We’ve only once before spent Christmas alone and that was while we were still in the States and could at least Skype our family. This year we find ourselves in a beautiful anchorage on Urupukapuka Island in the stunning Bay of Islands, New Zealand, with not another boat around. In the few days before Christmas the anchorage was abuzz with locals on vacation. Boats came and went; at one point there were 21 boats of all kinds surrounding us. But by Christmas Eve they had all left, home we guess, to be with family.
When we awoke Chrismas morning I was feeling glum despite the view from the back porch and the joy we still feel at having made it across the Pacific to this holy grail of sailing destinations. As I started the laborious process of making our traditional German Apple pancake breakfast I burst into tears from missing Drew and Ericka, who always joined us for breakfast Christmas morning. Jack said to forget the elaborate breakfast, but I told him that keeping the traditions would be what made a lonely day bearable. And sure enough, by the time breakfast was ready my spirits had lifted. It didn’t hurt that it was the first sunny day we’ve had in a while and sunshine always puts a smile on our faces.
After breakfast we dinghied ashore to hike the many trails that crisscross the island. We hiked for nearly four hours, up and down, over hill and dale, every summit offering another breathtaking vista.
Even the way the trails meandered over the landscape was beautiful, and we stopped often to appreciate our destination from a distance. “These Kiwis really know how to make trails,” Jack said more than once.
There are archaeological sites on this island, early Maori settlements, but they’ve been covered up after the research was done with only a placard to give the visitor an idea of what was once here. We both think they need to work on that.
We started to flag by the end and we were glad to make it back down to the beach.
Back aboard EV we called our Irish Christmas curry peeps in Pittsburgh, who were about to sit down to dinner.
After a flurry of cooking Jack and I enjoyed our own curry dinner, and though we miss everyone Christmas turned out pretty good after all. We wish you all a happy day surrounded by people you love, and even if you can’t be with them we wish you peace and joy. And enough samosas to go around.