Merry Christmas to all our friends and family
We had been invited to share an Australian Christmas with friends we've met, Valeria and Barry from Only Tomorrow. We planned on going to Margarita, Venezuela for Christmas. Unfortunately all three boats planning to make this trip were unable to leave due to various boat type repairs. We then decided that we should at least leave Trinidad proper and move out to an anchorage. We chose Monos Island. We all headed out of Chagaramas on Thursday to spend a long weekend and celebrate Christmas.
While sharing drinks with Only Tomorrow and Eros it was decided we would have a dingy raft-up for Christmas Eve and invite all boats anchored at Monos Island. Each dingy would bring their own drinks and a dish to share.
The morning of December 24th Rick decided we should decorate the dingy for the holidays and went off in search of bamboo. He returned with palm fronds and began his creation. He began to asked for all kinds of items, aluminum foil, tie wraps, old beads. He was busy for quite some time. Next we decided we would need music for this event. We pulled out the CD player and made sure we had batteries. Things were going along well. We then thought we should let the cruisers know what wings were like, so we spent the afternoon cooking wings and getting our dish to share ready for the gathering.
The party was starting around 5:30pm. Barry was going early to set the anchor on his dingy so we could all tie up. Before leaving Rick and I thought that since this party was going to continue into the evening after the sun set, he should continue his creativity and add lights to his dingy Christmas Tree. This was to be the most challenging as we needed 12 volts to add lights. The lights were supplied by the Unsworths in Connecticut last Christmas as a present. We used three sets on the boat and had an extra. Rick's engineering background became helpful as he created a gizmo that allowed us to light the tree at dusk.
Below are a few pictures of the Christmas Eve gathering in Monos Island. Please note we are arriving with the decorations and playing "Christmas in the Caribbean" by Jimmy Buffett. We won the prize for the best decorated dingy (of course we were the only decorated dingy) but who cares. It was a very different Christmas Eve and one we will remember for sometime to come.
At the end of the evening, Rick and I put on the lights, turned on the CD Player and gavalogged along through the anchorage singing Christmas carols to all the cruisers. We then went back to our boat and waited for Santa.
Christmas day dawned bright and sunny. We had coffee in the cockpit and listened to the parrots. We were definitely in paradise. We opened our gifts to each other -- I got Rick a new island shirt and he got me an anchor to wear on my chain because, he says, I doing the anchoring.
Our Christmas dinner was going to be on Only Tomorrow with the folks from Eros and Patience. Val cooked turkey, ham, stuffing, vegetables and roasted potatoes. As you will see from the pictures we had a splendid day. Val and Barry served dessert in the cockpit. It was Christmas pudding which I understand takes hours to make (well worth it). It was wonderful, served with flaming brandy and various sauces on the side. A treat we had never had before and really enjoyed.
At the end of the evening, we made plans for brunch the next day on our boat. We planned for 9:00 am. Rick was doing smedleys (eat your heart out Mitch). When we left Only Tomorrow we again put on the dingy lights and motored around the harbor singing carols.
The next morning our guests arrived in three separate dinghies, each signing a song. Since it was Boxing Day they didn't want to sing Christmas carols so they chose other songs, all of which were enjoyable even if out of key. We had champagne and orange juice and toasted Boxing Day (An Australian and English holiday. It was originally for the rich to box up their old items after receiving gifts on Christmas and give them to the poor). We moved everyone down below for breakfast. I think everyone was amazed we would fit nine semi-comfortably in our salon, as you can see from the picture.
The events of Christmas 1999 are now a part of our memories. Though different from what we did in New England they now seem so much a natural part of our celebration.
We hope you all had a wonderful and memorable holiday season and hope you enjoy our memories.