A Different Kind Of New Years
04 January 2008 | Bahia del Sol, El Salvador
Amy/ breezy, sunny, cool a.m.-73d.
Usually for New Year's Eve, after the kids go to bed, Jim & I will watch a movie while eating shrimp cocktail and other favorite snacks while drinking a bottle of champagne. Usually we're asleep before the New Year is rung in. To us, it was just another turn of the calendar, no big parties, or celebrations, we just like it quiet and safe, no driving, worrying about the others on the rode who might have tied one too many on. This year, though, we just had to stay up. We had dinner with Santos and his family at his home again, another turkey dinner! Complete with tamales, rice, tortillas, and a few American dishes that some of us cruisers donated. Then we came back to Sunshine and got ready for the show. All 3 kids were tired, and were in bed and crashed by 9:15, but I thought for sure they'd be awakened closer to midnight. Santos had told us what it would be like, and prior to that, I was planning on going to bed just like any other night. We had our shrimp ready of course, can't miss that, it's too easily available here, but we were so full from dinner, never even gave it a thought, besides we were too busy sitting up on our deck watching the pre-New Year's eve show. Fireworks are big down here, and I mean BIG, and LOUD. There is, to my knowledge, no rules or regulations as to what is, or should I say what is NOT allowed. And it starts before Christmas, with much of the hoopla happening on Christmas Eve, but that was nothing compared to what we witnessed over New Years. Even the week between Christmas and NY's, there were nights of a few booms and bangs here and there, even some "yahoo" lighting them at 4:30 in the morning. Many of them are the ones that to me are a waste of money and are extremely annoying, the ones that sound like a bomb just went off. They don't do anything but make noise, a lot of noise. But come Dec. 31st, once it was dusk, which is around 6:00 here, it was almost a constant array of fireworks, all up and down the estuary on both the mainland and the island side. Many were, what I call the mid-size fireworks, they weren't the super huge ones seen during the 4th /July celebrations, but the ones that are like one size smaller than that. Plus the bottle rockets, and other pretty fireworks, but still the occasional ones that simply make a bang, some you'd swear something was just blown to bits. But obviously the guys lighting them off, think they're cool. And they start them young down here, kids as young as 7-8 lighting some of these things. Crazy! And of course, the music. A Holiday or just about any weekend, wouldn't be complete without the hotel, or the fish camp as we call it on the island, or the party barge that goes up and down the estuary, blasting music at some point. Some times it's traditional El Salvador mariachi style music, sometimes it's Latin Pop, but often it's good ole fashioned American Rock & Roll, even "oldies" from the 80's, ya know, the GOOD music! Makes us grin! On NY Eve though, we had the hotel competing with the fish camp, the hotel had a band and the fish camp playing their stereo, both very loud. We never heard a peep out of any of the kids. Jenaya only told us the next morning that she heard the fireworks and could see some out her port hole, but Bridget nor Micah ever heard a thing! I was amazed, since it just went on and on and on. Just about 5 minutes before midnight, some group was lighting fireworks from a panga on the other side of our friends sailboat, and as the fireworks went off, from our perspective all we could see was the silhoutte of their boat, and it looked like as these fireworks made a spraying motion back and forth right across the length of their boat, that their boat was being attacked and blown up! We couldn't stop laughing! It only lasted for about 5 minutes, and we taped it to show them. They said the next morning when we called them on the vhf to ask if they were still alive, that they were a bit worried for a while as well! We finally turned in just before12:30, and it had wound down some, but there was still fireworks going to some degree. Jim said the next morning, he woke up around 1:30, and almost got up to film the contrast, he had filmed about 15 minutes right around midnight, and said at 1:30 it was as still and quiet as could be, except for the sound of the ocean waves breaking on shore and an occasional dog barking. It was a different NY Eve than we were used to, and an experience that was quite enjoyable to watch.
A quick note on the impellar, it arrived today, and Jim immediately took it over to Santos' and had it installed, We Have Power!!!! The dinghy that came with Sunshine just barely fits our family of 5, but it works for the time being. Jim is in the beginning stages of building us a new dinghy. He has the wood, and the layout, and will start cutting it out Monday.