BOOBIES MEET THE FRENCHMAN
By the time they finally found the Calypso in the vast ocean, night had fallen. The ship was dark except for red instrument lights glowing in the ship’s bridge.
The boobie brothers circled the ship about fifty feet above the choppy ocean.
“Well, nobody will see us while they’re asleep,” Talli whispered, disappointed.
“Then we’ll have to be here when they wake up,” reasoned Dooley.
“That’ll be hours,” Talli worried.
“There,” Dooley pointed to the roof of the ship’s forecastle.
“What about it?” his brother wanted to know.
Dooley smiled. “There is where we’re going to take a little nap. A couple of hours and we’ll wake up refreshed, waiting for Cousteau and the other humans to come out on deck.”
“Yeah,” agreed Talli. “Let’s fix whatever’s wrong with history and get outta here.”
The boobies glided quietly to the front part of the ship and landed precariously on the roof of the forward structure. After their constant adventures, they were both exhausted. Within minutes, both Dooley and Talli were sound asleep.
They were still asleep hours later when the sun was up and Cousteau, Jean-Paul, and two other crewmen appeared on deck, ready for a day’s work.
“Hoist the anchor. Prepare to get underway,” Cousteau bellowed in a loud voice.
The sudden noise and activity startled the boobies awake. They had to flap their wings to maintain their perch.
The commotion on the forecastle attracted Cousteau’s attention. He looked over and saw Dooley and Talli. His eyes filled with wonderment, Cousteau turned to Jean-Paul and pointed toward the forecastle roof. “Look,” he said.
Jean-Paul followed the direction of Cousteau’s outstretched arm and saw the boobies.
“Those are very strange birds,” Cousteau commented.”Have we ever seen them before?”
Shielding his eyes from the bright morning sun over the forecastle, Jean-Paul stared at the boobies for a long moment, the shook his head. “No, they are not native to these waters or any we’ve yet explored.”
Talli turned to Dooley with a smile. “Well, they’ve seen us.”
“Then I’d say our work here is done,” Dooley concluded as he awkwardly launched into the sky, followed a moment later by Talli.
Cousteau rubbed his whiskered chin thoughtfully. “Bright blue feet and a blue bill. Clearly they are seabirds, yet we’ve never encountered them.”
“Seabirds rarely migrate far from their home nesting and hunting areas,” noted Jean-Paul.
Cousteau nodded agreement. “Strange indeed.”
“Maybe we don’t know yet everything there is to know about the sea,” Jean-Paul suggested.
“Truly, we don’t,” Cousteau admitted. He stood there on the deck watching the boobies fly away until they were little more than dots in the distant sky.
“I think I may need to put off my retirement for a few more years,” Cousteau admitted. “For clearly the sea still holds many secrets.”
Jean-Paul nodded his head in agreement. “Maybe we’ll see those odd birds again some day.”
“I know I’ll keep looking for them,” Cousteau assured his friend. “I owe them a debt of gratitude. Blue feet and blue beaks. The world’s oceans are truly amazing, with perhaps countless more mysteries to be revealed.”
Dooley and Talli flew toward the place they last experienced the maelstrom.
“Well,” Tall said, “They saw us, so if my theory is right . . .”
“We’ll find the maelstrom.” Dooley observed. “And we’re getting closer. We just missed by sixty years this time.”
“I hate to burst your bubble, Dooley,” Talli cautioned. “But sixty years? Our grandfather’s grandfather was around sixty years ago.”
“That’s what I’m saying. We’re almost there,” declared Dooley.
Talli shook his head in frustration. “You’re hopeless.”
Dooley and Talli started a gradual dive until they skimmed the water, a few feet above the surface.
After no more than a thirty minutes, a three hundred pound loggerhead sea turtle exploded from the water a few feet in front of them. Dooley and Talli ducked as the three foot wide reptile flew over their heads and landed with a tremendous splash many yards behind them.
“Bingo,” said Dooley. “I told you you’re a genius.”
Dooley and Talli quickly gained altitude. About two hundred feet above the ocean’s surface, they wheeled and immediately tucked into a tight, steep dive.
Come back this weekend and see where our heroes go from here.