Somewhere beyond the sea you may one day see Yoshi, happy and ...

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Somewhere beyond the sea you may one day see Yoshi, happy and free

We all have to break loose and find our own adventures. Let’s hope we’re as successful as this turtle

I’ve met Yoshi a couple of times, but the last time was perhaps 10 years ago. I was very close to a couple of very young girls – they must have been five or six then – and much of my life was spent trying to impress them. One Saturday their mom took them to the Two Oceans Aquarium at the Waterfront in Cape Town and when they came through to the great blue central cathedral of the predator tank, I arranged to be diving with the sharks.

I spent most of my time clowning around in front of the big windows, blowing bubbles and mugging for the girls, turning upside down and pretending to fight off sharks. They were wide-eyed and thrilled whenever a big ragged-tooth came toward me but I acted heroic, which was easy to do because I knew the biggest danger in the tank was being bitten by that damn turtle.

Yoshi the loggerhead turtle was weak and sickly and the size of a biggish bowl of soup when she was first brought to the aquarium in 1997 by the crew of a Japanese fishing boat. She was named after the ship’s cook, a smiley, sweaty fellow named Yoshi, and wasn’t expected to recover...

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