Under the Sea
Volume 15, Issue 1 September 2015
VOLUME 15 ISSUE 1 SEPTEMBER 2015
We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one. JACQUES-YVES COUSTEAU (1910 - 1997)
The Compass Rose
One Cool Summer Morning
My Old Foe
Down by The Bay
Far beneath the conscience
Music in the Sea of Key
Lost at Sea
Bottom of the Ocean
The ebb and flow of breath
SARA STACEY REBECCA FLETCHER BREANNA KETTLES LOUISE
Fountain of Youth
Lost with All Hands
Diving in with Bruce Kingsbury
MATTHEW KETTLES CARINA RAMPELT
MARIA KOUZNETSOVA AMANDA SCHEIFELE BRITTANY BENNETT CARINA RAMPELT CHARIS HESKETH
REBECCA ALLISON KARLY RATH LOUISE
JOSEPH BRANNAN DONNIQUE WILLIAMS J. MOORS ALICE FLYNN REBECCA ALLISON FELICITY SHIPP
Under the Sea
Editor-in-Chief Carina Rampelt email@example.com
Production Manager Brendan Fardy firstname.lastname@example.org
Literary Editor Breanna Kettles email@example.com
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Web Editor Lydia Mainville firstname.lastname@example.org
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Amanda Scheifele, Shelley Bulmer, Donnique Williams, Cinthya Fernandes, Joseph Brannan, Carina Rampelt, Jessica Groom
Matt Smith, Victoria Parker, Nathanael Lewis, Alex Hanson, Katie Parker, Joshua Howe, Sandra Ata, Jenn Schleich
ADMINISTRATION President, Publisher & Chair Bryan Stephens Executive Director Bryn Ossington Advertising Manager Angela Endicott Vice Chair Abdiasis Issa Treasurer John Pehar Director Rafey Sattar Director Thomas Lillo Community Director Fred Kuntz Community Director Gary Doyle Community Director Angela Foster Corporate Secretary Laura Buck
We all come into this world swimming. It seems fitting, as beings whose home planet is mostly covered in water, that our very first home is the amniotic fluid of our mothers’ wombs. Even as we grow, our bodies are still mostly comprised of water: a tiny piece of the ocean we each carry inside. As intimately connected as we are with our waters, our relationship with them is complicated. Not only are oceans places of life-giving beauty, but also of incredible danger. After thousands of years of documented exploration, there’s still so much that remains to be known about the watery spaces on our planet. Our collective storytelling past is littered with tales of sea monsters, terrifying storms and apocalyptic floods—not to mention little mermaids. I think everyone who has ever been to the ocean has stood on the shore and gazed out to the seemingly infinite blue with trepidation and imagination, like our ancestors have for generations. With all their vastness, oceans are places of liberation. Holidayers and refugees alike flock to the coasts seeking some form of escape. More so, oceans are havens for the unusual, the weird, even the criminal. Where else could jellyfish, sea cucumbers, and pirates coexist? In this issue, we’re most interested in what lies under the surface—and not necessarily in a literal sense. Though our title may evoke connections to Disney songs (and if you’ve already been caught humming to yourself, don’t worry, I have too!), it’s more than that. It’s something floating, churning, just out of sight beneath the waves. Whatever memories the ocean stirs up for you—family vacations, beach campfires with friends, quiet existentialism—I hope you find something in this issue that resonates with your own depths. Let’s dive in.
Carina Rampelt Editor-in-Chief
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COVER Under the Sea by ANJA JAVELONA My inspiration for this piece was a dream I had as a child where I swam with jellyfish. I also wanted to covey how being under water is a whole new world where it can be surreal and dreamlike. For more of my work please check my website at: www.anja-javelona.com
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NEXT ISSUE The Brain On stands Fall 2015
The Compass Rose KATELYN STEWART
V How tempest-tossed and short our sailings be; Forever tied, dependent on the sea And all her whims. Our vessels float beyond This present bay, worn and often mended From the fray of choppy ventures. A pond Would offer calmer berth and safer bed For those who’d bear it. But I swear it, all Who hark that strange disruption in the call, The sea’s command emitted by the gull, To break the pounding waves against the hull, Accede: a roamer’s path lies ever west And far beyond the islands is our rest. For we who hear, our rudders we must wet Horizon-bound, our compass ever set.
One Cool Summer Morning MARIA KOUZNETSOVA
One cool summer morning She takes a stroll along the shoreline Breathing in the fresh lake air She rejoices for lifeâ€™s great treasures Like this promenade on the beach Waves lap up against her bare feet Which have made footprints in the sand As she walks, the waves roll gently And wash her footprints all away Tender waves cool her feet
The sun shines on soft sparkling sand As the tide slowly rises The breeze blows And the lake relaxes During this stroll upon the beach
Shoreless AMANDA SCHEIFELE
Have you ever wondered how deep the sea goes? And not just how deep it goes into the earth’s skull, but how deep it goes into itself? How long would you be sinking if you fell into the ‘a’ in Pacific? Do the whales know of the depthless mass beneath them as they squiggle slowly by? And what of the flying fish? Do they conceive that the depths beneath them are less than the depths above them? The ocean is deep, but the sky is deeper. We shoot metal bubbles down to discover the Titanic, but the fireballs we shoot up get lost behind the moon. In fact, the sky is more of an ocean than the ocean itself. The ocean is lonely, but the stars are far more apart. The ocean is deep, but the universe is limitless. The ocean trembles, but the galaxy quakes. The ocean is wide but the suns have no shores. The idea of no shores. To just float. To let your breath out in oxygen octagons. Sink into the depths, with nothing around but a billion stars all beyond reach.
Far beneath the conscience BRITTANY BENNETT
The light shimmers and glistens from above; colours switch and flicker. Every last pore across my body fills. I am submerged. I am weightless. The sounds are muffled and calm; even my thoughts fade away. My lungs begin to tighten. Bubbles escape up the sides of my nose. Yet, I do not move. Floating in my peaceful serenity; my mind lighter than the breeze above the surface. I can feel pressure lift the top of my skull. But it’s actually still, It’s never still. I am completely surrounded, Yet I feel so alone. I didn’t know I could be content on my own. A fierce scream takes all the air I have left; producing nothing but a few measly bubbles. A panic kicks my legs into gear, and in that moment, the light seems out of reach. I am in slow motion. My arms whoosh down. My neck stretches high. Out I break back into life, a gasp of air, eyes wide open. I am here.
He is standing on a cliff overlooking an ocean violently crashing against the steep rock’s face. Bitter cold bites at him, though he cannot feel it. He stares at the thrashing tempest. He wants to memorize this moment; the exact shade of deep blue mixing with the white water being ripped apart violently by the rocks; the low screaming of the water; the fresh earthy smell; the mist swirling gracefully in the air. Between the pulses of the waters savage attack on the rocks, images flash in his mind. He sees her, her face, her smile. The mist of the cold water touches his cheek. He remembers how excited he was the day she said yes, god they were so happy. He remembers when she told them they were expecting. The mist mixes with his tears that fall silently as he refuses to break eye contact with the forceful waves. He sees her face, twisted, contorted with pain. The memories of her screams are nearly drowned out by the screams of the ocean smashing against the cliff face. Oh god the blood, it’s everywhere. He slams his eyes shut trying to block the image of the doctors running and shouting and pulling him away from her. He breathes the salty sea air in deeply trying to clear away the smell of blood and fear. She looked so scared. She kept asking if the baby was going to be okay. He takes one step closer to the edge as the word ‘complications’ flies through his mind, destroying all it touches. He looks down at his fate and tries not to think of her face once the life had gone from it. He tries not to think about her dead eyes. He could barely believe she was gone. The jagged rocks under him seemed to be a peaceful reprieve from the mess of her screams and blood and eyes that rip through his thoughts as brutally and the water rips through the stone. He looks over at the carriage behind him. It must be asleep. He wonders if anyone will find it in time but he doesn’t care. It killed her. He turns away and takes the final step forward. His last thought is of her, her face, her smile, as he is welcomed into the cold, dark waters.
“Just a little while longer. We must be close by now.” Catherine was never very tall, but standing there on the mist-shrouded deck, she seemed even smaller. As if she would be swallowed up by the unknown at any moment. Even as she responded to her guardian’s arrival without him saying a word, her hardened gaze searched the fog tirelessly. “Even if we are close to the site, you’ll never spot him in this fog.” “You don’t know my eyes.” She retorted, and tightened her grip on the rail. “I will find him.” It had been three days since the message arrived. The Prince’s ship has been lost in the southern Andloss. Suspected to be pirate raid. No known survivors. Catherine had been distraught, but only briefly. Her composure regained, she had called for a ship, and the search began. Now she stood at the bow of their fastest vessel, scanning the water below for a brother who was likely already nestled far below the unforgiving waves of the Andloss Sea. She remained the only soul onboard who still believed this to be a rescue attempt. The entire crew expected to return with a corpse at best, or, more likely, empty handed. She had heard the whispered rumours, and ignored the patronizing glances. They would find him. They had to. Standing at the bow, Catherine looked like some noble figure out of history, leading her people on a crusade that cut through the seas like a blade. Her proud gaze never wavered from the waters before them as though they were her foe. This was the sea that had borne her as a child in her mother’s arms. It was where she learned to swim, and to fight. It was where her father had suffered great defeats, and won glorious victories. It was all at once her best friend, protector, and source of danger. Now, it was only as endless as the stories told. In all directions, it spread out into eternity, as though land never existed. Even knowing the route of the Prince’s voyage, finding his ship was as likely as stumbling across the fountain of youth. She knew that. But still, she searched. Even as her guardian wrapped a shawl around her shoulders, and begged her to go where it was dry, she stood firm. “Thank you. But I will stay right here until we know.” She paused, and then corrected herself. “Until we find him.” Her guardian left with a bow, and a heavy sigh. He knew the sea better than that child. He knew that its Sirens could tempt even the most grounded sailor. He knew when a storm brewed, even on a cloudless day. And he knew that it never yielded a secret that it wished to keep. It held fast its dead. So he left Catherine searching the salty mist in vain. For even a chorus of the damned could not convince her that the sea wouldn’t take her to paradise.
Lost At Sea
an ocean spills over the countertop and you stand adrift and elbow-deep in dishwater
damp anemone splotches
and pant legs
yet you remain unmoved in the soapsud-capped spray so solid outside but inside churning fighting sputtering each
a resounding question
why donâ€™t you? just surrender yourself just let yourself unseeing your eyes set sail
to the blue oblivion drown
13 KARLY RATH
AMANDA SCHEIFELE CHRISTINA MANOCCHIO
Bottom of the Ocean CHARIS HESKETH
The sea divides two hearts That are not supposed to be apart Their love was like summer morning That came into their lives without any warning The distance grew stronger And time became longer Their feelings for each other started to wither Like a rose in the winter And years later they were cleansed of each other Maybe one day they will tell the story About one summer morning On how they found love through the motions And how their hearts are left at the bottom of the Ocean
Blinding Blue REBECCA ALLISON That which sustains, Engulfs, Creates. A solution and a quest. A world, Composed of crevices and creatures, Born of air, scales and bone. The angled meeting, Three atoms, Dihydrogen monoxide, The source. Life balanced, Upon bonds and interactions. In hues of blue, Imagination weaves a symphony. Harmony against the land, Crescendos, But waves beating against the worn shore. Beneath the surface, A search. For the unknown, The yet unanswered. The blinding blue, Hidden from solar beams, Yet curiosity reigns upon such lands.
Fountain of Youth MARK ZLOMISLIC I was wary of taking an airboat ride through the Everglades. Call me old fashioned but I don’t like reptiles with huge jaws, razor sharp teeth, a bite with 2125 pounds of pressure per square inch and no emotional center in their brains. The Floridians seem to treat gators like stray cats. One guide says “there must be 4000 gators in this particular lake and the locals go swimming here all the time.” Sure, I thought, but do they come out with all their limbs intact? The boat ride turned out to be enjoyable. We saw egrets and storks and beef cattle on the edge of the glades chomping away on the greens. If I were a gator the first thing I’d go for was the bovine on the bank and then wash it down with some Girls Night Out Merlot. The guide took us to a place where the gators hunted. We saw a ten foot long gator in stealth mode. Its eyes and head were barely visible. The guide explained the difference between a gator and crocodile. The gator will probably swim away from you while the croc will swim toward you. I didn’t see the guide getting in the water to test his theory. He knew to be aware of what lies under the water. Crocs, I found out have the strongest bite ever measured on living animals; 7770 PSI. This would be like getting crushed in a metal compactor. After the tour we were treated to a gator show. An expert from Gatorland stopped by with “Buttercup” a two foot long gator that had its mouth duct taped. He explained that its bite was worse than a full grown Rottweiler in vicious mode. We all got turns holding the baby gator. Its skin was cold and smooth. I was holding a piece of pre-history and thought it was interesting how humans turn nature into tourism. In the spring light everything looked beautiful. I looked at the gator and saw 150 million years of endurance. In a strange way the gator had consistency. You knew what to expect from a gator. There were no surprises. If you were to cry out, “What the fuck, you took a chunk out of me while I was holding you” your explicative would be out of place and a sign of stupidity. Did you expect otherwise, perhaps some Dr. Oz care and tenderness? Gators, like humans, are opportunists. During times of scarcity, a hungry gator will eat just about anything, including carrion, pets, and humans. The gator doesn’t need to work on its weaknesses. It doesn’t have to control its anger or deal with its eating problems. It doesn’t chase after illusions. It just is what it is. The resort we stayed at had a pond with a fountain in the center. A few small gators inhabited the space. The residents made sure they were well fed. One gator seemed to enjoy the Doritos I was feeding it. So did the Peacock that spread its train and iridescent plumage. The bird was sacred to the Hindus and the Greeks thought them to be symbol of immortality. Early Christians placed them next to the Tree of Life. It made sense for Ponce de León, the Spanish explorer and conquistador to believe that the Fountain of Youth was in Florida. I certainly felt enlivened there and could understand why Stan and Nancy left the harsh Canadian winter behind to chase the sun.
The ebb and flow of breath KARLY RATH
There are days when the waves wash over me Drowning me in shivers and tears Gasping for air does nothing To ease my burning chest Not knowing which way is up I fight to get it back The breathing The in and the out When the current smothers me I ache for the routine The mundane When the oxygen is mine again I remember How itâ€™s just like last time I remember How itâ€™s just like the rise and fall of the ocean I remember How it always returns My body remembers How breathing comes and goes like the tide
Beatific Vision LOUISE
Sometimes I sit alone and watch videos of people falling into pools. That moment they first hit the water is my favorite thing. Their faces fill with an uncanny sense of certainty. They are forced to surrender to reality; they will go into the cold water and there is nothing they can do about it. I long to have that kind of understanding. Knowing that there is nothing to do beside acknowledge the circumstance. There is no other choice. You will go under the water.
Whale Song JOSEPH BRANNAN
The depth of sound of a hundred thousand books on shelves a muffled, dusty stillness (an incomprehensible roar of millions of words) wrapped in unfathomable crooning of the sea-giants.
LOST WITH ALL HANDS
The Missing Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes MATTHEW KETTLES
“How do you lose a ship in a lake?” This is inevitably one of the first questions asked when describing the shipwrecks of North America’s five Great Lakes to those unfamiliar with the region or the subject. Of course, the Great Lakes are much bigger than your average lake, to the point where it is perhaps more appropriate to term them “Inland Seas”. Forming a corridor from the heartland of North America to the Atlantic Ocean, the Lakes proved themselves a viable means of transportation, an industry which continues to this day. In spite of its rich collection of lore, the maritime history of the Great Lakes is a largely forgotten chapter of North American history, outside of a handful of historians, local enthusiasts, and scuba divers. This last group in particular is important to note, as they are concerned with the history of the many well-preserved shipwrecks that lie scattered along the bottom of the lakes. While the history of the lakes is filled with the harrowing tales of survivors from these wrecks, there are some ships from which there were no survivors, no one to tell the tale of what caused the lakes to claim yet another ship for their collection. There are countless examples of ships that, for one reason or another, sailed out from safe harbor into the lake and were never seen or heard from again. Search parties were organized, and sent out in hopes of finding the lost vessel. Instead, they would be greeted by a field of wreckage, and return empty handed with news that the missing vessel was lost. These ships form a collection of intriguing mysteries; ships that “went missing”. This piece is by no means intended as an exhaustive overview of such cases. Instead, it should serve as an introduction to further inquiry, for those who may be curious. One of the first examples of a ship that “went missing” is, appropriately, one of the first European ships to ever sail the Great Lakes. This vessel was the 45-ton French barque, Le Griffon, constructed by the explorer Robert Cavalier, Sieur de la Salle. La Salle is more famous today as the man who claimed Louisiana for France, but earlier in his career, he had explored the Great Lakes region in the hopes of finding the Northwest Passage. As part of this expedition, to take advantage of the abundant and highly lucrative furs in the region, La Salle ordered the construction of Le Griffon. The vessel set sail on its maiden voyage on August 7, 1679 bound from the Niagara Peninsula to the location of modern-day Green Bay, Wisconsin. The vessel arrived safely, and La Salle disembarked while the ship was loaded with furs, and sent back to its port of origin with a crew of six. Le Griffon never made it.1
Harlan Hatcher and Erich A. Walter. A Pictorial History of the Great Lakes. (New York: American Legacy Press, 1963), 52-53. 1
Today, Le Griffon is seen as the “Holy Grail” for Great Lakes shipwreck hunters. With no survivors or witnesses to speak of, its location is the most ambiguous of any Great Lakes shipwreck. It’s not clear which lake it was even lost in, as locations in both Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are equally likely. While many claims have come forward over the years, none have definitely proven to be the long-lost ship.2 As European settlement and later, American expansion continued, the Great Lakes basin became a heavily populated and industrialized region. A developed lake commerce industry rose up in response to this, and by the mid-19th Century, hundreds of schooners and small wooden steamships plied the waters. People needed to be moved just as much as cargo, and in response, upstart companies constructed small paddle-driven steamships to run between the large port cities. The 197foot long Alpena was one such ship. Constructed in Marine City, Michigan in 1867, the Alpena was one of the more popular ‘palace ships’ that plied the Lake Michigan, running a route between Chicago, Muskegon, and Grand Haven. Its last run on October 15, 1880 began under fair weather conditions, unusually warm for that late in the season. After taking on the last of its passengers and cargo, the Alpena departed Grand Haven for Chicago at 10pm. That night, however, conditions suddenly took a turn for the worse. The temperature plummeted from 18 degrees Celsius down to 0 in less than an hour, and a gale rose up, with winds up to 112 kilometers per hour. The next morning, the Alpena was nowhere to be found. As wreckage began to wash ashore in the next weeks, it became apparent that it never would be. While there was no official manifesto detailing how many were aboard, it is estimated that 70-80 passengers and crew went to the bottom of Lake Michigan with the Alpena. 3 With the dawn of the 20th Century, the advent of the steel freighter heralded the dawn of the modern era of navigation on the great lakes. Cargo could be delivered faster and in greater quantities than was ever before possible, resulting in a boom in ship construction. In spite of their modern innovations, these new ships still proved themselves just as susceptible to the lakes’ fury. The most infamous of these early steel ships was the small 245-foot long canal steamer Bannockburn. Built in 1893 in Scotland, the Bannockburn was considered a staunch and reliable vessel.4 On November 20, 1902, the ship departed Port Arthur, Ontario, bound for Midland with a cargo of wheat. A storm hit the lake the following evening, but one the Bannockburn should have been more than capable of weathering. Another ship, the Algonquin, spotted the Bannockburn that night, the captain noting it was fighting a headwind, but otherwise seemed to be faring well. The passenger vessel Huronic also may have spotted the Bannockburn’s lights, although this was never confirmed. Despite the lack of indication that the ship was in distress, it failed to show up the following morning in Sault Ste. Marie. Hope was briefly revived when a single report came in that the Bannockburn was ashore on Michipicoten Island. But this was dashed as a search failed to find the supposedly stranded ship. The only bits of wreckage ever recovered were a single life jacket and an oar, both bearing the lost vessel’s name, washed up on Superior’s southern shore. The Bannockburn was gone, but the question remained: why?5 2 Chris Kohl. Shipwreck Tales of the Great Lakes. (West Chicago: Seawolf Communications, 2004), 44-47. 3 Frederick Stonehouse. Went Missing 2nd Edition. (Marquette: Avery Color Studios, 1984), 138-140. 4 Rev. Peter J. Van der Linden et al. Great Lakes Ships We Remember Vol. I. (Cleveland: Freshwater Press, 1984), 43. 5 Stonehouse, Went Missing, 44-46.
This was not the end of the Bannockburn’s story. It would live on in the minds of more imaginative sailors and storytellers as the “Flying Dutchman of Lake Superior”. On other stormy nights sailors would report seeing the little steamer plowing though the swells, still vainly attempting to reach its destination. Reported Bannockburn sightings began the year after the vessel’s loss and continued well into the 1940s, often seen as a foreboding omen.6 All of these losses pale in comparison to the worst disaster to ever befall the Great Lakes shipping industry, simply known as the Great Storm of 1913. Lasting from November 6 until November 11 of that year, twelve steel freighters vanished into the lake, taking with them over 250 sailors.7 The largest of the ships, the 529-foot long Canadian steamer James Carruthers was only a few months old at the time. In spite of warnings of the oncoming storm at DeTour, Michigan, where the Carruthers had stopped to take on coal, the ship’s captain ordered her to sail out into Lake Huron. Instead of remaining behind to seek shelter, the Carruthers simply became one more of the Great Lakes’ lost ships. 8 These ships are a mere handful of the Great Lakes ships whose registries were closed with the words “lost with all hands”. At the same time, they are each little pieces of the region’s history, igniting the imagination of the members of dedicated groups of hobby divers and historical societies, who continue to search for these lost ships. However, the Lakes are notoriously good at keeping their secrets. Of the estimated six thousand ships that have been lost on the Great Lakes since the arrival of Europeans to the continent, less than a quarter have been located. With the limited amount of resources devoted to finding these wrecks, and the depths to which the lakes plunge, it is likely that most of them will remain lost for years to come. With the advent of technological advancements such as radio, radar, and GPS systems, the frequency of shipwrecks dropped rapidly. The small steel freighters of the past have given way to much larger vessels, anywhere between 700 and 1000 feet in length and capable of carrying five times as much cargo as their predecessors. Yet far beneath the modern hulls gliding on the placid surface lie the immaculately preserved bones of the ships and the sailors that have gone before them, quietly forgotten until they day they are chanced upon once more.
Dwight Boyer. Ghost Ships of the Great Lakes. (Cornwall: The Cornwall Press, 1968), 26-27. Stonehouse, Went Missing, 194. 8 Dwight Boyer. True Tales of the Great Lakes. (New York: Dodd, Mead, & Company, 1971), 266-267. 6 7
My Old Foe BREANNA KETTLES
Lake Toplitz, Austria. We meet again. This time, I’ve brought my diving gear. You didn’t think I would, did you? You mock me, as always, with your benign surface and inviting waves. Innocent swimmers would never know of the graveyard that lurks below. Eighteen metres of freshwater swimming space, before a nightmarish layer of decaying logs, and a saltwater unknown beneath. It’s those logs which are the very reason why we cannot ever be friends, Toplitz. They wait in your murky purgatory, an army of the dead which defend your long-fabled secrets. You know whether or not there is Nazi gold settling in the muddy floor, or why there is an aircraft, glimpsed once between the branches of your guard. You know why nothing can live below eighteen metres. And yet, you yield nothing. Perhaps it is because no one really looks. I’ve probably been spoiled by the silt bed of Lake Superior, though she carries more than her fair share of secrets. There is no intent to hide them, and so, we get along just fine. But today is not about the issues I may or may not have with my homelake. Today, I conquer you, and your loggy interior. Today, I defeat that lingering fear of the submerged, the bloated, and the rotten. They are trees, and you are a body of water. I fear neither individually. Together, you are a force to be reckoned with, but a force that I can defeat. I will best you. I am better than the twisted remains of a once-majestic tree, trapped in the void that is your body. Maybe I’ll even catch a glimpse of that Nazi gold you hold so close and dear. Today, I dive. Perhaps I’ll even build the courage to touch one. Now what do you say to that? Oh. Oh dear. There certainly are a lot of them, aren’t there? Okay. Breathe. Calm down. They don’t look like bodies or anything. They can’t hurt me, can’t hurt me, can’t... Well. This is embarrassing. It appears that you’ve won again, Toplitz. Well played, my old foe. Superior sends her regards. Farewell ... you monster.
SEE DONNIQUE WILLIAMS
In this moment peace flows like unwrestled waters torn apart by an iron giant. Man has left his mark on the sea. She bears no scars but rightly feels the impact of this giant parting her flesh. She is never the same.
Sauble J. MOORS
I am deeply, deeply in love My heart has been claimed Not by any human touch But by the land that raised me Amongst the wooded trails I wandered, Along a sure and well-worn path to nature’s edge Amongst the dunes I sat, Entire summers spent along the scorching shore Amongst the waves I dove, Abandoning the world for the water’s cold embrace But now I must leave And spend my days far from home From the gull’s cries and the lake’s cool breeze Trading in the only place I’ve ever known myself For a city filled with promises and dreams The only trace remaining Of my summers by the beach Are my feet’s toughened soles And the ever present grains of sand, At the bottom of my suitcase
SINKING ALICE FLYNN
Have you ever gone just far enough into the water that you canâ€™t touch bottom? Hovering there, part way between life and the horizon I found eternity. And it is so blue it hurts my eyes But I canâ€™t look away. Forever is in the waves that crest over your brow. But will you sink To find it?
Sinking beneath the waves, Your image murky, Below the depths. The waves lapping at your form, The edges fading, Washed away with the tide. Dancing about the concentric ripples, Off to explore beyond the horizon. The new dawn, Illuminating the aquatic jungle, Abandoned to endless and constant exploration. Your imagination to document, The shadows and crevasses, Only darkness knows well.
Down by The Bay LOUISE
When I was 15 my parents took me on a trip to Florida. I was regrettably excited about going to the beach. Cursed with a body of perpetual childhood, I stuffed my doughy, A-cupped frame into my one-piece bathing suit, channeling the kind of grace one may attribute to heroines like Abigail Breslin circa Little Miss Sunshine. With my frizzy red hair and acne kissed skin, I packed my beach bag with an iPod Nano, some oversized “Audrey Hepburn” shades, a book and some tanning oil. I prayed that the good lord would finally bestow a glowing tan onto me. Playing it real cool, I pumped some Gang of Four (inspired by a recent viewing of Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette), put on my shades and fell asleep reading on the sunny Florida shore. I awoke to another world. A shiny, muscle-clad man strutted out of the water like some kind of divine King Neptune. He lifted his sunglasses from his eyes, looked my way, uttering the word, “wow”. I felt a rush as I flashed him a braces smile. I soon noted another dreamy beach god eyeing me up; an old woman lying near me on the beach was even looking my way. I could have sworn the salty ocean air was twirling my hair around like some kind of Herbal Essences commercial as I basked in the ogling eyes on that Floridian beach. If only I had known that I was not suddenly “sizzling hot” in the Kim’s-ass- kind of way, rather I was “sizzling hot” in the horrifying-sunburn-blisters-all-over-my body, going-to-need-to-see-a-doctor- kind of way. Fuck the beach.
“Bright fish swimming against the dark blue background of an ethereal undersea world...” 34
Diving In with Bruce Kingsbury Editor-in-Chief Carina Rampelt sits down with Groundhog Divers owner Bruce Kingsbury to discuss childhood obsessions, present-day adventures, and a lifelong fascination with being under the sea. Rock music pulses softly in the background. Flippers line the top of one wall, wetsuits hang all along another, all sporting brand names I’ve never heard of. Mares. Sherwood Scuba. Aqua Lung. Embarrassingly enough, getting lost in summertime construction has made me a little late for my interview with Groundhog divers’ owner Bruce Kingsbury. Now it’s my turn to wait as he helps a customer. I take in the store and flip through an issue of a dive magazine, stopping on an article talking about the possible real-life equivalents for various mythical sea creatures. This would fit so well in the next issue of Blueprint, I think. Then again, I am in a dive store. It’d be hard not to find something that fit the theme of Under the Sea. “I’ll be with you in a moment,” Kingsbury assures me and I apologize again for being late. I continue reading and in a few minutes, the customer satisfied, he leads me over to a high table to the side of the front counter, where we sit on bar stools and begin our chat. I start by asking about his childhood. “Have you always loved the water?” I want to know. “Not always,” he admits. He even remembers being afraid of water as a small child, especially “the bottom of pools.” But watching television series about oceanography, like those hosted by Jacques Cousteau, gave him a fascination for the undersea world. When, in his twenties, a friend of his got his hands on some diving equipment, “[they] went to a lake—[he doesn’t] remember which one—and tried it out.” Looking back, he’s grateful that first attempt went so well. “I hear so many stories about inexperienced divers that end badly,” he says, noting that getting used to breathing compressed air for the first time without proper instruction can be particularly dangerous. After that, he knew diving was something he wanted to do more of. He soon became certified and began working toward becoming a diving instructor. He was involved with Groundhog divers “almost from the very beginning—within the first year or two” and since has logged over 5500 dives. With that many dives under his belt, I’m sure he must have been in some scary situations. Surprisingly enough, he doesn’t think so. “It’s all about being prepared,” he explains. “[He has] had goggles disintegrate on [him] under water” but has been able to remain calm and resolve crises because of his experience and training. Kingsbury tells me that other parts of diving safe include not diving in unknown areas, and not diving exceedingly deep just for the sake of it. Anyway, “the most interesting things are in the first 60 feet” and he would rather take the time to explore and enjoy than spend most of his dive time on the descent and ascent. A natural curiosity and desire to explore has always been a part of diving for Kingsbury. He’s had the chance to dive around shipwrecks, with whales and manta rays, just to name a few. Diving around an iceberg is still something on his bucket list. Though he’s never found sunken treasure— part of safe diving means knowing what you’re getting into—he has found an old pop bottle: a collector’s item from a company that no longer exists. Most of what he brings back from his underwater adventures are memories: time spent with friends and family, and images of underwater seascapes— often recorded on video. Some of his recordings, he points out, are playing on screen in the store. They’re lovely—bright fish swimming against the dark blue background of an ethereal undersea world. When I ask him about underwater photography, he smiles. “I don’t have the patience. I just pull the stills.” Fair enough, I chuckle. Our time coming to a close, I only have one question left to ask. How has diving shaped him as a person? His answer surprises me. “I did not expect to like the people side of the business this much” he admits. In our conversation, Kingsbury has struck me as nothing other than warm and outgoing. However, he explains that he was a very shy, reserved teenager. Becoming an instructor forced him to come out of his shell. He’s also incredibly grateful for the opportunities diving has afforded him to travel and have adventures. When he looks at friends who followed more conventional career paths and are only now beginning to travel, he has no regrets about choosing a more modest lifestyle in order to pursue diving. “I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and die happy. I’d be thinking, ‘wow, what a ride it’s been so far.’” What a ride indeed.
Music in the Sea of Key BRENDAN FARDY
The wind. The rain. The tide lashing gently upon the shore, flicking its lazy tongue out to lick the sandy shoals with lethargy and complacency. These were the sounds upon the shore that day. The sky was grey, clouded over and overcast. A vacant beach at the end of summer. Not even a single gull could be seen against the virtually motionless clouds, nor heard amongst the tranquil quiet of the background music. Swish-swash. Swish-swash. Swish-swash. The tide was low and its melodic shore-lashing was steady and unflinching, but quite inauspicious. The breeze was somber and the rain a mere drizzle. Excitement was not to be found on the beach that day. Just another daily re-enactment of the beach’s ongoing boredom. Little would change until summer gave way to fall which would then fall further into the cold grips of winter, before springing back with some semblance of life as the days grew longer again, stretching back into the summer until June’s solstice returned again to mark the decline of the days’ durations. The solstice had come and gone this summer, and less light was to be found in early dawn and late dusk. Nature’s quiet choir was humming along softly to the tune of emptiness. But that was just above the sea, outside the doors of the great concert hall.
Beneath the sea the story was different. The same old song and dance were not, after all (as a lady-looking dude once put it), the same old song and dance, my friend. As descent crept downwards into the water’s depths, the cool water became further chilled. Surface translucency gave way to an opaque wall of dark blue as the seabed rose up to meet the darkness by the ocean floor. At a certain depth, no rays of light could penetrate the relentless blue. But cold as it was in much of the depths, hotspots littered the bottom of the ocean. Deep sea vents from hydrothermal fissures spewed water up into the sea so hot that it was only the terrific pressure of the ocean’s depths which allowed its liquid state to be maintained. Down in these depths was the indoor concert, the show for which priceless tickets would be issued to all visitors, had any been present. The denser the medium, the faster the travelling of the sound. Since density was an immensity at such depths, the sound was fast and the tempo of the music was hurried hastily through the water in all directions. Up above was the surface, where the outdoor concert was in full swing, or as full as the swing would get at that time. Nearly silent and void of energy, the tranquility of the sounds, or lack thereof, served as a lullaby of sorts, coaxing any willing listeners into the sea where the real music was being played. But there were no listeners that day. Yet still it cannot be questioned that the music under the sea that day was anything short of majestic. The Sea Herself sang and danced to the beat of Her own drum. She whistled and howled and bellowed and clapped, and all with complete disregard for anything or anyone. She was the Sea and She was the Life. Her vastness was immeasurable, her depths unfathomable. Brimming with life and seeping with soul, She embraced her existence and the harmony of her being. She was the Sea of Key and she made no apologies for her multidisciplinary approach to music that rendered genres and all other labels useless, placing them into a state of utter obsolescence. The Lock Range surrounded her bounty, and great as she was, she was boxed in by these mountains. It hadn’t always been this way. She once reigned over the entirety of the globe, but for this brief moment in geologic history, continental and oceanic plates collided just right, such that a box canyon formed by the Locks marked Her boundary on Her outer edge. Even Her prolific girth was locked in by the Locks. But She was the Key and She had everything She needed. Her own body. Her own mind. Her own soul. Her own music. Music, in the Sea of Key.
Last Mistake FELICITY SHIPP
she just kept swimming yet not really caring
the sudden puff of cold, soft mud and her heart seized up her throat
unsure of which direction
just happy to feel nothing around her in every black direction
caught her off
where was the surface
something smooth and slimy brushed against her up per arm
but it was the wrong way
w v n a i g her hands around wILdLy she started to
panic obsessed her as her lungstightenedforair
and she screamed a silent scream air escaping from her mouth in invisible bubbles her heart boomed behind her eyes and she felt as though her lungs would crack her ribcage in her panic she failed to think straight she just
Volume 15 Issue 1