We had our first Sunday barbecue in a long time. There were perhaps a couple of them during the summer, but from now on until spring, there will probably be one every weekend. The Marina provides a fairly large charcoal fired barbecue, and I think they provide the charcoal. But I’ve never organized it, so I’m not certain. Most people bring some sort of side dish that they share, and then they cook something or other on the barbecue.

In the Saturday market there is at least one big tank truck, full of live fish, that are farmed somewhere nearby. Those are very popular. As are all the other usual pieces of flesh.

And the usual examples of people not paying attention and burning the fool out of whatever it was that they were trying to cook. It’s all taken in good humor. And people help each other a lot.

There is usually a lineup at the barbecue, waiting for a little space to cook their piece of whatever. So, I’ve never used the BBQ. It seems to me to be so much simpler if I just bring some sort of vegetarian offering. Which I hope will be well received, and usually is. And then I partake of the other shared offerings that are vegetarian. Generally there are quite a few.

Some of the pillars of the local long-term Marina community are usually selling beer, wine, cakes and desserts. This raises money for the Marina clubhouse or the, “help the stray animals of Finike” project.

Quite a few of the people make cakes and desserts and donate them to this cause to sell. So, you never know, what they will have. It is always good. And frequently make she sort of weak in the knees to taste it. There are some really good cooks out there.

I was told that it a couple of letters ago there were several French boats in the Marina that tried to out cook each other each Sunday. Since their divine creations were usually shared with the BBQ crowd. Most people thought they died and gone to heaven.

But the main attraction for me, is to visit with people that, are in the Marina, but I don’t get to see very often, because it’s a big Marina, and they are busy with their own chores.

Quite a few boats prefer to keep to themselves. And some people that come to the barbecue, prefer to do the same thing. Not sharing their special dish with the whole group, but just with their subset. The people at their table. That seems perfectly fine to me. Why not embrace having everyone do what they want to do?

And sometimes, a language group, will have their own barbecue, or picnic, at another location on Sunday. Or use the communal barbecue area on a different day of the week or different time of day. This might be all the German speakers, or a group of boats that have known each other a long time. Or whatever.

As the Marina manager in Portugal said they used to think of marinas as a parking lot for boats. And then they realize that no, it is more like a hotel. But, as they gradually got more observant and had more experience, and learn more things, they realize that they were wrong. That the best Marina, is a community. And if they encourage that and facilitate that, they have a lot more customers, and the customers have a lot more fun, and come back year after year, or encourage their friends to come.

Fortunately many marinas are figuring this out. And, they are not certainly not all equally good at it. But Finike Marina does a great job.

Since this was the first barbecue of the season, and probably only about half of the people are here right now. We didn’t expect a huge turnout, but it was difficult to find a place to sit. It pays to get there early. And some people even brought their own folding chairs and their own folding tables. But I think everybody had a great time. And we look forward to next weekend.



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