We Are Not Alone. Really.

Today’s Philadelphia Inquirer contained an article with a statement by the director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in New Jersey offering an explanation of why a park official likened a man getting stung by a ray to being bitten by a dog. The gist of the article was that many people forget (or maybe never thought about it) that humans are not the only species in the ocean (or bay or river). Once you enter the water you share that environment with sharks, dolphins, oysters, rays, plant life and whatever else calls water home. I have to say: REALLY??!! I mean, not that we’re not the only species in the water but that there are people who need reminding.

Whenever a power boat zooms by our sailboat, usually leaving a wake that forces maneuvering to prevent damage to our boat, (after the cursing is over) we wonder if they really appreciate the water around them at that speed. Or is the water the same to them as a highway under a car. Did they see the cow-nosed rays gliding and chasing each other next to our boat? Did they notice the young bald eagle riding the wind current above the entrance to Rock Hall harbor? Certainly they can’t hear the splash of a fish that surfaces to snap at whatever intrigues it. I was once mesmerized for about an hour by schools of tiny fish in my marina. I remember watching my niece stretched out on the dock, head hanging over the side and captivated by the sea nettles as they floated by.

Nature settles me, whether I’m watching the rays in the bay or at night listening to the bull frogs in our pond. OK. I admit that I’m ready to pull the wings off of every cicada in the trees around our house that won’t shut up. Still. It amazes me that people can be so self-involved as to not appreciate and respect other species. They live here too. Really.

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2 Responses to “We Are Not Alone. Really.”

  1. Jaye Says:

    Nice post! So, shall I be cynical, and say that some of those powerboaters not only do not recognize that other species live on this planet, but sometimes act as though they don’t recognize that other *people* live on this planet too?

    Or instead of focusing on the negative, I can focus on the calm. Your “nature settles me…” gives me the same feeling as T.P. Donnelly’s “My boat reminds me to live slow. Life in the fast lane takes a heavy toll on all of us. We think we have no choice, but of course we do. Our sailboats remind us of the pleasure one can find in simple things. Experiencing the wind and water; talking; waltzing on the waves; delighting in seeing the unexpected like a porpoise, whale, or manatee; enjoying the trip; and throwing away the schedule.”

    –Jaye (a.k.a. wingNwing)

  2. veprJack Says:

    Nice – I’m the newbie who just bought the Pearson303 in Salem Harbor. I really enjoyed this story and could not agree more! SLOW DOWN and ENJOY – Zen!

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