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  • Writer's pictureHannah Telluselle

The sound of the ocean

Updated: Aug 20, 2020

I saw a small tsunami wave yesterday, here in Carcavelos, Portugal, where I am currently staying. The same kind and way I saw the tsunami in Waikiki, Hawaii in 2011.

It started about two weeks ago with a special kind of headache that I get when there's an earthquake, followed by a siren once I think on Saturday but I wasn't sure if it only was the monthly test. Then lots of cars driving towards me from Cascais. Odd, I thought, because it can't be there. The ocean was really loud for several days, and with high enough water levels to get an over-wash here and there all the way up to the road or beachwalk. Yet, I wouldn't call that a tsunami. It rained a lot, some of the road seemed to have broken but it felt more like a storm. A boat hunk its horn several times one night going out and the following day, there was bamboo sticks and little pieces of styrofoam everywhere, floating ashore. And a couple of pieces of a big crab! Made me think of Jesse of course. (I think I saw him in Cascais a couple of months ago, fresh off a boat, going into an ice-cream cafe. I also think I saw Todd Nerlin here a month later, giving me "a thumbs up" parked in his car in the middle of the night in Estoril; why was he here? And the Swedish stalker last week again, but maybe I'm seeing things.)

I'm thinking the louder noise of the crashing waves than usual last week, could even be an accumulated noise travelling here from the earthquake at the Azor islands.

Then yesterday: Suddenly dead quiet. Really low tide and flat. But seashells that felt old. Nice and sunny, a bit windy, but eerie quiet that I could only feel like either a foreboding of a tsunami or me getting it all mixed up. How is it supposed to sound and look like? Is there a difference between the Atlantic ocean and the Pacific ocean? I haven't lived here long enough to be able to tell. A stroll tonight alongside Estoril and Cascais made me feel calm again with the ocean's normal rhythm re-affirmed.

And yes earlier today, when I passed by the beach in Carcavelos and looked down from the beachwalk, it was still sort of low tide, or normal, but with a clear strong floating of water for a long distance without the crushing, that indeed looked like a tsunami.

This seashell still has sound in it!

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