Set the "Way Back" machine to the 1960's. At that time there were many TV programs that a young fellow like me loved because they took you away to a world so alien, so fantastic that they became the stuff of dreams. Flipper, Sea Hunt are just two examples that I enjoyed weekly. I would spend hours pretending to "skin dive" with Flipper or search an undersea wreck with the Bridges brothers. Always looking for that great adventure beneath the sea.
When I was about five or six, my mother bought me a mask and fins just before summer. We spent those hot days away at the cottage and you would always find us splashing about down on the beach.
For Mom the water represented a place to relax, to cool off, to swim. She was a very good swimmer. She was a member of a local Synchronized Swim Team, so being comfortable in the water sort of came natural.
The water for me however, represented a place of adventure, somewhere sea creatures lived and sunken treasure was to be found. I would spend hours with my mask and fins under the water at the cottage, exploring the bottom at shocking depths of 3-5 feet. Coming out of the water only when my hands were so prune-y that you would have thought they were the hands of an elderly grandfather. Not bad for a kid who was only playing make believe.
As the summers marched on and the little boy who played make believe in the water grew, another TV program grabbed his attention and imagination - The Under Sea World of Jacques Cousteau. It was at that time he understood that he wanted to one day explore the Oceans like Captan Cousteau and the crew of the Calypso.
Years went by but I never forgot my desire to learn to SCUBA and in the early eighties got my SCUBA ticket. That first dive in the cold dark Bay of Fundy was about as far from those warm tropical locations that Cousteau and his crew explored.
But none the less SCUBA became a part of me in those years, and exploring the Fundy deep was something of a weekend ritual for a time.
But like many interests of youth, life has a way of squeezing them further out of reach. Wetsuits become a bit more snug, and then one day, don't fit at all. Life happens and simple joys of childhood get left behind.
Well, fast forward several years, and suddenly this little boy is 50. What do you do at 50? How 'bout becoming that wide eyed little boy under the water again, exploring, pretending to be like Jacques Cousteau and encountering mysterious sea life. This time, someplace warm.
This is that video as I snorkelled in Hawaii just a few weeks ago and my encounter with the Honu- Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. For these moments I was that little boy once more, imagining, exploring and enjoying my new friend Honu.