Passages, Super Typhoons and Christmas at Sea

I once read that humans are incapable of remembering pain. That is to say that although we recall that an event was painful we cannot actually evoke the physical sensation of pain that we experienced. This surely explains why women are will to have more than one child; birth, I am told, is right on the top of the “Holy F#@K that was painful!” scale. I also believe this is why sailors are always keen to haul up anchor and put to sea.

Our passage from Papua New Guinea was a rather long drawn out affair. Since we were crossing the equator this was somewhat expected, in the beginning. We were assured, by everyone who has sailed that route before us and our Weather Router (a service that we employed for the first time this passage) that once we got over the equator and through the doldrums the winds would fill in. Being good little sailors we believed and sailed due north out of Kavieng, hoping to find the shortest line though the windless zone as possible. And sail we did for the first three days, although the wind was out of the NW and on the nose the sea was calm and the ride was comfortable. Continue reading

Home for the Holidaze; Christmas Traditions Onboard

I like Christmas. A lot.

Maybe more than I like peanut butter.

Ok that is getting a little carried away, but you get the idea.

Maybe it is because the Christmas’ of my childhood closely resembled those of movies and greeting cards. For instance growing up in semi-rural Nova Scotia we went “oot da back” and cut down our own tree. These would be classified as Charlie Brown trees in some books but my Mother, who still carries on this tradition, still likes to refer to them as “natural.”

It was cold and dark during winter, we had frost on the windows and a wood stove to huddle next to. Most years we had a white Christmas and nothing was better to get you in the Christmas mood than when it snowed big, white fluffy flakes on Christmas Eve that drifted and swirled in a bitter northerly wind.

I have a big extended family and we all got together to exchange presents and eat too much good food. On the way home from such get togethers we would delight in counting the houses along the highway that were decorated with Christmas lights.

Living in Canada I knew that much of the landmass that was north of 60 degrees belonged to Canada. I also knew that the Inuit people had lived in snow houses up there for hundreds of years so it wasn’t hard to believe that Santa could live there too. In fact I figured he was probably Canadian. Continue reading