The Tortuga Bubbler


I remember swimming with the turtles, and I will remember that for a long time.

I remember standing on a pier out on the coast south of Mancoura. There were tourists but none that stood out like myself and my friends.

I remember the squeals from these tourists as I looked down at the water as they swam with these turtles.

I remember putting the red floating vest on and getting in the cool water and waiting on my own. Amy was chasing turtles with the Go Pro, Nicola couldn’t stop grinning, and Lutie and Adriaan sat balancing on the buoys.

Suddenly something scrapped at my feet. The turtle pressed up into my feet and took my weight as if it was a Pokémon using the HM move Surf for me. But just for a moment.

We could see their shadows in the water, popping out again and again, and I thought maybe I could attract them by bubbling in the water.

I could be the Tortuga bubbler. And suddenly, unexpectedly, one swam in front of me, and then around in a sharp u-turn. Its head popped out the water.

I could lean forward to kiss it, almost, and it stared at me with a large eye. In my memory the eye was the size of a tennis ball, but I exaggerate. It opened its mouth and grinned showing small and pointed teeth, and then it ducked back underneath, and I was speechless.

And I stared, in love for the first time truly for tortugas, and I wanted it to come back, so we could swim together and share journeys under the sea, and ride into the sunset, and become the world’s greatest Pokémon trainers together.

The feeling of love died a little when the next turtle whacked its flipper into my nuts, as if to say, “shut the duck up with that bubbling.”

” I wish I took a picture,” I groaned to Adriaan, who was still sitting on the buoy. And with his South African accent, he pointed to his eye, or the side of his head, and he said “you have a mind picture in here, bro.”

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