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A Sailor’s Metaphor for Dying



My husband Bill’s father, our beloved Pop Pop, passed away a few weeks ago and we buried him over the weekend. Avid sailors, Bill and his dad spent many relaxing days sailing here in the Monterey Bay and on Lake Tahoe. At his father’s memorial service, my husband read the following poem:

What is Dying?

I am standing upon that foreshore, a ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength and I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, “There. She’s gone.”

“Gone where?”

“Gone from my sight, that’s all.” She is just as large in mast and spar and hull as ever she was when she left my side. Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at that moment when someone at my side says, “There, she’s gone,” there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”

And that is dying.

(See you on the other side of the horizon, Pop Pop.)




SeaweedArt Crustacean Water Bottle

Real SeaweedArt

This is the real stuff. Photos taken at low tide at Point Lobos, CA. I love the colors.




Ocean Memories

image of 2 girls posing at the beach

My sister Julie and me, Avalon, NJ circa 1965

In honor of Facebook’s Throwback Thursdays, I’m posting this photo of my sister Julie and me taken many, many years ago in the summer of 1965 in Avalon, New Jersey, about a 2 hour ride from our home in the Philadelphia suburbs. I was about 4, she was 2, and I still have vivid fond memories of that  vacation. Our parents rented a house very close to the beach and while they slept in we took off for the “shore” as we called it. There was a lot of freedom in those days. (Parents didn’t fret like they do now. ) We built sand castles, dug for clams and chased hermit crabs as they scurried across the wet sand.

As we got older we took summer jobs in Wildwood, New Jersey to earn spend money and pay for our college tuition. On our days off, we’d have beach picnics noshing on tins of smoked clams while lounging in beach chairs along the water’s edge reading summer novels and working on our tans.

These are our ocean memories, and it was these early experiences that instilled in us a life long appreciation for  the ocean, its natural beauty and the joy it could give us.

Santa Cruz surfing legend and wet suit inventor Jack O’Neill recognized this need to reach children at an early age when he founded the O’Neill Sea Oddysey Program, a floating classroom aboard a 65 foot catamaran, that teaches children about the importance of the living sea and its relationship to the enviroment. By engaging them and personalizing the experience, it inspires a life long love and appreciation for the ocean, an imprint that lasts a life time.

This is my call out to you to share your story. Post your ocean memories here in the comment section and the first five respondents will receive a SeaweedArt gift from me.

The America’s Cup is Coming to San Francisco

My husband Bill and I were fortunate to attend a talk given last week by the CEO of Team Oracle about the America’s Cup that is coming to San Francisco this summer. Wow! It was amazing. We met a few of the crew members from competing teams who talked about the aerodynamic designs of the catamarans. They showed this video of boats on foils literally flying out of the air. Watch it and be amazed.


How Many Toxins are You Putting on Your Body?

Detox-SetSpecial-03It is estimated that the average woman puts over 500 toxins on her body before she leaves the house. Body lotions, soaps, shampoos, perfumes and makeup are all common products that everyone uses. Evidence suggests that what we put on our skin penetrates our internal organs within 23 seconds of application. That is very disturbing. We can avoid this problem by using products that are environmentally safe, toxin free, botanically based and inspired by nature.

Arbonne is a highly regarded full line of health and wellness products with a rich Swiss heritage. I tried these products when I was introduced to them by my friend Kim and I was hooked. I first sampled the Sea Source Botanicals, (naturally) but I have since tried almost everything in the catalog and I can’t recommend them enough. I feel rest assured that I am using products that are safe for my health and safe for the environment.

Pure. Safe. Beneficial.

Please visit my SeaweedArt Arbonne site to learn more. 

Where to Buy Sustainable Seafood

Determining where to buy sustainable seafood may seem challenging and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. FishWise has taken the guess work out of the decision by developing a myriad of purchasing tools. You can choose a Seafood  Watch Pocket Guide or refer to this list. There’s even an app for that. Or you can simply enter your zip code here to find a sustainable seafood retailer. To learn more about sustainable seafood, please refer to the FishWise useful links.

Ten percent of profits this month will be donated to FishWise.

Swimming with Dolphins

Some albacore fisherman using a GoPro Topedo camera, caught this unexpected incredible underwater footage of dolphins off the coast of Santa Cruz. Delightful, enchanting and amazing. A must see.

Pressed Flower Art on Glass

Before I became interested in pressing seaweed I was an accomplished flower presser. Recently I’ve reimmersed myself in the hobby, inspired by my newly planted herb and wild flower garden. I pressed the botanicals –flowers and herbs, in my microwave and then glued them onto the outside of glass bottles to create a unique gift and functional art. Available for sale on Etsy.


What Does the Ocean Mean to You?

Beth Shady, Founder of SeaweedArt with Dr. Sylvia Earle

This past week I had the good fortune to attend a lecture by legendary author, explorer and oceanographer, Dr. Sylvia Earle, who spoke on the topic, “Oceans, Life, and Survival,” as part of the sixth Fred Keeley Lecture on Environmental Policy.

Dr. Earle has earned a stellar reputation in the world of  ocean discovery and conservation and to say I was in awe of her would be an understatment. Here are just a few of her honors: Named the first “Hero for the Planet” by Time magazine. National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998.Chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 1990 to 1992 and has led more than 100 research expeditions involving more than 7,000 hours underwater. The New Yorker and New York Times have dubbed her “Her Deepness;” the Library of Congress calls her a “Living Legend.”

After the lecture I got to meet her, but with the throngs of people waiting to speak to her, we did not get much time to talk. The following evening my husband Bill and I attended a private reception at Fred Keeley’s house. It was a benefit for and celebration of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation that is opening an Exploration Center in Santa Cruz this summer. I was invited because I partner with them and donate 10% of my profits to their fundraising campaign. In addition, and this was a real thrill for me, my SeaweedArt cards were used for the invitations.

Fred’s house was packed to the gills (sorry, pun intended) of some pretty influential and high powered ocean advocates– a former state senator, famed photographer, Frans Lanting, the director of the California Coastal Commission, the board members of all the sanctuaries, and of course, Sylvia Earle. I thought to myself later that I should have been intimidated, but I wasn’t. Why? Because as Fred so eloquently stated in his opening remarks, “It doesn’t matter whether you are a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian or vegetarian, we all care for and are passionate about the ocean.” What really struck me was how everyone present had their own personal ocean story.

Later, when I spoke to Sylvia I told her how much I had enjoyed her talk the night before and what had resonated with me the most was her  reminiscing of  her childhood growing up in Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. That got me thinking about my own childhood with summers spent at the Jersey shore digging for clams and building sand castles with my brother and sisters. This is something we can all relate to.

Sylvia stated that there are a lot of things about the ocean that we still do not know, therefore we must continue to discover and explore. This is true, however, I think the starting point for galvanizing support for ocean clean up and preservation is to build on what we already know… summers in the sand, boogie boarding, hanging 10 and catching waves.

What is your ocean story?  The first five people to comment here will receive a free set of SeaweedArt greeting cards.