I have always loved introducing people to the ocean. First time snorkelers, first time divers, and especially children, all seeing the underwater world for the first time. I cannot count how many people I have taught to snorkel or taken snorkeling, and most of them went on to dive and become certified divers. Since I am always excited to be in the water and see fish and animals and corals, I enjoy being with others who are as excited as I am!
Good fortune came my way in Cozumel recently, when a ten year old girl staying next door fell in love with the ocean. Her entire family did! I loved the whole group, they were just so awed by the ocean. The young girl, Addison, went out on a snorkel with me and we had a great adventure: scorpion fish, flounders, yellow stingrays, bristle worms and amazingly enough, a seahorse! That was magical! Avid snorkelers and divers are always searching for the elusive animal, they are under pressure for many reasons, among them climate (take a look at Save Our Seahorses to learn more). We stayed out for over an hour, and she could not get enough! It felt good to show her the underwater world. She was particularly drawn to the Queen Parrot Fish who were becoming adults with their dazzling colors. We must teach our children, and everyone else for that matter, to love the ocean, appreciate her, and take good care of her. As temperatures rise, coral bleaching has reached record highs, and we are running out of time. About 25% of the biodiversity of the earth comes from coral reefs, though coral reefs account for less than 1% of the ocean. Every second breath you take comes from the ocean. Human beings must take stronger action to combat the destruction of our reefs.
The desire to write a book series about our Ocean Friends was something I always wanted to do in order to introduce people to the animals in the ocean. When people get interested and excited, they want to learn more, and to experience it. My first published book, Fish Faces: Photos and Fun Facts about Tropical Reef Fish, is meant to begin a journey of getting to know our ocean friends, and how important they are to our survival on this planet. It all begins with knowledge, and with knowledge comes enthusiasm. Learning should be fun at any and every age! Fish Faces is available on LULU.com right now, and are also available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Amazon and B&N have not updated to the lower price yet but should do so soon. 10% of profits will go to the Marine Megafauna Foundation to support their research and efforts in saving our ocean giants, who are so endangered. Their website also has opportunities to participate in citizen science on expeditions with their scientists, as well as adoptions and sponsorships of sea giants!
Do you know someone interested in the ocean? This is a super fun way to learn about fish species and how different they look from ocean to ocean. I have dived in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, and many of the seas within them, so my photographs reflect a planetary view of ocean fish, along with fun facts about each species.
I so enjoyed my time snorkeling with Addison, and it makes me want to show people the ocean even more! I hope you take a look at Fish Faces!