Environment and climate change

The oceans of the anthropocene

Feeling homesick even though you’re already at home

Andrew Macrae
4 min readMay 3, 2021


Draughtboard shark
Draughtboard shark, by Peter Southwood, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Diving in Tasmania

The weather was good yesterday, so I went for a dive off my local beach.

We’re still in the Derwent estuary here, and the visibility varies from reasonable to pretty poor.

On Saturday, it was a bit murky. There’s plenty of life down there, though.

I saw a couple of adult draughtboard sharks cruising the weeds. These beautiful creatures have a kind of mottled camo pattern on their skin and incredible metallic copper-coloured eyes. They can grow to 1.5 m, but the ones I see are usually around 1 m or maybe a little less. They’re bottom-dwelling and harmless.

And they’re quite curious, not like the big wrasse that dart for cover as I approach, or the shy crayfish lurking beneath their overhangs.

Smooth stingray
Smooth stingray by Alpha from Melbourne, Australia, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

I saw a biggish smooth stingray, around 1 metre across, and it was definitely not shy, to the point where I started to feel uncomfortable, watching its whiplike tail beneath me with thoughts of…



Andrew Macrae

Freelance writer and editor. Sign up for my newsletter about writing, freelancing and whatever is worrying me https://tinyletter.com/Andrew_Macrae