Like Arlo Guthrie said, “A Thanksgiving feast that could not be beat!” was celebrated by all the cruisers at Rebak Marina. What started out as a BBQ chicken and a few Americans turned into a gala event with 30 people from all over the world for a true giving of thanks.
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and I have always enjoyed being surrounded by friends and family so the day in a foreign land far from home could have been a sad one. Not the case with my new and wonderful extended family of cruisers. Robin, a yank for Florida, and I talked about how to do a real celebration here on a remote island in Malaysia and she went to work. Within a few days she had two turkeys on order, a pavilion and over 30 guest coming, yahoo!
The day arrived and after some planning I started plopping toast into the toaster as stuffing mix was not happening. Piles of toast, borrowed celery and the rest went into the mix. I stuffed the two turkeys and we made a side dish of “lactose free” stuffing and mashed potatoes for one friend, the rest of us would indulge in a butter drenched meal, ala Julia Childs.
I have prepared many a turkey on my boat with the diesel heater blasting and cold rain pouring down outside. I have never stuffed a turkey while wearing a swim suit on an 85 degree day hovered over a fan, I like it! With the turkeys all in the oven and the dinner under control we all went to the pool for a break. This is where my Seattle friends are all grimacing at me, hahahaha..
Before dinner a few came over to Furthur to partake in my long time tradition of watching Alice’s Restaurant, the old hippy flick about a special Thanksgiving, the draft and 60’s life. The film was an inspiration to me back in high school and still is. This year‘s revelation came to me, that the camaraderie, love and brotherhood I had tasted in my hippy youth was now what I am living. The cruising world is a tight family who cherishes freedom and adventure such as I had not been part of since the glory days of rock festivals and communes. I have come full circle.
We all made our way to the pavilion where the resort staff had set up tables with fine linen and a buffet for us to use. I plunked at the guitar while the guests arrived and enjoyed a pre dinner libation.
What would usually be an American celebration turned very international, we all had so much to be grateful for all living the life we dreamed of. With a tear in my eye I started the round table giving of thanks as we all said what we were thankful for on this day of thanks.
And then we ate!