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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Friday 12 Feb 2010

At the gate of the marina last night we were asked by a guy whether we were the people preparing to sail to Australia. It seems our trip is being talked about, which is kind of cool. We got talking to this guy - Viggo - and he invited us to be his guests at the yacht club for tea, which we accepted. Viggo seems to know his stuff! He has sailed in some of the big races, like Transpac and Fastnet, Trans Pac being of particular interest to us because it is a race from California to Hawaii. Stu was in absolute heaven being able to have enthusiastic boat discussions with another die-hard sailor over tea, and I found that listening to him describe his experiences (from what the sea will be like, to what it feels like to be surrounded by sea with thousands of feet of water under the boat and thousands of feet of sky above it, the amount of stars at night, the sunrises and sunsets on the ocean, being able to smell land before you get to it, and the mixed feelings of excitement and disappointment at stepping on land after days of sailing) made me even more excited about the upcoming trip and as much as I’m loving being here in Dana Point (which is such a nice place – beautiful, and so relaxed, and the people are wonderful!) I really can’t wait to get going!! On that note, we’re planning to leave late next week - after Fat Tuesday.
Which brings me to my next story – Fat Tuesday!

Walking in to the yacht club we saw a big sign for ‘Mardi Gras’, and other signs advertising ‘Fat Tuesday’. Claire and I got talking to the couple at the door and asked what Fat Tuesday was. They asked us if we knew what Mardi Gras was and we said yes, however got a shocked response when we said the Mardi Gras in Sydney was when the gay and lesbian community had a massive parade and party! Apparantly that’s NOT what Mardi Gras is here... It is a massive party, but it’s a party basically intended to eat and drink as much as possible (hence “Fat Tuesday”) before we give things up for Lent. Oops...!! Anyway, we obviously didn’t offend because we have been invited – put on a special guest list, even – to the Fat Tuesday celebrations at the yacht club on Tuesday! And, as we are intending to leave Dana Point later in the week, we are counting it as our last hurrah before we depart. I guess we can say that we’re giving up land for Lent... along with regular showers, easy access to fresh food, and a little bit of sanity perhaps...

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