Saturday, December 27, 2008

Celebrating the Holidays in San Blas

The night before Christmas, Maya asked whether we had stockings to hang up for Santa Claus. When we packed the boat, the holidays seemed so far away and neither the Christmas stockings nor the menorah came with us. But that gave us a chance to improvise.

Tim and the kids made a menorah from a piece of driftwood that we found on Isla Isabela and he taught Maya and Kai how to use his drill and make holes for birthday candles. It’s a perfect menorah: the short lived candles keep us from burning down the boat but we do “stand watch” after we light the menorah. For stockings, we took two of Tim’s socks and decorated each of them. Kai wrote his name on duct tape and stuck that to the sock and he then attached it to shackles to hang his stocking. Maya sewed her name on the sock with light thread and that too was transformed into a useful stocking.

There was another hurdle: Santa Claus doesn’t know how to swim plus he’s too fat to fit down our mast. But he did manage to figure out a way to leave a few pesos and to relay a command to buy the kids Swiss Army knives when we find them in Puerto Vallarta or somewhere else along the way. Santa Claus on Christmas Day also brought Bravado, a 45 foot New Zealand Elliot designed boat, into the estuary with three kids to play with and books from Oma that came via Jennifer on Ecotopia who brought them from Seattle to La Paz. What a journey for that package! And perfect timing, especially since we hadn’t been able to do much Christmas shopping nor could we afford to have more toys take up space on the boat.

We’ve found that downsizing our stash of toys hasn’t impeded the fun and has perhaps even enhanced the fun. I’ve been so impressed with how creative the sailing kids have been with their playing. Just yesterday, Jet (our new friend on Bravado) and Maya were constructing a hammock to hang out on the boat. They took a towel and line and a cup holder and figured out how to string it between the staysail and the jib. Then they wrote a sign: “Keep Out: Relaxing.”

Maya and Kai have been busy building a miniature boat with wood from Isla Isabela and sails made from Kai’s old shorts. Maya sometimes decorates Kamaya by taking all the spare lines and stringing them around the bimini.

It sounds like those of you living up north have been enjoying a very white Christmas. Please build a snowman for us and we’ll build a sand castle for you. Ho, Ho, Ho ….


Whitmore Family said...

Happy Hanukkah! We've been thinking about you all as we light our candles. Your menorah sounds very cool. A certain almost 9-year old at our house got a...unicycle for Hanakkah! She's been practicing around the island in the kitchen and can't wait to unicycle with her buddy! Love to all...Gracie, T, L, and D

Ruth said...

That's so great Gracie's on the unicycle. Happy New Years to you all!

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