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through an underwater arch

Swimming through the underwater arch at Two Step had been a goal of mine since I was a child. My dad would go through it every time we snorkeled there, and while by age 14 I probably could have made it physically, I’d never been able to psych myself up mentally. Over the years it began to represent a lack of fear that I thought I’d never reach.

Fast-forward to last October and you can see that I did indeed meet this goal, from both directions, in a mermaid tail. While I am a better swimmer than ever, my block was a mental one. I was afraid of sharks, deep water, and getting trapped in the tunnel and drowning.

I spent a long time wrestling with my anxiety with no chemical help. I pushed myself into deeper waters, crossing inlets and lakes, getting in a shark tank, diving as deep as I could (which honestly isn’t that deep, I don’t have the ears for free diving). Once I started an SSRI to actually manage my anxiety, all that practice started paying off. You can see it here, on video.

not your typical fairy tale mermaid

Not all mermaids are meant for warm waters. Some of us like the murk, and the dark, and the depths. Some of us were built to swim in cold waters, and I think that’s a wonderful gift. This page is all about celebrating that gift.

I’m Kelsea the Sea Witch, known on land as K. D. Hume, a queer writer and artist from the tidal flats of the Salish Sea. When not writing and gardening, I spend my time swimming in cold waters, with or without a mermaid tail.

Here, you’ll find body-positivity photography and video, open-water swimming accounts, odes to the deep, and maybe a few sea witch secrets. Welcome to the depths.