Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How Quickly Traditions

Every evening at 4:30pm (0200 UTC), I grab my laptop to record positions, tune in the SSB, and listen to the net. During the last calls, I make a list of what we'll need for the evening. Then as I prepare the raw materials, DrC and whichever girls I have aboard bag up our possessions and get them shifted to the dinghy. Then we motor ashore.

We learned last night that our passing Night Fly is their own signal. They take their evening shower, gather their own dinner things, and head into shore after us. Usually, by the time Warren and Maria arrive, we have the fire started. It takes longer for the coals to burn down enough to put in the dinner pots.

Dinner is really not very good here on Mopelia. To save propane and because we have almost no fresh food left, we're having a lot of one pot, canned and preserved suppers. Last night, for example, was pasta with a beurre blanc, herb and weird cheese sauce. The French sell a subsidized cheese here that tastes remotely like cheddar, comes in large cheap blocks, and doesn't need to be refrigerated until you open it. Unrefridgerated cheese and canned butter are really helpful to cruisers with limited cool space on long passages. On the other hand, I'm not entirely certain this stuff is actually cheese. For example, it doesn't melt in a hot pot. That's a bit disturbing.

The adults drink their sundowners while the girls play with the fire and cook dinner. Jaime is particularly engaged by the burning dinner process, and she is rapidly developing good fire circle techniques. We eat, we eat a sweet, we chat, we relax as the moon comes up. Then when the growing moon is high enough to see the coral bommies on the return trip, we bundle into the dinghy and head back to the tiny lights on the horizon that mark the boats.

Every night for a week. Last night, there was a slight shift as we moved over to make room for Loose Pointer. Easy peasy adjustment to an already well established routine. Adding Loose Pointer to a Don Quixote tradition is non-issue. I know Kathryn will be over here sometime this morning for fried dough, for example, even though I don't believe we mentioned it. We always make them fried dough when we haven't seen them for awhile. Usually, she wakes her boys, but some mornings we have get her all to ourselves which is awesome. Like DrC, she is a quiet but very interesting woman and a pleasure to spend time wiht. The less people around, the more we get to hear her opinions and ideas. And of course, we would hear a great deal more if I just kept my mouth shut. Jaime insisted I write that, and sadly she is absolutely correct.

Tomorrow weather permitting, we are finally going to leave Mopelia. Mera actually came ashore mid-day having finally run out of things to do to enhance the beach house. DrC has given up trying to catch parrot fish. Jaime is diving into her iPod, and I watched a movie yesterday. We're winding down. Today, however, we'll make the most of our last day here. We'll swim and walk on the beach and gather a million coconuts.

And of course tonight we'll go to the beach to build a large fire and share our evening with our anchorage neighbors.

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