Friday, May 19, 2017

1980 (32) - Christmas in the Cove

Snoopy's got all the presents wrapped!

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE. 

We were happy to be heading back to Maya Cove for the holiday season.  Perhaps because boat people are far from family, and what used to be called home, everyone joined together in their celebrating.  We shared parties, dinners, and gallons of rum punch.

Christmas Eve, Dana and Evelyn, who lived in a house overlooking the anchorage, invited the Cove people up to their home for a party.  Their house was beautiful – and what a view!  The islands lining the Sir Francis Drake Channel stretched in both directions, surrounded by miles of unbroken sea.  The road up the hill to their house was so steep; Dana provided taxi service – in his Land Rover, with 4-wheel drive, in first gear.  I still held my breath! 

About 25 people were at the party.  Dana and Evelyn served drinks, and everyone else brought food.  Gerry, on Travel, and I, each made two quiches so there would be some for everyone.  There were other main dishes, salads, and deserts.  It was a lively, friendly evening.  When we got together with boat people, we seemed to share a sense of fellowship I never experienced at any land-based cocktail party.
Tropic Moon's Christmas Tree

I had decided we should have a Christmas tree on Tropic Moon, and crocheted one out of green yarn.  It stands about two feet tall.  I decorated it with strings of seed beads, and hung small shells and other beads.  I used techniques I’d learned at a sculpture crochet workshop I’d taken in Ann Arbor.

Christmas week involved lots of visiting back and forth among the boats.  A couple we’d met at the party – Ray and Mary Jo on Runaway – came by one day.  They had two kingfish they’d just bought from a fisherman, and invited us for dinner.  They marinated the fillets, wrapped them in foil with sautéed onion and garlic, and then cooked them on their grill.  Yum!

Our Christmas tree on the cockpit table.  Ulysses is at the stern.

On New Year’s Day, Runaway and another sailboat, Catspaw, rafted their boats together, and held an “Open Boat.”  Gail and Walt on Catspaw served Hot Rum Toddies, and Runaway provided colder drinks.  We munched on Christmas pastries and Mary Jo’s home baked bread.  When evening came, the cocktail party types headed home.  Ed helped Ray set up the aerial for his color TV.  Those of us left on the boats settled in for some serious football watching, as St. Thomas was broadcasting the Rose Bowl. 

Everyone quickly learned I’d gone to grad school at University of Michigan.  I had the gang cheering for the Wolverines - all except for one fellow named Chuck who had attended college somewhere in the state of Washington.  Chuck got very quiet during the second half of the game.  During the proceedings, Gail emerged from her galley with a large pot of steaming chili and another pot of cooked macaroni.  Mary Jo came up with loaf after loaf of delicious beer bread, the good food sustaining us through the excitement of the game.  Having Michigan finally win the Rose Bowl was, for me, the perfect ending to a special holiday season.

Kermit and Friends

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