Sunday, January 25, 2015

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

(Yes I know, It's almost easter... Or Tou Beshvat... I'm behind...)

In the five years we lived in the states we never joined a Christmas celebration. I guess the fact that we lived in Newton, surrounded by many other Jewish families had a lot to do with that. So, we drove around and enjoyed all the Christmas lights, but the closest we got to experience the holiday was when Mika's good friend, Anna, invited her to help decorate their family tree in the last 2 years before we left. That was fun!

This year we have been hearing about Christmas since July... All of our cruiser friends celebrate Christmas, All were about to be away from their families for the holiday and all were making plans (yes as early as July) as for where they will be for Christmas,  how will they celebrate and who they will celebrate it with. We were naturally counted in with our buddy boats. They got to light Hanukkah candles on our boat, so why won't we celebrate Jesus's birthday?
Our buddy boats were Rafiki and Four Coconuts who have been sailing with us since Bequia, La Jeanoise and Picaro who joined further north, and 2 other boats, Reve d'ocean and Oseo also joined the party. We arrived in Antigua a couple of days earlier and mat up in Jolly bay. Robin from Rafiki found a great empty lot right on the beach, and the plan was to meet for some fun ball games, enjoy the beach and then have a pot luck lunch.
13 kids and 14 adults got together for one of the best days we've had on this trip!
Dinghy line up on the beach


No, There was no 'wear red' memo, and yet...
The games were lots of fun, hard to believe this too, but we actually played football for the first time ever. Lots of first that day :)

Mika and I used Chaya's recipe and braided A LOT of Challa










After a great lunch we started the game of secret Santa, In this game each person brings a wrapped gift and adds it to a pile in the middle of the circle, each one draws a number from a hat and in the order drafted each person can either choose a gift from the pile (the gifts are wrapped, so he doesn't know what he's getting) or steal a previously opened gift from another player.If someone stole your gift you can again either take a new one from the pile or steal from someone else... when some of the gifts are 3 sets of gloves and others are digital cameras the game can get pretty funny :)

The day came to an end with our very first beach bonfire. Marshmallows and all! Sweet!
Now as I said, this was our first ever Christmas, and so for all we know this is the traditional way to celebrate the holiday. Merry Christmas!

We spent a few more days in Antigua, before moving to Barbuda for New Year's eve. Before we left, the girls got together to celebrate Carol's 50th birthday. we have decided to make her wish come true and all went Zip-lining together! Scary at first (for me!) but I finally go the hang of it and by the end of the 12 lines even I really enjoyed it.
Happy Birthday Carol!
December 29th was a strange day for me. Exactly one year earlier we had our accident and lost our boat. On the one hand it was one of the hardest days ever. But on the other, it shifted our story in a way that wouldn't have happened otherwise. We have met amazing people thanks to the incident who stayed our good friends till this day and hopefully for many years. Those people, Brooks, Bill, Andrea, Don and Dotty wanted nothing in return for their amazing help, but told us we should pay it forward. I think this is the strongest message I took from that day, and we have been trying to pay it forward ever since.

For New Years Eve we arrived in Barbuda. Everyone told us what beautiful beaches Barbuda has, and although we only had one day to spend there we have decided to make the D-tour and see what it was about. New years day also marks our personal anniversary. 12 years! Never thought we'd celebrate it in such an amazing place!

The day was fun, Happy hour included bubbly as expected, but as cruiser's midnight is at 9pm the new year came a little earlier then expected.

Happy New Year to all, I hope you live up to your resolutions, spend time with good friends and loved ones, and have a great new 2015!
Darya







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