Christmas Eve we left the marina and anchored out in Rodney Bay, St Lucia, in our favourite sandy patch next to our friends on Nemo, conveniently opposite the Landings Resort where we were all spending Christmas Day.
A few presents had appeared under the tiny tree and candles lit at dusk gave the boat a lovely atmosphere. Our neighbours came over for drinks at ‘rumset’ as we watched the Carols Afloat procession motor through the anchorage. The boats were lit up and everyone was dressed in festive outfits, singing carols. As the sun set behind them, it was a perfect picture. We were supposed to be joining them but the crew mutinied. Later on a couple of dinghy loads of people went from boat to boat singing to us all and not collecting any money either!
I still have my Delia Smith Christmas cookbook and although it is too hot for mulled wine, I did make a cranberry, ginger and red grape cooler but added a dash of rum. It would be rude not to! We all got to bed before midnight, to stop me wanting to open my presents!
Christmas morning I was up at 5am as it was windy and raining and the French charter boat, which anchored close to us the previous evening was now even closer. It didn’t drag into us but I kept watch until light, just in case. It was then time for a swim and some Tom Daley impressions from Peter. Rob and Peter kindly treated us all to their Santa outfits and demanded a picture; they thought they looked so good!
Present opening came next, even before breakfast and yet again, Rob and I had bought one another the same present!! I opened mine first but managed not to give the game away until he had opened his. I bet the lady in the spa was laughing when we both turned up to book a treatment for the other’s Christmas surprise.
Lunch was in the lovely surroundings of Landings’ beach restaurant with use of their pool.
They have a small marina behind the hotel and have a dock to leave our dinghies in safety. Other friends on Oystermist who just arrived on this year’s ARC and many other familiar faces from the cruising community were also at Landings and it was a great day, relaxed and friendly and no washing up either!
Santa went by parasailing a few hundred feet up, waving to all the children on the beach!
We returned there for the Christmas dinner as the menu was just too good to miss and had excellent traditional turkey roast with all the trimmings.
We miss the family of course but managed a brilliant Skype connection to speak to 2 of our 3 sons before they headed off to their girlfriend’s parents for Christmas. I also chatted to our youngest, Owen, who is cooking his first roast dinner and was hoping for the best and my niece who showed me the Christmas tree in her room ☺ Hopefully we can get a fast connection again to speak to Kym soon.
We have been thinking of everyone we know back in the UK and around the globe, wishing you all a great Christmas and 2013. Naturally I have also been reminiscing having lost dad this year and mum last year and my sister 8 years ago. Being the only 1 left of that close-knit family I look back on all our childhood Christmases and remember the happy times.
Boxing Day was a BBQ on the boat all afternoon with the crews of Roysterer and Oystermist joining us. Lots of rum cocktail and a little sunset swimming to work off the chocolates – another sociable relaxed day. I hoped our guests would eat up the Christmas cake and puddings but the banoffee pie and lime iced gingercake won the day!