I have created this blog with the hopes that you, my friend, will follow me as I sail around the world (figuratively or literally, not sure yet) with my parents on their Contest 48. Whereas I hope to keep you updated with exciting adventures of exotic ports and epic waves, keep in mind that cruising - that is, traveling by boat in a leisurely fashion - tends to be filled with days of intense boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Please keep this in mind as you read these entries, for this platform will be just as much an attempt for me to maintain my sanity (and connection to the California-based world), as entertainment and reassurance for you. And so, follow me as I sail the world.

P.S. All material on this blog, words and photos alike, are copyrighted by me. Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. If you decide that this material is worth re-publishing, please give me credit and lots and lots of money.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Kiwi Thanksgiving and Other Short Stories

Lars, me and Yuka celebrating Thanksgiving Kiwi/cruiser style.

Yes, Thanksgiving has come and gone and I hope you had a nice celebration with your family and friends. It is, after all, the best holiday ever and quite unfortunate that the Kiwis do not celebrate. (I think the relations between the Maoris and Europeans were even worse than those between the Native Americans and Europeans.) However, we were able to find a restaurant putting on an "American Style" Thanksgiving dinner buffet (conveniently located at the head of the dock) and recruited our cruiser friends to join us for dinner, even though none of them are American.

My high school English teacher always told us, "Friends are the family you choose for yourself." I could not agree more. Whereas I really missed being with my brother and sister, aunts, uncles and cousins, friends and home this holiday, I felt like I was surrounded by people who have become a sort of surrogate family, or at least my best friends and a strong circle of support. We had a nice pre-party on the boat where I drank many Kiwi beers and a few gin and tonics, and then we headed to the restaurant.

Ever since my family started traveling we have had a motto: expect it to be different. And it always is. The restaurant tried, but the food - albeit standard Thanksgiving food - was pretty bad. Not that it really mattered, but it made me appreciate the bomb-ass meals my family puts together for the occasion. Aside from a weird prayer that the owners of the restaurant tried to do in the middle of dinner (which almost made me lose it) it was a nice time.

Generally, things have been pretty damn nice around here. Except for this flat spell - apparently the worst in history (of this year) - things are going well. The day after Thanksgiving a bunch of us - Merkava people, Sarah Jean people, Lars from Twister who came up from Auckland for the occasion, and us all went out to Ocean Beach. Kiwis call Ocean Beach "Ocean's", and look at me funny when I call it OB, but what else is new. I had seen on the internet that there was supposed to be a 3-4 foot swell at Ocean's but when we got there it was flatter than flat. You can imagine my disappointment.

We walked down to the beach only to find a dolphin beached on the sand. Yuka and I jumped in the water and helped the dolphin into deeper water, and then waded around with it to make sure it wouldn't beach itself again. It was amazing to hold a wild animal like that. It was so big and kind of gnarly with big scars all over its body, but smooth and gentle (at least with us). After a while it swam off and I noticed a little shorebreak wave down the beach, peaking and peeling in a perfect tiny barrel. I ran back to the car to get a boogie board and spent the rest of the afternoon tucking into little close-out barrels. Not a bad day.

Saturday was another good day. I was invited to another Thanksgiving celebration buy an American guy who owns a surf shop up the road. We had a nice BBQ lunch and then decided to go looking for pipis - some sort of shell fish that lives in the shallows and sand bars. We didn't find any but had fun playing around in the water. On Sunday I went back out to Ocean's and did some lifeguard training.

To become a New Zealand State Volunteer Lifeguard you have to swim 400 meters in under 9 minutes (no problem), do a 200 meter run -swim-run in eight minutes (maybe a problem), do a mock rescue, complete a CPR and First Aid test as well as a written test. Everybody out at the beach is laid back about everything, but I feel like I am not taking things seriously enough to pass. We will see.

Other than that, everything is pretty chill. Although, with this flat spell I have taken to doing weird things like climbing mountains and running and swimming in a pool. Yuck. I guess it is good practice. I also applied for a working holiday visa so that I can maybe perhaps kinda get a job. Yuckier. Like I said, lack of surfing makes me do weird things. But someday the waves will return and then we will really see what goes down.

1 comment:

  1. Hey nice Thanksgiving story Corie. It was great to spend it with and the rest of our Muskateer family. Good luck with your surfing lifesaving test. I'm sure you'll ace it!
    Sarah Jean people