As a word of explanation before the remainder of this adventure is related, I feel the need to step from my role as omniscient narrator and inform the reader relative to this particular Sea Maiden sighting. We cannot escape the vicissitudes of fortune, even when sitting, martini in hand, communicating with those with whom we have had no previous acquaintance. Researching the stories of Sir Edmund Roberts and later, his grandson, Edmund C. Roberts, has led me across various continents and many oceans on journeys at least convoluted as those of the afore mentioned gentlemen. The second most frustrating thing that I have encountered in my research has been the occasional lack of continuity reparative to reported Sea Maiden sightings. Such is the case currently. Sea Maiden 11 was listed by Edmund C. Roberts as his fourth sighting. Yet he lists ten sightings as previous. Further, if one is to believe his fourth sighting nonsense, one must ignore a nearly four month and two thousand mile lapse. I did recently travel to Seattle, Washington and at that time took the opportunity to dive by the bay Edmund C. Roberts described. Not only was the bottom (sea bottom that is, for sadly, I had no opportunity to observe a Sea Maiden bottom) as he described it, but the area is still populated by giant octopus (the accepted plural is left to personal preference; octopuses, octopus, octopi, and octopussies all accepted—though it was with Herculean effort that I rejected the latter.) In addition, various marine biologists I encountered verified that an emotional octopus does indeed turn red, and that in the winter—say December—they do exhibit an unusual gregarious nature—thus supporting the observed “dance” with Edmund C. Roberts’ Sea Maiden. A celebration of Christmas and the oneness of we who populate this planet? Who am I to say?
The diving apparatus was crowded and hot; Edmund C. Roberts, the ship’s captain, Jimmy—the chief engineer, his daughter, and the three stowaway children; Sarah, Sue and Marie all occupying the bell’s humid space. It was Edmund’s Christmas gift to them—sharing the ocean floor, as it were—and they were grateful to the extreme. The sea around them was alive with aquatic creatures, but all were transfixed by a Sea Maiden in the embrace of an octopus, “Dancing” as they drifted by.
“They’re dancing!” Sarah exclaimed. It’s so sweet,” Sue added. “I think Baby Jesus touched them,” Marie whispered. Jimmy whistled softly and concluded, “Lord above, wouldn’t I love ta have eight hands.”
Edmunds journal reads:
Maidenus Christmas, “Joy”
Strait of Juan de Fuca
December 25th, 1912