It is winter here, but that means very little when it is 75˚ outside. My strawberry blonde hair is lightened by the sun only as much as my trucker cap allows. My fair skin is covered head to toe. On an island in the sun, I am an unconventional waterwoman.
Then again, what is conventional?
I have lived in a small coastal town with its moody ocean silhouetted against a backdrop of rocky cliffs and cattle fields. The coast seems to stretch on forever, and solitude is abundant. Those who are dedicated venture into the cold water to surf the wild waves or swim through kelp forests or count penguins on a tiny island. Those who do not have no idea what they are missing.
I have lived on a tropical island with clear water and coral reefs. Anywhere you go, you can see volcanic mountains rising out of the ocean, and there is no lack of things to do in the great outdoors. Humpback whales, dolphins, and sea turtles draw people from all over the world. Some would call it paradise.
In all of it, I have met waterwoman from all walks of life and all shapes and sizes. After all, if the ocean itself is diverse, the people who enjoy it and care for it must also be.
I am okay with being a little unconventional.
Maddie is the creator and editor of The Thalassofiles. Her background is in marine biology, and she has a not-so-secret desire to embrace limitations, immerse herself in the great outdoors, and try new things. And then write about it.