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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

11/24/2011 - Thinksgiving cruiser style

I know I can't fool you guys into believing that this was written on Thanksgiving. You're too darn smart for that. But I post-dated it anyway so that I can find it better when I go back and look for a Thanksgiving entry at a later date.

Anyway, since we had already done a Thanksgiving feed at Casa Buena the Thursday before Thanksgiving, we had pretty much planned to skip the holiday on its official day. We could have gone to the big Thanksgiving Dinner put on by Club Cruceros but we chose not to. We're not big fans of large dinner type gatherings. Reminds Lulu too much of "company" holiday parties and I generally don't care for the way that some of the people behave ("piggishly" comes to mind as a description) and the food, in my humble opinion, generally leaves a lot to be desired. Some, albeit very few, folks at these potluck things bring really good stuff and lots of it, others bring really good stuff that the first 6 people in line get to eat and then it's gone, some bring stuff that is okay but nothing special, some bring food that it wouldn't matter how much they brought - it'd still be too much, some stop at the store on their way to the party, and then there are the freeloaders who don't bring a damn thing. Do I sound like an old poop? Well, maybe I am but at least I now know enough to just stay away from the big feeds. Our friend Rich and his family on s/v Third Day attended the feed and had this to report. Sounds like we didn't miss anything.

While attending the swap meet the Sunday before T-Day, we were invited to Thanksgiving Dinner at a 3-boat raft-up out on El Magote by John the Rigger. He said they were planning dinner for about 20 people. It was still a potluck of sorts although certain people were assigned certain dishes and everyone was cautioned to bring enough to serve 20. This is a lot more our size and style. We weren't disappointed.

We had been told that dinner was at 3:00 but to come over anytime after noon. Not wanting to be way early like we usually are, we didn't even leave Siempre Sabado until a little after 1:00. Out across the sandbar we headed in the dink. The tide was so low that our prop actually hit bottom once while crossing the sandbar. Be mighty easy to run a boat aground out there. As we approached the raft-up, it was pretty clear from the dearth of dinghies that we were still too early. And, not really knowing anyone on these boats very well, we didn't want to be the first ones there and way too early to boot. So, we continued on and spent a little while visiting with Jay and Judy and Basil on s/v Wind Raven . Once the 2:00 hour was behind us we felt safe in returning to the raft-up. Sure enough, there were 3 or 4 dinghies trailing out behind by their painters. We tied up to s/v Talion and climbed aboard. I neglected to get a photo of the raft-up from the water and once aboard I couldn't hike out far enough to do it justice so this'll have to do:

This photo was taken from Talion's bow looking across Mariah in the center to Avatar on the other side. My understanding is that Mariah (John the Rigger's boat) and Avatar are the same boat, just built in different years. All three boats had center cockpits so it made for easy and comfy visiting.

Naturally, in the true spirit of every Thanksgiving that Lulu and I ever hosted, the appointed eating time came and went with nary a sight of the bird, or in this case, birds since there were two of them cooking. No matter, we were all having fun getting acquainted with each other. We didn't know most of the people there at first and the few we did know, we only sort of knew peripherally.

Eventually, though, it was time to carve the turkeys. Why two birds? Because boat ovens aren't that large. A 12 lb. turkey pretty much fills your average boat's oven. In the photo below you can see Lulu's huge pot of gravy on Talion's stove:

Scarfin' down the food:

That's Patsy, Talion's owner, sitting on the throne in the center of the photo. You can see 10 people gathered in this cockpit and everyone has plenty of elbow room. Reportedly, Patsy can seat 12 around her dining table below and she has enough dishes to feed at least 12 as well. A long way from Siempre Sabado's accommodations. As the evening wore on and the dessert cart went by a couple of times, people spread out to the other two boats to visit although most stayed aboard Talion. Coincidentally, that's where the food was.

Here's a shot of Mariah's cockpit. That's John the Rigger, Mariah's owner on the left and Jody, Avatar's co-owner on the right.

We had a great time with lots and lots of good food. I got so loaded up on turkey, dressing, mashed spuds, gravy, candied yams, green bean casserole, etc. that I never even bothered with dessert. Some might call that un-American, but I yam what I yam.

Eventually it got dark enough to make dinghying back an adventure and we set our course for home. We had two folks from Marina de La Paz to take home as they'd gotten a ride out on another dinghy. I tell you, with 4 full-size (okay, 2 full size plus Lulu and I) adults, that PotraBote was a tad overloaded. Made driving it a bit of an ordeal as we did have a little bit of wind-wave action happening. But we managed to deliver our supercargo back to their dock safely and then headed home.

A fine Thanksgiving.

Wonder how one of these guys would taste if we can't find a turkey sometime:

PS: a note about Mexican hospitality...

Just before we left for the raft-up, we decided to get some ice for the ice chests and an 8-pack of Pacifico to take with us. I headed to our favorite cervezeria, The Mini Super Amo-pola.

Turns out Mañuel doesn't carry bagged ice but he did have an ice chest up front that had a huge block of ice inside and he chipped me off a shopping bag full at no charge. Then, as I reached for my wallet to pay for my beer, I realized that I didn't have my wallet. I had taken it out when I went up to take a shower and forgot to put it back afterwards. Oops. I told Mañuel that had forgotten my money and started to take the beer back to the cold case. He would have none of it. Insisted that it was "No problema." and told me to take the beer and pay next time I was in the store. I'd like to think that a Mexican national, who couldn't speak more than a little English, at a 7-11 in the States, would be treated the same way I was treated here. That's what I'd like to think.

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