Yorba Linda, CA USA
It is said that the town of Hilo was so named after an ancient navigator, one of the voyagers who traveled far and wide in seafaring canoes colonizing islands separated by thousands of nautical miles of open ocean. Thus it is fitting that Mermaid Hilo was named after the human town she grew up near, for she too is a voyager.
Mermaid Hilo lived in the sunny, blue waters off the big island of Hawaii. Adventurous by nature, her curiosity was never quenched and she left no reef unexplored. Often she spent sunny afternoons hidden in the deceivingly cavernous Kapoho tide pools, sharing daydreams with the Grouper fish or spying on humans who wandered in to explore. She would often travel around the southern tip of the island to Pu’uhonua beach where pods of spinner dolphins played. The dolphins were among Mermaid Hilo’s good friends, but her very best friend was Ono, an affectionate sea turtle. Mermaid Hilo and Ono would spend hours together in the sunny shallows of Wai’Olena Beach and on starry nights they would cautiously follow the cliffs that met the shore to watch the glowing lava flow as it seeped to the cold, frothy sea. And so Mermaid Hilo lived contentedly for many years along the shores of her island. Until…
One day, a troublesome feeling began to stir Mermaid Hilo’s heart. Every evening she would watch the sun set among the pink clouds that dotted the horizon and Hilo’s curiosity grew. She wondered what lay beyond the horizon and dreamed of exploring the sea beyond. The more she tried to ignore the feeling the more the horizon beckoned her. And so, divided and sick at heart, Hilo resolved to visit Moku Ola, a small island in Hilo Bay. Legend tells that Moku Ola was once the site of an ancient healing temple. Anyone feeling ill or sick of heart could swim around the island three times and be healed.
Mermaid Hilo journeyed to Moku Ola late one evening under a full moon. The sea was peaceful, reflecting the starry sky above. Hilo swam around Moku Ola three times searching the calm, cool water for answers. As she rounded the last curve of the island for the third time her mind became clear and she knew what she must do. Despite her love for home something was calling her on to new and great adventures. Thus she gathered her courage and set off across the Pacific. The journey was long and sometimes treacherous. The open ocean was full of monstrously large fish, swift moving currents and was strangely devoid of landmarks. But the swift currents, though sometimes dangerous, were also useful and Hilo found that by following their flow her journey was made quicker and easier.
Among her countless travels Mermaid Hilo took residence for a short time in the chilly waters of Swansea Bay off the coast of Wales. Swansea Bay had some of the largest tidal ranges Mermaid Hilo had ever seen. Each day the tide crept steadily closer to shore where Hilo would nestle among the rocks to listen to the Welsh humans speak in their strange accents, so different from the language she often heard the humans on her island speak. More than once Hilo found herself so entranced that she was nearly stranded in the bay as the tide snuck back out toward sea, unnoticed. When winter came, Hilo marveled as frozen water crystals called snow sprinkled the shores of the bay, a curiosity unfamiliar to her.
After a time, Mermaid Hilo journeyed further, this time across the Atlantic Ocean. She lived briefly in freshwater lakes known as the Great Lakes that were as wide and vast as oceans themselves. Until her inquisitiveness led her south to warmer shores and the freshwater springs of a place called Florida where she befriended the shy, gentle manatees. With each new journey Mermaid Hilo befriended new creatures and made new discoveries. Her travels led her to the sunny shores of California where she currently resides. But though Mermaid Hilo has traveled to many different shores, she still loves her island best and often swims the long journey home to visit.
- American Red Cross Lifeguard
- American Red Cross Adult First Aid, CPR, and AED
- American Red Cross Child and Infant First Aid, CPR, and AED
- American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor (WSI)
- Special Needs Educational Outreach Training for Children & Autism