So I realise that our last post was Christmas Eve, and what have we done since then? It's been a very different Christmas for us out here, and lots of fun. The less fun bit was some engine maintenance, which we'd planned to spend a half day or so on and ended up taking a day and a half, with plenty of scraped knuckles and swearing. However, we had the engine running again by Christmas Eve.
We didn't have very fixed plans, but liked the sound of the open air party at Nelson's Dockyard on Christmas Day, so we were back in English Harbour on the 23rd. We heard that our favourite local restaurant, Calabash, was doing full christmas dinner with all the trimmings on Christmas Eve, and that sounded like a good way to avoid the crowded places on the day itself. Pam, who cooks there, did herself proud with a beautiful turkey and ham dinner, all perfectly cooked and very tasted. The best test of all, at the end we were all pleasantly full and very satisfied, but no-one felt over-stuffed, as can happen with the pile-it-high restaurant approach. Sadly the kids weren't on best behaviour so some time and pleasure was distracted by controlling them but on balance, a very nice night out.
So Christmas Day, we all slept in a little, even the children which was really nice. They woke to find that Santa had found us (Max claims that he did send Santa a card to say we'd moved) and there were a few presents around the bottom of the mast. We had a gentle breakfast of Croissants and fruit then headed for the beach. Everyone played on the beach and enjoyed the warm sunshine for the rest of the morning, it's nice to swim in the sea on Christmas Day!
We had a very untraditional lunch of bangers and mash on board, opened the rest of everyone's presents, and then went ashore to the Dockyard to join the party. The steel band actually sounded better from the distance of the boat than up close, but there was a good supply of sparkling wine and quite a few people we recognised from our travels and acquaintances of late. It was a lovely, informal afternoon before we retired to the boat to put the kids to bed and enjoy an evening rum punch.
On Boxing Day we filled up with water and then left English Harbour to head around to the West coast again for Mum and Dad's last few days aboard. We went back to one of our favourites, Hermitage Bay, and enjoyed playing on the beach there but the swell was different and less suited to a night's sleep so we moved to the other side of the bay, which was much more shallow but sheltered. After a slightly stressful running aground on the sandy mud, we found a spot for the night and stayed there till next day.
The next few days include Gesa's birthday then new year, but I'll write about those later - right now Max wants to play so I'd better go!
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