Monday, January 1, 2007


It's not easy finding a name for a blog. After getting multiple rejects, I finally was able to slip Tunicate through. A tunicate is a jelly-like vertebrate that clings to all things underwater. They are filter feeders.

More personally, they are one of the most beautiful creatures I have ever encountered. I am a SCUBA diver - like a fish while diving in warm water, but sometimes, while swimming in the chilly currents off Vancouver, I can encounter mild panic attacks (really, I just need to dive more often). Thankfully, I know what they feel like and know how to stop them. I grab onto the nearest rock, stare at whatever species is in front of me, and breathe slowly, regaining stability. Really, I have had some of the best underwater time this way, up close and personal with microlife, including a few close encounters with tunicates. Their delicately transparent vase-shaped bodies cluster in communal carpets on the ocean floor or rocky reefs. They appear like glass-slippers or little lost sea bottles. Little fragile sea squirts.

Stalashen Reef on the Sunshine Coast has my favourite colony of sea squirts. I float above them absently like a ling cod and watch them sway below me like sea kelp.

I think it is fitting for my blog to be thought of as a cluster of opaqueness. A fragile transparency rooted to the ocean floor. A jellyish thing, swaying in the current, filtering. Something to be inspected close up, something to cling to.

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