Friday, December 4, 2009

Coconut Safari

Coconut Tree - Sheva Apelbaum

Going on a tropical vacation is not all fun and games.  You get to swim in the warm blue water, surf the waves, and look for treasures.  Sooner or later, you are bound to get thirsty.  If you are lucky and you have normal parents, they'll just get you a can of your favorite soda.  On the other hand, if you have parents like mine who ban sodas of all kinds, they’ll force you to pick some coconuts directly from the tree and drink their milk.

Picking coconuts is not especially difficult but the trees on which they grow can be as tall as 30 feet or more up in the air. So unless you have a tall ladder or have figured out how to fly, you are in for a real challenge. 

My dad, (who is always concerned that I might run out of challenges), decided to help me again on the conditions that I not only get the coconut down from the tree in one piece, but I also use only materials I found on the beach.  So using a ladder or buying rope was out of the question.  “Now go and hunt for coconuts!” he said. 

When mom heard this, she sprung into action and said “For heavens sake, leave the poor girl alone! I’ll get the coconuts down.”

Jill Fine climbing a Coconut tree - Sheva Apelbaum

Maybe it was a full ten seconds before she realized that wouldn’t work.  So then, it was time for the professional to step in.  I spent the day searching for various objects on the beach and found the following ingredients

- a long bamboo pole
- a flexible fiberglass rod
- several pieces of rope and cloth

I bent the fiberglass rod into a loop and attached it to the end of the bamboo pole using a long piece of rope (I unbraided it and tied the strands together to get a longer rope).  I used the smaller pieces of rope and cloth to reinforce the loop so it wouldn't break. 

When the loop was done, I raised the pole, hooked the loop around a coconut and pulled…and down came 2 beautiful coconuts with a thump.

Once on the ground, my dad cut one of them open with a saw.  I was surprised to see that the actual coconut was inside a larger shell (I guess it needs the extra protection to survive a long voyage at sea).  

Pulling bamboo Pole - Sheva Apelbaum Fiberglass rod - Sheva Apelbaum Rope strands - Sheva Apelbaum
Loop attached to bamboo pole - Sheva Apelbaum Sheva and the pole - Sheva Apelbaum My little coconut - Sheva Apelbaum 
Wild Coconut cut open - Sheva Apelbaum Wild Coconut meat - Sheva Apelbaum

The juice of the coconut turned out to be sweet and the coconut itself was delicious.   I decided to keep the second coconut whole and bring it back home. Later, my mom helped me braid a harness for it and I hung my trophy from the ceiling in my room (right over the Pacific Ocean).   I am now an official coconut  hunter.

My Coconut truphy - Sheva Apelbaum


    Wow that was a special day at the beach, wasn't it? I hope your 'unnormal' parents did not keep you only on coco nut milk!
    I enjoyed your nice story and the pictures very much!
    In my age it is either no coco nuts or buying them at the super - but you know what, I never saw this kind of coco nuts with the smooth rind, I am used to those hairy ones - interesting...
    It is amazing how clever you are girl, always thinking deeply and trying to find a solution AND enjoying it! And thumbs up to this dad who is for ever challenging you!
    Keep going! Yael.

  2. First of all, I'm deeply impressed by your ingenuity! You are a real intuitively creative person...applying logic and invention! Second, your mom is GORGEOUS AND ADORABLE, as well as you and your sister...third, I'm so envious, and would love to be in Florida on the beach (in summer I will visit!). I so look forward to your blogspots...I learn something new every time!

  3. Oh,I forgot: Give my regards to Bow-ris,tell him to behave!
    TTFN, Yael.