Undulating with the energy of the ocean and a spirit of adventure and environmentalism, this intimate ode to the strength-giving, life-sustaining power of the sea is an inspiring, thought-provoking read.
In Saltwater in the Blood, lifelong surfer, marine social scientist, writer, artist and menstruality mentor Dr Easkey Britton has created a book that’s as all-encompassing as the ocean she so loves. At once intimate and sweeping, it’s a rousing exploration of the vital role the sea plays in personal and planetary well-being.
Underpinned by a sense of mindfulness, Britton frames her book through sharing how she was personally shaped by the sea as a result of being from a family of surfing sea-lovers, and within the context of humankind’s longstanding connection to the ocean: “Western science is just beginning to realize what indigenous cultures have always known, what our ancestors knew – water has the power to heal. Engagement with healthy ocean environments can support, enhance and restore our health and wellbeing, especially mental health”.
Of particular note is Britton’s female approach to surfing - rather than viewing it as a means of having mastery over the waves, she surfs to connect with it more closely, as physical cycles are attuned to the phases of the moon and sea. Within this, the author also addresses the climate crisis to create a compelling holistic account of the beauty and power of the sea.
This is an incredibly inspiring exploration of the sea's role in the wellness of people and the planet, beautifully written by Easkey Britton - surfer, scientist and social activist. She offers a powerful female perspective on the sea and surfing, explaining what it's like to be a woman in a man's world and how she promoted the sport to women in Iran, surfing while wearing a hijab. She speaks of the undiscussed taboo around entering the water while menstruating - and of how she has come to celebrate her own bodily cycles. She has developed her own approach to surfing, which instead of seeking to dominate the waves, works in tune with the natural cycles of her body, the moon and the seasons. In a society that rewards busyness, she believes that understanding the influence of cycles becomes even more important - and we all have them, men and women.
For Easkey, the sea is a source of mental and physical wellbeing. She explores the mental toughness needed in big-wave surfing, and presents surfing as an embodied mindfulness practice in which we can find flow and connect with the movement of the waves. She stresses the need to recognize the ocean as our most powerful ally when addressing our greatest global challenge: the climate crisis. Above all, Easkey's relationship to the sea has taught her about the need to meet life and evolve with it, rather than seeking to control it. By such wisdom our planet might just survive and thrive.
|Publication date:||14th September 2021|
|Publisher:||Watkins Publishing an imprint of Watkins Media|
|Primary Genre||Biographies & Autobiographies|
A fantastic read - beautifully written and brimming with wisdom, wildness and stories that enlighten and inspire ... a book for these times from a soulful surfer, scholar, and artist who offers us a compelling and hopeful vision for how things can be.
- Ruairi McKiernan, bestselling author of Hitching for Hope
Easkey Britton's story is one of resilience, strength and the nourishing power of the sea ... a moving tale of one woman's exploration of her own self and her beloved blue sea
Easkey Britton has transferred the courage and dedication of a life spent surfing the world's wildest waves onto the written page to tell a fascinating story that is both an intensely personal reflection and a celebration of the sea.
- Keith Duggan, award-winning journalist and bestselling author of books including Cliffs of Insanity
Reading this truly marvellous book made me feel vulnerable, uplifted and ... will leave an indelible mark on the memory.
- Sir Tim Smit, Co-Founder of the Eden Project
This beautiful book is much more than a celebration of place. It is a powerful story of an incredible woman at the frontline of surfing. ... Easkey's blue heritage runs deep through her bloodline, and she will draw us all closer - both inside our bodies and the bigger body of the world - to water as we flow through these pages.
- Sam Bleakley, surfer, filmmaker and author of Mindful Thoughts for Surfers: Turning in to the Tides
This book is a love story of the exhilarating relationship between a deeply sensitive, courageous woman and the ocean ... With such an intimate personal account it also illustrates how each person can have their own rich and fulfilling relationship with the natural world.
- Michael Depledge CBE FRCP, Emeritus Professor of Environment and Human Health
Easkey Britton's story is uniquely, authentically, wholly, powerfully, and untouchably her own. She tells us how to bring water - in all its forms - into our own lives as mother, muse, coach, confidant, healer, lover, sparing-partner, and best friend. I hope everyone listens.
- Dr Wallace J Nichols, author of Blue Mind
Saltwater in the Blood is a compelling and moving read about the thrill, wonder and danger of surfing, and how Easkey's relationship to the sea and surf has awoken in her a responsibility to life itself.
- Alexandra Pope. co-author of Wild Power: discover the magic of the menstrual cycle and awaken the feminine path to power
Her journey as a surfer and as woman are an urgent reminder of the spiritual power of our ocean as a source of inspiration, humility, and connection that we all need in this moment of human and planetary crisis.
- Persis Karim, poet, editor and Professor at San Francisco State University
We learn of a woman's deep sensations from Easkey's book. She is not coy. She says it how she feels, in water and on paper and in this world.
- Pauline Bewick, Irish artist and author
In Saltwater in the Blood, Easkey invites us into her intimate relationship with the sea, and shows us how hearing its calls has given her new eyes, profound connections, and a fierce courage to release the wild woman soul that yearns to come out of hiding.
- Captain Liz Clark, author of Swell