Tag Archives: native americans

End of Year Water-Warrior, A Humpback Whale! SLR/IRL

Pinterest image, uncredited, 2017

As the year 2017 comes to a close, we had a special guest sighted in our offshore waters. On December 17th, a Humpback whale was seen breaching in the Atlantic off of Stuart!

Although these mammoth creatures do migrate, and thus navigate our seas, this is a special and rare site.

Perhaps this is time for reflection…

Just as with the Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale, the Native People also give whale sightings and experiences special significance.

According to native lore, “whales visitors/spirits were used to convey a message of power and might, representing the need for strong, silent deliberation.”

Native Images, whales

In the story of Jonah, having turned away from responsibility, and being thrown as “bad luck” from a ship, Jonah is swallowed by a giant whale, reflects, repents, is renewed, is given a second chance, is ejected, and fulfills his responsibilities….

Perhaps there is a lighter message from our visiting whale, like “Happy Holidays,” and “Merry Christmas,” or a fun breach-splash saying “Yahoo! Keep up the fight for clean water!”

For me, the whale visitation made me reminisce on Ed and my visit to Baja, in 2013, to visit the Grey Whales once slaughtered, and now a great tourist attraction, and how this experience of seeing these huge mammals adapt to our human world, especially the mothers with their calves,–the controversy, and alteration in both human and whale actions—– changed my life, and my outlook forever.

Grey Whales, San Ignacio, Baja, 2013 Mexico https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2017/08/gray-whales-baja-mexico/
Saying hi to Grey Whale
Baby Grey Whale encouraged to visit side of boat by its mother

In any case, the season is upon us and I am grateful for all of the work done this year for our waters and for our Florida. Thank you River Warriors! Thank you Bullsugar! Thank you Captains for Clean Water! Thank you people of Florida! Thank you President Negron! Thank you all, so many others across our great state! And in closing, thank you visiting whale!

Sometimes it is hard to stay motivated,  but like Winston Churchill said: “Never Give Up.” Our work is so important!

…Yes, in 2018, in spite of the difficulties, we will continue to be the strong, silent or screaming giant that dominates the conscience of Florida…

Humpback whale, Stuart, Dec 17, 2017

Watch TCPalm video here: http://www.tcpalm.com/videos/news/local/martin-county/2017/12/18/video-humpback-whale-sighted-off-shore-near-stuart/108725684/

Video credit:
Mattanza Charters, based in Pirates Cove Resort and Marina in Port Salerno, posted video taken Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, of humpback whales breaching near Eight Mile Reef in the Atlantic. VIDEO PROVIDED BY CAPT. MIKE MURRAY Wochit





The Many Names of Beautiful Sailfish Point, SLR/RIL

South Hutchinson Island aerial showing miquto ditches through mangroves and other vegetation. 1952 courtesy of Thurlow Archives.
Confluence of St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon at St Lucie Inlet. This aerial shows mosquito ditches through mangroves and other vegetation on today’s Sailfish Point. Due to state and local protections, the  mangroves could not be removed today as they were in Martin County in the late 70s and early 80s. Aerial dated 1952 courtesy of Thurlow Archives.

“A rose is a rose is a rose…”

The “Coral Strand” was a rose; “Seminole Shores” was a rose; “Sailfish Point is a rose…” and whatever Native American name the Indian’s had for this sacred area was also a rose….

In her poem’s famous first line: “a rose is a rose is a rose,” poet Gertrude Stein’s words are often interpreted as meaning “things are what they are”…”using a name of a thing already invokes the imagery and emotions associated with it..”

For me all these names are “a rose” evoking different images and times of Indian River Region history. The Coral Strand being the name given to the land by the McCoy brothers–famous rum runners and wheeler-dealer business men. Seminole Shores the name given by James Rand a wealthy eccentric of our area whose riches founded the Florida Oceanographic Society; and Sailfish Point the name given to the area after its development by Mobil Oil Corporation in the 1980s.

Will there be another name in the future? And if so what will it be? Well–a rose is a rose is a rose, always and forever…..no matter the name.

Picnicking at the Coral Strand 1927, for sale/lease sign in the background. Photo courtesy of Stuart the History of Martin County.
Picnicking at the Coral Strand 1927, “for sale/lease” sign in the background. Photo courtesy of Stuart the History of Martin County.
The Coral Strand was for sale for 25,000 in
According to the History of Martin County the Coral Strand was for sale for $25,000 in the 1920s.
Wider view showing the SLR/IRL in all its former fishing riches.
Wider view showing the SLR/IRL in all its former fishing riches, impacts from regional development agricultural canals, and area development with removal of vegetation have lessened water quality.