So the last few days have been typical cruiser days. What is a “typical cruiser day?” you may ask? Well, last Friday we dinghied up to a nearby boat, introduced ourselves as fellow cruisers with kids, and were invited on. The teenagers who lived on the boat entertained our kids by dragging them behind their dinghy on a paddleboard, and over the next hour more and more people from nearby boats piled on, mostly Dutch. We sat in the cockpit in our wet swimsuits, our hosts continuously serving us wine into tumblers, and learned of a plan for a beach barbecue on Sunday.
The next day, Allie entertained two girls who couldn’t speak English while their parents provisioned for a long passage. Greg rigged up a swing on the boom and they repeatedly jumped off the boat into the clear water, surrounded by the fishes to whom we fed our moldy bread. Everyone speaks swimming. Tommy meanwhile got more lessons on driving the dinghy, something he wanted to do ever since he learned his friends could do it in Curacao. Go positive peer pressure!
After hanging the laundry out to dry, including the shorties our scrawny kids need to swim, Mel made a pasta salad without bacon bits or artichoke hearts, because we couldn’t find those at the store. It was basically pasta and olives. She packed up everything into a softsided cooler, remembering the bottle opener and tongs this time, and in their dingy they followed the host boat, a beautiful monohull packed with 15 barbecue attendees dragging two other dinghies behind it, to a beach on Klein Bonaire.
We had a multi-lingual beach barbecue (some Portugese people joined us later, as well as some Canadians, you know) and everyone talked boats and kids and travel until the sun went down. At the end of the evening, we found ourselves collecting around the various dinghies, sorting out the correct ownership of various snorkel bags and coolers, and coordinating the return home of those who bummed a ride. Our boats are all moored out fairly close to each other.
It was then that Mel had a realization. She’s done this before. The easy invitations on board from strangers after a knock on the door with a dingy, the spontaneous beach parties, the joy of meeting people with different backgrounds, the hitching of rides, the quick-prep food… This is dorm life! We have gone back to college.
Well, mostly. Some will be relieved that Mel won’t be doing ALL of the things she did in college…and she will try really hard this time to not catch her hair on fire.
A sidenote. We saw Sinterklaus coming to town. Google “David Sedaris Sinterklaus” to learn about the American take on this. She has learned to not bring this up at parties. See, just like college!