Thursday, August 13, 2009

August Monday

Susan & the cigar man

August Monday is actually a week long celebration .. a Carnival of sorts,with boat races and festivals held at different beaches all week .It is a kaleidoscope of color , a celebration of life & food.
Our beach was hosting the big boat race on Thursday. The early morning was like any other .. we awoke to the sound of the surf and the sun rising~ casting rays through our bedroom window. The sand was like sugar and the blue of the sea was vibrant & calm. The beach was deserted. We put on our suits and enjoyed a cup of coffee on the porch.

The tents were put up earlier in the week and dotted the shore line . Soon the activity began .. as we were bobbing in the water the first of the big boats arrived.. men in colorful shirts hosting the sails and securing the anchor.Within minutes the bay was dotted with sailboats.. each boat a colorful picture to be taken. Spectator boats began arriving and the waters took on a carnival atmosphere.
The big BBQ grills were light and the smoke and flavors of chicken & ribs was in the air.Island music completed the picture as the beach filled with people,food & song awaiting the horn to start the race.
The mood was electrifying , exciting ~all eyes were on the boats .. magnificent with the sails open and ready to go .. the horn sounded and they were off .. flying through the crystal clear blue water toward the horizon...cheers erupted and everyone watched until they turned the point and were out of sight ... now was the time to get something to eat.
We strode through the sand in bare feet .. walking towards the aromas , licking our chops planning what we would order ... chicken& ribs ,fried salt fish, goat soup, johnny cakes, coleslaw, potato salad ,rice & beans ,rum punch.. we couldn't decide so we got it all .. licking our finger with every mouthful. This was good honest food ~prepared right in front of you. It was out of this world!
The tents were filled with people selling food, drinks, beaded jewelry, a man dressed in a crisp white shirt was selling cigars .. we called him the "Cigar Man " and we bought two even though we don't smoke ! too much fun to pass up ! the atmosphere was wonderful .. everyone was dressed with bright island colors and everyone was as friendly as can be!
This was a time for family reunions on the island so families gathered together to reminisce and cheer for their favorite boast to win.
Soon the boats appeared on the horizon and all eyes turned toward the race! We grabbed our cameras and headed to the shoreline cheering and shouting like everyone else .. it was a close race with boats coming in fast & furious .. the winner was BLUEBIRD coming in from a different angle than the rest !! an unexpected win .. cheering was loud as everyone jumped in the water to congratulate the winner !!!
We grabbed a few more rum punches and headed to our balcony to watch the rest of the festivities. We had a front row seat!
Music played into the night...what an exciting day !
Something never to forget and to look forward to again .. .next August Monday ! In Anguilla !

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