• close family • small boat • big world •

A Boat Thanksgiving, Round 3

December 18, 2015

By Paula
at sea

We are thankful, for the third time, to be spending the Thanksgiving holiday on board Daystar. This time, though, we were thankful in some very different ways.

Yes, Cash is shirtless in our Thanksgiving portrait.
And, of course, none of us are wearing shoes.

We were welcoming, too. This year we had an "adopted" kid with us. Anna, a friend from kid-boat DayDreamer has been on board Daystar since we left Grenada. Her family was trusting enough to let us take Anna along as we explore Guyana and Suriname. Having her with us for Thanksgiving (and more...?) was a special treat.

We were flexible, too. Trying to adjust our travel to accommodate the timing of the furious Essequibo tide, a period of rainy days, and our desire to get going to Suriname, meant that we celebrated Thanksgiving a day early. It was easy to adjust the celebration day, since it didn't feel like Thanksgiving in any other way. No football, no parades, no turkey, no talk of the holiday -- no other Americans around for miles and miles.

We were not very picky, too. (either?) I look back and chuckle at my first Thanksgiving blog post in which my difficulties surrounded how to manage the cooking with my tiny oven. Oh, if we could have a meal like that again! Yes, fruits and vegetables are plentiful here. But, not all the veggies we like are grown here (no local lettuce at all), so we have to eat what is available in the market. Good meat is tough to find. Most often I have the choice of frozen chicken from America or frozen chicken from China or frozen chicken from the Middle East, and that's it. The beef, when we can manage to find it, is most definitely not like American beef. We longed for a good roast beef, our boat-Thanksgiving tradition. Bartica's local market has a meat stall, and we asked the kind woman if she had any beef. She opened the stand-alone freezer to reveal random chunks of beef, sitting unwrapped on the freezer floor. We selected a few
that looked slightly promising. They were tough, but they were beef, nonetheless. A lot of garlic, rosemary, and fresh thyme helped.

The meat lady weighs our beef on the same scale as all the other meats. Notice her clever and tree-slice chopping block.

We used fresh thyme, given to us by our friend, Mohammed, from Fort Island.

Another gift from Mohammed, we can't recall the name of this vegetable. It tasted somewhat like zucchini.

We were extra thankful, too. Two days before, anchored on a lazy stretch of the Essequibo, we had just gone to sleep,. River traffic goes all night, with boats, large and small, traveling past to time the tide. Greg's sleep-brain still manages to process sound, and he wakes whenever noises seem unfamiliar or off in some way. Remarkably, he woke that night to an engine noise that seemed closer than it should have been. He rushed to the cockpit to find a huge tug heading straight toward us. They were shining a light in our direction, but we think they interpreted our anchor light as a marker on shore and could not discern our dark hull. Greg yelled, "spotlight!" and I rushed below, grabbed it, and returned to shine it at the oncoming boat. Immediately, they turned 180 degrees, missing us by just two boat lengths. A near miss that shook us to the core. Yes, we are thankful -- to be alive, for Greg's awareness, and for his quick thinking.

Our celebration this year was a modest one, the meal simple, our day low-key. But our thankfulness continues to be as big as the ocean.

Pam F. said...

Happy Thanksgiving and happy, happy holidays to you all. I love hearing about your ongoing amazing adventures.
(Speaking of adventures.... on a much smaller scale - we are no longer Franklin Park-ers. Someday when you are updating your address book I'll give you our new one - which was sent out with our holiday card this year.)
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and smooth sailing!

x said...

Thanks, Pam! Sorry to be slow in responding. Hope you guys are doing great! We'll be back up there this summer and would love to come see you guys!

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