Here is the story of Squishy the squid, which I wrote in 13 instalments for Rupe's grandchildren and the kids on Freya. This is because the satellite phone would only take messages of a certain size for iridium emails....
Squishy whole story
This story is based on true events on board the sailing yacht Rumpus, crossing the eastern Pacific Ocean en route from the Galapagos to the Marquesas.
For Daniel & Emerson Lash and Amelia Wilson.
Also for Victor, Anna and Ludwig on board our companion sailing yacht Freya.
Squishy the squid and his very large family lived in the Pacific Ocean just south of the equator.
As he grew up, Squishy played with his thousands of brothers and thousands of sisters, darting about and squirting ink at them. He was happy, but he longed for an adventure.
He asked his mother: "What are the big shapes gliding above us with those noisy twirly-whirlies?
"Oh Squishy", she replied, "those are Humanboats with propellers. Humans use them to travel across the top of our world on the Surface. It's dangerous up there on the Surface. Bad things once happened to some of your uncles who went up there."
"Wow" said Squishy, "the Surface sounds so cool! I'm not afraid - i really want to go there to see a Humanboat up close."
"Before you do anything stupid like that," his mother said, "go and see your great aunt Octave the Octopus. She is very wise, so I hope she can convince you not to go anywhere near the Surface"
Squishy part 2
Squishy swam down to the Seaweed Rocks to find Octave the Octopus.
"Octave, I want to go to the Surface to see a Humanboat up close. I think it would be fascinating and I need an adventure. Please tell me what you know about Humanboats. My mother doesn't want me to go, but I'm so keen!"
Octave writhed out of her hole and looked at him for a while.
"Well," she said, "some Humanboats are safe. The sailing boats usually have kind humans on board. But..... the big bright white night light Humanboats are VERY DANGEROUS! They lure you with their lights and they know you can't resist.
"They are trying to catch all of you to make you into calamari with breadcrumbs!
"Why can't you just live in a crevice like me and change colour from time to time? That should be enough entertainment for any self-respecting mollusc." oozed Octave.
"Octave, I'm super smart and I have friends who know all about the Surface.
Thank you for your advice, but I'm afraid you haven't changed my mind....I'm still going! I'll find a nice sailing Humanboat to visit and then I'll come back and tell you all about it!" said Squishy.
"Well, Octave replied, "whatever you do, stay away from those big bright white night light Humanboats. Beware! Stay away! "
"Yes, I will" said Squishy, and swam off to meet his friends.
Squishy part 3
Although Squishy was a squid, with thousands of brothers and thousands of sisters, his best friends were from other species. Flying fish, a jellyfish, and a lantern fish.
He met them at the Reef Dropoff, to tell them about his plans.
"I'm going to the Surface, guys!" he said. Who's coming for an adventure with me!?"
"Oh, hey, Squishy mate, it may be an adventure for you but I do it every day" said Flash the flying fish; "with my flying squad!
"We cruise up there and get airborne, and check out the Humanboats, especially the sailing boats.
"Actually, the other night I flew onto a sailing boat with some of the boys just to check it out. It was easy!
After we'd spent a few moments moonbathing on the deck, a human shrieked, picked us up by the fins and threw us back. No worries!"
Squishy part 4
You're such a big talker, Flash!" said Nelly the Jellyfish. "I go to the Surface all the time too, so that humans can admire my beauty. They love me; I swim around their sailing boats to show off my fascinating tentacles. But if any humans get too close to me, I sting them! Ha!
"I can beat that, Nelly" said
Flash. "My squaddie Flick here is an ace pilot; he flew straight through a hatch window the other night to see how the humans sleep inside their Humanboats! And he landed on a human, who squealed and threw him back! Choice!
"Flick and I can train Squishy how to do that....what do you think, guys?"
"Well...I don't usually go to the Surface" said Volt the lantern fish. I prefer the ocean depths. Much safer. No big bright white night light Humanboats. And if I need to see anything, I just turn on my personal lantern on my head.
"But this could be interesting. I can't wait to see Squishy try to fly, so I'll come join you. Then I'll go back to my comfortable dark home in the lugubrious depths of the sea"
Squishy part 5
The night of Squishy's big adventure to the Surface arrived. After training with Flick and Flash, he was confident that he could propel himself from the top of a wave into the open hatch of a Humanboat. Although his mother and Octave had warned him again about the big bright white night light Humanboats, he was undeterred.
Flash's flying squad went on a reconnaissance mission to find a sailing Humanboat, with kind people inside. They came back very excited.
"There's one just ahead of us with black paint on the bottom, and white paint on the top. The hatches are open and there are kind humans on board. We know! This is the same boat that Flick jumped into the other night. The humans woke up and threw him back!
This sailing Humanboat is called Rumpus!”
Squishy part 6
Squishy and his friends swam and the flying squad flew until they were in some big waves next to Rumpus, the sailing Humanboat with kind humans on board.
Nelly the jellyfish and Volt the lantern fish waited just under the Surface while Flash, Flick and Squishy prepared to fly.
"There's a good open hatch to aim for, Squishy!" said Flick. “It's right next to the hatch I flew into the other night.
"Are you ready??"
"I'm ready" said Squishy. "You'll be right beside me, won't you?"
"Sure thing, mate. We"ll head for the foredeck; you go in that hatch. Good luck!"
They launched from the top of a wave as it rolled towards Rumpus; Flash and Flick lined up the foredeck; Squishy aimed for the open hatch; the wave crashed, they flew, and they landed! They were on board a sailing Humanboat! With kind humans on board!
Squishy part 7
Squishy, Flick and Flash had succeeded. All their hard training was worth it to get on board Rumpus, the sailing Humanboat with kind humans on board.
But things were about to get very bad and dangerous.
As Flash and Flick were moonbathing on the foredeck, they saw in the distance, all around them, 9 big bright white night light Humanboats, looking for Squishy and his big family, to catch them and make them into calamari with breadcrumbs.
"Oh no! Where's Squishy???" they shouted.
"He went into the open hatch !
"Is he OK? Will a kind human throw him out? and if so, will he be irresistibly attracted to the big bright white night light Humanboats?
"We have to save him!"
They slid down the deck of Rumpus and looked into the open hatch. There was Squishy, resting on the toilet seat.
"Squishy! Are you alright!?" they cried. "We've come to rescue you!"
Squishy part 8
Flash and Flick knew that they had to rescue Squishy from the toilet seat on the sailing Humanboat called Rumpus.
What if a human sat on him!!? Would he squirt ink? Would the human get a black bottom? Would the human be kind or cross? And all around there were the dangerous big bright white night light Humanboats waiting to lure Squishy into their nets.
But Squishy was oblivious to these dangers.
"Don't worry about me, boys! This is luxury! My own private swimming hole with a circular deck! I flew in straight through the open hatch like you trained me to. This swimming hole is called Jabsco Marine Latrine - fancy, eh? What good luck!
"I bet you wish you were here instead of slithering and flapping around on the deck!"
"No, no, Squishy! That's a TOILET!" shouted Flash and Flick. You could be sat on and crushed any minute! Or worse!
"What," said Squishy, "is a toilet?"
"It's a private place for humans! They sit on it. They could sit on you! You've got to get out of there!"
Squishy part 9
Squishy was a very smart squid. He realised he had to leave his luxury resort immediately.
"Quick, then, Flash and Flick! Jump in to the swimming hole after me. We'll swim back out to the sea where Nelly and Volt are waiting for us!"
Flash and Flick waited for the right moment. They leaped through the open hatch, flew down into the toilet, and swam as fast as they could through the pipes behind Squishy.
The three brave adventurers flushed themselves through the smelly toilet pipes and out to the open sea.
"Thank goodness you're all safe!" blobbed Nelly the jellyfish.
"Well done, boys! You rescued yourselves! You didn't even need a kind human to throw you back!l” buzzed Volt the lantern fish.
"I can't wait to tell my thousands of brothers and thousands of sisters about our adventure!" said Squishy.
The five friends left the Surface and started swimming back home. They were exhilarated about their adventure....but it wasn't over yet.
Squishy part 10
As they were swimming home, Nelly noticed Squishy was behaving very very strangely.
"Must......go....to......the.....light......must....go.....must.....go......Must....go....to....the....light...." Squishy said in a very spooky voice.
"What's the matter with Squishy?" asked Flash; "he's gone completely strange!"
"Must.....go....to....the.....light....must....go..." chanted Squishy.
"Oh no!" said Nelly, "it's those big bright white night light Humanboats all around us! They're luring Squishy! He's powerless to resist! What do we do? We have to save him from becoming calamari!" and again she nudged Squishy with her tentacles to stop him swimming away.
"He's helpless!" cried Flash and Flick. "He can't resist the lights!
"We're going to lose our friend!"
"Must.....go....to....the....light.....must....go" intoned Squishy as he struggled to get away from Nelly's tentacles.
Squishy part 11
Squishy's big adventure at the Surface was turning into a disaster.
As Octave the Octopus had predicted, the big bright white night lights of the Humanboats were luring Squishy away from his friends as they tried to swim home.
The friends were starting to panic.
"Now, everyone, stay calm. I may not be a great flyer, and I don't have beautiful tentacles, but I think I have a solution......." pondered Volt, and he swam ahead of Squishy.
"I'll turn on my lantern and you all nudge Squishy so he swims to follow me, instead of towards those killer Humanboats"
So the friends nudged Squishy into line behind Volt.
"Must.....go....to....the....light...." chanted Squishy, as he turned to follow Volt.
"It's working!" squealed Flash "he's coming home with us! Hooray! Well done Volt - keep swimming!
Squishy part 12
Squishy's mother was visiting Octave the Octopus at the Seaweed Rocks; they were starting to worry about the friends and their dangerous trip to the Surface. They could hear the engines of the 9 big bright white night light Humanboats and they knew how vulnerable Squishy would be.
"Oh I do hope they get home soon," worried Squishy's mother. " I can't believe Squishy would take such stupid risks! He is usually a very smart little squid ! "
"Yes he is, but......Oh look!" cried Octave; "there they are! Look at Volt with his lantern on! He's leading Squishy home!"
And as soon as they saw Volt's lantern swimming towards them, all of Squishy's thousands of brothers and thousands of sisters were powerless to resist it.
"Must....go....to....the....light........." they all chanted in their tiny squid voices. And as they got closer to Volt they saw Flick and Flash, Nelly, and best of all........
"Squishy! they all squealed.
Squishy part 13
Thousands of squid squealing is an amazing sound. Their squeals warned all the other squid who were starting to swim towards the big bright white night light Humanboats.
"Squishy's home! Come and join us to celebrate! Swim over here, away from those lights, or your future will probably involve pasta and garlic, or breadcrumbs!
At the centre of this huge gathering of squid, Squishy's mother and his great aunt Octave were hugging the 5 adventurers with all their tentacles.
Then heroic Volt turned off his lantern and swam down to his cave at the bottom of the sea. Flick and Flash flew back up to the Surface to join their squad, and Nelly went off to float with her jelly friends.
The humans on the big bright white night light Humanboats couldn't understand why they didn't catch any squid at all that night. They had to go home with empty holds and explain this mystery to their big bosses in China.
"I had a great time at the Surface, mum" said Squishy, "I didn't see any humans, but I found out what brave and loyal friends I have. They saved me!"
"Yes they did, Squishy, and thank goodness for that. We love you very much and we can't wait to hear all the stories of your grand adventure. Promise me you won't go to the Surface ever again!" said his mother.
"I won't go back to the Surface" promised Squishy. "I'm staying here with you and my thousands of brothers and thousands of sisters - and of course my fantastic adventurous friends!