I have twice written a long and slightly comic love letter to Australia's Great Barrier Reef and the people I've had the good fortune to spend underwater time with there. A version of this tale has now been cut from two books. Sadly. I still harbor hopes it will find a printed home someday, somewhere. Here's a snippet:
"For the last hour, scores of baby octopuses as clear as rice noodles and no bigger than my fingernails have been hatching from egg casings attached to the mooring line and washing onto the dive step and crawling aboard in confusion. Feeling they deserve a better start, I have been collecting them from the decks and placing them back in the waves. Joining me in the small but seemingly important task is Nicola Chatham, an artist who, like me, is aboard Foundation One courtesy of the Great Barrier Reef Research Foundation, whose founders believe that painters and writers also have a role to play in protecting the deep blue home."
Photo: Dana Point Ocean Institute