062: I am grateful for oceans

Having grown up in a place like Nova Scotia, where you are never any more than 30 minutes to the Atlantic Ocean it isn’t surprising that I have such an affinity for oceans. I love the sight, smell, sound, taste and feel of the ocean.

People have asked me why I came to British Columbia rather than stopping in any other place in Canada, like Toronto or Calgary. I often joke and say, “It was the only other place in Canada with another ocean.” Joke or not, there’s a lot of truth to that. I don’t understand how anyone could live in a  place far from the ocean. Life just wouldn’t feel in balance.

What is an ocean?

An ocean (from Greek, Okeanos (Oceanus)) is a large body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface (~3.61 X 1014 m2) is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.

More than half of this area is over 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) deep. Average oceanic salinity is around 35 parts per thousand (ppt) (3.5%), and nearly all seawater has a salinity in the range of 30 to 38 ppt. Scientists estimate that 230,000 marine life forms of all types are currently known, but the total could be up to 10 times that number. [source]

Marine Census
(AP Photo/Larry Madin)

One can only imagine the weird and wonderful creatures that lurk beneath the ocean waves. Scientists are continually discovering thousands of never before seen species in the depths of Earth’s oceans.

“A report released Sunday recorded 17,650 species living below 656 feet, the point where sunlight ceases. The findings were the latest update on a 10-year census of marine life.” [source]

Having come from a boating family, I personally have seen plenty of wildlife in the open ocean.

Some of what I have seen:

  • A green sea turtle, six feet across the back, following our cabin cruiser and playing in the boat’s wake as we entered the mouth LaHave River
  • Seals, mink, sea lions, sunfish and dolphins doing their thing
  • Giant schools of translucent jelly fish with tentacles meters long
  • A basking shark more than half as long as our 35′ boat, mouth agape, gobbling zooplankton.
  • A super-pod of killer whales leaping and spy hopping outside of Victoria, BC

I sound like Roy Batty the replicant, talking to Deckard at the end of Blade Runner:

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate.

Sorry.

Maybe you’ll forgive me when I show you this beautiful video titled Underwater Opera by Escape to Nature:

Underwater Opera from Escape to Nature on Vimeo.

Nice, huh?

Thank you oceans!

Photo by Kawa0310 on Flickr

One thought on “062: I am grateful for oceans

  1. I love the smell of the ocean. It always reminds me of family trips to San Diego as a kid. We also had the good fortune to snorkel in the Red Sea. It seemed as though there were only the 6 or so of us in the entire ocean. It was amazing. Vast. Beautiful. And full of fire coral.

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