My very first memories are of the ocean. Walks along the shore with my parents and dog, collecting seashells, finding the rare pool with starfish. As a child I was always surrounded by salt air, there was my hometown in Mystic with its proximity to the shore and the last commercial fishing fleet in Connecticut and then the beach house in the Outer Banks back before people knew what Cape Hatteras was.
I learned to swim before I could walk, spent summers perfecting sculling and sailing, capsizing the sailboat when the sun got too hot. To this day the smell of French Fries brings me back to beach days with my grandma when we’d jump waves for hours, coming out of the water only when hungry to eat curly fries and ice cream twists.
And yet summer was never my favorite time at the beach. Maybe that’s what happens when you grow up in a tourist town. But it’s the other times of year when the majesty of the ocean is most apparent. When the crowds go and beaches fall silent except for the soothing rhythm of waves hitting the shore. The ocean’s power and frailty on full display.
The vulnerability of our oceans was visible to me from a young age. Apparent in the erosion of the beach in Cape Hatteras. A nightmare standing on shore anxiously watching the oil barges pass. As I grew up, started reporting on hurricanes and the dying CT fishing fleet the fragileness of the oceans took on not just a way of life but economic clarity. Our oceans are dying and I can only do a small part to prevent that. I religiously take my reusable bags to the supermarket, looked into buying an electric car and now I’m writing about the beauty and frailty of the oceans for a new publican from the Oceana foundation. Azula.com is a mix of stories that aims to make you think about and enjoy the oceans all year. Dive in at azula.com