Thursday, December 26, 2013

Twas the Night before Christmas

Boat lit up for Christmas
We have been all setup for Christmas on the boat now for a few weeks.  The harbor we are in has a nice Christmas Boat Parade however it was scheduled for the day we returned from Vacation so we didn't participate.  It was in the 30's the day of the parade and there were only 5 boats that actually showed up.  We did however hang lights the outside of the boat by running colored lights around the entire boat from stem to stern along the pulpits and lifelines.  We also ran white lights inside the cockpit and in the evenings we would play Christmas music through the outside speakers.  We get some foot traffic down where we are from those walking down the street to the local restaurants.  We enjoyed the reactions and also it helped to keep us in the Christmas spirit.

Additionally, we have a very small 2 foot Christmas tree that we decorated and put on a small table in the front of the Salon.
Christmas Garland on Arch in Salon
We hung the stockings from the Port Catches in the Salon and it really made it feel'Christmassy' down below.  Deb also made a  garland string that she hung on the arch between the Salon and NavStation & Galley.  It looks great.

To finish off our Holiday Post, I wanted to show a bit of the Holiday on-board in the video below.
I have heard several different versions of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" but I figured this would be a nice variation to it.
Enjoy the Boating version of the story aboard Last Affair at our Youtube Channel and if you are viewing this on our blog, the video is embedded below.  
(Twas the boating night before Christmas on Last Affair)

Merry Christmas to All and to All a good night

Update - 12/25 (I tend to write these posts a few days prior to the post date, and in this case, I had to update the blog post with some cool news.  My Daughter and her Husband were expecting their daughter to be born on Jan 2 with a planned delivery date due to the baby's position.  Well, it seems that she wanted this year to be her first Christmas.  Mckinlee came into our world on Christmas at 6:47pm at  9 lbs. 11 oz. So cute and such a great Christmas surprise.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Even when you live on a boat, a vacation is still a nice relaxing change of pace

We have been talking about going back to Jamaica for many years now.  Deb and I really enjoyed the area in Jamaica where our son went to school.  It is on the South Coast of Jamaica in a small fishing and farming area called Treasure Beach.
It is not anywhere close to the "all inclusive" type place where you stay with 500 other American and Europeans and never leave the hotel property.  No, this is vacation in a way that lets you completely relax and make new friends.

Several years ago, we went on a small vacation with one of our close friends and really had a great time vacationing together.  We were 'vacation compatible' which was a funny term we all talked about after that trip.  We have all been around another couple or friends where they fight or nit pick at each other, or they just don't enjoy the same things you do making it very awkward to spend a few days with each other.  That is just NOT the case with Dan & Jodi and we always have a great time when we do stuff together.  When vacationing, either couple is fine with the other doing their own thing, or doing something together.  It is not uncommon that some days, we will just "veg out" and not really do anything either playing cards or reading a book or just sitting in the sun having a few sundowners (and sun-uppers and sunsmiddayers - lol).

It is always hard to find the "best day" or "best time" on a great trip, but one of my favorite days was when we took a day trip out to a place called the "Pelican Bar".  Now you may be reading this and thinking, "so a day at a bar. no biggie" however this Bar is built on driftwood and old logs on a reef a couple of miles from shore.  You hire a boat captain to pick you up where you happen to be staying and you ride in the same boats that the local fisherman use to go fishing in 60 miles off shore.  These are open "rowboat" style boats that have 4 or 5 bench seats across them and a  40hp or so engine on the back.  In our case, our boat captain "Captain Ted" picked us up right at the beach in back of the house we rented and off we went just outside of the reef along the shore for about 30 or 40 minutes.  Captain Ted always travels with his dog Flora in the boat and she is a regular at the Pelican Bar.  8-11 years ago, when we were going to Jamaica more regularly, we saw Ted and Flora every time while there.

On the way, we say dolphins playing and when as you pull up to Pelican Bar, you are greeted by the sounds of Reggae coming from a small portable boom box inside.  The boat pulls up to a wooden plank and the owner "Floyd" comes over and reached a hand down to help you up the small steps.  In our case, Flora was the first out of the boat and up laying down in the shade in the bar.  At this time, you are in one of the coolest oasis' I have every been to.  Step up to the bar and have a "winter cold" Red Stripe or as we did, started with a few delicious rum punches.

While we were there this time, there must have been 5 or 6 other boats of passengers that came out so the place was kind of hopping.   The next 4 people that arrived after us, ordered drinks and lobster and fresh fish.  When you do so, one of the guys that works behind the bar will hop into the water and go spear fish something to cook up.

We ordered a few beers or drinks and then just stepped down the walkway to the boats and jumped into the waste deep water out on this small sand covered reef.    Other people were doing the same and it was a great time.

The boat captains and Floyd are typically sitting on small wooden stumps inside and playing either dominos or checkers.   It is always great fun to watch them because folks in Jamaica really get into playing Dominos with them all being "slapped" down onto the table and some very fast and loud talking in Patois to each other.

We took some video while we were there and I put together a little compilation of the fun time we had. Needless to say, we needed a captain of the boat when we left, because we all had imbibed quite a bit :)

This definitely was a "Great Day" on vacation.  

For anyone that may be interested, the place we stayed was called Bucaneer Villa.  This is the kind of place where you rent the house and purchase the food you want to be prepared.  The staff at the house will prepare meals for you.  It was great to become friends with those that prepared the meals.  If you want help quite a bit (like cleaning up the rooms every day) or if you want to have privacy they will honor your request.  Suzie, Nicki, Judine, and Delaroy were all great and I am actually glad to be connecting to them on Facebook as well.
More info can be found at