Flying Underwater

On Tuesday I fulfilled a lifetime dream, which was to glimpse a real mermaid. I watched mermaid Ia wave to an excited crowd, dive in to the sea with her vibrant tail, then glide gracefully and speedily underwater to greet people. She was so genuine and kind to all of those gathered there that I felt fascinated (and a little starstruck), and wanted to know more. With typical generosity and kindness, she responded to my enquiries, and I want to share her thoughts with everybody who was there on Tuesday, or wished that they could have been. It was an nt that I felt honoured to witness. So, for all St Ives mermaid spotters and those whom admire mermaid Ia either online or in person, here is what she said:

I asked Ia what had motivated her to become a mermaid, and just as my ambition was to see a mermaid, it turns out hers was to become the most genuine mermaid that she could possibly be. Furthermore, to bring the joy and excitement of this wonderful transformation to others. I have seen the utter joy that she brings on the enraptured faces of adults and children alike (as well as two fascinated dogs who gazed at her with head-tilted, tongue-lolling amazement). She lifts people’s spirits just as the waves lift and propel her, and there was a tangible wave of happiness when she arrived on Tuesdy. Perhaps the catalyst for her journey was watching Daryl Hannah in the film ‘Splash’. I see the same beauty and goodness in Ia that I saw onscreen, but for me Ia wins hands down. She navigates the fearsomely cold Cornish sea to pitch up with smiles and greetings, and does this without the trappings, special effects and ententourages that Hollywood brings. She is ably and competently assisted by her wave-paddling ‘mermaid wranglers’, clearly also devotees, but Ia is her own, spectacular special effect.

My next question was a selfish one, but I imagine one that others have pondered. What does it feel like  swim in the tail (or for younger folk to HAVE a tail)? The lovely answer is the same as the title of this post: like flying underwater. I saw the speed and elegance with which her tail caressed the water, and Ia says that she can swim both fast and at great depth in it. She swims with eyes open, yet another example of how committed to veracity she is. How superb. My final question involved her most memorable swim. I vividly remember, and even dream about my favourite swim, in the broiling waters of a Greek beach. Hers are an amalgamation of two swims, much like her blending of beautiful woman and aquatic beauty. Her first swim with the tail in November was one of them, when she was assisted by her friend Steve who captured the first photograph of Ia with tail. The second was Wednesday’s appearance, due to the lovely people that she met, and very movingly for me because of the blog that I wrote about her. I am delighted to have brough happiness to somebody who so obviously brings positivity and joy to so many others. Thank you, mermaid Ia.


© Tom Tide 2016

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