in Galveston, falls in love with the sea, graduates high school and moves to Florida, gets two degrees, and then here is where I pick up. In Puerto Rico. I had no idea what to expect when moving to the island. I knew it would be something like the States, since it is governed by the US. I knew the school system would be bilingual, and I knew there were waves [for surfers] in the town we settled …