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This strip is inspired by the trip I took to Hawaii over Christmas! I’d never been swimming in the ocean before, AND I’d never snorkeled before – but my dad got the bright idea to make me go snorkeling in the ocean. I was understandably pretty scared and I couldn’t go more than a foot or two out at first, but my dad started getting pretty upset at how “wimpy” I was being! After I gave him a stern talking-to he let up, but I still felt the need to prove to him that I could snorkel JUST FINE…so then I snorkeled maybe 10 or 15 feet out and I was doing just fine until I had a massive panic attack and zoomed back to the shore as if my swimsuit was on fire.

Anyway, after the incident I calmly lectured my dad on his unrealistic expectations regarding my snorkeling ability. I have not snorkeled since then and instead I made a comic about it. But I do want to snorkel again sometime, because I love swimming!

Have you guys ever been snorkeling or scuba diving? What were your experiences? And also, has there ever been a time when your parents had unrealistic expectations for you? Let me know!
Rbuy_book_plain
I may return for the Unrealistic Expectations part of the program, but I just wanted to mention I knew a girl who had been BITTEN BY A SHARK while standing in knee-deep water. Apparently it's more common than most people think. And good for you for calling your dad on his unrealistic expectations!
IvyKllr 8/6/13
Thanks, I thought I did a good job calling him on it!
 Emma  9/20/13
 
Don't hold your breath when you're swimming vertical circles in scuba gear - you pop your ears and can pop your lungs.....
J. Survivor 2/23/13
Yes, that's very dangerous! Luckily, this is just snorkeling, not scuba.
 Emma  3/8/13
 
The only snorkling I've done is in the river that runs by our house. The Watauga River is fairly shallow and often crystal clear, which makes swimming and tubing in it a lot of fun.
Max_Writer 10/21/12
Oh, that sounds amazing! I love rivers like that.
 Emma  3/8/13
 
My family I went to Hawaii for midwinter break a few years ago. We were staying on the big island and stayed in a hotel on a gorgeous half-blacksand beach. We went snorkeling and I kept panicking because 1)I kept getting saltwater in my mask and 2) the rocks were dotted with tiny sea urchins. Sadly, I didn't try again.
Clockwork Wombat 10/15/12
Yes, exactly!! Similar Hawaii experiences...
 Emma  3/8/13
 
Yes, I have been snorkeling at Discovery Cove in Florida. I also got to swim with a dolphin named Lester. Where I snorkeled was a "cove" that was manmade with HUGE HUGE HUGE 'rays' and fish. At one point something slimy slid right in between my legs, so I pitched my body to the side!
I was also scared at first to go into the cove, but then I was fine once we put on provided life vests.

Also, I haven't been on here in a couple weeks, and I LOVE the updates you did to the website.
Jam 7/6/12
Thank you so much! I'm glad you like it! And that dolphin swimming sounds AMAZING!
 Emma  10/8/12
 
Wow, only 3 feet!

Great strip!!
Ginny Weasley fan 3/31/12
Thank you!!
 Emma  10/8/12
 
I also have noticed that our comments aren't as many as they have been for this comic.
Miss L.S.P 3/30/12
sometimes there are lots of posts, sometimes there are not. (shrugs shoulders) it happens.
Dr. Taxil Necrobane 3/30/12
It varies week to week...I wouldn't worry about it!
 Emma  3/8/13
 
Hey guys:

Check out this fantastic interview Comic Book Resources did with Emma.
Miss Clavel 3/29/12
Thanks Miss Clavel! ;)
 Emma  3/8/13
 
The only time I've gone snorkelling out in the actual ocean, I went with a friend out to the most GORGEOUS island. The water was CRYSTAL. Could see for aaages underwater. Then while I was happily snorkelling along I realised that what I thought was a rock, directly below me - and the water was only about as deep as I am tall - was actually a sting ray. I managed to swim off without being brutally slaughtered, but I was quite nervous the rest of the day!
Kiwifruit 3/28/12
Wow, that sounds SO amazing! How cool...the sting ray incident is scary, though!
 Emma  10/8/12
 
I see that Chapel's bathing suit hasn't quite changes from her everyday dress.... :P
Miss L.S.P 3/28/12
Yeah, it's not quite different, is it?
 Emma  3/28/12
 
I really enjoyed your comic, I used to frequent TWC a lot but stopped for about a year. I was catching up on some old favorites when I saw Chapel dressed as the TARDIS (I've been a fan of DR.WHO since the third doctor, no age jokes please). Keep up the great work, I'll be voting for you.
M 3/27/12
If the kids here had any age jokes, they would have used them on me by now. welcome to being one of Chapel's faithful Mr/Mrs M.
Dr. Taxil Necrobane 3/27/12
Thank you so much! That's so wonderful to hear! :)
 Emma  3/8/13
 
I can relate to your panic with the snorkel -- and I learned to swim in the ocean. But the first time you take a breath underwater is a little freaky. But once you're OK with it, you will experience a whole new world.
Dean M. 3/26/12
True...
 Emma  3/8/13
 
I got to go snorkeling in Hawaii in December.....I loved It! However, one time we were snorkeling off a boat, and when I went out a second time, I wondered why it felt so different....harder.....I forget to put on my float vest that the captain insisted we wear! Oops! However, every time I snorkel, I feel so proud of myself that I conquered my fear of the ocean for at least a little while! (by the way, my friend refused to go into the water! So feel better! It IS scary!)
Crabby Gabby 3/26/12
It can be super scary -- I agree!
 Emma  3/8/13
 
I like this one, but I like all of the comics!!!! Anyway, I have been snorkeling before, but I was younger and the guide let me hang onto a life ring that was attached to a rope, and he pulled me along because I was a bit scared. It was really fun, though!!!!
Blarber123 3/24/12
That sounds pretty scary! I'm glad you like this comic, though. I had a lot of fun drawing it! Snorkeling can be tough...
 Emma  3/25/12
 
I have a question for you: how did you choose the name Chapel for your character?
Sasha 3/24/12
Hmm...well, I had a book I was working on in 4th grade where there was a character called Berlin. When I was writing Berlin's backstory, I decided she should have a sister called Chapel (I only picked that name because I thought it went well with "Berlin.") I later decided not to include the character though! When I started drawing Chapel, I wanted to pick a name for her, and the name "Chapel Smith" sprung to mind. The current Chapel and the old sister-character aren't the same person, they just share a name.
 Emma  3/25/12
 
I can relate to that experience! It took me a while to get used to that in the ocean as well, and I'm a very good swimmer, even. What scared me the most was once I did venture out into deeper water I came across a barracuda. I know it wasn't as big as it looked at the time, but I swear it felt like it was almost as big as me, and it wasn't the least bit scared of me, either. I reminded myself that they never attack people, and eventually the fear went away when the fish just swam along and didn't do anything except watch me. After that I learned that they often follow swimmers and snorkelers because we sometimes flush smaller fish out for them to catch.
NefariousDrO 3/24/12
Wow, that DOES sound really scary! I'm a good swimmer as well, but I'm much more used to swimming pools instead of the open ocean. I didn't know that barracudas don't attack people! Do you go snorkeling often?
 Emma  3/25/12
I've only been in the ocean a few times. I live in Michigan, so I've been in the Great Lakes more times than I'd even dream of trying to count, but swimming in the ocean is very different. I've been spoiled by the huge bodies of fresh water I grew up with, and much prefer the Great Lakes to the ocean, to tell the truth.
NefariousDrO 3/29/12
 
ahahahah I love the way Chapel's hair looks when it's wet :)
awesome!
Ava 3/24/12
Thanks so much! She looks really funny, doesn't she?
 Emma  3/25/12
 
ha ha! No, I have never been scuba diving or snorkeling before... oh, nobody has answered my riddle yet!! Please! take a guess!!!! :D ( look in previous comment zone for it)
Miss L.S.P 3/24/12
I'm not going to answer the riddle because I suck at them. Anyway, that's a shame you've never been snorkeling! I've never been scuba diving, but my friend has her scuba diving license!
 Emma  3/25/12
Oh, well, does anybody else want to try?
Miss L.S.P 3/25/12
The answer to your riddle is that it's describing a game of Monopoly. The car is one of the standard playing pieces, landing on a street whose owner has upgraded it to a hotel. The woman - whose piece is the car - screams as she has to pay the man - the owner of the hotel - a high 'rent'. Mayfair and Park Lane are the two streets with the highest 'rents', hence my comment on the previous page.
Scott's Folly 3/26/12
Oh, yeah!!!! Great job!!!! ****\(^.^)/****
Miss L.S.P 3/27/12
 
Never been...but it sounds fun!
ALSO one of my fave strips EVAR! Love it it's so CUTEEEEE especially the last panel
If I seen hyper to you it's because today is Reaping Day and I'm seeing THG in less than two hours so I'm DYYYYYIIIINNNGGGG
Harry Potter (and Hunger Games!) PWNS ALL 3/23/12
I'm not going to be able to see it for a few weeks so if we could NOT talk about the movie much, that'd be great! Also I'm REALLY glad you like this strip!
 Emma  3/23/12
now why is that Miss Emma?
Dr. Taxil Necrobane 3/24/12
I'm too tired to see it this weekend and I don't want spoilers about the movie...I mean, I've read the book but the movies are always different!
 Emma  3/24/12
i never get worked up about book to movie adaptions. once you read the books, the movies rarely if ever compare to where they came from. (grumbles about the harry potter movie butcher jobs)
Dr. Taxil Necrobane 3/24/12
Actually, I think that a lot of the Harry Potter movies didn't have too much excessive choppage - but Order of the Phoenix was utterly first degree book murder.
Harry Potter PWNS ALL 3/24/12
actually in the forth too, they subtracted a LOT of scenes. with the house elves and such....
Miss L.S.P 3/24/12
Yeah! I didn't think abou that.
But still, OotP was just...it was...there was just...IT WAS WROOONG.
If i went into a list you would be reading all day, so I'll spare you that horror ;D
Harry Potter PWNS ALL 3/25/12
Totally. The scene in the Department of Mysteries was FREAKY. Not Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 though. That movie was just plain bad in my opinion.
Ginny Weasley fan 5/19/12
Yeah. The house elf scenes were GREAT. AAAANNNDDDD (I'm REALLY mad about this) They cut Winky out ENTIRELY!!
Ginny Weasley fan 5/19/12
Taxil is right, I'm not gonna spoil anything, but it wasn't what I thought it would be :(
Harry Potter PWNS ALL 3/24/12
The movie was still amazing! I saw it yesterday! Emma, you should better see it soon! Not that I'm forcing you! :S :D
Katherine 3/24/12
Half my friends say it was great, half my friends didn't like it...hopefully I'll like it! :D
 Emma  3/25/12
 
she has such an active imagination
Yarin 3/23/12
and we love her for it.
Dr. Taxil Necrobane 3/24/12
Aww, Taxil, what a sweet thing to say! I'm glad you like Chapel so much :D
 Emma  3/25/12
Thanks, I'm glad you like that about her! Yeah, Chapel's imagination goes into overdrive WAY too easily.
 Emma  3/25/12
 
I live up in the mountains, so i don't get many chances to go to the sea and swim. But i have swam in the great lakes and i have swam in pools. Even at the end of summer, the water of the great lakes was darn cold! I don't think i can bring myself into swimming in the open ocean. I think Poseidon is out to get me if i go out there again.

oh, and no, i have not scuba in my life. ^^;;;
Dr. Taxil Necrobane 3/23/12
Well, this was about snorkeling, not scuba diving! But I understand what you mean. The Great Lakes must be cold! I can barely stand cold pools, much less lakes.
 Emma  3/25/12
the great lakes freeze over completely in a cold winter. they hold over 1/5 (or so) of the world's fresh water that isn't locked up on the poles. let THAT sink in for a bit.

At times i hate the cold. it makes my old joints and scars ache. But on the other hand, it doesn't really affect me other wise as much. maybe i have anti-freeze in my veins.
Dr. Taxil Necrobane 3/26/12
 
I've never been snorkeling or scuba diving, but I love swimming. My mom and sisters and I are saving our change for a hopeful vacation in a year or two, we'll maybe go to Texas so we can see the ocean. I'll definitely swim in the ocean, but my brother and one of my sisters wouldn't because they freak out just seeing a shark on TV. LOL

I love the clownfish, haha!
Emily14 3/23/12
what about dolphins?
Dr. Taxil Necrobane 3/24/12
You've never seen the ocean before? That's INSANE. I'm glad you like the clownfish! They were fun to draw, they're like little Nemos.
 Emma  3/25/12
It's not that insane Miss Emma. People don't always have the means or need to travel the world over, or even leave where they live as much. You have probably seen more of the world in your short life than 50% of the people in the world so far.
Dr. Taxil Necrobane 3/25/12
Nope, I've never seen the ocean! I'm looking forward to possibly going there though.
Emily14 3/28/12
 
Hi! Well, I snorkeled when I went to the Caribbean Islands! But that was a fair amount of years ago. I think I saw a small shark! It was creepy, bit I loved seeing the different schools of fish and the coral! I think it's cool swimming in the ocean, but when you get out, you feel all the salt that's left, and I don't really like feeling salt in my hair and stuff! :S Later on, I got a sunburn all over my arms and shoulders, so I had to walk around like a zombie! Haha!

I hope I can go to Hawaii too sometime! It sounds awesome!
(I love the color of the water, and Chapel's bathing suit! Oh, and the little fish!) Great Job, Emma! XD
Katherine 3/23/12
The closest i had ever been to a shark was when i saw one in the Shedd Aquaruim in Chicago and when i had one for dinner in New York City. Both of which is good enough for me!
Dr. Taxil Necrobane 3/24/12
OHHHH I hate the feeling of salt! After I swam in the ocean I took about two showers to feel fully clean. I have really pale skin, but I don't get sunburned easily even once my sunblock has worn off! I don't tan easily, either. Actually, I can't recall ever having gotten a sunburn in my life...Hawaii is great, you should definitely go sometime if you can! I'd love to see the Caribbean sometime, too...
 Emma  3/25/12
 
My family and I just got back from a cruise around the Caribbean last week. When we landed in Mahogany Bay we did a "SNUBA" diving excursion. It's like SCUBA, but instead of having the tank attached you your back, it floats on the surface and you use a hose to breath. We actually dove at the site of an old sunken ship where coral had begun to grow. It was neat.

We went snorkelling as well, but it was easier to breathe during the SNUBA diving and we saw FAR more marine life.
Akuji-Kun 3/23/12
Oh, I've heard of Snuba! It sounds fun! Wow, what was the sunken ship like? Can you tell me about it? It sounds really awesome!
 Emma  3/25/12
Sure thing. It the ship was actually an old cargo boat. The ship had just set sail for Jamaica having just installed a new diesel engine. They were transporting rice. Anyways installing the new engine on an old boat must have been a bad idea, because they ended up breaking the engine and cracking the hull of the boat which forced them to make an emergency stop in Grand Cayman. (I know I said Mahogany Bay, in my previous post, but I should have said Grand Cayman)

Well when the sailors got off the boat they did exactly what you'd expect a group of sailors to do! They got drunk! And while they were drinking, water got into the crack of the boat and soaked the cargo. It wasn't much water, so this wouldn't have mattered, except... We all know what happens to rice when it gets wet. It expands!

When the sailors got back to the ship in the morning it was half under water. The rice had expanded so much, that it cracked the hull to the point where it couldn't float any more! Oops.

Some years later the British navy decided that the shipwreck was a hazard to anyone trying to use the pier and they blew it up!

You can still see big pieces of the boat, but it's mostly fragments of the frame and hull. Coral is growing all over it and fish have moved in since, so it's really neat. You just have to be careful of the sharp edges!
Akuji-Kun 3/26/12
Cool, Akuji-Kun! I love the comic, Em. I have aquaphobia 2! -Robin
3/27/12
I LOVE TO SWIM, BUT NOT IN DEEP WATER.
-C
3/27/12
Yeah, me too. I chicken out when my mom asks if I want to swim in the ocean, though, because I'm scared of sharks trying to bite my leg off! (Soul Surfer changed my mind about that.) I'm kind of a pool-person. Pools rock!!! -Robin
3/27/12
Don't worry about sharks biting you, those are very rare. worry about all the OTHER deadly sea critters getting you. Jelly Fish are more likely to kill you than a shark will.
Dr. Taxil Necrobane 3/27/12
Yeah I guess so... when I was younger I didn't want to go to the beach for fear of somebody getting hurt by a shark...
Miss L.S.P 3/29/12
Well, still. Sharks are SCARY!!! No one can argue with that!!!
4/2/12
 
I forgot to say goodnight to you.
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