Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Fall of Romeo

(Bella Americana)
The sound of children laughing followed by a splash beside our boat is pretty much an everyday sound here on Wandering Dolphin. But the other day when I heard it and looked around me I noticed that all five of my children were within sight and, believe it or not, they were all working on schoolwork.

Every one of my kids was on instant alert, books forgotten, and within a half second they were bursting up on deck to see who the “new” kids were on the mooring next to us. The boat was a 49 foot Bavaria flying an Italian flag. They had rigged a boarding platform from the transom of their boat and it was raised or lowered with a spare halyard. It hung off the back of the boat about eight or ten feet and the really cool thing about it was that with the pull of the halyard it could be raised up about 12 feet in the air, or with a quick motion it could be lowered right down to the water, perfect for divers of all difficulty levels.

The boat had two children aboard one was a little girl whose age I would estimate at eight to ten (right about the age of all three of my little boys) and a boy of about twelve. Well both kids began to put on a little impromptu diving exhibition for our children who were now lined up along the lifelines “Oooooing and awwwwing” the Italian kids. The boy was especially eyeing EmilyAnne and his dives and jumps were getting more and more daring. Pretty soon he was looking right at her and putting on a little show. At one point he stood on the end of the board backwards but facing Emily he looked at her and gave her a wink then clutched his heart with both hands and fell off the board backwards. My little boys were full of questions and an actual argument about if the girl on that boat was actually a girl or a boy. Sure she was wearing what was obviously a pink bikini bottom but her brother was wearing what to them looked just like a girls blue bikini bottom (read Speedo) and Kaleb was disgusted with his brothers for even considering that she might be a girl because she was wearing no bikini top and he was certain that THAT was against the LAW so therefore she HAD to be a boy! I broke up the fight before fists started to fly because Benny was now feeling a little strange having decided moments before this that he kinda liked the looks of this little girl so she had better BE a girl. I informed them that the folks on that boat were from Italy which was in Europe and that they thought it was ok for girls of pretty much any age to run around with no tops on…. Kanyon was disgusted by the thought but they all wanted to talk more about it. Kaleb pondered it and said, “So they are like the French only they wear bottoms?” I nodded and at about this time Romeo had moved the board to its highest postion and climbed to the top, eliciting a little gasp out of Emily, which I am sure was his intention. He had our attention and then the halyard slipped out of its spinlock and the board dropped a full 12 feet into the water with a bang bouncing Romeo a couple of times and flinging him into the water with a spectacular CRASH/SPLASH at one point his nether regions covered only by a blue speedo were on one side of the halyard while his body fell off the other so I was certain that he would be in pain. He came up crying and wailing (with good reason) but all we could hear him say as his Momma and Pappa pulled him out of the water was, “BELLA AMERICANA!!!” which I was pretty sure meant something like pretty American. He was so devastated and embarrassed that he went below and pretty soon they released the mooring and sailed away.

My kids were still jabbering about it all as they continued to work on school the rest of the morning.


Captain Tofer

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