Wednesday, December 23, 2009

“To sail or not to sail?” that is the question! December 19-20, 2009

Decisions…decisions…best to make them on the spot and don’t regret anything, because life is too short to worry about the small stuff! So instead of “anchors away” it was “anchors stay” or rather "docklines stay" and “it’s party time at the marina”!

Boat lighting parade at Marina de Salinas and around the harbor
Last weekend was the second annual boat lighting parade at Marina de Salinas, culminating in a cruisers’ potluck and prize giving for the best-decorated boats.
It was easy to see that there were two kinds of boat people at the marina that night: The ones that participated in the parade of lights and the ones that did not. The first kind was a small group of happy boat decorating enthusiasts. We admire their tremendous efforts as well as their wonderful team spirit in getting the show on the road err water. The ones that didn’t get on the water got the potluck set up, and some enjoyed decorating the table while others enjoyed getting to know everybody. Rick and I absolutely fit in with the latter. Parade watching is one thing but to actually participate quite another. We are just plain lazy I admit and some even call us “Grinches” when it comes to putting up Christmas lights on Orion. “You’ll catch the boat decorating spirit next year” we were assured in a friendly attempt to “ungrinch” us. Hmmm, we’ll see.

It was a fun evening in a wonderful setting. The boats, most of them sail boats, strutted off their stuff in front of the marina and around the harbor. Each one was spectacular and unique in its own way. A few rain clouds and some associated sprinkles could not deter anybody. Our cruiser friends Paul and Lynn joined us on Orion to watch the spectacle and thereafter accompanied us to the potluck in the snack bar area.

Our first potluck in the marina!
The food theme of the night was “bring your favorite appetizer” and so it happened that everybody brought just that…resulting in a long table filled with yummy dishes. Rick contributed his famous red onion salad topped with fried bacon! It was a huge success with everybody. We managed not to eat all the food before the parade participants finished putting away their boats…not an easy task when you feel like a hungry shark and the food is such an easy prey! Nevertheless no serious shark attacks this time until we all enjoyed the full group setting. Well, you know what I mean…a few bites here and there didn't hurt of wash down with some rum…no problemo.

Prize giving                                                         
Then we all mingled and time just flew by, or was it too many drinks? Nawwww. Anyways…all of a sudden there were announcements to be made! Ahh…the winners of the boat parade! About six or seven prizes were awarded…a great show of support from the local restaurant community who had donated the prizes! Way to go Salinas! After all, cruisers do bring revenue to the area and it is nice to be recognized. We love the overall team spirit here :o). The three judges did a tremendous job. There is no way I could have figured out a definite winner of the competition. They were all spectacular! Well…Fernando’s boat won the first prize. I know that, because Dan whose boat won the second prize introduced us to him. Don’t remember the other winners, but applauded them for sure! Congratulations to everybody! We had a great time talking and getting to know each other. It is amazing how we all share similar experiences in and around Salinas on our sailboats!

First prize winner (in Santa hat)

Second prize winners

I don’t remember when Rick and I retired to our cabin on Orion to catch some zzzzzs. Ahhh…the cruising life style…it’s catching us fast! Note to selves: Next weekend it’s “anchors away” for Coffin Island! Stay tuned :o)

Chris made this stunning Beach Snow Man!