Posts Tagged 'holidays'

Christmas at Sea

A poem from Robert Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 – 1894)

The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seaman scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor’wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.

They heard the surf a-roaring before the break of day;
But ’twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.
We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,
And we gave her the maintops’l, and stood by to go about.

All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;
All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life and nature we tacked from head to head.

We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide race roared;
But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard:
So’s we saw the cliffs and houses, and the breakers running high,
And the coastguard in his garden, with his glass against his eye.

The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning bright in every ‘long-shore home;
The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;
And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessel went about.

The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
For it’s just that I should tell you how (of all days in the year)
This day of our adversity was blessèd Christmas morn,
And the house above the coastguard’s was the house where I was born.

O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,
My mother’s silver spectacles, my father’s silver hair;
And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves,
Go dancing round the china plates that stand upon the shelves.

And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,
Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;
And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,
To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessèd Christmas Day.

They lit the high sea-light, and the dark began to fall.
‘All hands to loose top gallant sails,’ I heard the captain call.
‘By the Lord, she’ll never stand it,’ our first mate, Jackson, cried.
… ‘It’s the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson,’ he replied.

She staggered to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,
And the ship smelt up to windward just as though she understood.
As the winter’s day was ending, in the entry of the night,
We cleared the weary headland, and passed below the light.

And they heaved a mighty breath, every soul on board but me,
As they saw her nose again pointing handsome out to sea;
But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,
Was just that I was leaving home and my folks were growing old.

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panda hippo gnu deer!

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays! May you and yours have a blessed time this holiday season.

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photo quiz

with a large family like mine, it it often difficult to align everyone’s schedule and get us all together at once.  so this year we celebrated Christmas with my side of the family a few days late, opening presents on Friday night, and then having our big holiday dinner Saturday night.  here is my dinner plate:

dinner

here is a photo of dessert:

dessert

here is the photo quiz:

  1. what is the main type of meat from dinner?
  2. what are the 2 sauces for the meat (both at the top of the plate)?
  3. what are the 6 side dishes? (or just list as many ingredients as you can)
  4. what was the dessert (with ingredients)?
  5. how many of the my2fish clan were in attendance?
  6. what is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

if you are a family member who was at the dinner, don’t give away any answers, but feel free to comment with thoughts (and any corrections if I incorrectly identify anything!).

good luck!

happy holidays!

Merry Christmas (a bit late) and happy New Year (a bit early)!  hope you all have a great time over the holidays!

here is a great holiday picture of a holiday Sunfish (photo by Laser Performance):

holiday sunfish

festivus poles & Sunfish masts

so 12/23 is Festivus, a holiday tradition started on Seinfeld.

for the last several years, I’ve taken a Festivus pole in to work, complete with a home-made stand I made for it to keep it upright.  the Festivus pole is made from aluminum (favored for it’s strength-to-weight ratio), and it usually not decorated.  I had never really made a connection with the Festivus pole and sailing before, but I think that Mr Tillerman was hinting on The Twitter that there is something familiar about the Festivus pole.

I think he was hinting that it bares a striking resemblance to a Sunfish mast.  my particular Festivus pole came from another source (my father-in-law works at a shop that uses a lot of aluminum tubing to fabricate equipment), it is quite a bit shorter, and has a MUCH thicker wall thickness than the typical Sunfish mast.  I left it at work, but I would guess the diameters are fairly close.

I’ve heard stories of Sunfish sailors going sailing in conditions with extremely powerful winds and bending the mast on the Sunfish – maybe this thicker-walled Festivus pole would have made a good substitute.  well, more than likely, it’d probably just force the problem from the mast to the fiberglass and destroy the fiberglass mast step… so maybe the thin-walled Sunfish mast was thin by design, to make it the weakest link and avoid damaging the fiberglass.  then again, I’m probably putting too much thought into this.

anyway, enjoy the holiday of Festivus tomorrow, and the holiday season in general.  here’s a video montage from the Festivus episode if you haven’t already seen it, or just want to relive the fun.


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