I have no problem with the adventure travel movement. It makes better, more sensitive people. If you get people diving on a coral reef, they're going to become more respectful of the outdoors and more concerned with the threats that places like that face and they're going to care more about protecting them than they would have before.
Sharks don't particularly have a great interest in divers. It seemed that in a normal dive, I would jump in the water, and one or two gray reef sharks would swim in and kind of check me out - and then they would keep their distance. So they weren't particularly threatening or anything to be afraid of.
As a ballplayer, (Dizzy) Dean was a natural phenomenon, like the Grand Canyon or the Great Barrier Reef. Nobody ever taught him baseball and he never had to learn. He was just doing what came naturally when a scout named Don Curtis discovered him on a Texas sandlot and gave him his first contract.
I look for my sister but it's hopeless. The goggles are all fogged up. Every fish burns lantern-bright, and I can't tell the living from the dead. It's all just blurry light, light smeared like some celestial fingerprint all over the rocks and the reef and the sunken garbage. Olivia could be everywhere.
Snorkel through our vibrant menagerie of fish and marine life, each one of which has been clearly tagged and labeled for your convenience. Do you think the jokers at Sandals would do that for you? We've stocked our ivory reef with disparate creatures from all over the world, creating a lavishly unbalanced ecosystem that you have to see to believe. Often the things that nature never intended are the most fun to look at.
The moon rose up that evening and shot her silver arrows at the house under the artu tree. The house was empty. Then the moon came across the sea and across the reef. She lit the lagoon to it's dark, dim heart. She lit the coral brains and sand spaces, and the fish casting their shadows on the sand and the coral. The keeper of the lagoon rose to greet her, and the fin of him broke her reflection on the mirror-like surface into a thousand glittering ripples. She saw the white staring ribs of the form on the reef. Then, peeping over the trees, she looked down into the valley, where the great stone idol had kept it's solitary vigil for five thousand years, perhaps, and more. At this base, in his shadow, looking as if under his protection, lay two human beings, naked, clasped in each other's arms and fast asleep. One could scarcely pity his vigil, had it been marked sometimes through the years by such an incident as this. The thing had been conducted just as the birds conduct their love affairs. An affair absolutely natural, absolutely blameless and without sin. A marriage according to Nature, without feasts or guests, consummated with accidental cynicism under the shadow of a religion a thousand years dead.
Henry de Vere Stacpoole
It is estimated that one-third of all reef-building corals, a third of all fresh-water mollusks, a third of sharks and rays, a quarter of all mammals, a fifth of all reptiles, and a sixth of all birds are headed toward oblivion. The losses are occurring all over: in the South Pacific and in the North Atlantic, in the Arctic and the Sahel, in lakes and on islands, on mountaintops and in valleys,
It is so rare to meet with a man outdoors who cherishes a worthy thought in his mind, which is independent of the labor of his hands. Behind every man's busy-ness there should be a level of undisturbed serenity and industry, as within the reef encircling a coral isle there is always an expanse of still water, where the depositions are going on which will finally raise it above the surface.
Henry David Thoreau
The Pacific coral reef, as a kind of oasis in a desert, can stand as an object lesson for man who must now learn that mutualism between autotrophic and heterotrophic components, and between producers and consumers in the societal realm, coupled with efficient recycling of materials and use of energy, are the keys to maintaining prosperity in a world of limited resources.
It is quite wrong to think of old age as a downward slope. On the contrary, one climbs higher and higher with the ad-vancing years, and that, too with sur-prising strides. Brain-work comes as easily to the old as physical exertion to the child. One is moving, it is true, towards the end of life, but that end is now a goal, and not a reef in which the vessel may be dashed.
I watched the enormity of the clouds for several minutes. What I wanted to experience in the water, I realized, was how life of the reef was layered and intertwined. I now had many individual pieces at hand: named images, nouns. How were they related? What were the verbs? Which syntaxes were indigenous to the place? I asked a dozen knowledgeable people. No one was inclined to elaborate- or they didn't know. 'Did you see the octopus?' Someone shouted after the dive. Yes, I thought, but who among us knows what it was doing? What else was THERE, just then? WHY?
Are coral reefs growing from the depths of the oceans? ... [The] reply is a simple negative; and a single fact establishes its truth. The reef-forming coral zoophytes, as has been shown, cannot grow at greater depths than 100 or 120 feet; and therefore in seas deeper than this, the formation or growth of reefs over the bottom is impossible.
James Dwight Dana
Tears of grief are unique. They contain chemicals that aren't found in the more mundane droplets of moisture that bathe the eyes, as if our tears wash us free of some noxious cause of sorrow. And tonight, after crying until I am empty, I have a rare glimpse of my own interior landscape - wounds piled like tiny skeletons into the reef of conscious adult life. I am aground amid my conquered traumas, stranded as a consequence of my achievements.
If one yearns to see the face of the Divine, one must break out of the aquarium, escape the fish farm, to go swim up wild cataracts, dive in deep fjords. One must explore the labyrinth of the reef, the shadows of the lily pads. How limiting, how insulting to think of God as a benevolent warden, an absentee hatchery manager who imprisons us in the 'comfort' of artificial pools, where intermediaries sprinkle our restrictive waters with sanitized flakes of processed nutriment.
You may be sure of this, my son: that no decision you may take, nor any course, will meet with universal favor. Though you turn to the right or to the left, or go ahead, or turn back, or attempt to stand still, there will come to you some critic to advise the contrary. For ten fail where the one succeeds; and some who failed are jealous, others vain, some full of malice. There are also honest men who, having failed, would warn you of the reef on which they wrecked their too unmanageable bark. I tell you, in the end you must decide all issues for yourself, and there is only one true guide, which is experience.-From The Book Of The Sayings Of Tsiang Samdup
The green sea swept into the shallows and seethed there like slaking quicklime. It surged over the rocks, tossing up spangles of water like a juggler and catching them deftly again behind. It raced knee-deep through the clefts and crevices, twisted and tortured in a thousand ways, till it swept nuzzling and sucking into the holes at the base of the cliff. The whole reef was a shambles of foam, but it was bright in the sun, bright as a shattered mirror, exuberant and leaping with light.
We have been cut off, the past has been ended and the family has broken up and the present is adrift in its wheelchair... That is no gap between the generations, that is a gulf. The elements have changed, there are whole new orders of magnitude and kind. [... ] My grandparents had to live their way out of one world and into another, or into several others, making new out of old the way corals live their reef upward. I am on my grandparents' side. I believe in Time, as they did, and in the life chronological rather than in the life existential. We live in time and through it, we build our huts in its ruins, or used to, and we cannot afford all these abandonings.
The man who boldly transgresses, amassing a great heap unjustly--by force, in time, he will strike his sail, when trouble seizes him as the yardarm is splintered. He calls on those who hear nothing and he struggles in the midst of the whirling waters. The god laughs at the hot-headed man, seeing him, who boasted that this would never happen, exhausted by distress without remedy and unable to surmount the cresting wave. He wrecks the happiness of his earlier life on the reef of Justice, and he perishes unwept, unseen.
The apparent physical stability of reefs belies an underlying natural turmoil of growth, death and destruction of calcareous organisms. Much like a modern city, reefs are constantly being rebuilt and torn down at the same time. Corals are the bricks, broken pieces of plant and animal skeletons the sand, and algal crusts and chemical cements the mortar. Reef growth is determined by the production, accumulation, and cementation of all this calcareous stuff into solid limestone.
But technology is the real skin of our species. Humanity, correctly seen in the context of the last five hundred years, is an extruder of technological material. We take in matter that has a low degree of organization; we put it through mental filters, and we extrude jewelry, gospels, space shuttles. This is what we do. We are like coral animals embedded in a technological reef of extruded psychic objects. All our tool making implies our belief in an ultimate tool. That tool is the flying saucer, or the soul, exteriorized in three-dimensional space.