From the float plane’s window, you can see how Dolphin Island got its name.
The Island looks like a dolphin leaping out of the water. A sparkling lagoon forms the curve of the dolphin’s belly, two headlands to the east form its tail and to the west another forms the dolphin’s nose. As the plane banks around, losing altitude in preparation for its lagoon landing, the island’s volcanic cone resembles a dorsal fin on the dolphins back.
Soon every camera and cell phone is trained on the fiery mountain.
“Wow look at that volcano,” shouts a kid in the seat in front of you. “There’s steam coming from the crater.”
The plane’s pontoons kick up a rooster-tail of spray as they touch down on the lagoon’s clear water. As the plane slows, the pilot revs the engine and motors towards a wooden wharf where a group of smiling locals await your arrival.
“Welcome to Dolphin Island,” the resort staff say as they secure the plane, unload your bags, and assist you across the narrow gap to the safety of a small timber wharf.
Coconut palms fringe the lagoon’s white-sand beach. Palm-thatched huts poke out of the surrounding jungle. The resort’s main building is just beyond the beach opposite the wharf.
Between the wharf’s rustic planks you can see brightly colored fish dart back and forth amongst the coral. You stop and gaze down at the world beneath your feet.
You hear a soft squeak behind you and step aside as a young man in cut-off shorts trundles past pushing a trolley with luggage on it. He whistles a song as he passes, heading towards the main resort building. You and your family follow.
“Welcome to Dolphin Island Resort,” a young woman with a bright smile and a pink flower tucked behind her ear says from behind the counter as you enter the lobby. “Here is the key to your quarters. Enjoy your stay.”
Once your family is settled into their beachfront bungalow, you’re eager to explore the island. You pack a flashlight, compass, water bottle, pocket knife, matches, mask, snorkel and flippers as well as energy bars and binoculars in your daypack and head out the door.
Once you hit the sand, you sit down and open the guidebook you bought before coming on vacation. Which way should you go first? You’re still a little tired from the early morning flight, but you’re also keen to get exploring.
As you study the map, you hear a couple of kids coming towards you down the beach.
“Hi, I’m Adam,” a blond haired boy says as he draws near.
“And I’m Jane.”
The boy and girl are about your age and dressed in swimming shorts and brightly colored t-shirts, red for him and yellow for her. They look like twins. The only difference is that the girl’s hair is tied in a long ponytail while the boy’s hair is cropped short. Both are brown and have peeling noses. By their suntans you suspect they’ve been at the resort a few days already.
“What are you reading?” Adam asks.
“It’s a guide book. It tells all about the wildlife and the volcano. It also says there might be pirate treasure hidden here somewhere. I’m just trying to figure out where to look first.”
Jane clasps her hands in front of her chest and does a little hop. “Pirate treasure, really?”
Adam looks a little more skeptical, his brow creases as he squints down at you. “You sure they just don’t say that to get the tourists to come here?”
“No, I’ve read up on it. They reckon a pirate ship named the Port-au-Prince went down around here in the early 1800s. I thought I might go exploring and see what I can find.”
“Oh can we help?” Jane says. “There aren’t many kids our age staying at the moment and lying by the pool all day gets a bit boring.”
“Yeah,” Adam agrees. “I’m sure we could be of some help if you tell us what to do. I’ve got a video camera on my new phone. I could do some filming.”
There is safety in numbers when exploring, and three sets of eyes are better than one. But if you do find treasure, do you want to share it with two other people?
It is time to make your first decision. Do you:
Agree to take Adam and Jane along?