Christmas in the Tropics

We pulled into Falmouth Harbour, Antigua and were immediately struck by the number, size, and glitz of the super yachts! Holy cow are they on a different budget?!  We milk the limited power from our solar panels and they string Christmas lights to the top of the mast and turn on their underwater lights. All the professional crews were busy shining, waxing and cleaning their yachts in anticipation of the arrival of their owners from the different capitals of the world…. and the eye candy was spectacular.

From beautifully restored antique sailing ships, to the helicopters wrapped up for Christmas, the most notable yacht was a several hundred foot ship, with a 60 foot Oyster sailboat on deck, complete with integral travel lift, so the owner could sail during the day and return to the comfort of his/her floating palace at night. Quite a change from the ragtag, penny-pinching, derelicts that have become our circle of friends.


After exploring Falmouth and English Harbour we repositioned around to Jolly Harbour (most aptly named) for Christmas.  We had initially intended to meet several boats in Barbuda for the “holidays” but weather conspired against us and we decided to stay in Jolly.   We were joined by the Dubois family from La Jeannoise, Ronald and Catherine from Oseo, Dominic and Marie-France from Reve d’Ocean, Dave and Toutou from 4 Coconuts, Oren and Darya from Del Max, and Katherine and George from Picaro.

Oren and Darya were kind enough to invite us over to celebrate the last night of Hanukkah and, using fine nautical MacGyver ingenuity, they had made a menorah out of bottle caps and a piece of wood. The prayers were the same, the challah was delicious and except for the setting, it brought back memories of friends back home.

We changed it up a bit and had our Christmas dinner on the 24th. You had decorated the boat with paper snowflakes, homemade garland, and Christmas lights. George and Catherine Pyrpiris joined us for a turkey dinner; a little ambitious given the cooking facilities.

Santa arrived on a surfboard and the following morning we opened presents in our bathing suits and enjoyed a lazy breakfast before heading ashore in search of Internet to contact Grandmommy and Moma.

That afternoon all the families met ashore in a vacant residential lot on the beach for football, soccer, and a potluck Christmas dinner. It was a great afternoon of delicious food, wonderful friends and sport, which was a welcome distraction from the inevitable melancholy that comes from spending the holidays away from family and friends. In the evening we relocated to a remote beach and, following the adage that it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission, built a huge bonfire. The kids roasted marshmallows, the adults drank rum and we all enjoyed the simplicity and camaraderie of this once in a lifetime experience.

After filling our water, fuel and propane tanks we left Jolly Harbour and sailed around to Deep Bay, which was a quiet and picturesque little anchorage. Over cocktails, we amended our route planning…always a dangerous idea, and decided to head for the ever-elusive Barbuda the following morning.  We leave Antigua with a sense that we have not fully done the island justice because while the community ashore is not compelling, there is a myriad of secluded beaches which we would have liked to explore.

The following morning, with 20-25kts on our beam, we set off with Del Max for the 35 nm run to Barbuda.

7 thoughts on “Christmas in the Tropics

  1. Merry Christmas and happy new year to all of you Morrins! It looks like you had an amazing holiday, even without the Canadian family, snow and cold weather activity! We’ll make up your cold weather time with all of our hours in the hockey rink for tournaments over the holidays! Love from the Anderson’s

  2. Happy Christmas to the happy wanderers. Loved your photo of the yacht on the yacht, but especially those of the family. We als have underwater lights, but not the kind you are looking at.
    Big hug to all
    Stephen and Helene driving the 401 home from Quebec City to Kingston

  3. That boat with the sailboat on deck I think is the same one that was parked off Staniel Cay a couple years ago. Belonged to a Russian oligarch. But originally was designed and owned in part by a friend of ours which is a long story but suffice to say the daily budget would keep most small countries in food. Bar on lowest deck has a glass floor, elevators and a boat bay that housed a huge tender that alone could probably make a crossing. When it was built it was the largest private ship to date…at one point I had all those stats but have long since forgotten.

    It will be below zero here in VT tonight so have one on the deck for me.

    Dick Catlin

  4. Wishing all of you a very happy New Year, wishing you good health and happiness. Thanks Jecka for sending me this link, as I’ve been there three of four times myself and love it there. Jecka, it’s amazing how much Ingrid is looking like YOU. Just fantastic. All of you look so happy and healthy, it was lovely to see you all.
    Love to all of you, especially my friend Jecka!!!!
    Meip van Beest

  5. Looks like you had a lovely Christmas – albeit with that familiar nostalgia of not being amongst your closest and dearest and most sweetly annoying!☺ May 2015 bring you smooth seas, more inebriating sunsets and loads of memorable moments! LUVU Les Poussins ♥

  6. Awesome update Morrins and Happy New Year from the Headricks. Sorry I missed you when you were here but you can always crash here in Oakville if you need to fly back again. I’ve been in Kingston a few times and whenever I am there I wonder how your Mom is.

  7. Indeed a once in a lifetime adventure, in a string of them much more colourful than Christmas lights. You all look happy, healthy and beautiful. We are envious as we look out our frosty windows at the chilly darkness. Missing your cheery voices. Blessings and joy in 2015, wherever you may be.

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