Rainbow parrotfish, sea turtles and the nurse shark, bedtime stories for Haaken

Well Haaken it’s time to slow down and find your best blanket, you know the one! Let’s have a “cuddle cozy” with mom or dad and a bedtime story. This day is an extra good one, because you were born! HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Haaken there is something you should know about these stories, wait for it… THEY REALLY HAPPENED.

Have you ever seen a sea turtle? Me too!

My mom LOVES Mexico. It was her favorite vacation destination. And one vacation stands out as the most awesome! During this vacation Jay my older brother by 23 months had the amazing opportunity to take the controls and fly the chartered commuter airplane from island to island. We flew from Cozumel to a little island called Isla Mujeres Mexico what a cool time to be a kid. And what a cool pilot to share the cock pit and controls.

We landed safely thank you Jesus and rented scooters and set out to this fantastic destination. After riding those scooters on the dirt road out of nowhere there was this amazing resort at the end of the island. Things weren’t built up, just a few hotels, really wonderful people, and super good food. Jay and I figure it was about 1987 or 86. There were ancient ruins and snorkeling to be had, BUT THE BEST PART was the enclosed portion of the ocean.

Now you should know most laws now days say don’t touch the turtles. NOT AT ALL. But this was Mexico in 1987 or 86 and Ronald Regan was president and you could get away with a LOT in Mexico at that time. Which is great if you are 8 and your brother is 10 and you want to swim with the turtles. So we jumped in. And Jay was exceptionally brave. He would dive down and tug on the turtle’s shell. Two tugs was all it took and they would surface and he would hand off the turtle to me and go fetch another. We rode them until they tired of us. When they didn’t want these pesky kids they would submerge and we couldn’t hold our breath that long so we had to let go. Now that doesn’t mean we didn’t TRY, but each time we would need air and be forced to let go. And then Jay would find a different turtle to wrangle up for me. The snorkel boats would empty and the tourists would snap photos of Jay and I and we would smile big. We had the best day ever. AND THEN MOM SHOWED UP. She had been snorkeling off the tip of the island and while they were gone we ordered drinks and snacks and rode turtles, and played in the ocean for hours with no adult supervision. And she paid the bill because it was cheaper than a babysitter.

With mom on the scene she snapped a few pictures of Jay and I. Afterward we climbed out of the ocean onto the dock when just down the dock she saw a pin with couple nurse sharks in it. And she like a wild mama jumped in! Then Jay jumped in. WHAT A SHOCK! I was too scared. Would you jump in Haaken? EVEN WITH NURSE SHARKS? THEY ARE STILL SHARKS. There was no way I was gonna get in that pin. Mom and Jay dove down and wrestled one nurse sharks to the surface. And when they had him in their arms and his head out of the water he opened his mouth wide and no one snapped the picture. Bummer. So sad. But I saw the whole thing and will never forget. Have you had a day on the water, in the ocean you will never forget?

Let me tell you about a rainbow parrot fish. They can get pretty big. This time I was snorkeling off the cost of Cozumel and when you are snorkeling you can’t really see the depth or the distance very well. The darker the blue the deeper the depth. The lighter the blue the more shallow the depth. I had enjoyed following the reef and ended up getting too far from my family while snorkeling. It happened when I was trying to make my way back to them. I was gazing intently out to sea. I figured no need to keep an eye on the space between me and the shore. I saw schools of fish full of color and marvelous under water. The coral the reef was alive with activity. My snorkel was working just great and my mask wasn’t fogging up. Engrossed in it all Haaken I still hadn’t looked to my left. And on my left I had a companion swimming very very close to me. A bold and daring rainbow parrotfish with his big lips and beady-eye starring. I turned to look to the shore and when I turned I had SUCH A FRIGHT. HE WAS SWIMMING right next to my head and HE was the biggest rainbow parrotfish I have ever seen. I SCREAMED into my snorkel a loud full lunged scream which no one heard because I was underwater and far from anyone. Not sure what to do I decided to try and stand and walk straight out of that ocean. And when I did the water came up to the higher point of my thigh. I FELT SO DUMB for getting so scared Haaken. I wasn’t even in deep water. OH man did I feel foolish. There was no danger at ALL. That rainbow parrotfish swam quietly away and was just like my older brother Jay, giving me a good scare out of nowhere for the fun of it.

Sleep sweet like a sea turtle diving deep beyond our reach. Hasta luego, and buenas noches to you! Adios and Aloha Char

PS Haaken you are the chips to my salsa, the snorkel to my mask, the life of the party. HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY DREAMS.

Parrotfish poop makes sand by the way. Try and think about that next time you build a sand castle or should I say poop castle. hehehe

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