Saturday, April 28, 2012

Dropping Hints

As we have learned from a number of mermaid themed movies, novels, and legends, mermaids are supposed to keep their identity secret.  Many fear that if the humans found out about them, they would be the subject of lab experiments.

Most modern merfolk are more open about showing their scales.  The humans love us, and love to splash and play with us. They wave at us from their sailboats, and know that we're a lot more fun to have at birthday parties than a bounce house.

Still, the newer merfolk among us may still be a little hesitent to tell their family, friends, and co-workers, "By the way, I am a mermaid."  The secret is to drop little hints. Today's blog post is all about little things you can do to slowly reveal your inner mermaid.

At the end of H2O: Just Add Water season two, Rikki remarks, "This is getting close to the worst kept secret of all time." Emma responds by bringing boyfriend Ash down to the water and showing him her mermaid persona for the first time.

The following is a collection of inexpensive items you can buy from various sources. You may also want to visit or revisit my earlier blog post entitled Artists and Shops for more ideas.

Mermaid Decals

Having failed at creating my own, I did a search on eBay and found these great mermaid decals. The prices are low enough that you can buy more than one.  Several colors are available, but I chose gold of course. I placed one on the back window of my car as you can see in the photo. The rain on the window adds a nice touch.

Mermaid Crossing Sign

It appears that the Mermaid Crossing sign that I bought a few years ago is no longer available from Otter Bay Gifts. I found this one by doing a web search, and there are a few other styles out there as well.  These are great for pool areas, beach homes, or any home by the ocean.

Mermaid Tee Shirts

CafePress sells a wide variety of tee shirts, canvas bags, coffee mugs, sweat shirts... you name it! Here is a mermaid and dolphin themed tee shirt that I wear quite often.   Be sure to also check out the wide variety of designs from Jennifer OBremski, some of which are recent additions.

The turquoise mermaid tee from Wyland is another favorite of mine.

Mermaid Cookie Cutter

To make your cookies stand out at your next bake sale or office party, try making them with this Mermaid Cookie Cutter.  If you have kids, they will love decorating each mermaid cookie differently.  At under $3 each, you can afford to buy a second one for a gift.  Send me your mermaid cookie photos!

Three Mermaids

Recently, Mermaid Shelly posted a photo on Facebook that I just had to share with you all. Here is Mermaid Shelly, Mermaid Marla, and myself at one of the MerCon 2011 pool parties.  Thank you, Shelly and Chris, for sharing this photo with us!

Shelly - Marla - Cynthia

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at)

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mermaid Kat

Let's say you're about to take your first Scuba class.  You may be a little nervous.  When you find out that your instructor is a mermaid, you know you're going to have a great time! Today, we are speaking with Mermaid Kat who is currently living in Thailand.

Cynthia: Hello, Kat, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Kat: My name is Katrin Felton. I am 26 years old and I'm from Germany. I left my home country about 2 years ago to travel the world with my husband. We stayed in Australia for a year, but since September 2011 I've been living in Thailand and working as a Scuba instructor and model. But most of all I enjoy swimming the oceans as "Mermaid Kat" - a real mermaid!!

Cynthia: How did you get into mermaiding?
Kat: When I was five I saw the Disney movie, The Little Mermaid, for the first time. From that day on I always wanted to be a mermaid. I tried to tie my legs together hoping they'd turn into a mermaid's tail. My father however would not let me jump in the pool like that and my dream was put on hold for a while. After a couple of years I got the opportunity to work as a model and was crowned "Miss Germany International 2006" and managed to travel the world and gather some international modeling experience. I started diving for a photoshoot and I got a bit closer to the ocean again. I started scuba diving and after some time I was on the way to become a scuba instructor and started freediving. I remembered my childhood dream of becoming a mermaid and did some research. I found my first memaid tail online. This is when "Mermaid Kat" was born. In the meantime I have finished making my own mermaid tail and have had several under- and above water photoshoots. I have finally managed to combine my passions of being underwater and a model and am now an underwater model.

Cynthia: Tell us more about your life as a professional mermaid and model. 
Kat: Currently I still work as a model in Thailand. There are quite a lot of fashion shows and photo shoots over here. Although I do prefer being underwater much more than being on the catwalk. I became a mermaid about a year ago so I'm still at the beginning of my career. However, things are starting to get going. I've got bookings for several events and interviews in southeast Asia. The majority of work still comes from modelling but I'm hoping that this will change soon.

Cynthia: Do you also do recreational mermaid swimming?
Kat: In my free time I try as swim as a mermaid as often as possible. Unfortunately I don't have too much time to do this. Working as a Scuba instructor I dive almost every day and after scuba diving you are supposed to wait for at least 18 hours before freediving as a mermaid. But we are starting to get into low season so I hope there will be more time for me to swim as a mermaid.

Cynthia: No doubt you enjoy being a Scuba instructor.
Kat: I think it's the best job in the world. I used to work for an insurance company, and hated going to work every day. Things changed and I now really enjoy every day on the boat. Diving in Phuket is great and the scenery is beautiful.

Cynthia: Were your family and friends supportive of you being a mermaid in the beginning?
Kat: My friends didn't quite understand what I was talking about but most of them are from Germany and it's pretty cold there most of the time. Additionally, there is no water near the town I come from so it made it even harder to understand. Now they have seen what I do and they are really supportive but I still get to hear that I am crazy because I go diving with my legs tied together and without any air tanks and mask.

Cynthia: Can you tell us any stories related to people seeing you in the water, or for the first time? 
Kat: I remember the very first time I tried swimming with a mermaid tail in public. It was at Bondi Beach in Sydney and I was so nervous. I was afraid of other people laughing at me or of funny comments. Luckily it went the other way, people were so curious and interested and I got talking to so many families with kids who wanted to try swimming like a mermaid too. This was really cool and it confirmed once again that I was on the right track.

Cynthia: Do you have any favorite mermaid themed books or movies? 
Kat: Disney's The Little Mermaid is of course my number one as it was my inspiration. Another very good movie is Splash but to be honest I'm crazy about anything that has to do with mermaids.

Cynthia: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Kat: I want to thank my husband Spencer as he is the one who always supports me, no matter how crazy my ideas are. Also my mother and step-father have been very supportive. I do regret very much that my father who told me that I could not swim with my legs tied together when I was little passed away when I was 16. Unfortunately, he will never be able to see me swim the oceans as a Mermaid.

Thank you very much, Kat!  Look for Mermaid Kat on Facebook and her own web site.

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at)

Updated 8/11/2014: Photos, Facebook Link.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Merfolk Games

Merfolk Word Search

Here is a little word search puzzle to try.  Print out this page.  When you find a word, circle each individual letter, not the entire word.  When you have found all of the words, the unused letters will spell out a secret mermaid message.

Note:  In the puzzle, Ariel and Kariel do not share any letters. They are hidden separately. The same is true with the two instances of Water.

Good Luck!


Just Add Water

Mermaid Adventures RPG

Third Eye Games is producing a role playing game (RPG) called Mermaid Adventures. The characters in the game are not limited to mermaids, however. Development costs are being funded by a Kickstarter campaign.

The game was originally designed with four character forms: Fishfolk (merfolk), Eelfolk, Octofolk, and Sharkfolk. Due to the generous support of RPG fans, four additional character types are being added: Jellyfolk, Lobsterfolk, Rayfolk, and Urchinfolk.

For more information on Mermaid Adventures, visit their Kickstarter web site. Note that their Kickstarter campaign ends on April 15th.  If you or your children enjoy role-play, be sure to check this out.

Murky Reef

The younger merfolk in the family will enjoy learning about math, English, logic and more with Murky Reef by Froylc.  Parents will also love this iPad app because it covers a wide variety of learning topics, not just one.  The program can save configuration and progress for multiple children, and the kids will love the underwater theme.  For more on Murky Reef, take a look at the review on  Tell Puff that Mermaid Cynthia sent you.

Mermaid Marla Encore

I received a lot of great feedback to my recent interview with Mermaid Marla.  For all of the Marla fans out there, here is another photo!

Mermaid Marla - Cozumel
Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at)

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mermaid Marla

Today, I will be chatting with the very inspiring Mermaid Marla Lawrenz of Florida USA. Please join us! We have a lot to talk about, so let's get right to it!

Cynthia: Hello, Marla, please tell us about yourself.
Marla: When I was young I used to hope I would fall into the ocean and turn into a fish, like that movie The Incredible Mr. Limpet. I was very fortunate to have grown up along the California coast where there were plenty of tide pools to keep me busy. I even had a secret cove that I just knew mermaids used on full moon nights. As I got older I never lost my love for the ocean, but my childhood mermaid fantasies were pushed aside as school and work took over. It wasn't until I moved to Florida that I finally made time to do something I had wanted to do most of my life - get scuba certified! Getting scuba certified with my husband was a dream come true and I finally was able to enjoy being under the sea with all the sea life I had always longed to swim with. My only regret is that I waited until I was in my mid 40's to achieve this dream.

Mermaid Marla - Cozumel
Cynthia: How did you get into mermaiding?
Marla: Although I have always loved mermaids I never realized that there were people who made tails and swam in them. It was all quite accidental that I even found out about them. A couple years ago after having been scuba diving for several years, I started becoming interested in free-divers as they seemed to be more at one with the ocean, without all of the equipment that goes along with scuba. I started googling monofins to see if I could purchase one to practice with. As I was going through the sites I saw something about mermaid tails with monofins. That definitely peeked my interest! I was shocked and elated to see full on mermaid tails, and the more I clicked the more pictures and videos popped up. Well, I was hooked and immediately started looking into purchasing my first tail and I haven't looked back since. Two years later, I find myself about to turn 50 with two mermaid tails, two more under construction and never happier! What a magical world we truly live in!

Cynthia: You do professional appearances as a mermaid?
Marla: Well I suppose "professional" means getting paid? In that instance I have made several paid appearances and am so grateful to be doing something that people really seem to appreciate! It always surprises me how excited people are to see someone in a mermaid tail because for those of us who are part of this community it seems common place. But I guess if I look back at how I would react, before knowing about these tails, I'm pretty sure I would have been just as excited! I sometimes feel guilty to get paid to do something that is so fun, but in actuality not everyone can do it I guess. People are always surprised that I can swim with my tail and even when I explain that there's a monofin used for the fluke, they still are astonished. If you think of it, the vast majority of people have never heard of a monofin and then to say you are swimming with one doesn't make it seem any easier to them. So I guess what I'm saying is if there are others that ever seem like it doesn't seem right to get paid for "just swimming around in a tail" really look around at the people watching you. Most of them would not be able to do this and even if they could, they are very intimated by just the thought of having their legs bound under water, let alone holding their breath and actually trying to propel themselves forward. This indeed is a very special and unique sort of thing to do.

Mermaid Marla and fans
Cynthia: Tell us about your recreational mermaid swimming and modeling.
Marla: I don't get to swim in open water as much as I would like. I'm very lucky to have a pool in my back yard, so when I get the urge I can just jump in but it's not the same as the freedom of just letting loose in open water. The two places I have swam so far are The Blue Heron's Bridge in Ft. Lauderdale and The Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River, FL. Both had their challenges. Blue Heron is in salt water but I had no problem with the water in my eyes. Salt water is very natural to our eyes so once you're used to it there really isn't any sting. My problem in salt water is that my tail is very buoyant so it was hard to get under and stay under. At Three Sisters Springs the only problem I had there was that the water is a constant 72 degrees which is about 14 degrees cooler than I would like it. Modeling in my tails is definitely fun and of course challenging in itself as you can't just walk yourself to each location. You have to enlist a mertender (my husband coined that term at the WMA). When you see mermaids on rocks and then on the sand and then in the water you can bet that shoot took quite some time as the poor mertender has to constantly pick you up and place you in all those positions! My husband is my personal mertender and none of this would be possible without his love, support and heavy lifting - lol!

Cynthia: Do you do appearances to raise awareness of environmental issues?
Marla: This is one of my favorite parts of being a mermaid. I have always been concerned with our environment and in particular, our oceans and the marine life in them. Putting on a tail really helps to draw attention to these issues in a fun way and also reaches some very important people - the children! Children are of course our future and it is up to us to help them understand why it's important to fix our planet. I don't only appear for environmental issues, but if any group needs attention drawn to raise money I will try to make time to be there. I recently was a part of a local group who were raising money to help people in this area who need help paying for cancer treatments. I helped raise a little money by people donating some $$ to pose with me for a picture.

Mermaid Marla - Three Sisters Springs
Cynthia: Have your family and friends been supportive of you being a mermaid?
Marla: Being the type of person I am, not one of my friends or family ever questioned me when I showed them a picture of me in a tail! Everyone who knows me knows that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I never pass up the opportunity to dress up, so putting on a tail seemed quite natural to them. I think it also helps that I have super long hair and some of the comments are, "well it looks like that's what you were meant to be".

Cynthia: What can you tell us about your upcoming trip in June?
Marla: We are planning a very special trip for June as I will be turning 50! I know some people cringe at the thought of turning 50 but I embrace it. I finally seem to be at one with myself and love that I'm swimming around in a mermaid tail at this amazing age! We will be travelling to Mexico and of course will be doing some scuba diving. I will have my tail with me and hope to get some incredible mermaiding shots, if everything works out as planned. Stayed tuned to my website and Facebook page!

Mermaid Marla
Cynthia: Does your long hair make it harder to swim?
Marla: I have had a few instances that my hair has hampered me while mermaiding, but I have learned to deal with it now. I have a beautiful sequinned top I wore a couple times with my gold tail, but it definitely was not long hair friendly. I wound up getting quite a bit of my hair wrapped around those tiny sequins to the point that I had to stop swimming and painfully untangle, which took almost an hour. I also can't wear any bracelets or rings as I have ripped a few strands out getting caught up in them. Other then not being able to wear all the sparkly stuff I love, my hair seems to be fine underwater.

Cynthia: Anything else you would like to share with us?
Marla: I know there are people who may look at me and my age and wonder what the heck am I doing? I think the most wonderful thing about turning 50 is that I am finally comfortable with myself and don't worry about what people think anymore. What I do know is that mermaiding has brought back my inner child that I seemed to have lost most of my life and the truly amazing thing it has done for me is helped me bridge the gap between me and children. Because I don't have children I've never been very comfortable around them, mostly because I have no idea how to interact with them. With mermaiding they are drawn to me and ask me questions and I am having a blast learning how to answer them. For me, being a mermaid has opened so many doors and has taught me that you can always learn something new no matter what age you are.

Cynthia: Thank you, Marla! You are right, you are never too old to get your tail wet!

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at)

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Aquatic Performer MeduSirena

MeduSirena - "Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid!"

When you think of mermaids, the word 'fire' doesn't usually come to mind. We're about to change that. Today, we are going to have a chat with MeduSirena, The Fire-Eating Mermaid. MeduSirena resides in Florida where she keeps a very busy performance schedule. I was fortunate to be able to ask her some questions.

Cynthia: Greetings, MeduSirena.  Please tell us about yourself.
MeduSirena: I'm a performer who uses the aquatic environment as a platform for performance. It is my great ambition to help increase awareness of the almost forgotten art form of sub-aquatic dance (water ballet) and its establishments, and introduce it to a new generation, via performances & training to help assure its survival.

Cynthia: Your performances are far from ordinary.
MeduSirena: Well, they are a homage to a specific style, and its performers. The goal is to allow the audience to experience something unique- yet reflective of a very special time in aquatic performance history. The underwater spectacle. In training, the goal is to appear fluid and exceedingly comfortable navigating the liquid environment. To use the flow and abilities of water as an implement, that's the goal.

Cynthia: What can you tell us about the Aquaticats?
MeduSirena: The 'Aquaticat' is a student, apprentice or performer learned in the MeduSirena Method of swimming. The name is derived from 'Exoticats' - a well known Polynesian Pop culture term.

Cynthia: You were in Palm Springs recently?
MeduSirena: I had a wonderful time performing at the ACE Hotel and Swim Club pool in Palm Springs last month for the crowds at Palm Springs Modernism Week. I was there with the folks from Vintage Roadside for their presentation of 'Mid-Century Mermaids, a History' which chronicled the history of "Mermaid" theme aquatic attractions, past & present.

Cynthia: Your 'Home Pool' is the Wreck Bar? Tell us about that.
MeduSirena: It is where I train most of my performers, and where the MeduSirena Underwater Swim Show takes place. One of the last remaining pool porthole bars in the US, the interior is meant to resemble a sunken Spanish galleon. Back in its heyday, a bevy of rich & famous vacationers dropped in ranging from Johnny Carson to Marilyn Monroe. The establishment has been there since the 1950's, and underwater shows took place there 'till 1962. I introduced the swim show's return in 2006 in an effort to increase awareness of the classic Wreck Bar, and to revive & preserve the artistic integrity of aquatic shows.

Cynthia: Do you do much ocean swimming? Any unexpected encounters with humans?
MeduSirena: Yes, living in Fort Lauderdale, I do get a lot of saltwater time. No human encounters are really unexpected, especially since the offshore area harbors the largest coral reef dive site in the US. Plenty of divers. Most are very kind and are quite intrigued with my "Sea Lion" influenced style of swimming around.

Cynthia: What would be your favorite mermaid themed books and/or movies?
MeduSirenaThe Little Mermaid was indeed a fave as a kid- so much so that it really shocked me to see how it was changed for the Disney film version, and how most people now only know the Disney interpretation- which strays quite a bit from the original meaningful story by Hans Christian Andersen.

Any 'Mermaid' theme books I own tend to be more about their significance in cultural history- Such as Lu Vickers' Weeki Wachee books and any literature written about diving people- such as the Haenyo of Korea and Ama Divers of Japan (the REAL deal). Of course, Esther Williams and Annette Kellerman's Biographies are also faves.

As for Movies- 'She Creature' (2001) is my personally fave depiction of a "mermaid" in a film-  I do like the ones featured in 'Peter Pan'* (2003). Thom Shouse's work in Splash (1984) was terrific- I particularly enjoyed the added effects and details; the signs of stress seen on her body she began to show later when in captivity- but that must just be my marine biology geek talking. Besides the performers themselves it is very relevant, they are not CGI but real swimmers.

*Well they really didn't perform underwater in 'Peter Pan' (GRRR- how awesome would that have been?), but they were still badarse.

Mermaid MeduSirena
Cynthia: Tell us about working with sea life at an early age.
MeduSirena: Having grown up in the Caribbean- it was very much a part of my life. I will admit being a bit obsessed with science and animal programs, and listening to breakdowns of how animals move and function. That interest in animal physiology- particularly Marine animals, was the catalyst to the quest for connection through emulation. We always kept aquariums, and observed a bevy of species. In my mid-teens, I worked as a volunteer at the Clearwater Marine Science Center (yes, the very same place 'Winter' the dolphin currently resides) and continued my Marine Biology studies. There is always something to be learned by observing how creatures move and function- humans included.

Cynthia: You also began learning about free-diving at a very young age? 
MeduSirena: My father was an avid boater and diver- He taught me to free-dive at 3 years of age. Living with such easy access to clear and beautiful waters- it was a necessary skill to learn. And thankfully, it is also a permanent aspect of what gives my personal existence "deeper" meaning. ('Tis my identity, perhaps?)

Cynthia: Anything else you would like to share with us?
MeduSirena: It would be truly wonderful to see aquatic performances continue to evolve for future generations. It is more than merely donning a 'fishtail'- that is but a costume- as a tutu is for a ballet dancer. For me- it is about navigating efficiently in the underwater environment. If my work contributes to it in any way- by entertaining, or allowing the audience to see and experience something unique and be influenced positively... or perhaps be inspired...

Yes- that would be wonderful--if that happens, when my time comes I will happily disperse into Sea Foam as the Little Mermaid originally did- knowing I have done my job.

Cynthia: Thank you, MeduSirena, for speaking with me, and thank you all for reading!  Here are some related links: MeduSirena Web Site | Facebook Page | Newspaper Article

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at)

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Aquatic Takeover

I hope everyone is enjoying the change of season. In today's very special blog post, I would like to introduce you to Mermai...

Cynthia: What happened?!
Danny: Hello, Cynthia. My name is Danny Dolphin and I have taken over your blog for today! Swim aside!

Cynthia: You can't do that!
Danny: I just did. Now just sit there on that nice rock. You might even enjoy yourself.
Cynthia: I hope you know what you're doing. I have tens of faithful readers you know...

Danny: Today we are going to get to know a mermaid that you may have heard something about in the recent past. In this blog post, I will be interviewing Mermaid Cynthia.

Cynthia: Hey! Wait a nautical minute, that's me!
Danny: That's right, fishy girl. The tides have turned and you are the subject of today's blog.
Cynthia: I knew I should have kept my security software up to date...

Danny: Okay, Cynthia, tell us about yourself.
Cynthia: Well, alright... I grew up in the New England region of the US, splashing around in the northern Atlantic as much as I could. At one point, a company I was working for moved me to north Texas, and I have been here ever since. No matter where we live, I believe each of us should do their part to keep plastics and trash out of our waterways.

Danny: How did you become known as the Gold Mermaid?
Cynthia: Soon after joining the virtual world of Second Life (SL) in 2006, I found out that there were mermaids there. It wasn't until late 2007, though, that I became one.  The first SL tail I bought, an aqua one, never got much use. Around September of 2007 I found a shop that sold mermaid tails and fairy wings. I liked the look of the gold tail and bought it. I initially tried it out in fairly isolated places. I was telling a guy I knew about it, and showed it to him. He took a photo of me that I really liked, and came to use it a lot.

Mermaid Cynthia - Photo by David Kamada
It was about this time that the mermaid soul within me woke up. I found a few friends that were also interested in mermaids, and took them to the shop where I got my gold tail. They chose green and purple tails. I went looking for an SL mermaid group and soon found one. The group wasn't very active, however, and I soon left. I decided to start my own group, and called it Gold Mermaid. My two friends joined and we soon added more members.

Mermaiding in SL was fun, but I wanted to do more. I bought the domain and started a series of articles on New England cities and towns. Eventually, updates became less frequent as I ran out of places to talk about. I received my real-life mermaid tail in December of 2010, a gold one of course. In December of 2011, I started this blog and have been pleased by the readership stats.

Danny: Where do you swim?
Cynthia: I have a backyard pool, and use it extensively during the summer. I have a sign next to the pool that says, "Mermaid Crossing."  I attended the World Mermaid Awards and Convention in 2011. That was my first opportunity to swim with other merfolk, and I really enjoyed it. Some day I hope to be able to do some ocean mermaiding.

Danny: How do friends react to you being a mermaid?
Cynthia: Everyone has been great. A guy I know has taken to calling me 'Sushi'. One friend bought me a mermaid themed t-shirt, and another bought me a mermaid toilet flush handle.

Danny: What are your favorite mermaid themed movies and books?
Cynthia: My favorite mermaid movie would have to be Splash. And, it was great to see mermaids featured in the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I never really took to The Little Mermaid for some reason. It may have been because I couldn't identify with a mermaid that wanted to be human.

I have read a number of mermaid themed novels, and enjoyed each one of them.  My second blog post, you may remember, was on this very subject.  I am looking forward to reading the third book in the Fins series by Tera Lynn Childs when it comes out.

Danny: Anything else you would like to share with us?
Cynthia: A friend of mine recently had as her Skype status, "Dream a little."  I sent her a message, "I dreamed a little, and now I have a fish tail!"  I would like to invite everyone reading this to dream a little. It doesn't matter how old you are, if you're male or female, or if you live inland or near the ocean.  If you're a mermaid fan, I hope you will continue reading this blog.  But if the mermaid or merman in you has come to life, then dive in and get your tail wet!

Danny: Thank you, Cynthia, for letting me take over today. Thank you all for reading! Please check back next time, as Cynthia has another hot article planned. Best wishes to all, and have a great day!

-Danny Dolphin, c/o Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at)

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