Join me in the cold, dark, life-sustaining NE Pacific Ocean to discover the great beauty, mystery and fragility hidden there.

Posts tagged ‘underwater tutu’

The Woman Behind the Words . . .

Who is the woman behind the words AND the images?

A beloved friend has advised “Jackie, you need to step into the spotlight more” i.e. making more evident who The Marine Detective is.

For a whole soup of emotions/reasons, I am more comfortable being behind the camera in this role. That’s why I chose for the moniker “The Marine Detective” rather than my name. But okay – here’s an image highly representative of who I am, tutu and all.

Photo: ©Jacqui Engel, September 2018.

I will also share a story that is rather typical regarding there being a bias that leads to misidentifying who the voice is here on TMD.

Here goes . . . I was having lunch in a local restaurant and had one of my calendars on the table. The waitress, a lovely young woman, bounded over, saw the calendar and said: “The Marine Detective! Oh my god, I love him!”. I quietly asked, “Who do you love?” She enthusiastically said, “The Marine Detective! I follow him on social media!” and then very generously provided her views on the value of the work.

I stood up and felt compelled to stand in front of her and said softly, “I am The Marine Detective”.

What I interpret of her reaction is that she could not reconcile that the age, gender and stature of the person in front of her could be the actual force behind what she had described.

Is it important? I have come to understand that it is. That, by simply living out what I perceive to be my calling, I can help shift biases with regard to age and gender.

I am a 55-year-old woman in science who hurls herself into a cold ocean to learn from the life there, who drives a boat, studies whales, speaks from the heart, and who wants for equality in the world for the betterment of all.

That’s that for a while. Going back behind the camera now.

Oh, and why the tutu? If it’s new to you that it’s what I wear when I dive, please see my blog “Life is Hard? Wear a Tutu” at this link.

Life is Hard? Wear a Tutu!

hanging tutu

Does this tutu make my bottom look big?! At God’s Pocket Dive Resort on my 50th birthday.

[Warning, this is not a scientific posting but one of those occasional personal musings aimed at self-expression and, hopefully, making you smile.]

Go ahead – mock me!

I now often wear a tutu when I go diving.

It’s a flamboyant, neon green tutu.

Hum, maybe “flamboyant” as an adjective for “tutu” is unnecessary – but I digress.

I first wore my neon green tutu over my dry suit while diving on my 50th birthday.

It delights me that my birthday happens to coincide with Earth Day but oops – again I digress.

Wearing the tutu was to celebrate all that life has brought me, especially how cold water diving in this beautiful, beautiful place has shaped my life.

It clearly also makes a statement about my believing you can never be too green – or too flamboyant!

Of course, I knew I would also be rewarded with looks of disbelief and hilarity from my fellow divers especially when I asked,  “Does this tutu make my bottom look big?”

Sincerely, it also has proven to have value for safety as it makes me much easier to see in a dark underwater world of black neoprene clad divers.

Underwater poser! Photo by Diane Reid.

Underwater poser! Photo by Diane Reid.

But more than that, I wear a tutu because, for all of us, life is sometimes hard.

What the wisdom gained from these 50 years has taught me is that through it all – the sinking to the depths, the surfacing for air, the need for buddies, the loss of buddies, the weight of it all, the being adrift – it is more important than anything else to listen to your inner 8-year-old.

I can hear her now. She’s loud – wanting to know when we are next going diving, loving the wonder and sense of discovery that submerging brings.

She reminds me always of how my actions impact life around me and she voraciously loves to learn.

She’s bossy and wants, as soon as possible, to share what she has learned about living things with others, hoping they’ll care as much as she does.

She knows the importance of frivolity and lightness and to being ever true to what you feel.

She loves wearing tutus and hopes to make people laugh by modelling the joy of being green.

Tutu 1

Life is hard? Wear a tutu! Great thanks to Diane Reid for the photo! Dive buddy Natasha Dickinson attempting to hide in the background.