‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year

‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year

We are pleased to report that
Christmas at sea definitely didn’t disappoint! Although it pains my incredibly
full stomach to re-live it Christmas dinner was an absolute triumph from Jet and
her kitchen assistant of the evening, Jan. We gathered together before six to
share a glass or two of New Zealand wine and some bubbly with cheese and
biscuits and initiated everyone into the process of ‘pulling a
cracker’…something that is incredibly normal in England yet completely alien
to others. With everyone in a circle holding one side of a cracker in each hand
after 1, 2, 3 they all went CRACK and, as is pretty normal, the gifts inside
went flying across the floor! With all our Christmas hats on (or perched on top
of slightly bigger heads – a phenomenon which is definitely a Dad thing, I swear
nobody’s father can fit into a Christmas cracker hat!) everybody started
discovering the fantastically awful cracker jokes. If ever someone was to
question as to why the English are so easily amused you only have to start with
the low level of our jokes! For our dinner we had roast lamb with cranberry and
red fruit jus, roast potatoes, peas and carrots and salad and for dessert the
traditional Christmas pudding (a rich steamed sponge packed with fruit and rum)
and mince pies and whipped cream. Everyone was completely stuffed by the end of
things and slightly merry too – the perfect way to be on Christmas

So now we look ahead to New Years! We have 394 miles to go as I type
and have been motoring all day. The wind has moved round slightly to the North
but isn’t at a strength to help us in where we want to go. The sunshine that we
had this morning slowly dwindled into grey skies and rain unfortunately (isn’t
that the way of every Christmas day?)…It’s so funny to see how we all
immediately revert back into ‘Cape Horn mode’ as soon as we see those endless
shades of grey return! It’s a bit like having mild post-traumatic stress
disorder! Coats are put back on, we layer up and sigh and frown as we look
through the portholes but, not to fear, it is still WARM now! This night watch
we have been unfortunately plagued by fog which completely surrounds the ship,
occasionally opening up to reveal selected stars above us and, more recently,
the moon. The sea is flat calm, nearly like glass and we are consoling ourselves
with the hope that if it lifts and the weather stays calm then tomorrow should
be a really beautiful day.

Other than that there is not much else to
report. There were whale sightings early this morning, we have had some
fantastic Christmas gifts and everybody is warm, full and very happy and full of
Christmas cheer. Plus, because this is no ordinary Christmas none of us have to
suffer days and days of cold turkey leftovers so hurrah to that! Happy Boxing
Day to everyone (traditionally in England a day of family visiting or returning
home from visits so safe travels) and I promise for those who aren’t too into
Christmas I’ll stop mentioning it from now on and just leave you with one last
classic joke…”What’s brown and sticky?”…”a stick”!!!

Adios Amigos,
The Red Watch

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