A mom came to our boat, we will call her J, and invited us to a dinghy potluck. I heard her call out, "hello!". I popped on deck to find her in full snorkel gear swimming off of our boat. She had a shorty wetsuit, mask, snorkel, and fins. Her three year old was paddling in his mini kayak along side as well, cute as all get out.
J: "Hey we're having a (swim swim) dinghy potluck tonight, just over there (head bob)."
Me: "Oh sounds fun! We will be there for sure."
J: "OK cool (ducks three year old paddle), uh, yeah it will be just over there and 'hey honey watch the boat', and so we are off (another dodge of the paddle) to the other kid boats to invite them over. Say, six thirty?"
Me: "Yeah sounds good, thanks!"
Some days that is just how it goes. Someone comes swimming by your boat, calls out, chats up, and off they go. We have had several kids pop over on paddle boards these last few days, inticing our kids out to swim in the surf, come over to play Magic, etc. It feels like the neighborhoods of old, when kids would disappear for hours on end, and only return as the sun goes down. We have fed lunch to more than one kid in the cockpit, paddle board tied up along side Mango like a bicycle in the yard, with a wet spot on the cushion.
Just before the potluck, Emma returned to Mango on her paddle board, changed, and off we went to the gathering. Adam hailed us on the VHF around the same time from another boat, asking if he should come home. Nah, just go with them to the potluck, we'll see you there, mate!
All in all there were seven dinghies, twenty six people for dinner. The food ran the gambit. We borrowed a fresh pepper and some cilantro from another boat to complete a bean and corn salad, since we are twelve days out of port with not a lot of fresh. Another boat brought nachos and fresh bread, another fresh fish caught that day with a papaya salsa. Spam sushi, spaghetti, incredibly awesome fresh pineapple, on and on it went. It was all delicious, and the company was delightful as well. Kids migrated and took over a few dingies, adults moved a bit to make room and have their conversations.
We broke up around eight thirty, and the bioluminescence was incredible. You just waved your hand in the water and had a wonderful little light show. As the dingies pulled away, the light from the props streamed out for forty of fifty feet.
When we got back to Mango, we were treated to fish swimming just off of our hull. Biscuit was beside himself, watching these glowing trails that lit up the water all around us. Several hundred fish milled around the boat, most of them lighting up for a second or less. Every couple of seconds, a fish would dart away for six or seven feet, leaving a streak of light behind. Or some other fish would go just a bit faster than the rest for several seconds through the flashes and blips of the rest.
It reminds me of seeing the Milky Way, in the flesh. Of course you can look up pictures of our galaxy as viewed from earth, and yeah, my oh my does it look great. But only when you are deep and away from the lights of the city and see the sky in all of it's glory to you understand how crazy awesome it is. That is how hanging at anchor can be, glowing fish in the water when you are looking down, and when you look up, the Milky Way in all of its glory.
We spent the rest of the evening reliving the past few days with the kids. If everyday could be like the last few, they would cruise forever. It has been an endless summer, full of friends, waves and sun.
I have read this saying before, and all of us on Mango agree. When cruising the highs are higher, and the lows are lower. It is the truth.
February 27th, 2017