There is no better way to enjoy the sweet life, or as we say in Papiamento (the local language) “e dushi bida” (doo-shee bee-dah), than lounging on a catamaran, soaking up the sun, and sipping on an Aruba Ariba cocktail, like I was doing yesterday. I’ve described the Aruba Ariba, as you may have previously read, as Aruba’s signature sunset-pink drink. A little bit of thiiiiiiis, a little bit of thaaat – and you’re good to go. Actually, if you insist, the recipe calls for:
½ oz Vodka
1/8 oz 151 Proof Rum
½ cup Orange Juice
½ cup Cranberry Juice
½ cup Pineapple Juice
Splash of Grenadine
Splash of Grand Marnier
So yesterday I was basking in the sun on the Palm Pleasure catamaran, but not tooooo much because I’d hate to have that overly-abused tanning bed look of crunchy, crispy bacon (I only like that for breakfast with eggs and pancakes). Javier, one of the crewmen, asked if I wanted to meet Charlie – “Charlie who? Sheen?” Expressing amusement from my response, he motioned me to come to the front of the catamaran with him. Javier held something cupped in his hand. It looked rather slimy and shiny, but I still couldn’t make out exactly what it was.
It wiggled and jiggled until it slipped right out taking a plunge on to the deck and landing with a thud. Its tail whipped side to side as its mouth gasped for air and its gills begged for water. I noticed the one thick, vibrant yellow stripe that lay mid-body across the fish. Ah, a Yellowtail Snapper - living on an island for the majority of your life, you’d be surprised as to how easy and natural it comes for us islanders to decipher what fish is which. Okay, I’m just kidding – I went on Google to do a fish search and picked the one that resembled what I saw the most. But still, we have a lot of those around here.
“Javier, you could have just pointed to Charlie in the water you know?” He laughed, “Just wait.” Not sooner than the next flip and flop of the fish did a pelican swoop down and gracefully land on the front rail of the catamaran. “Brianna, this is Charlie.” His four-webbed toes on each foot clamped on to the railing while he began to bob his head, as if he were nodding for Javier to come over saying, “Amigo… that fish belongs to me.” Edging closer and closer towards one another, one step at a time, Charlie started to expand his throat pouch knowing what was coming his way. Before I knew it, this light suddenly caught my eye, as if someone had taken a photo with their flash on. Rather, it was the fish being whisked toward Charlie’s direction as the Sun reflected off its shiny, slimy, and slippery coat of silver gills, ending his day of doom and gloom.
Apparently, this is a routine that occurs day in and day out here on the Palm Pleasure’s Afternoon Delight snorkel trip. The boys on the boat joke that Charlie is the only pelican you won’t see dive for his food, but rather flock to the front of the catamaran while he patiently waits for his afternoon snack. He’s been friends with the crew for quite some time now – or rather, he is “friends” with what they’ve got in their hands … fish. Luckily, there are plenty of fish in the sea!