The Waters of the Atlantic and Pacific


There are thousands of miles of coastline in the United States. The rocky shores of Maine and New England have billions of gallons of clear salty, lobster-producing water. As you head south, into the Mid-Atlantic States, the water becomes bluer and less green-gray, warmer, less briny. The plant life in the water is greener and England doesn’t look so close.

Go farther south, into the Southern states where the water is blue-gray and warm, almost all year round. Here there are different sea creatures, more active ones. The sand is whiter, finer. In Florida where Oceanside condos line the beaches, the water is turquoise and clear again. There are coral reefs and tropical fish and big sharks too. In the Keys the water is crystalline and tepid and it feels southern and languorous and expansive. In the Gulf the water drawls onto the coast and accepts the mainland refuse, from that wide draining Mississippi artery, takes it and swirls it down to the pleasurable sky blue waters of Mexico.

On the West Coast in Southern California the sun sets on the water and things are peaceful, pacific. It is almost twice as far to Los Angeles to Singapore as it is from New York to London and the water looks like it; thousands of miles of rolling waves loft and swell, uninterrupted save for little islands. The steady surf is more powerful yet more reserved. Head up the magnificent California coast and watch the fog roll in to land. North the water turns gray and floods coves and rocky bluffs instead of lagoons and seaweed-laden seabeds.

And in Oregon and Washington, the rain and storms meet the land with a perpetual wash. Always misty, the storms float to land until the pressure from the Great Continent forces them back, countering them. The land drips perpetually, grows moss and the seashores are rocky again as they are in Maine, but here the water is much colder; it comes tumbling down from Alaska and the Arctic Ocean, where glacial chunks of ice crack and drift and melt and fat sea animals swim and brave the tundra freeze.

Throughout the miles of coastline the ocean stays sublime. All the waters mix and mingle near the edges so that Atlantic becomes Pacific and Pacific becomes Arctic becomes Atlantic. One drop can find itself transplanted into the vast Indian, years later…The context is all that changes, the waters stay the same.