It Didn't Feel a Lot Like Christmas
26 December 2013 | El Tortugal Marina, Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Beth / lightweight and quick dry (clothes that is!)
We sure weren’t “beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.” The temperatures were high 20’s and humid, our boat had no brightly lit tree, there were no stockings hung by a fireplace, and no Christmas Eve candle light service to attend. But as December 24th arrived, things began to change. We dressed up in our finery and trooped up the hill to Daphne’s house to join 21 other boaters for a pot luck dinner on Christmas Eve. The long table on the porch was set with care, a table in one corner groaned under the weight of so many delicious dishes, and in another corner innovatively wrapped gifts waited to be shared.
Ashley handed out glasses of rum punch as soon as we arrived, and we enjoyed getting to know some new folks as well as familiar friends: Linda and Mike (Casa del Mar), Colleen and Tom (Unplugged), Renata and Jim (Emerald Sea) along with Cathy and Steve who are staying here while they look for a boat.
After filling ourselves to the brim, we moved around the corner (to yet another long wide porch sheltered from the occasional drizzle by a deeply overhanging roof- gotta love these houses designed for the climate) where we laughed and teased as we drew numbers and then opened and traded gifts. One by one, we tore open boxes wrapped in tinfoil and newspaper, and fastened with duct tape and painters tape and string – along with the colourful Christmas wrap and ribbon ones. Gales of laughter and oohs of delight and even gasps of bewilderment accompanied the opening. The box of Macaroni and Cheese that Dave took home despite trying his hardest to get rid of it, was surely outclassed by the jug of real maple syrup that Jim was lucky enough to open and keep.
On the 25th, we enjoyed coffee on the marina deck just as we do most mornings, and then Jim and I breakfasted on bacon and eggs in our cockpit as we listened to the music of Dave Betts (Cordelia) on the new CD he has just released – all songs of his own that we have enjoyed hearing whenever he picks up his guitar to entertain. By 2pm, we were dressed up again and piling into the lancha that came over from Kangaroo to pick up the Tortugal crowd. Matt and Renee (Outlandish) came over from RAM marina too and we had a wonderful time reconnecting with these folks with whom we had so much fun touring around in 2011.
By the end of the day, we had talked (by Skype) with all our family, shared way too much good food with friends around the table, and settled comfortably down with new (to us) books.
You know, I believe it did feel a lot like Christmas after all!