There are some things in life that happen, that are retained forever. Going through some old slides I relived a bit of one of them. A winter trip to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, a small island off the east coast. It was one of those trips to wander with very little care. Temps were in the low 80’s and overnight, low 70’s.
An afternoon stroll down the beach was as great as could be. Gentle rolling waves on the white beach, almost no clutter with crystal clear water.
Walking over a small rise we came to another sparkling white beach. Out into the surf were poles with a net attached. Inside this pen in the water, a giant sea turtle could be seen swimming along the pen’s edge. Ahead was another similar pen with a small pier next to it. Walking up, we saw another giant turtle lazing in the water.
Stopping there to watch, a young boy comes running down the beach and wades into the surf, chattering up a storm. Had no idea what he was saying but one of the biggest smiles ever. My Spanglish is terrible and my Spanish is worse.
Soon the water was churning and the boy was shouting and grinning as he was tugging on something back towards the beach. This was the opening chapter of one of coolest episodes ever.
The youngster had latched onto a small shark and by the tail was dragging it up out of the surf. One could hear the delight in the boys voice as he struggled with the fish. Getting into shallow water the shark tossed an flopped all the more vigorously.
That shark did not like getting into the shallow end of the pool. Soon the water was boiling and with a couple of great twist, the shark got loose and back into the deeper water it swam with boy in pursuit. Soon he had the shark by the tail again and towards the beach they headed.
While we were watching the tug of war, a boat with some boisterous Mexican had landed at the pier. They were rattling away and empty beer cans were floating through the air. At the little boy they were shouting and soon they were headed that way. One of them men had to go visit a tree and make a wet spot.
There were two couples, one guy with two women waded into the pen and the man headed out to catch the shark. Soon he had it in tow and towards the beach he went. Shark a twisting and flopping and the guy just smiling up a storm a chattering away.
In the surf they were splashing. The two women joined him and the air was full of excitement. Here was the shark, lets pet it, smiles bigger then the Cheshire cat.
Oh the chatter was a roar. Wishing I knew more Spanish. It was a kick watching the splash in the water, chase the shark and just having one hell of a good time.
The other guy had finished watering the tree and joined them in the surf. Out to the end of the pen they went and grabbed the turtle, bringing it up to the beach. The conversation was loud and boisterous, happiness beyond compare.
It was one of those days that was etched into the memory bank. I have never experienced anything like it since then and probably never will. The shark never attacked and they had so much fun with it.