Growing up in Montana the ocean has always been a big scary mysterious thing for me. I'm always in awe when I'm around the ocean. And until my first day of snorkeling in Fiji I'd only ever seen the surface. To me the ocean was just the top of the water. It was vast and empty. I've been on boats in the ocean and have seen whales and fish momentarily before they disappear into the depths, but these depths were a mystery to me. They existed only in my mind the same way distant galaxies and planets do. Did they really exist if I couldn't experience them or see them in something more than just others' photos?
I'm normally not a water person, unless that water is frozen. I'm fine on ice, but big bodies of water usually scare me because they represent the unknown. I freaked out the first time I put my head in the water with a snorkel mask on. I did this for two reasons. First of all, I couldn't believe the amazing fish and coral that was right in front of my eyes in the three foot deep water just a stone's throw from Honeymoon Island in Fiji. Second, of all I tried to take a breath and sucked in air….but I was underwater. I jolted back out of the water because it felt strange to have my face in the water and still be able to breath. I tried it again and after a few moments my fast breathing (almost hyperventilating) had slowed down and I was able to float around and enjoy all the amazing life around me.
Just like many other environmental problems on this earth they are not right in our face every moment of every day. Unless you choose to think or care about the planet you could live your whole life and barely see the destruction that is happening around us. In that sense, until you stick your head underwater, the ocean is just a surface. It is only a pattern of waves that covers most of the planet and it is dying. What if everyone on earth was forced to stick their head under the ocean and take a look around? It might change the way people view this vast body of water. People would realize that there is a world underneath that surface that is just as complex and beautiful, if not more, than what is in front of our eyes every single day.
With these photos hopefully I can share with just a few more people the amazing world that is beneath the seemingly empty surface of the ocean.
Please feel free to pass this blog post (and any other ones) on to the rest of the world.