Merry Christmas! Griffyn, Tamsyn, Carrie and I want to let everyone know how often we think of you, family and friends back home. It's has been a long and eventful year. December 21st (on our side of the world) finds us motoring up a passage running NW with New Georgia Island to our west, and Santa Isabel Island to our east.
We are a day and a half out from Honiara on the Island of Guadalcanal - mostly sailing in very light winds. We are still a little gun shy of the engine after we sucked some air last week, and it took three days to sort it out. We hope to be in Gizo in about 36 hours. There we plan on spending a quiet Christmas.
Right now it s very hot aboard. The equatorial sun makes it almost painful to be out in the full sun. This morning our backup GPS bit the dust, so that caused some stress. Also the current coming down the slot is reducing our forward progress to 3.5 knots, so that's a worry too. As the kids are madly cutting out paper snow flakes, and taking care of their new pet - a Kura Kura bird (police bird) chick that fell out of its nest on Guadalcanal, I've had a chance to step back for a few moments and look at our year in perspective.
We are healthy, generally happy, and together as a family. It is this time of year that it is hardest to be away from those we love. We are thinking about Carrie's brother Tim, and wish we could be more supportive to him and his kids. We are thinking of Torrie Jane, and though we know her husband and family are around her, we wish we could be too. And we wish we could be around my father, Hinka and Lois, and see my nephew's new baby. But here we are.
Last night sailing, we left a long phosphorescent trail through a sea so still and smooth that the stars overhead cast mirror images in the water. I remember that dark night a week or so ago when we were engineless in zero wind off a lee shore while lightening played all around us - dolphins were jumping and frolicking all around the boat. I think of the mysterious Island of Tanna, with its spectacular volcano and warm people. I think of the many new friends we have made in Fiji and other places. We wonder how Sisi and Eshwini and their families are after the cyclone hit Fiji. I think of our kids making so many friends and playmates among the peoples we have visited. Tamsyn and Griffyn are still kids, each with their issues and challenges, but I watch with pleasure as they are deepening, and growing in compassion and understanding. And they are not done. Soon they be trading with peers and that will be a joy to watch.
So from ours to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas. We will touch base when we get safely to Gizo.
8 13.110 S
158 26.250 E
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