I recently took a look at where we were and what we were doing in past Decembers. It’s kind of nostalgic and, our memories being what they are these days, it also reinforces the fact that it was really us that visited Tierra del Fuego and Tasmania and South Africa and New Zealand. Sometimes we look at photos and think ‘was that us? did we go there?’and then ‘oh, yeah, now I remember … yup… there we are in the photo … I guess we WERE there!’ Here’s a look at Decembers past ...
In both 2000 and 2001, we were in Charleston, SC in December. We stayed in port so we were close enough to Boston to fly or drive to Lin’s for Christmas. It wasn’t until 2002 that we finally left the USA and headed to the Caribbean. By December 2002, we were out of the Carib and en route to Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela where we spent most of December hauling Nine of Cups for painting and maintenance and spending the holidays with cruising friends.
2003 had us in the western Carib, through the Panama Canal and to La Libertad, Ecuador. We were back in Boston for most of December and we refer to it the Year of the Panama hats. We spent another full year in Ecuador working on Cups … removing teak decks, varnishing, refinishing, repairing, maintaining. Flight travel from Ecuador was convenient and inexpensive and we needed a break from Cups’ work. We were back in the USA once again for December and the holidays in 2004.
We finally broke away from Ecuador’s hold on us and headed down South America’s long west coast in early 2005. Marcie suffered from sciatica for most of the trip and David underwent emergency major surgery in Coquimbo, Chile in late September. We had hoped to make it to Puerto Montt by Christmas, but medical and weather delays prevented it. Instead, we ended up in the Naval Yacht Center in Talcahuano, Chile. As it turned out, not a bad place to be.
Major plan changes in 2006 had us sailing through Patagonia to Tierra del Fugeo, around Cape Horn and up the Argentine coast - once again, working on Nine of Cups … this time in Uruguay. By mid-November, repairs and maintenance complete, we set out across the South Atlantic to South Africa.
In early December, we had a pre-Christmas celebration with new friends on Tristan da Cunha in the middle of the South Atlantic.
We were back across the Atlantic and in the USA anchored in the Manatee River in Florida by December 2007 and shared the holiday with David’s brother Paul. We returned to Chile in 2008 and spent the holiday with old and new friends in Puerto Montt.
We’d planned a Pacific crossing since 2003 and finally in 2009, we made it across the South Pacific and ended up in New Zealand in October … plenty of time to get to know everyone and enjoy the holidays throughout the month of December. We sang carols in a small church in Russell accompanied by ukeleles. We wined and dined and celebrated with friends. We partied, exchanged gifts and made merry in high spirits.
In 2010, we were back in New Zealand. December was prime time for working on Nine of Cups. No big parties this year, just a few close friends joined us for Christmas dinner.
We finally departed New Zealand in the Spring of 2011, headed to Fiji, then Vanuatu and made it to Australia by late October … plenty of time to get to Sydney for Christmas … or so we thought. And once again, wind and weather played tricks on us and we spent the better part of December fighting southerly winds, slowly working our way down the coast. We made it with only a day or two to spare, but managed a Christmas celebration aboard Nine of Cups with Sean and John of Active Transport.
The whole of December 2012 was celebrated in Hobart, Tasmania and it was awesome. We attended every holiday celebration we could: Christmas tree lightings, concerts, church activities, parades and holiday markets.
2013 was a bittersweet Christmas. David and I were apart. David flew back to Nine of Cups in Australia just before Christmas to get a head start on boat work and I remained at Lin’s for the holiday. In 2014, we were in South Africa and celebrated with friends before I departed to spend Christmas in Boston with Lin. Apart once again for the holidays, we decided this would be the last time for such separations. We enjoy each other too much to be separated and in different parts of the world during the holidays.
We were back across the Atlantic in October 2015, working our way along the northeast coast of South America. We departed Guyana in early December … the Christmas trees were already ‘in bloom’ … and hightailed it to Trinidad, just in time to catch a flight back to the USA for Christmas in Boston.
In December 2016, we were moored in Chesapeake, VA, freezing our butts off on Nine of Cups. Luckily, we were within driving distance to Boston for the holidays which gave us a chance to warm up and meet Lin’s first grandchild and our grandniece, Daphne.
Nine of Cups was still in Chesapeake last year in December, but Blue and the crew were in Boston … and still freezing our butts off. David was still working … on Blue instead of Nine of Cups. We celebrated the holidays with Lin and family in 2017 and we’ll head to Boston again this year in just a few days.
Remembering is always sweet and the sadder times are less sad and mostly forgotten. Looking forward to making new memories during this year’s holiday and in 2019.