We suffered a letdown when Drew and Ericka left and we took a day to decompress, rattling around onboard and talking about the week and how wonderful it was to be with our family. It helped, I guess, that the rainy weather continued and it wouldn’t have done us much good to go ashore anyway, much as we were anxious to get moving south.
Eventually the clouds parted and we made a last foray into downtown Brisbane. On the pedestrian mall of Queen Street we were treated to a traditional dance troupe, as well as our favorite buskers, the Fergies, whom we’ve enjoyed a few times at the Sunday market in the botanical gardens.
It’s fun to be in a place long enough to know your way around, to have favorite shops and cafés and people-watching spots. We’ve enjoyed Brisbane, but it’s time to leave. Just after dawn, before the ferries begin their inevitable roiling of the waters in the river, we dropped the lines holding us on the mooring poles and pointed EV downstream. The tide was coming in so we dropped the anchor at a convenient and safe spot to wait overnight for a more favorable current to push us out into Moreton Bay. It was the day before Thanksgiving in America and reading the posts about family gatherings and food preparations on social media reminded us of how much we’re missing so far from home.
We left the Brisbane River on an outgoing tide and bucked a bit of a headwind into Raby Bay as the Thanksgiving posts kept piling up. Thanksgiving for us has always been a 6-1/2 hour drive to my sister’s house in New Jersey, a day or two of prep and baking and a chaotic day of aunts and uncles and cousins we haven’t seen since the previous Thanksgiving and the requisite overeating, and of course, my sister’s pies.
The year Jack was getting chemo and radiation we couldn’t make the trip and had our own private Thanksgiving, no less meaningful for being quiet, but definitely not as much fun.
The year we sold our house, my sister and brother-in-law came to Pittsburgh to help us celebrate the end of a long chapter in our lives and the beginning of an exciting new one, and we made a full on T-Day dinner for four. With pies.
Wherever there are cruisers gathered there’s usually a potluck Thanksgiving dinner and we love being part of that surrogate family.
Our last visit to the States was timed to Thanksgiving and we once again enjoyed the big family gathering. And pie.
This year, we find ourselves alone and not even near other cruisers. We were both feeling a little down when Jack suggested we make a Thanksgiving meal with whatever we have onboard. As soon as got the anchor down in Raby Bay I searched the freezer and pantry for appropriate ingredients and we set to work.
Chestnuts we bought last year in New Zealand that I roasted, peeled and froze became a chestnut-sherry soup with sourdough croutons. Lingonberries from IKEA substituted for cranberries, spiced up with horseradish. Sweet potatoes became spiced oven fries. Frozen peas stood in for fresh green veg and became “World Peace” (whirled peas) and with no turkey, Jack grilled honey mustard chicken and I had grilled tofu. We topped it off with fresh mangos and blueberries. Not bad for a last minute Thanksgiving dinner. But we miss the family. And those pies. We hope your day was full of love and friends and family and that you have a sister who bakes.