Rode Trip’s Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all ’round the boat
Not a wave was stirring, Rode Trip was calmly afloat.
The pennants were hung on the rigging with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

Brian nestled all snug in the v-berth,
All day with the engine, a good night’s sleep this was worth.
And I in my sweats, lying still ‘neath a book,
We’d just settled our bellies from the dinner we’d cooked.

When up on the deck there arose such a clatter,
Brian sprang from the bunk to see what was the matter.
Away from my book, I flew like a flash,
Up the ladder, clamoring over wooden doors through the hatch.

The moon light, it danced, on the breast of the water,
Giving the lustre of mid-day to dolphins a’wander.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But the Jolly Roger, her decks lined with reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than gannets his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!
Over top of the sail! Over top of the mast!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away fast!”

As dry leaves that before hurricane Sandy did fly,
When met with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So over the anchorage the coursers they flew,
With the ship full of goodies, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on our fiberglass roof,
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
Hooves scratching gel-coat what a terrible sound,
Then, down into the cockpit came St Nick with a bound.

He was dressed all in Gill, from his head to his foot,
And his bibs were all tarnished with saltwater gook.
A bundle of gifts he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a cruiser, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! His cheeks pink from the sun!
His dimples how merry! His nose like a red lighted nun!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the hull.

A dark and stormy he sipped through his teeth,
And the scent of dark rum wafted ’round us beneath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old pip,
And I laughed as Rode Trip started to tip!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but came into the cabin,
And filled all the cupboards, what more would fit I couldn’t imagine!
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the ladder he rose!

He sprang to his ship, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like a submarine’s missile.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he steered out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

-Adapted from A Visit from St Nicholas written by: Clement Clarke Moore (1823)

Cruisers Helping Cruisers

Special thanks to fellow Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) members, Mary and Christian (SV/I Wanda). They’ve permitted us to use their mooring ball, thus Rode Trip is secure while we are able to travel to Pennsylvania to spend Christmas with our families. Thanks also to SV/Sea Schell for connecting us with Mary and Christian.

Kimberly, of course I couldn’t have gotten the ball rolling without your encouragement. It’s all part of the training process!

The SSCA network continues to provide us with new friendships and valuable knowledge and resources. We are very appreciative and will continue to pass it on!

Coming Attractions – December 19, 2012

Today was a glorious day when broken-down cruisers were reunited! Ok, so nothing glorious about cars and boatyards, but until we serendipitously arrive at the same anchorage at a tropical island…this will have to suffice. Brian, Scott, Kim, and I piled into our economy rental car (can’t get enough of small spaces) to take a trip to St Augustine, FL where Matt and Jess are all by their lonesome on the hard.

We stopped along the way to pick-up some very important cargo. Thanks to Bob and Susan for safely keeping our packages while we’ve been stalled. Thanks to Susan for welcoming cruisers into her home for a visit. Brian and I are looking forward to the next time when we arrive in style aboard Rode Trip and can invite Bob and Susan into our home too!

We arrived at the boatyard and located Serendipity after a roundabout tour of the grounds. Knocking loudly on the hull roused Jess who popped out of the hatch, “FRIENDS!” Matt followed closely behind and they both scurried down the ladder to greet us. Matt gave a tour of Serendipity’s injured bottom. They are still awaiting feedback pertaining to their insurance claim before they can start any repairs. They will likely be settled into their new lot for the next two-three months. (Hot showers daily!) Needless to say we’ve all learned that schedules and cruising do NOT go together, not even hypothetical schedules. Matt and Jess took us inside for a customary cruiser’s beverage, and pointed out some additional cosmetic damage. This helped me to appreciate our old boat because I really don’t care if the woodwork gets scratched. But Serendipity’s interior is repairable and she’ll be shined up in no time!

Brian and Georgie (aka Peaches) rekindled while we all chatted for a bit.

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Then we headed downtown for a preview of St Augustine. There were beautiful, twinkling lights everywhere we looked! The passing Trolly tours would shout out, “Merry Christmas!” and we would wave and respond just as cheerily. At the Lightner Museum stop, a Trolly rider shared his glasses with us so we could enlighten ourselves by seeing flashy stars on the edges of the Christmas lights. Totally rad!

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We perused the streets, browsing shops and galleries. We breathed deeply to take in the sweet scents of waffle cones and fudge. We stepped into a magic shop just in the knick of time for a show. The magician was not only a good comedian, but he had perfected every trick! We were all tempted to buy the tricks with their instructional videos. How fun would it be to levitate things while visiting other cruisers’ boats!? Sure to keep the invites to cocktail hour flowing.

After the magic show, we had a private disco party in the street.

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St Augustine has it all! Need I say more…

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On our walk back to the boatyard we took a peek into Flagler College. We’ve added the historical tour of the college to our to do list for our next St Augustine visit. After all, there is so much to learn about this oldest city in America.

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We had to live up to “Foodie” standards so of course we brought treats! Back at Serendipity, Kim shared yet another delicious brownie creation. We topped off our visit with a night cap, dark and stormies made with…dun da da…hommade ginger beer! This was a combined effort using Kim’s starter and Brian’s brew. Everyone agreed that it was not only tasty, but the next time we all break down in that tropical place we’ll have no lack of mixers!