Saturday, June 24, 2006

First cruiser Pot Luck

June 24, 2006  Saturday

One of the cruisers anchored out behind Hog Island got together with Russell, who is docked in the slip in front of us, and they came up with the idea of having a potluck dinner at the clubhouse here at our marina.  They thought it would be a good way of introducing some of the other cruisers to this bay and marina.  The owner of the marina agreed to hire taxis to pick up people from 2 other bays, and it was broadcast on the VHF cruisers net on Thursday and Friday mornings.  The potluck dinner was last night.  I think between 20 and 25 people showed up. 

Cruiser potlucks are very common.  Usually they are held on a beach with no facilities whatsoever.  Find a tree branch to use for a seat or sit on the sand.  This one was much nicer because it was held in the marina clubhouse, which has a pool table and a great stereo sound system with TV and DVD player.  They moved the grill under a tent next to the clubhouse.  The whole set-up was quite nice.  Three of the women loved doing karaoke.  Judy abstained from that and took photos of them instead.

Let me explain how these potlucks work.  A British woman talked to me about this last night.  She did not understand how Americans do potluck dinners.  In the UK, they assign each person to bring a particular dish, so they have a well-rounded meal; that is what they call a potluck dinner.  The typical American cruiser potluck dinner is different.  Each person (or couple) is supposed to bring a dish to serve 8 people; doesn’t matter what kind of food as long as you bring enough to feed 8 people.  That means there is always sufficient food and sometimes leftovers.  Of course, you might end up with all salads or all deserts or all rice dishes (that happens often since rice is so plentiful in boat galleys).  It truly is just pot luck as to what type food will be served.

We grilled 2 pork tenderloins that had soaked in Judy’s spicy lime/ginger marinade overnight.  Sliced that into medallions and arranged on a serving tray with a dish of brandied/gingered/cooked apples in the center.  That was a hit with the entire crowd.  We also made some brownies and they were another big hit.  Chocolate is always a fave.  There were at least 6 different kinds of salad and 2 other deserts and one chicken dish.  Plenty of food and an interesting variety.

We met some interesting people, particularly a young couple who are on a steel boat with their two teenage children.  They are headed in the same direction as we plan.  Their final destination (temporary, as always) is the Sea of Cortez.  They made it sound so good that maybe we will look into going there also.  They have friends who have been living on their boat in Mexico for a couple of years.  They rave about how nice, safe and inexpensive it is to live there.  Maybe we will check it out.

We have figured out to get off our #2-Woburn mini-bus at a Shell gas station and walk through the station down the hill to another road and get on the #1-Prickly mini-bus in order to get to the two better supermarkets on the island.  Did that Thursday and managed to do some grocery shopping and to visit a chandlery to browse. 

This morning we tried to repeat that trip, except on our return trip we managed to get on the #2-Calvigny bus instead of our usual #2-Woburn bus.  In our defense, the number 2 is printed really large on the windshield and the words are in smaller print beneath the number.  We did not realize our mistake until we were already jam-packed into the bus, so we decided to just go with it and consider it a tour.  This bus began on the regular route that we normally take, but instead of turning right towards our harbor this bus continued to the northern half of the island.  We asked and were informed that they did indeed make a circle back to St. George’s, so we figured that the worst-case scenario is that we would eventually end up down in the city and could then catch the correct #2-Woburn bus.  We had about an hour tour of the eastern half of Grenada, up into the tops of the mountains with beautiful views.  Eventually the bus started back towards the city; we recognized the main road to our harbor and got off; then immediately got on another bus going the correct direction.  So, our return trip ended up costing us $18 EC instead of the normal $4 EC.  But that is the cheapest way to see a lot of the island.  An actual taxi tour of that distance would have cost probably $140 EC.

BTW, we have decided to forego most of the tourist things to see on Grenada.  It would cost us $125US each to go see the turtles.  We cannot see spending $250 to go see turtles one night.  We can do the same thing in Trinidad for $40US per person.  Since we will be in Trinidad longer, we will wait and do it then.

Tonight there is a gathering at a bar in a nearby harbor.  There will be a steel pan band and fish fry and pizza.  Supposed to be honoring three French boats that are arriving in some race or something.  A number of the people who were here last night will also be at the Tiki Bar tonight.  It sounds like fun.  Five of us have arranged to share a taxi so we can attend.

Oh, yeah; that Shell gas station.  It is like going back in time to our childhood.  There is at least one attendant at each gas pump, all wearing Shell uniforms.  Like it was when Bill and I were children.  Wish I had brought the camera.  Self-serve gas stations have not made it to the islands yet.

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