Margarita's voyage at sea


Daniela and Jose are very happy children with parents who love them very much. They live in the city of Maracay and are very excited because this school vacation they are going to visit their grandparents who live on the island of Coche. Their grandfather is a fisherman, a man of the sea, accustomed to the simple life of the islanders of this region, tanned by the salt and the sun. Coche is a small island, rocky and dry, but with beautiful beaches that attract many tourists every year.

―I can't see the day when we can travel to visit my grandparents. I only think of bathing on the beach, grabbing conch shells and eating my grandmother's delicious food, fried fish. Uhmmm, what a delight!―while she licks her mouth and her straight black hair tied in a tail sways from one side of her face to the other. She is a very alert little girl for her 10 years, cheerful and joking.

―I like fish a lot too, ―says Jose to his sister, ―but I don't like snails, octopus, shrimp, none of those things, I feel sorry for those animals being eaten.

―Oh, but don't you feel sorry for the little fish they take out of the sea, the poor thing drowns because it can't breathe. ―Daniela rolls her eyes, sticks out her tongue and puts her hands around her neck as if she were suffocating.

―Don't be a clown, hahaha. Tell that to my grandfather and see what he'll say.

―You know that I am his favorite and that he pleases me in everything.

―We'll see sister, let us get there and go fishing with him, to see who is the favorite.

Jose is three years older than his sister and although they argue from time to time, they get along very well. He is a tall, strong boy who likes to play basketball and baseball. Since entering high school he has become very popular with the girls, but he also has many friends. His quiet character, and his solidarity with his classmates has earned him the appreciation of the students and his teachers.

Two weeks have passed, Ana and Antonio, Daniela and Jose's parents, finish collecting what they are going to take with them on the trip and make sure to close the doors and windows of the house very well. The kids are very excited and quickly gather their luggage and get into the car. The trip is a long one to the city of Cumana where they arrive at 4:00 a.m. and there they wait to catch the ferry that will take them to Coche Island.

At 6:00 a.m. the ferry begins its journey through the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. A gentle breeze refreshes the passengers who stay on deck.

―Jose, look at the dolphins joining us! ― exclaims Daniela, amazed to see them leaping over the waves.


After two hours of navigation the boat arrives at Coche Island and the passengers disembark. Daniela and Jose are very close to their parents, they walk along the pier and there Grandpa is waiting for them with his hat and his smile from ear to ear.

― Grandfather! grandfather! ―Daniela runs screaming until she reaches her grandfather, who is waiting for her with open arms.

―My little crazy girl! Wow, how you've grown, hahaha, I can't carry you anymore... Come and I'll give you a big hug.

―Hello Grandpa! how are you?―Jose behind Daniela is close and hugs him too.

―Come here, mijo*! what are you eating?! You look like a crazy puyar rod!

―Hi daddy! it's good to see you.

―Hi daughter! it's good that you came, we needed you so much. ―He squeezes her in his arms tanned by the sun.

―Hello Mr. Jesus! How are you doing?

―Antonio! has been waiting for you for a year. Let's go! Grandma must be impatient.

The house of palm roof and wattle and daub walls is very close to the sea. Grandma is waiting for they at the door. Greetings, hugs and blessings are repeated when they entered to the freshness of the interior.

While they eat lunch at the big wooden table, the grandfather takes the opportunity to tell his daughter.

―Daughter I am going fishing tomorrow evening at about six o'clock and I want Jose to come with me, I want him to learn something of what I know. The weather has been very calm these days and we are not going very far from the coast. ―Then he looks at Antonio.― What do you think Antonio?

―Well... Jose has been dreaming of this moment and I do not want to take away that illusion... I give him permission.

―I'm not so sure dad!... Jose is still a child.

―At his age I used to fish with my father. Don't worry!... nothing bad is going to happen.

―I also want to learn how to fish!

―Hahaha, Daniela! You are still very small, for next year we will surely go fishing ―Daniela's face saddened.

The next morning Ana and Antonio meet with Mrs. Carmen in the kitchen while they prepare breakfast, the arepas are already cooking on the stove and the fish is frying in the pan. Ana takes the opportunity to ask her mother.

―How has my dad been these days? He looks a little strange... like sad.

―Daughter, I didn't want to worry you, but Jesus has been feeling a little sad and discouraged. He tells me that he can't fish like he used to, that his strength is not the same and that he is becoming useless. I try to cheer him up by telling him not to worry about the amount of fish he brings in, that we don't need much anymore. He is thinking of selling the boat.

―And why doesn't he get an assistant to go fishing with him, Mrs. Carmen?

―Most of the young people on the island are already dedicated to tourism or are going to study in Cumana.

At six o'clock in the evening, the grandfather and his grandson leave in the “Margarita”, the boat that has been their companion for many years.

But Ana is worried, she has a feeling that she doesn't like.

―By the way, Mom, have you seen Daniela? I can't find her.

―I haven't really seen her, she must be on the beach collecting shells.

But Daniela is not on the beach, she has gone hiding in grandfather's boat and she has already been discovered on the high seas.

―Mija*! What are you doing here? ―says the grandfather, astonished by his granddaughter's mischief.

―Daniela, you have gone crazy! Mom and dad will be anxious looking for you and so will grandmother.

―I left a note on the kitchen table so they don't worry.

―What are we going to do with you Danielita? hahaha. Well, then you will have to help us fish.

―Of course I will, Grandpa! I will be your helper too.


Hours go by and the darkness is almost absolute outside the boat. The fishing has not been very abundant, and the sea, that had been completely calm, begins to churn and a cold breeze from the north begins rocking the boat. Grandfather decides it is wise to turn back.

―Jose, turns on the radio to find out if there is an alarm call.

This is a distress call to boats on the high seas. A yacht with four people, including two children, is missing. Boats that are nearby and can help, please cooperate with the search efforts.

―We can help look for them, Grandfather? ―Jose's face shows concern.

―It's dangerous son, the sea is getting rough and I don't want to put you in danger. We'd better go back. I don't know if “Margarita” will be able to withstand a storm.

―I'm not afraid, grandfather, and “Margarita” is a very strong boat.―said Daniela.

―I know you are very brave, but you are children and I would never forgive myself if something bad happened to you.

―But... even if it is close by, without getting too far from the coast,―insists Jose.

―Come on, Grandpa! I know you can save them and Jose and I will help you.

―All right, you win. “Margarita”, let's make this last effort together. ―And changes direction to where the radio reported the yacht lost the last time he communicated.

―The lights of the lighthouses illuminate the sea and after only thirty minutes of searching, they almost hit a drifting boat. They approached carefully and heard the cries for help of a man and a woman.

―Grandfather, it's them... we found them!

―Yes Jose! Thank God! I am going to tell the authorities that we found them and we are going back.

On the beach the townspeople have gathered to wait for Mr. Jesus's boat and are greeted with applause and shouts of joy. Ana, Antonio and Carmen are among them and when they see them they embrace with tears in their eyes.

―Let's go home! because these two children must be very tired after this adventure, and you... disobedient young lady, tomorrow we will talk. ―said Ana.

―Don't scold your daughter! Jose and Daniela gave me the strength to rescue these people alive. They are the real heroes and of course “Margarita”, and I believe that this will not be their last trip with me, we can still continue fishing together.

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*Mijo/mija: Expression used by the inhabitants of the eastern islands of Venezuela to refer to a child or grandchild and sometimes to an acquaintance.

Thanks for reading

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