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Jul Tide At Sea

Barque Picton Castle – Friday December 24 – noon – latitude 20 degrees, 50 minutes south / longitude 076 degrees, 03 minutes east – southeast winds at force 4 or about 14 knots – steering west by south for French Reunion Island 1,140 miles away – Bali is about 2,400 miles astern.

Christmas Eve

We have been under all plain sail in this ship for two weeks of pretty much perfect sailing now after motoring out of a broad belt of calm winds near Bali what seems a long time ago. We have been having sweet trade winds out of the southeast ever since then. Blue skies puffed with small white clouds and only the odd squall, small seas, modest swells, flying fish scooting out of our way, dolphins swimming around the ship and dashing across the stem, good fishing and a full moon lately. As Decemeber 25 has been approaching our minds have turned from celestial navigation, varnishing the turned mahagony stantions to the bridge rail, tarring rigging and sailmaking to Christmassy things.

Our little two foot high KrisMiss tree has been established in the middle of the hatch duly secured for rolling and winds. All hands are making one decoration each to hang from a branch. Coloured lights are being put up to light the main deck but not get in the helmsman’s eye. We have quite a collection of Christmas music onboard and we are playing it a lot with the hopes of becoming sick of it as is a long standing tradition of the season for most of us. Swedish peppar kakar cookies and pies coming out of the oven (and Pitcairn bread sticks!) and plenty else.

In the east we have big Sirius and the “three Kings” of Orions belt. Our little tree is lit now as the last glow of the sun fades in the west.


Messages from the Picton Castle crew:

“Wishing you all a very merry Christmas! May the season bring you joy and love. See you all next year!” Love Adrienne Bode

“Chag chanuka semeach l’kol ha yehudim sheli ba’olam and a Happy Xmas to all my friends who celebrate it back home!” Mike ‘Fred’ Weiss

“God jul mine kjaere! Smil, le, syng og spis masse god mat! Det skal jeg. Savner dere. Varme jule klemmer.” Johanna Aase

“Lots and lots and lots of love to all my family and friends. Sorry I am not there with you but you are all in my thoughts. Miss you.” Love Francoise Desoutter

“Mum, Dad, Sister, Last year Africa, this year; the Indian Ocean. Next year, who knows? But wherever I am, I am thinking of you. Happy Christmas.” Liam Tayler

“I love you all so much!!! The smells of constant baking floating from the galley really make me miss home. Felt unnatural, but Christmas fever on board with my surrogate family is rampant and overjoying. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! See you soon. xo” Megan Mulcahy

“In every way imaginabe, I’m having a blue Christmas without you all. Listening to “O Holy Night” playing quietly while gazing up at a bright star on night watch is one of the many unforgetable experiences of this voyage. With all my love, wishing you haid puhi and a wonderful new year!” Tiina Randoja

“Warme Weihnachtsgruesse vom Indischen Ocean. 1000 Meilen kein land, es koenmte schoenes kaum sein! Auch weumsofesu, im hevzen gamznah und sende euch mein laechelin mit der sonne! Besos.” Nadja N

“Dear family, Happy AbbeyClause Day, Hope your holidays are as adventurous as mine. I’ll send my love to the moon so you can catch it when it comes round!”
Abbey Stern

“Hey evin sind gerade mitten im Indoschen Ozean und wir feirern Weihnachber hier. Die sonne scheint und die see strahlt so blam, Ich wumsche meins familie und freunden zu hause einfrohes und frohliches weihnachts fest is all about happiness and joy.” Robert Hoffman

“God Jul og godt nyttar kjaere mor og far og alle sammen. Tusen takk for pakker fra Oslo, og Haugesund, for Mosjokalender, for Ponduskalender. Det er overaskelser pa vei hjem, savner dere alle, og pinnekjott…Haper Julenissen tar godt vare pa dere alle I ar. Og masse sno og mandel I groten. Mange mange klemmer fra Siri I det Indiske hav.” Siri Botnen

“I find myself on a ship in the Indian Ocean surrounded by new friends and community at Christmas – the Indian Ocean stretches to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans that leads me to family and friends I am thinking of. My love goes out to all of you. A very merry Christmas. Celebrate being together with laughter and love.” Alison Phillips

“Merry Christmas to all the extended family: Morelands, Corvis, Wantlands and Stevensons. All is well here sailing along before easy trade winds thinking of everyone back home.” Love Michael Moreland

“Happy Christmas family. Thinking of you all. Love you very much.” Logan Livingston

“For me Christmas is about family and traditions – and we have some magical ones. Since we are so far away from the rest of the family we usually celebrate with (Mom, Dad, Megan, Janet, the Garvey’s, the English family, Ludmilla, Moo, Michelle….) Logan and I will bring some of the traditions we created to the ship. Thinking of you all. Miss you. Always love, Bronwen Livingston.”

“Ich wansch allne da hei blibene schomi wienachte. Guiessed di geborge heit au fer mich bitzdi. Alles gueti, cure chrigi.” Christian Barmettler

“”What? Eggnog without nutmeg is like a turkey without a duck and a chicken inside it!” Merry Christmas everyone…wish you were here. Enjoy the snow!” Love Sophie

“To my family and friends, I love you, I miss you and I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season! Merry Christmas and all the best in 2011.” Tammy

“Simmons and friends. To all my family, friends and loved ones I wish you a Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year! I’ll collect my hand shakes, hugs and kisses when next we meet!” WT Simmons

“Merry Christmas Mom and Dad! I hope all is well on the farm. I miss you guys very much. Give my best to Bec, Jim and the boys and Matt and Gwen. Save some books for me, I’ll be home soon! Love you!” Susie Ordway

“Momina, Dad, Jim, Morgan, Chantral and the girls, the McKinnon’s and the Kirbey’s. Thinking of you and missing you dearly. Merry Christmas. Love, love, love! (Happy Birthday Mom!)” Meredith McKinnon

“Dear Adams family, I’ve made mince pies (astonishing I know!) including the mince meat! Not quite like home, but as close as I’ll get in the Indian Ocean! Missing
and thinking of you and all in Brandiston. Sending lots of love. xoxo. P.S. Please send my love to Spyros.” Victoria Adams

“Merry Christmas to my family!” CCMJR

“Happy Holidays!” Niko

“Happy Holidays from the middle of the Indian Ocean! Hope all is well, mom can’t wait to see you in Africa and I hope everyone is enjoying the snow at home! Love.” Paula Washington

“Mom – I can see you dancing in the kitchen. Dad – you would love this. It reminds me of you. Camden – Best of luck. Play your heart out. I miss you. All – I love you. Thanks for the music. Merry Christmas.” Katelinn Shaw

“Holidays away don’t get any easier. I wish you a verry Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Big hugs and lots of love. xoxo.” Rebecca

“Aan iedereen die dit leest een zalig kerstfeest en een gelukkig nieuwjaar toegewenst vanaf de Indische Oceaan. Inge goeie roetsh noa ut neue joar. Van Jan.” Jan Caselli

“Hope your Christmas was awesome! Have a great time at The Shack! Spekalass was great! Love and miss you all! Shawny”

“Brackens, got a 30 kg pig going on the spit in the am “Mistress for Christmas” (ACDC) rocking from the bridge, fullsail, full moon. Wish you guys could be here. #2 Somewhere in the Indian Ocean.” Paul Bracken

“Thinking of you all these holidays. Wish you were here. Merries to ya and continuous blessings in the New Year. See you all soon. Love ya.” Lorraine Kress

“Merry Christmas Everyone, and a Happy Birthday Dad!” Brad Woodworth

“Merry Christmas from the most wonderful blue sea I’ve seen. Have some curry for me!” Joani Cain

“Astrid onskar alla nara and kara darhemma en riktigt god jol. Tanker lite extra pa er i skane eftersom det ar julafon idag. Kram.” Astrid

“To the family and choms. Merry Christmas ekse and Happy New Year!” Have a jol!” Davey

Brad and Joani decorate the tree
Christmas tree lighting ceremony
Katelinn performs Christmas Eve concert
Katelinn performs for Christmas Eve

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