Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thoughts On Lakes vs. the Sea

Empire is a beach town on Lake Michigan that consists of antique shops full of doilies and scented candles, a surf shop, and a decent bar called Joe's Friendly Tavern that serves homemade root beer on tap.

Empire's beach is like any idyllic beach on the Atlantic or Pacific coast of the US --- only with bigger dunes --- but when I was standing on the sand looking at the waves and water, I felt like there was something missing. After three years coming here each summer I figured out what's lacking: odor. Freshwater doesn't have much of a musky odor.

Odor stimulates my mind. The smell of salty Chesapeake crabs puts me at ease and brings me back to multi-family trips to Rehoboth in the 1980s. A simple smell of an ex-girlfriend's perfume can transport me to another age in an instant. Burning wood just makes me want to go camping. Smell does it like the other four senses can't. But the smell of the sea is one of the most mood-changing on Earth.

Saltwater has the odor of endlessness --- that the sea doesn't stop in your local vicinity. The ocean is not confined by the security and safety of land masses with their hospitals, governments, chlorine-filled swimming pools and manicured lawns --- motionless waves of protection and risklessness. There's the danger factor of the sea, the storms that have the ability to drop their crushing force on your head, destroying houses, boats and lives in an instant.

Maybe this is why I always love fishing villages in tropical Asia. It's that sense of life on a knife's edge that's so far removed from my First World reality.

Freshwater is so clean and reliable. You can leave a boat sitting on one of the Great Lakes for years with hardly any corrosion. Not so with the sea. My boat has been in the brackish waters of the Chesapeake for hardly 10 months with new copper bottom paint and it's already covered in a brown layer of sea carpet.

What kinds of species do you find in freshwater? I could list the names in this blog post without even losing readers. The list of the animals living in saltwater would require more than one biologist and none of you would read it.

I love lakes. I do. If I didn't go to northern Michigan each summer, my quality of life would be significantly lessened. It's just a different feeling from the ocean, worth pondering.
What?!?!, I think a lot of people on the great lakes would disagree with your post, Me included, Edmund fitzgerald anyone? Lack of life in lakes? Do you really want me to start posting on this. I think I need to take you on a trip of freshwater discovery

1 - The only reason anyone remembers the Edmund Fitzgerald is because someone wrote a song about it. Sure, any body of water can be dangerous but nothing kicks ass like the great big ocean.

2 - There are FAR more species in saltwater than freshwater. That's not even controversial.
Do not be so closed minded,
1)The Edmund fitzgerald was famous before the song, It took them 30+ years to even find the wreck of a ship 780 feet long! Lakes etc.. are typically far more dangerous than the sea, Here is a quote for ya:
"Most drownings occur in water, 90% in freshwater (rivers, lakes and pools) 10% in seawater" from Wikipedia

2) 40% of all species of fish live in freshwater, yet freshwater is only 3% of the surface, I would argue the complete opposite, in ratio's of salt to fresh there is far larger species differentiation, Freshwater creatures are typically far more evolved as well. The problem with lakes you have seen is that they are so heavily polluted life may not be that apparent

Well, you may be correct.
Check out this article.

"The Great Lakes are contralto; the ocean, a deep baritone. The pounding of ocean waves even during a calm day still has an undeniable, barely restrained power. The sea’s motto? “Don’t mess with me.”

Not so the average lake, which, with no wind to roil the waves, promptly goes to sleep, making gentle lapping sounds at the shore.

The sea is much richer than fresh water. The pools that form on tidal beaches are often alive with creatures — starfish and hermit crabs, anemones and barnacles — and the most ordinary scallop shell is pretty enough to hang from a Christmas tree. The breeze from the ocean is crisper, and in New England the salt air mingles with the scent of beach roses that line well-worn paths to the shore. It’s intoxicating."
yes, but, those minty green shorts look very nice.
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