Our Neighbours

In between remembering how to set Quest back from dive centre to sailing machine, we took a quick morning break at the beach. Shona had agreed to cut Jack’s hair.

The night before our lovely neighbours on White Arrow and Astral Music came for a last anchorage dinner and a movie. We watched Jason’s latest offering: the Apple+ movie Greyhound with Tom Hanks. Good boat movie. I read that Hanks wrote it – which also makes me think: is Tom Hanks ok? I know it was a war movie – but that was a lot of dialogue about degrees to port and starboard. Hope he’s having a good rest now.

I cooked an easy dish for guests, tagliatelle and ragu sauce. I was just draining the pasta when Andrea came down below. Here goes. I instructed Andrea to taste.

Andrea in his typical laconic style took a strand, sucked it down and said, ‘It depends how well done you like it. Personally I would have taken it off the heat a few minutes earlier.’

Yep. Cooking pasta for an Italian. What an idiot, me. But Andrea is nothing but gracious. Strangely, he brought us a good-bye present – a jar of homemade ragu and tagliatelle.

I grinned and explained that I’d cooked the ragu because it was easy to cook fast.

Andrea raised an eyebrow. ‘Ragu is definitely something you don’t cook fast.’

Gulp.

Luckily, Shona had made a huge chocolate pudding cake and brought actual beautiful vanilla ice cream to dollop on top.

We’ve had such a good time with our neighbours over the past month or so, as we’ve been diving together more and more.

The following morning, we had our last dip on the beach. Had a look for hatching turtle eggs – no sign yet. Shona cut Jack’s hair under a manchineel tree. Gavin did some dinghy work. I took a picture of the magnificent seagull feather in his hat.

Lu and Delph had a final swim off Quest. They fed the fishes’ usual half loaf of bread from their hands this time. After we raised Edna and her outboard, we started to raise our anchor.

A large turtle came over. It didn’t leave Quest until we left. Seemed properly indignant about us going too. We left the turtle at White Arrow’s boat. Shona and Gavin wrote to us to say they’d fed it. I don’t even want to imagine where our yellow-tail fish are. Hopefully Andrea is feeding them pasta. And he’s tucked up together with the morays.

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