Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

We wanted to wish all of our friends and family a happy new year and may your new year be blessed and filled with new challenges and opportunities!

We celebrated New Year’s, Cape Verde style, which we can personally testify is quite a party! The Cape Verdeans take New Year’s seriously and we could hear bands practicing all night on the 30th! By midafternoon on the 31st, streets were closed and stages we set up in several places around town. They had also set up a large fireworks area right next to the waters’ edge, so we were glad we’d waited for a few more days to be able to see how this culture celebrates!

All the kids from all the other boats, on New Years Eve acting silly!
We met for dinner at a small restaurant across from the water, Club Nautico, and they agreed to host us all for dinner. By the time we coordinated our group there was 35 people for dinner! They put together a simple menu for us, fish, chicken, or hamburgers, which the kids quickly claimed. It was good food, and as soon as we were done eating around 10:00 pm, they started collecting the plates and sort of hurrying us along, obviously wanting to get to partying themselves :) 

At 10:30 or so, Rachel offered to bring all of the kids from the other boats back to Mehari, and she made popcorn for them and put on a movie while Maggie, Levi, Emma and I went with the other adults to find a spot to watch the fireworks. Before dinner, the streets were empty, and we wondered if we had the date right or what. Then we found out none of the bands start or even take the stage until after midnight. It was going to be a long night!

Our fireworks show
The fireworks were crazy, because they were quite elaborate, but also because they were right in front of us! They were shooting up over the marina and the bay where we were anchored and Rachel said she couldn’t believe the fire-balls dropping all around the boat in the water! She was formulating a plan weather to grab a fire-extinguisher or a bucket of water if one landed on Mehari! Pretty scary! Thankfully, nothing landed on the boat.

After the fireworks, the bands started and now the streets were packed!! It was shoulder to shoulder people dancing, singing and having a great time! Levi and I danced with Maggie and Emma, and some of the other cruisers we were with. The band was a cool mix of African music, and Brazilian samba, and it was just a fun time. I took Emma back to the boat at 3:00 while Maggie and Levi stayed for the rest of the band. 

The stage downtown where everyone was hanging out til 3 am!

Hanging out with friends!

When I (Erik) was going back to town in the dinghy, the motor quit working, I had neither forward nor reverse, and I was drifting past the other boats, trying to “oar” with a flattened water bottle! What can’t this stuff happen in the middle of the afternoon?!
I was formulating in my mind what I was going to do, if I couldn’t get to another boat, as it was almost 2 miles to the other side of the bay, which would put me there at daylight and then try and find a taxi, bus, etc. etc. Thankfully, I drifted and paddled enough to get to a boat of an English couple Chris and Sue, aboard “Indie Plus” who we’d actually had dinner with earlier. They had just “put a kettle on” and were still awake at 3:30, and he was quick to lend a hand and take me back to get Maggie and Levi and get our dinghy to our boat. I will say boaters are some of the most helpful people in the world! And it’s an instant camaraderie as were all in this lifestyle together.

 So, once Maggie and Levi and I were back, it was now 4:00am and time to call it a night/day :)  Before going to sleep, Rachel and Emma played a few games of ‘Nerts,’ our family’s traditional New Years’ card game. All in all, a fun, unforgettable New Year, and going over the night’s events with Rachel back on the boat, I think we all fell asleep sitting on the couch, and stumbled to bed. The next day, was VERY low key, and a relaxing day watching movies, napping, then napping and watching movies. :)