Friday, August 27, 2010

Turning Twelve

I woke up on August 23rd, my birthday, to the sound of the drag pulling on my new fishing rod. We’d picked up the anchor in V cove and were headed to Puerto Escondido. Only twenty seconds later, my dad’s rod’s drag went, too. We’d caught two fish at the same time! It was only the second time we’d caught two together on the trip! My mom said that they only did that to celebrate for me. But, sadly enough, once I’d reeled mine in , I saw that it was only a pacific bonito (bad for eating) and my dad’s was a skipjack (also bad for eating). But, it was a great way to start off the day.

For breakfast, we had tortilla crepes. Some of them were veggie crepes and others were sweet ones. They were amazingly good. The tortilla was just as good as the regular crepe.

One of First Large Mahi MahiAfter breakfast, I got some of my presents. I’d gotten a fishing rod earlier so that I could use it in the Sea of Cortez, where more fish swim. From my brother I got a book and from my parents I got dive gloves. I love my presents so much.

We finally got to our destination and stopped at the fuel dock. My dad filled the boat up with diesel while my mom got lunch prepared. Once they were done, we had a curry mango quinoa salad for lunch, one of my favorite foods. Then Harrison and I called our friends on Stepping Stone and arranged to go to the pool that was in the marina complex. We got in our swim suits and walked up to the pool. Our parents left the dock right away to get to a mooring and clean up the boat. It turns out that the water in the pool had been drained – so disappointing as I had planned to spend much of my birthday swimming with friends. We found our friends in the cold room, a room that is really cold when the air conditioning is on, even though it never is. Kimberly, 17, was checking her email and Savanna, 6, was just running around. There were multiple flies in the room , so I spent my time swatting them. After a while, Stepping Stone had to go back to their boat. Not too exciting.

My parents finally came to pick us up and I made a giant fortune teller and looked for books on Amazon. I was feeling really bummed. I took my mom back to the boat by dinghy so that she could start getting ready for dinner and went to go pick up my dad. When we got back, my parents presented me with their final present. It was a small, beautiful piece of art with two hearts and a sun made out of copper.

IMG_8911Stepping Stone came over for dinner. We had a chicken curry dish with lots of vegetables. One of the vegetables were dried jalapeños and my dad dared Kimberly and me to try one, so we did. They weren’t as spicy as I thought they’d be, but our lips burned for the next half hour.

IMG_8913Then we had dessert and our friends on Chat De Mer came over for apple plum crisp. We talked about how when no-see-‘ems bite you, they leave a pussy layer on top. Leo (Chat De Mer) told us that that pussy layer is actually eggs because no-see-‘ems lay eggs in you when they bite you. And, no, the eggs don’t actually survive.

IMG_8916 Kimberly convinced me to swim with the phosphorescence, so we got into swimsuits and jumped in. Phosphorescence are plankton that glow in the dark when you move. We put on snorkels and jumped in off the bow. The bubbles around us glowed green and it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. Kimberly dove down into the water and she turned into a ball of green. Then we swam under the boat and when we dove down, we flipped ourselves around so that we were facing the boat and when we came up, we saw the phosphorescence and the full moon together. It was so much fun.   

We got out of the water and we said good bye to Chat De Mer. Sarah, Kimberly and Savanna’s mom, told us stories about how they had cockroaches on their boat. Did you know that cockroaches can live for a week after their head gets cut off? It’s because they can still live off the food in their body until it runs out.

We were having so much fun that we lost track of time. It turns out that Stepping Stone left at 12:10!

I had a really great birthday and I think it’s one of my favorites so far.

Afterwards when my dad and I were talking about what it was like to be twelve, he asked me if I’d ever thought about how much I’ve slept in my life or spent on the toilet. That made me start thinking. If I’ve slept for an average of 10 hours per day and have spent an average of 20 minutes a day on the toilet every day of my life and I’m 12 years old, then I’ve only been awake and off the toilet for 6 years and 10 months. How long have you been awake and off the toilet?

Danielle (now in La Paz, Mexico)


  1. Leave it to your dad to talk about how much time he has spent sitting on the toilet! Sounds like your birthday was an amazing day. We look forward to celebrating again with you soon. Lots of love from the Sterns.

  2. Birthdays sure are different on a boat - I'm glad to hear that you had a great day - lots of fun, great food and at the same time relaxing. Twelve years old starts the beginning of lots of new and exciting adventures, so ENJOY every minute!
    Love you so.o.o.o much x x x