Cruising the South Pacific with Tackless II
Tackless II, along with her two captains, Don and Gwen, cruise from Fiji to Australia
Thursday, July 5, 2007
04 July -- Independence Day!
The Fourth of July -- Independence Day -- to me distills all that is good about being American. Not just backyard barbecues, parades and fireworks, but a momentary sense of a nation united in good feeling, family, fun and outdoors and a belief in freedom.

Despite wandering the world, we are often in places where US yachties get together and remember the good stuff with all the trimmings. I am thinking especially of a great Fourth of July in Juncalito, around the bend from Puerto Escondido on Baja, with a gathering of some of the best cruising friends we have ever had.

"Meanwhile, our gang – T2, Lady Galadriel, Ryokosha and Mirador – put together a quintessential Gringo picnic to celebrate the home country Independence Day. Can we say cholesterol?! Onion and cheesy bean dips (and sashimi) for starters; cheeseburgers on the grill (with mushrooms), potato salad, Cole slaw, homemade baked beans, and – following a break for the pyrotechnics from the beach – peach pie with ice cream."

The ice cream was a story in itself. Jerry of Mirador started it by mentioning he had an ice cream maker on board, but he didn't have the power to run it! With our generator, we did, but then he couldn't find all the parts and pieces. But Jerry and Paul (Ryokosha) were set on ice cream and Lisa had made the pie, so the guys hitched into Loreto and returned with two half gallons – somewhat more than required for "a la mode."!!!!

But we are not in place with other Americans. We are still at Palmlea (delayed by a combination of actual bad weather -- our first on this side of Fiji -- and Don taking one last shot to solve our alternator belt issues), and everybody besides Don and me is either a Kiwi, an Aussie, or a South African. Well, Joe was born in the US, but he's been international so long, I'm not sure he counts. There's been no talk of cheeseburgers on the grill, baked beans or pie a la mode. In fact I think a fish curry is planned!

Worse, there's been a lot of talk about what's going wrong in America. A magazine called "Uncensored" was making the rounds last evening, with an article about the deplorable state of the US public school system, the sagging US literacy rate, and actual developmental poisoning by the widespread chemical additives in our lives (e.g. fluoride). On our own, from our perspective standing outside looking in, Don and I are pretty distressed about the state of our home country, the homogenization and processing that is running rampant in the name of progress, the outrageous materialism, our political egotism. These have a momentum that is more terrifying than terrorism!

But it still hurts to see it all reflected in other people's eyes, to suspect they know more about it than we do ourselves, like the child of parents who fight realizing the whole neighborhood knows.

So I am a bit depressed today, even though the low rolled through last night and the sky has cleared and the seas calmed. We are moving on for sure tomorrow.

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Blogger geodesic2 said...
Well written Gwen - but don't be down - I have been doing some blogs (while resting my back from working overhead) there is a lot of negativity re US - BUT we have the system in place to institute change - all we have to do is participate - with gusto. I got fat just reading about the food!!!
Bill C

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