25 December 2015 | Placencia, Belize
Beth / very hot and sticky - and full
We've spent the last few days rocking and rolling in Placencia Harbour. There is a diurnal wind pattern happening here - meaning winds are lower in the afternoon and evening, and they pick up about 3am and stay up till early afternoon. While the direction might change as well, it is staying pretty much ENE here and running anywhere from 15 to 25 knots, depending on the time of day. The breeze helps to ease the heat from the bright sun, and between wind generator and solar panel, we are having no problems generating power. A few boats have moved around to the Lagoon where it is calmer, and the boats off Yoli's are really rocking, but we have a tolerable degree of movement in our little corner on the northeast side of the bay - and our new Manson Supreme anchor is a true gem.
On Wednesday evening, we joined Angie and John (Angela G) at the municipal dock to watch a small flotilla of brightly lit boats cruise by. The Tutti Fruitti gelato stand has been a regular stop - and so far, a combination of dark chocolate and lime is my favourite this year. Carmita and Greg have a wonderful assortment of produce, meats, bread, and dairy products across the street, and Above Grounds Coffee shop is still the go-to place for caffeine and internet. They are all on our daily visit list!
We spent the morning of the 24th on the boat, savouring wonderful sweet cinnamon buns and drinking coffee as we contemplated Christmas in Placencia. It isn't the same as it was the year we spent the festive season in Rio Dulce. There is no particular gathering of cruisers, no potlucks, and no morning radio net to inform us of opportunities to celebrate with the local population.
So - we made our own fun. We went to Above Grounds to send Christmas email letters, and I visited Oh Shuga to add some candy to Jim's gift bag. We reserved a big table at Wendy's - a local Creole restaurant - for a noon meal on the 25th, and proceeded to fill it. In the afternoon, we made a Skype connection with Liam and Alice in Waikari, New Zealand where they were celebrating with her parents and siblings. And we watched the sun go down as we dined on coconut shrimp at Tranquilo on Placencia Cay.
After more coffee and cinnamon rolls, and an exchange of treats and books on Christmas morning, we managed to exchange greetings with a handful of people. Despite a less than clear connection, it was so nice to hear real voices - in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario. We had to wait until evening for a Newfoundland call because the recipient there was sleeping off a long on-call shift from the night before.
And then - it was time for dinner. We joined Bob (Foole), Doug, (formerly Serendipity, now Sonrisa), Angie and John (Angela G) and Uli and Thomas (Toriba) for a celebratory Creole meal at Wendy's on the main street. With many watermelon juice toasts to the season and to friendship, we enjoyed good food and fine conversation with friends we have met during the last several years - all on boats - from England and Wales, USA, Germany and Canada.
After-dinner naps followed - just as they often do at home - and by evening we were ready for a little more socializing. We strolled with Uli and Thomas along the sidewalk - which, contrary to what you might think, does not run along the side of the road. This sidewalk is just inland from the beach and runs for over a mile between houses, hotels, gift shops and restaurants. We watched the full moon peek out from behind the clouds, and then cast a gorgeous silvery swath across the water. We decided we were hungry and thirsty enough for another meal and were lucky enough to find a table at DeTatch. When we asked our waiter if the rum punches were good, he nodded that, "They're good enough to do the job!" They certainly did! I may have to go back for more Belizean Lime pie - flaky crust, meringue topped and tangy citrusy - it was perfect!
We may be far away from family - and we surely do miss them - but Christmas is good wherever we find ourselves - because after all, it is really about what is in our hearts, and that never changes.
Merry Christmas! However you name your festive day, and whatever meaning this season has for you, Jim and I hope your hearts are also full - of love, hope, joy and peace that will carry you through this day and the days to come.