CHRISTMAS IN ANTIGUA
Christmas in Antigua
December 24th was a strange kind of day - it began with the wrapping of gifts - we had all bought gifts for each other. We decorated the wheel house with tacky decorations from the dollar store. the boat looked festive in poinsetta garland, a small christmas tree, a plastic golden angel, large glittery gold bows and two giant plastic snowflakes and a stocking for everyone. The decorations were hung to the sound of reggae christmas carols and everyone was in high spirits. We went ashore to use the internet - everyone wanted to send home christmas greetings to friends and family. meanwhile, John had been suffering with a painful swollen kneecap for the past few days, that by now was red, indicating infection. I found a paramedic center, with a very helpful british medic, he examined John, gave him antibiotics and wrapped his knee, and suggested rest. We spent the evening on the boat, having a nice dinner, playing cards and enjoying a beverage or two.
It did not feel like christmas - it certainly was unlike any other christmas we had spent, I believe we were all a little nostalgic for the familiar traditions and family customs that we all celebrate on Chritmas eve.It was a warm night, and not a snowflake was to be seen anywhere.
Merry Christmas everyone.
The day dawned bright and sunny, the coffee was brewing as the kids slept peacefully on deck. Santa went about his work filling the stockings and putting gifts under the tree. Around 9AM we woke the kids - somewhat groggy it seemed. wheelhouse was crowded as we gathered aroundthe tiny tree with coffee in hand - can't believe we did not have an baileys for the coffee - sorry Donna. We spent a great mornning oohing and aaring over presents. The boys were especially happy with a NHL video game. For a group of people who were not going to have many gifts, we did exceptionally well.
We had a great breakfast on deck as we continued to listen to the reggae christmas music!!!
So after the usual chores of tidying up, storing bedding away and preparing the turkey for dinner later that day, showering etc. We we going to Nelsons Dockyard to join in the celebrations there. Its an annual event in the national park, that attracts mainly boating people. There are local bands, including a steel drum band that pumped out the festive tunes. People were dressed in all manor of festive clothing - santa hats, red bikinis, elf hats, tinsel garlands etc. There was a large dinghy that was filled with champagne bottles on ice - for a very reasonable price! By the time we arrived, the champagne was certainly flowing. The place was packed, everyone was congregated around the center of the park where the band and champagne dinghy were set up. It had a feeling of a summer festival - except that the theme was "Happy Christmas". We found our spot by the enormous old helm and watched the crowds around us. It didn't take long before we were all chatting and mingling with the other revellers around us. We met some 'interesting" people - and some great people. After sharing a few bottles of champagne, we all thought we could dance!!! It must have been quite a sight to see our group on the dance floor - I vaguely recall locals taking photos of us - and smiling or were they laughing? Hmmm.
Anyway as the afternoon wore on, we started to think about getting back to the boat for turkey - We invited a young guy, Jimmy, from New Zealand to join us for dinner - he was an a boat with 7 other guys and they were plannning on having spam for dinner, so he accepted our invitation.
We set the table up on deck and shared a traditional christmas turkey dinner - even though it was somewhat overcooked!
It was nice to hear Jimmy tell his story - he had spent several months in remote areas of Papua - New Guinnea, installing cell phone towers, he told us stories of the locals he had met, the poverty they endured and their customs and beliefs. His newest adventure was sailing the carribean, delivering boats.
We all enjoyed the day - it was somewhat surreal - a totally different christmas compared to anything, any of us had encountered before, and thats one of the reasons we are here - to experience new and different things, to meet new people, share stories and experience what the islands have to offer, to "see" what the world has to offer.
pictures of our Christmas day in Antigua to follow
Posted by Amoeba Sailing Tours on Tue, December 28, 2010 at 11:46 AM