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[Essay] The Cave, the Wave, the Nereide

By Nadja Velez

Photos: marine caves of Ponta João D’Arens, Southwestern Algarve (Portugal). Taken by author while freediving.

Through rocky arches and seaweed canyons, one dwells. Each dive an invitation to depth, a negotiation with life. Amongst the critters of unlikely color and roughed texture, amongst the blades and brushes of seaweed, one imagines the mythical spirits of sea. Swampy hair, flowy fins, and curved dances in the water such nymphs must have, the selkies and kelpies, mermaids and sirens. Breathe in, breath out, one more stealth dive, one more gentle sneak into the cave nook. An underwater glance at the surface and a mirror beneath the air is found. As one approaches, one finds them all.




Nadja Velez is a marine biologist passionate about wildlife and waterscapes, whose undisclosed life goal is to dwell above and below the water surface as much as possible. Born in south Portugal, she has dedicated the past eight years to exploring and sharing the natural beauty of her homeland through nature guiding. She has a kelp tattoo and hopes this may encourage the editor to include her work on The Wave.


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