| Bernadette spent Christmas eve cooking up a storm, as we tried to preserve some of our Christmas traditions, and looked forward to the Oak Ridge get-together.* * *|
Lisa on _Sand Dollar_ announced the holiday get-together over the SSB radio on the Northwest Caribbean Cruisers Net and on the VHF. Over several days, she somehow orchestrated which cruiser brought what, a task akin to herding stray cats, and at 2 pm, like a surprising new star in the east, a full gourmet Christmas feastincluding two turkeys with dressing and gravymagically appeared on the tables. Guy and Annika on _Street Legal_ dinghied from Hole in the Wall, over in Jonesville. From Calabash Bight, where _Ithaka_ was anchored, Inge and Pieter, a Dutch couple on a 50-foot steel Colin Archer named _Baerne_, and Carol and Greg, South Africans on _Carlin_with Gregs guitarall dinghied over. In the marina for the day were Americans Gene and Marcia on _Pangaea_; Ullie and Margaret, from Bremen, Germany, on _Filia_, a Hallberg-Rassy 41 thats been their home for 15 years; from _Ruach_ was Gary, a Lutheran minister from Texas, now on a year-and-a-half sabbatical, his wife Carol and 14-year-old daughter Bethany, a virtuoso violinist who stunned us with her performances. (_Ruach_, Gary told me, is the Hebrew word for the great winds from God at the time of creation. "The name really appealed to me," he laughed. "Its in the Lords first language, and in the event we need help, well, you know...") Paul from _Xtazy_ came solo; his girlfriend had been called home for a family emergency the week before, but he brought both food and his electric bass. The man can play. We met the crews from _Emma Nuestra_, and _Weigh Kewl_, and taxiing in from French Harbor were Leon and Wally from _Mabuhai_, Larry on _Antigone_, and Maria and Joe, on _Odyssey_, who were hit by lightning last season in Providencia, and were busy installing all-new electronics. Dave Waltz from _Victoria_ was there, serving up his homemade pate, picking his banjo and playing the harmonica; hes the man everyone in the Northwest Caribbean relies on for his daily weather reports on the morning net; Dave is amazing.