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Little Christmas Eve in the South Pacific

By Kate “Bob” Addison

December 23rd, 2012

Sunday at sea, the day before Christmas eve. All is peaceful aboard Picton Castle as she slips quietly through the water heading SWxS for Isla San Cristobal in the Galapagos. The breeze is a Force four and we have lots of canvas set – all fore and aft sails, and all squares to the t’gallants, all braced sharp on a port tack. Our position is 0 degrees 28 minutes South, 088 degrees 39 minutes West and we are finally in the South Pacific Ocean. We crossed the equator into the Southern Hemisphere yesterday afternoon at half past four, at a longitude of 087º11’W. The crossing itself went without a hitch, not even a bump as we sailed across the line – no sign of Neptune yet either, although plenty of communications from his court in various forms… perhaps he’s already knocked off for the holidays, or busy on a cruise ship. Or perhaps not…

The Christmas festivities have picked up a notch – the treat-baking in the galley went on ’til past midnight last night, and a rather fabulous octopus pinata is taking shape on the aloha deck – made from balloons, papier mache and International paint, he grows by night under the skillful hands of Hege, Kerstin, Signe and Jo. Yesterday afternoon saw an impromptu craft party on the quarterdeck as decorations had to be made for the tree. Allison S set the standards high with an embroidered, canvas star pillow, and Drea kept things nautical with a seven-strand manilla star-knot. Signe showed us how to make star baubles from long strips of coloured paper, while Tammy made snowflakes, Gabe seashells and flags, and Hege angels and baskets.

December 24th, 2012 – Christmas Eve

The Galapagos Island of San Cristobal came into sight last night before sunset, and now it looms large to the port side of the ship. We are steaming again now – the wind died overnight, and we’re expecting to drop the anchor in an hour or so. Christmas in the Galapagos!

Christmas craft party on the quarterdeck
Kendall has antlers on the aloha deck
Tyler and Signe celebrate Christmas on the foc sle head

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