Long term sailor Liz Cleere remembers her best Christmases at sea and reveals how to enjoy the festive season away from home in style
Sadly, for reasons beyond our control we are both on opposite sides of the globe this year, and can’t enjoy our usual special day. So we thought it would be nice to extend the seasonal tradition of exchanging gifts to include every one of our followtheboat subscribers across the world.
Not really for the general public but a few shots of our Christmas Day, which was spent at the Taj Palace Hotel, Wilingdon Island, Cochin.
Liz and I were joined by our friends Mike and Gabi, who were effectively on their honeymoon, and the usual suspects of Terry and Fiona of Roam II and Ants and Div of Divanty.
It is a real pleasure to be eating turkey, brussel sprouts and stuffing whilst supping on a nice glass of Chianti, in India where all of these things are hard to find!
Christmas is a’ coming and the nuns are out in force. Yep, you can tell it’s the festive season here in Cochin because the ladies in grey habits are running amok in the Christmas decoration shops. Clearly believing they have the blessing of The Lord Jesus Christ these little old ladies barge their way through the masses, desperate to purchase the most gaudy of decorations. There’s definitely some perverse pecking order going on in this predominantly Catholic part of India. Using their elbows as weapons these sinister old birds have complete disregard for the poor local children unfortunate enough to walk into their paths.
This Christmas day the Vasco Da Gama rally participants and friends had a pontoon party in Hurghada Marina. Around 20 or so people took part in this ‘pot luck’ festive dinner. Liz and I were due to take part in the celebrations, and we did, but not without a hiccup (read a morning spent in the hospital A&E)!
When you’ve spent over three weeks at sea Antigua really is a piece of heaven on earth. We don’t need to tell you what it was like because it’s all that you imagine it to be: warm, idyllic, welcoming and simply stunning. With free-flowing rum and the fact it was approaching Christmas the vibe was fully switched on to ‘party’ mode. Tim, Dobby, Michel and myself rented a shack for a month on top of a hill overlooking Falmouth Harbour and quickly sussed the perfect recipie for rum-punch. Yachts came and went, providing the south of the island with crowds of party people who crammed the local joints like the Mad Mongoose.