The sailors of old may have filled their free time with activities like scrimshaw and fancy knot work. But during a recent yearlong cruise with her family, 8-year-old Emily Ehlers (now 12) stayed busy creating a new card game, which is now being marketed under the name “Mermaid Beach.”
A native of Portland, Oregon, Emily, her parents and two brothers sailed their 42-foot Pearson 424, Jubilee down the East Coast to Miami, where they crossed over to the Bahamas. As the game took shape in her mind, it became a true family affair. Her brothers helped make up the cards, and her parents played a number of trial rounds to help work out the kinks.
Now being produced and marketed by the Gamewright company, of Newton, Massachusetts, the object of the game is to collect the most seashell cards while getting rid of various waves, seaweed and sea monster cards. Emily’s favorite card is “Betsy Bubbles,” the first mermaid to make the transition from drawings into an actual card. “She looks sassy and has a shell phone!” Emily says.