Killer Whales are Members of the Dolphin Family

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

Orca - Killer Whale in the ocean

 

Making a trip to one of the Sea World locations used to be the stuff daydreams were made of for children as well as adults. While the killer whale was not unheard of, its popularity went up exponentially for those who watched the film “Free Willy”. And chances were that if you had watched it once, you were sure to view it another time or two. Who doesn’t love a good movie ending in a victorious, daring animal rescue to wrap up the story’s plot line. The film increased the general public’s awareness of the intelligence level of killer whales, making Sea World’s bottom line an extremely attractive one. As the shows went on, Sea World was thriving, throwing caution to wind by increasing the level of risk and upping the “wow factor.” Nina Easton put it candidly, “Shamu the killer whale is Sea World’s Mickey Mouse; whales named Shamu are the star attractions of three parks and the focus of their marketing efforts.”

While the show was magnificent in it’s prime, there were many skeptical marine biologists who wondered why this particular species was being held captive for purposes of entertainment. If should have been enough of a deterrent to continue the show that the lifespan of the killer whales in captivity was being decreased by more than half of their lifespan in their natural habitat. As far as park goers were concerned, it was impressive enough that a killer whale could be trained just as the dolphins were in the same environment. The explanation as to why killer whales were chosen is a scientifically simple one. The killer whale is – in fact – a member of the dolphin family. Simple deduction can tell us that they would be the only viable whale candidate for such training.

Dawn Brancheau

Dawn Brancheau was a senior animal trainer at SeaWorld

However, one characteristic was of the killer whale was ignored and cost one trainer, Dawn Brancheau, her life. As lions are to their jungles, Killer Whales are the Apex Predators of the ocean. To be the Apex Predator of your domain, is to be the big dog on the porch, if you will. No one is hunting you. Therefore, the Apex predator of any given territory is not threatened by another species which ventures into its territory. Just as we continue to funnel so many resources into actions taken on our planet that do more harm than good, we have continued in the wrong direction serving up these same types of injustices to the living inhabitants of the earth. Until we can learn to first understand the repercussions of our actions, we will continue to make the same mistakes, each time affecting another underappreciated piece of planet, until the only thing not endangered -is endangerment itself. If we take the time to think before we take actions that will have inevitable negative outcomes, it is only then that we will begin to use the resources given to us to affect positive change, and reverse the harm already done.

 

Come and join us on the boat!

Get to know our local dolphin population. These are not captured and love showing off. (learn more…)

 

 

 

Beach Erosion A Widespread Problem

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

Beach on Amelia Island

 

Last year, the Florida’s coastline and others experienced a blow that has only been equaled a few times in the past century. Hurricane Matthew was an undisputed tragedy. Residents of Amelia Island evacuated to central areas in Georgia and other safe zones for shelter from the storm. Hundreds of people in the  Caribbean lost their lives, poorly manicured municipal tree lines and other factors cost tens of thousands to be without power, beaches were flooded up to the dunes. While the storm causes a great deal of erosion, the process is certainly nothing new, and a footnote to the erosion playing out on a much larger scale over time.

Continue Reading »

Jellyfish: The Florida Five

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

Moon Jellyfish

Moon Jellyfish

 

Recently, we’ve discussed how the media’s portrayal of sharks – particularly the great white – in the movie “Jaws” has distorted the general public’s view of sharks as a species. While there’s no real need to be on the lookout for sharks in the water, there is one group of troublemakers that go unnoticed rather easily. Jellyfish are mainly such a threat because their movement is hard to predict. In whichever direction the might flow, it is entirely dependent on the current of the waters they inhabit. In that sense, their movement isn’t all that different from our own. They don’t choose to go in any certain direction. The tides shift them whichever way it pleases. In mankind’s journey through its existence, life’s own version of tides is known to us as happenings. Things happen to us, and we find ourselves moving with the flow – just trying to stay “afloat.”

Continue Reading »

Galeophobia: Irrationality at Work

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

A day at the beach

 

We’ve reached that part of the year. While grinding away in our cubicles and spinning around unproductively in our office chairs daydreaming, the most common destination of said daydreams is a hazy memory of the beach. For many, it’s almost like winning the lottery when they get a chance to visit their favorite sandy spot. It makes sense. Vacation is all about relaxation. With the private sector basically trademarking the sound of waves crashing, the most relaxing sound to the human ear has been programmed into alarm clocks and overhead speakers in the majority of spas across the globe. We are subconsciously programmed to yearn for the place where the sand meets the water. While the sounds of the ocean are quite relaxing, many learn that the inhabitants of the ocean have been known to cause us humans a fairly enormous amount of both stress, and debilitating pain. What is the biggest fear of ocean waders?

Continue Reading »

Boating Safety 101

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

Changing Weather

 

Of course, we at Amelia River Cruises would love for every time you set foot on a boat to be one of our own. However, that will not always be the case. Whether just going out for a fishing day or buying your own vessel, you need to be prepared and well advised on boating safety.

Continue Reading »

Sunsets Are Nature’s Chaotic Art

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

 

Sunset

 

There is not one reason but many to go on a river cruise with us. In fact we feel there are more than 10. We like to think that our dedicated, talented team shares in the bulk of the reason for our success. However, we would be foolish in thinking that we held most credit for the overall cruise experience. Nature’s greatest gift to our good fortune – not to mention the abundance of life in general is due to the radiance one of our solar systems smallest star, the Sun. While the continuance of life on earth is its’ main purpose, this giant burning ball of gas just happens to work a 2nd job, too. It serves as the single greatest display of what beauty our planet is capable to reflect and this all on its’ own. These past couple years spent writing to you all about all the intriguing environmental issues existing today, what makes beautiful things beautiful, and I’ve learned. Especially in times or sorrow, it is often that we look to nature for consolation. More often than down, our eyes tend to gaze up, and towards the endless sky to seek out uncannily illusive answers to our own inner-dialogue’s questions. The wind at your back, tide beneath your feet, and the Sun sucker-punching you in the face – at just the right angle – all bring fleeing moments of serenity, even joy.

Continue Reading »

The Myth of Moby Dick the Sperm Whale

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

 

Sperm Whales

 

Everyone loves a good story. The depth and detail at which are the true storytellers of their time would go the distance to find the point where things come “full circle” was staggering. Men and their voices and so on. These fire-side stories became lore. Then, lore became fiction. Fiction begets superstition like no other trigger could advocate. Now, you’re emotionally invested in the hero or villain of your current story. In common fashion, the masses all tend to end up cheering for the sure thing, our story’s hero. Emerging and barely nicked from his opponent’s noble, but inadequate blow. It just doesn’t work without a villain. Everyone loves a monster. The sperm whales’ size brought its species attention from writers looking for a monster. With no trouble and much haste, they would soon find their deep blue dwelling character study. Shortly after, the Sperm whale was seen to be – bluntly said – a murderous mammal. If living among the same peers, in the same time, you attended the release of Moby Dick’s first edition publishing, what might your initial reaction have been. And what do we even know about this monster of the abyss?

Continue Reading »

Sirens and Smoke in the Okefenokee Swamp

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

 

Wildfire

 

There are several forces of nature that are inevitably going to occur annually due to the planet’s own person cleansing process. It’s hard enough to keep the faith as things are in the average citizen’s normal daily grind. Trials and tribulations are in no short supply for the working men and women trying to stay afloat. When along comes a natural disaster that changes you and your neighbors lives in the most unnatural and unpredictable way. Wildfires are an increasing concern among citizens in the Southeastern part of the United States. We tend to think the main cause for these fires is the lack of rain that dries up the land to the extent that fires ignite. However it turns out that humans are far more connected than one might presume. It is estimated that over 80 percent of all fires originating in the wild and forest areas are caused by negligence. While unintentional, these are crimes against Nature. In some circumstances, fires lite because of someone’s careless errors in the wild. Unfortunately the loss of human life is an all too regular occurrence.

Continue Reading »

Sam McDonald: Up and Coming

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

 

Sam McDonald Guitar and Vocals

 

In the palm tree laden land of Amelia Island, there resides an exception pool of talented artists, entrepreneurs and musicians. With a tourist season that lasts longer than most destination spots, there’s great demand for talent to perform at the local venues promising live entertainment, nightly. Sam has a way of approaching every cover song he learns with the notion of the best possible meanings behind the lyrics. Crafting his vocals to match the original artists’’ original delivery intentions. This is no easy task when one of your influences is the ever-mysterious lyricist, Dave Matthews. Just beginning start in the local music scene a few short years ago, Samuel McDonald as already become a favorite among the regular crowd stationed nightly at one of the top-notch watering holes. Most of the purveyors of fine spirits make business well in view, as the historic district of downtown Fernandina Beach holds the majority of night-life locations around.

Continue Reading »

Hupp N’ Ray – One of the Island’s Most Popular Duos

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

 

Hupp N Ray in Concert

 

Live music is one thing you can count on an Islander to love. We pride ourselves on bringing that talent aboard our twilight and BYOB (adults only) tours, many leaving with a new favorite gig. The water offers a solace and life lets the music take the wheel, if for only a short while. Whether be it the starving acoustic songwriter, a preferred client at Saks Fifth Avenue, or a Wall Street hotshot out for one more 0 behind the decimal, all professional pursuits born of passion come with their many awards, courtesy of indentured sacrifice. The best of us form long-lasting relationships and an ever-changing chemistry between ourselves and most trusted partners in vocation. The best of us learn ways to work in cohesion and turn out to be talent like Fernandina Beach -founded, “Hupp N’Ray.

Continue Reading »