I have the pleasure of being friends with Moira the Mermaid. She was actually nominated as “Dallas’s 10 Most Fascinating people” for 2017. She is a hard working mama that has a passion for the Mermaids, scuba, and free diving.
Meet Moira the mermaid
Where are you from? What do you enjoy filling your day with?
I was born and raised in Texas. The favorite parts of my day are time with my dear family, or catching up with my incredible group of friends. I would definitely rate my inner circle as a unique and AMAZING aspect of my life. They are incredible women… athletes, business women, mothers, divers, activists, thespians, dancers, and scientists…and they are all mermaids!
Where did you learn your love for the water?
I could not get enough. History, mythology, oceanography, I had to have it all! I happened upon books like Dr. Sylvia Earle’s “Wild Ocean,” and then immersed myself in maritime history, tales of treasure and pirate hunting and high profile shipwreck expeditions.
I began endurance, apnea, and scuba training as a young adult to prepare for my underwater adventures. I didn’t lifeguard my summers in high school, and I didn’t start with a swim team background. It is never too late to immerse yourself in everything aquatic. Exploring our national marine sanctuaries, and hovering inside the belly of a shipwreck have been my day dreams since childhood.
The sensation of kneeling in the sand on the ocean floor and looking up at the light penetrating the waves, while sharks swim over your head…. It defies description. Water is life.
Why do you love Mermaids so much?
Between Darryl Hannah in “Splash” and Ariel in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” childhood bath time was not complete without a mermaid tail made of colorful washcloths, and my ocean jewelry box had quite a few seashells missing from its exterior, because they were destined to be stuck to my face and hair.
I don’t recall ever waving my father goodbye in the mornings without belly flopping onto the couch and giving him the famous Ariel wave, because he was King Triton, of course, and I was an elegant mermaid, perched on my rock!
Before my whole household was home tying up the phone line in the evenings, hearing that dial-up internet connection meant I could look up all things mermaid and dive related. The fascination probably began from watching underwater performers ranging from the Weeki Wachee Springs shows to Zale Parry in Sea Hunt.
The permanent twinkle in my eye came from soaking up everything I could find from trailblazers like Esther Williams to famous free divers like Audrey Mestre, Tanya Streeter and Natalia Molchanova.
These women are true mermaids to me.
tell us about your Mermaid Tails?
I first played with monofins about 4 years ago. My first official mermaid tail was handmade by a seamstress, and is a very special item to me. As a long time mermaid enthusiast, I have loved watching the swimmable tail production become much more mainstream and available to merfolk of all ages. I have had tails from FinFun and FinFolk, as well as custom work done for both fabric and silicone tails. I highly recommend Linda Hines with Mer Made Tails, she created my big red beast, a full silicone, blood red siren tail! This baby has worked tons of children’s parties, underwater performances, and is like a second skin during river and ocean swimming.
What do you think people can learn from Mermaids?
What better way to educate our youth and inspire love for our oceans than to personify the ocean?
Mermaids are the ultimate mascot. They are timeless cultural icons. Complex, ethereal creatures that symbolize a variety of different emotions and energies. I have spent years performing at dive conventions, birthday parties, and tournaments, and the most beautiful and hilarious memories I will ever have are children seeing me for the first time.
Mermaids mean magic and hope to kids. To adults, I feel mermaids can stand for imagination and community, mermaid swimming is like mixing cosplay with exercise, and brings together so many walks of life. I always joke when I host mermaid meets or swim practices,
“No spectators allowed! You have to come be silly with us!”
Whether it’s for an enjoyable, low impact workout, to advance your swim skills, or transform into the water spirit you know you’ve always been, be you. Be undeniably you. Life is too short to not take your inner child on a playdate, get wrapped up in the joy and magic, and face all your fears.
What is your favorite Mermaid or ocean quote?
“I held the water to my chest, and I loved.” – Kiera Cass
“No water, no life. No blue, no green.” – Dr. Sylvia Earle
What camps or mermaid gatherings have you been to or wish to go to? What was your favorite part?
My mermaid pod and I love to pitch in and make a difference, so most of my favorite memories are helping collect marine debris, hunt invasive species while diving, or traveling to local creeks and rivers to help remove litter. I have gotten to help host awesome mermaid meets at local landmarks and dive wells over the years. Whether we are swimming, crafting or playing dress up, mermaids always have fun!
What ocean conservation efforts do you support?
Get ready! There are a lot!
- Blue Ring Foundation
- Save the Manatee Club’s “Adopt a Manatee” Program
- Texas Lionfish Control Unit
- Coast Watch Alliance
- Lionfish University
- Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
- Project AWARE
- Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
- Mermaids for Clean Water
What are you favorite Mermaid theme items or clothing?
I have more treasures than I have room for! Over the years I have collected plenty of mermaid shirts, cosmetics, scale leggings, art, rash-guards, bathing suits, accessories, and swimmable tails. If I ever have a visitor that doesn’t know me personally, it takes less than a minute for them to look around and ask “I take it you really love mermaids?”
Any tips and tricks for fellow Mermaids? (Brands, accessories, tails, swimming, etc)
I try to live by the Project Aware’s “5 R’s to eliminate waste” in order to be a “Real” mermaid.
- REFUSE what you do not need
- REDUCE what you do need
- REUSE what you consume
- RECYCLE what you cannot Refuse, Reduce or Reuse
- ROT (Compost) the rest
Life as a mermaid brings many new adventures, with these experiences come the opportunity to be a voice for our oceans and all the creatures that live in them! Be an educated consumer, and help bring others to knowledge about changes they can make to be respectful to the environment. We have a chance to educate our communities about water pollution and marine debris. Try your best to remember to do this with conviction, not condemnation.
Purchase from companies that are dedicated to being eco-conscious and biodegradable, one of my personal favorites is Stream2Sea, who not only produces ocean and coral reef safe sunscreens, but has a fantastic line of shampoo, conditioner, and sunburn relief gel. They provide a useful list of ingredients to avoid that are hazardous to our bodies and environment.
For items like soaps, scrubs, salts and bath bombs, go with Salacia Bath House. They’re a family owned company that makes incredible and eco-friendly pamper products. They even let me recycle the packaging for my refills AND their products look like art that smells good enough to eat. It’s Mermaid Heaven.
Do not get into a swimmable mermaid tail unless you can comfortably front and back float, surface swim and dolphin kick! When you are ready to go maximum mermaid and extend your time underwater, go take a free-diving course through an internationally recognized agency.
This level of training completely transformed my underwater experience!
Thanks Moira! You have an incredible passion for life that is contagious. I can’t wait to see what you do next in the mermaid community!
“Texas Mermaid Squad is a place for merfolk to meet, empower each other, share their journeys, and give back to the community. The group is just under 300 mermaids strong! You can expect to see showcasing of many charity and conservation efforts this year, as well as participation in athletic events, fundraisers, retreats and swim meets!”
If you liked getting to know Moira the Mermaid, check out some of my other mermaid interviews!