aliciaunderwater aliciaunderwater

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Alicia Ward  Hawai'i based creative & environmentalist Dedicated to ocean education & preservation 🐟 Owner of @SeeThroughSea w/ hubsman: @_jimward_

Lesson learned from @real_life_is_underwater : “Always watch the mother.” People get distracted by the blimp-like, floppy, curious baby whale that surfaces with regularity to breathe and inspect its surroundings but, if the calf comes close to you, the most respectful thing you can do is back away from it. With time and patience, you may earn the mother’s trust. Once you’ve achieved that, you might have the opportunity to sit in her presence with her newborn for hours. It’s amazing how quickly these massive animals can spook. One small movement towards her calf and mom can swoop her youngin up and disappear into the blue. Trust doesn’t often come quickly with whales, but when it does, wow, what an experience it can be! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
It’s important to remember that any photos or videos we take should come secondary to the consideration of our subjects’ well being, no matter the size 💙 @seethroughsea #seethroughsea

@_jimward_ snug as a bug in his @aqualungdivers suit on a cloudy day. We watched whales from the backyard in the morning and, when it started to rain, we decided to go for a swim because... why not 🤷🏽‍♀️! A little wind & rain aren’t much of an issue if you planned on spending your day underwater anyway. @seethroughsea #seethroughsea

“...the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.”- Wendell Berry ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I regularly receive messages from impassioned people feeling inspired to contribute to ocean conservation but who are unsure as to how they can help. Amidst the multitudinous methods of activism, preservation, and conservation (i.e. mindful consuming, recycling, utilizing renewable energy, reducing use of non-sustainable resources, etc.) I also recommend supporting organizations whose focused work and dedication produce environmentally responsible / supportive results. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I recently partnered with the @environmental_defense_fund as I have been thoroughly impressed with the work they’ve done over the past 50 years. They have been a major force for banning toxic chemicals (like DDT), advocated to prohibit whaling in the 70s, collaborated with some of the world’s largest corporations to reduce greenhouse gasses and have focused heavily on researching and finding solutions to reduce climate change. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In 2015, @_jimward_ and I were heartbroken to watch over 50% of the coral in our hometown bleach due to a sustained period of high water temperatures. The bleaching event motivated us, not to sit in despair, but to work towards finding a solution. Supporting organizations like the EDF is an easy and simple way everyone can participate in making the world a better place. I hope someday we look back on climate change like we do on whaling in the U.S. : We recognize the mistakes we made, we change our behavior and we look towards a future of abundance. #SoItLasts | Photo by: @_jimward_ @seethroughsea #seethroughsea

There are songs about Caribbean blues, but I’m quite partial to Tahitian hues 💙 @seethroughsea #seethroughsea

I regularly see outlines of faces in the silhouettes of caves; I’ve always said that the ocean has looked out for me throughout my life and seeing those faces feels sort of like the physical manifestation of that sentiment. I don’t know who the faces represent, maybe they’re the features of my ancestors, or perhaps they’re facades of Hawaiian deities... maybe they’re the many faces of God. Whoever they are, their appearance in photos always feels strangely like a hug to me. I’m one tiny person in a vast world but, throughout my life, whenever I immersed myself in the ocean, I never felt alone. Photo by my partner in all things @_jimward_ #seethroughsea

Saturdays spent searching the seas💙 Random little tidbit of dolphin info : Spinner Dolphins “sleep” by resting one of their brain’s hemispheres at a time. While one side of the brain rests, the other hemisphere stays alert so they can be weary of predators & know when to surface to breathe 🤓 @seethroughsea #seethroughsea #iwishicoulddothat #spinnerdolphins

Just like that, another joyous year with you goes by. 8 years ago, I was a waitress on the precipice of quitting my job in order to dedicate fully to photography. You were working for the Cousteaus in Grand Cayman, looking to embark on a new chapter in life. Nearly 5,000 miles separated us and yet, thanks to a shared passion for the ocean, a well timed magazine article and a little luck, our worlds combined 2,922 days ago. 5 years later, we surrounded ourselves with loved ones, standing shoe-less in a friend’s backyard with the ocean that brought us together by our side, and we promised to love and support each other forever. It hasn’t always been easy, I know the trials and triumphs will continue to fluctuate as we traverse this path side by side but, I’m confident we can surmount any challenge together and I’m so grateful for the brilliant source of light, laughter and love that you represent in my life. Happy Anniversary @_jimward_ 💙😘 #memost #mushylovestuff #notreeswereharmedinthemakingofthispost

Instagram : Yesterday morning, we wandered through coral encrusted caves and glided over rippled sands 🐠 Reality: We lost our car key during our swim but thankfully relocated it soon after discovering its disappearance 😅. Jim and I have been having fun hanging out with a handful of other water-people this week. More to come soon! @seethroughsea #seethroughsea

If you followed my story yesterday, you’ll know @_jimward_ and I found Sperm Whales. By the time we got home, I was so exhausted from the day’s excitement I fell sound asleep on the floor with my pups. We’re racing back out the door right now - we’ve got another tour to run this morning- but I wanted to share this quick clip before hitting the water again. To everyone else, this is likely not the most amazing moment in all of time but, to me, it’s a memory I’ll look back on fondly for the rest of my life. @seethroughsea #seethroughsea

“Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet filming the Tiger Sharks all day...” 😉🦈 and truly, I could watch them all day. The more time I spend with Tiger Sharks, the more I want to spend time with them. When I was a teenager, I used to spend my days traversing the West coast of Oahu just hoping to come upon a Tiger - to no avail. I encountered Galapagos, Sandbar & Reef sharks, but didn’t see my first Tiger Shark until I was 24. I was immediately enamored with the species. I’ve seen quite a few since then, we took a trip to #TigerBeach with @GarrettGee earlier this year and I’ve learned of spots at home in Hawai’i where the animals frequently appear. It makes my day to see one. A healthy shark is a symbol of a healthy oceanic environment 💙 Photo by : @_jimward_ @seethroughsea Fins : @dafinhi /@zaknoyle collab | #seethroughsea

Last night, I asked @_jimward_ if he wanted to swim at sunset. We’d spent the morning on the sea, photographing dolphins and mantas but I felt the pull to get in the water again as the sun fell in the sky. I didn’t need to ask, he’s always up for hopping in the ocean. We made our way to the beach where we did a few laps across the bay and ran rock underwater. Our breath-hold abilities & swimming speeds are identical and we laughed at our lighthearted competition as the sky turned varying shades of pink above us. We bodysurfed itty bitty waves and then picked up rubbish off the beach before heading back home, exhausted and content 😌 I spend an unusually large amount of time in the ocean and I feel really lucky to share this life with someone who’s chosen to dedicate his life to the sea, like me. Our 8 year anniversary is coming up and I’m boggled by how quickly time flies when you’re having fun. Thanks for the photo @elanaloo @aaronhaynes!

There we were, floating in the inky darkness of the sea, blissfully happy to witness our lights attracting a variety of local Manta Alfredi. After an hour or so, we turned off our lights and watched as bioluminescence marked our paths back to the boat with the dusty Milky Way sending sporadic stars catapulting across the sky above us. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
When @_jimward_ showed me this photo from that little excursion last week, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the quote: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” @seethroughsea #SeeThroughSea #MantaAlfredi #PreachDumbledore

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