|Sleepy little anchorage at Puerto Patillas|
Fast forward two years and here we are moving along the southern coast of Puerto Rico headed for the USVI or maybe BVI where we think we might spend Christmas... (insert sound of a screeching halt)... wait...what???
Don and Janis opened their home to us with such exuberance as we have never known. They welcome practical strangers (although Janis and I were Facebook friends) and showed us kindness and generosity we have seldom experienced... beginning with one single happy hour!
|Janis has collected a bit of sea glass...|
Well, when you put it that way. YES! We're staying for Thanksgiving!
This was the start of a two week period during which we shared laughs and dinners aboard our boat and ashore at the purple house. We left our soggy, rain-soaked boats and took shelter in the warm dry comfort where we cooked and dined and tried to make ourselves useful.
|The sun did shine eventually|
|Thanksgiving day arrived...|
PLUS we got to shop at Costco and Sam's Club for provisioning items since we are soon headed for the more costly areas of the Caribbean. Thanks JANIS!!!
Thanksgiving Day arrived in a flash!
|Be thankful for what you have...|
|Because it could all be gone in an instant!|
We watched the Thanksgiving Day Parade... I can't tell you the last time we've had a chance to partake in this tradition...
|Little birds come to the house for sugar...|
|This one went for the muffins!|
|Don't use the sugar by the coffee pot... it's for the BIRDS!|
Don had all of the materials prepared and they hauled lumber, measured, drilled, leveled, pounded and screwed at a frenzied pace.
Just between you and me... I didn't think they would ever make those snaggeldy pipes into a dock...
But as the day progressed it began to take shape!
|Friendly neighborhood iguana passing through...|
|Melted marshmallows... Cruiser problems!|
Meanwhile, back in the kitchen... The ladies were putting the finishing touches on the meal. Janis and Don provided the majority of the food, but everyone who attended threw in their traditional favorites. I brought Yams with marshmallow on top. You people who are enjoying the snowy days and cold weather don't know just how lucky you are! YOUR marshmallows are probably not melted together in an unappetizing lump!
Missing the holidays with our families is one of the most difficult parts of Cruising. It just isn't possible to be there with our loved ones who are scattered far and wide.
made THIS Friendsgiving even better!
After the holiday things settled into a routine. The men continued working on the dock or did individual boat projects during the day...
I guess Janis got tired of listening to me complain about all this eating with so little exercise... because she offered to take me out for a walk to see the reef one day. I jumped at the chance!
|Where Palm Trees come from...|
It seemed as if we had gone a long way... but when we finally reached the beach and looked back toward the bay, we hadn't actually ventured very far at all...
|The awesome dock almost finished!|
Hearing that we had suddenly moved up our departure date... or at least actually SET one... threw him into action! He came over in the afternoon to get things disconnected and ready for the extraction...
It made us feel secure that he knew what he was doing and it also advised us of exactly what was going on at every stage.
The next morning he and another Cruiser in the bay, Pat, came over early for the final move.
When he was done, the cleanup was minimal and there was NO damage to our boat. What a relief!
Not only did Mike bring his tools over, but he took charge and after discovering that tightening wouldn't fix the leak... he replaced the packing with new... from his own stock... and got us all dry and tidy.
Just down the street is a little spot that sells delicious chicken wings for $10 for 40 WINGS!!! Yes! And the beers were cheap too! We enjoyed our last meal together until the rain began which caused us to make a hasty exit back to our respective boats.
Janis and Don got detained in town and weren't able to join us for our last hurrah... So we missed the goodbye hugs.
We will really miss this place. The protected anchorage, the unfailing welcome of our host and hostess... the new friends. Hopefully we will see them all again, and soon, in another anchorage somewhere along the way. And although the pull of this Puerto Rican Velcro is strong, we must go at sunrise.