Friday, December 25, 2009


When Santa comes to Roatan, it's not a silent night, and probably not particularly holy either. At least at French Harbor, his acolytes began at midnight, setting off firecrackers and bottle rockets, and cranking up the music. From the V-berth, those jingle bells are heavy on bass, and Santa sounds like he's in an increasingly frantic race.

Until now, I had been sleeping the sleep of the well-fed. What a feast we had with friends on another boat: G called it 'Christmas lunch' although we ate at sundown on Christmas Eve. Turkey, cranberry sauce, roast potatoes, 'courgettes', and more. It all looked so nice on the plate and was cooked to perfection. And then, when we were sated, out came the Christmas pudding - nothing Jello about it, but rather an thick, dark, concentrated mound, anembarras de richesse with a primal connection via the taste buds back through Dickens and Austen to the medieval heart of darkness from whence, in my mind anyhow, the Christmas holiday originates. Anything that happens on Christmas day will be an anti-climax to this meal!

Out in the main cabin of Galivant, there are no stockings, no decorations, no milk and cookies. At least I didn't put them there! I know for a fact that Santa brought Doug a small bottle of fou-fou rum, and for me, a nice chunk of real Parmesan cheese, as he has for several years now.

The weather here at present is fine. We'll have a swim along the reef in the morning, then another feast; this time a cruiser's pot luck featuring grilled turkey, the potatoes I've been assigned to bring, and more (I hope), plus 'lots of desserts'. Then this day too will fade into the ranks of Christmases past. To all, I wish the best of the season, wherever you may be.

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