The Song of the Sea Dragon

Sea Dragon rounding the Mull of Kintyre in heavy weather on the 18th of August after leaving Lamlash, photographed from Kildonan through a telescope.

The Song of the Sea Dragon
By Sue Weaver

I’ve been here a long, long time, swimming deep, shimmering and swirling, taking shape – if you can call it that – from light and fire, star radiance, azure pearliness and moonshine.

My Sea Dragon home is the ocean, all of it, that vast, never ending stretch around the Earth, from deepest Pacific blue to North Sea grey, from icy bubbles around the glaciers to foaming surf and superheated volcano vents way, way deeper than the highest mountain you can think of. I know it all, I sing its song.

I came into being back when the oceans were young, when a vast Moon filling half the sky called us into massive tides, when my dance in the ocean was vigorous and violent, thundering across the rocks and slamming into mountains.

Much later, oh, so much later, when oftentimes there was calm and the Moon had moved a little further off, I sensed the beginnings of life, physical, material life, in bacteria. How I loved to dance with these tiny beings, as they emerged from the chemical maelstrom, taking form over aeons, growing and evolving. The mother ocean herself created these minuscule sparks of life, shaped and moulded them into the origins of all other forms, the beginnings of every being.

You humans will not remember, but just as you lived this once in your mother’s salty ocean womb, growing and forming until one day you squeezed from her into bright light, dry land and heaviness, so too once, so long ago, our ocean’s creatures came to birthing from the ocean mother onto land.

Yes, solid rock and sand, silt and sediment, sludge. Not my element at all, but I watched you go and I wished you well.

And some came back to us, oh wondrous beings, dolphins and porpoises, seals, turtles and great whales. How I love to hear your tales of long ago when you moved on land, and how the song of the ocean sang so strongly in your blood that you returned at last to dream the ocean ways again.

And, oh, the birds, the winged ones, gannets and guillemots, terns and puffins, albatrosses and sea eagles…these too returned swooping low over the waves, diving deep for tasty snacks, hunting and hurling themselves through foamy wave crests.

And all the while, endless creation, new forms and new shapes without number, the tiny coloured fish, the tentacled ones, the hulks of hunting sharks, the flat bottom feeders, the crusty shells and flicking tails and, oh, the corals growing so many colours, sharing their richness and their crevices, seeding the oceans again and again together under the full Moon.

Sue, from Kildonan, is mission leader on the 72ft ocean racing and exploration yacht Sea Dragon, circumnavigating Great Britain during August/September 2017. The eXXpedition team of 14 women are sailing around the whole of the British Isles, sampling the waters for plastics and toxics and raising awareness of the problem of plastic in the oceans. They are holding events and receptions in all the ports and cities they call into.  

Or so it was. For something very new has been happening. Just in the last few moments of time it seems, ocean life is under shocking attack. So many of these beings are dying young, their numbers shrinking, seas emptying. Where have you gone, oh my darling ones, why all these empty spaces, what is snatching you, squeezing the life from you?

I see a new seeding. Now you – you wayward human ones – are sending us filth. You send us chemicals, a toxic stream of poisons created specially by you. And you send us plastic, so much plastic, again, your very own creation, so clever, so indestructible, breaking only ever into tiny particles, soaking up all the poisons and feeding all the little ones – they take them for food! So much, so very much, untold millions of pieces, floating, swirling, sinking, coating the purest ocean bed, littering the deepest sands and rocks, washing up onto remotest shores and pure Arctic ice, clotting into vile islands at the heart of every ocean.

I have been here a long, long time. But have never seen the like of this. And with all my mighty power, I cannot stop this. I can only call to you from the deepest ocean, from the farthest shore I call for your help. Remember where you came from, and remember me, swimming deep, shimmering and swirling.