A Guana Cay Christmas

Dec. 26, 2013. In 1492 Christopher Columbus (supposedly) landed in the Bahamas. The truth is as murky as the origins of Boxing Day which is today. He didn’t land-ho in Guana Cay of  course, but still…

034We arrived Guana Cay, Abaco on Dec. 12 with plans to cross to Eleuthera ASAP. We are still here. Well, here again, I should say. We flew back to N.C. for a week since the weather prevented our 10 hour open ocean crossing to Spanish Wells. We’re wimps and don’t do these passages with either high wind or worse yet, high seas.

Because we booked flights so late, the only day we could return (before Jan. 1, 2014) was Dec. 24.

Christmas eve sunset
Christmas eve sunset

Both of us would really have preferred to have Christmas day in NC with friends and family and we were not looking forward to a long day with no special celebration.

030 Of course I had our boat tree, Christmas elf, and gifts but people make a holiday.

We had gotten up at 3:00 to catch our flight from RDU to Miami and on to Marsh Harbour. From there we took the ferry to Guana.  I didn’t feel like cooking so we asked around to see if any restaurant was open Christmas eve. Turns out Nippers was. Hoping for some holiday cheer, we headed up to Nippers at 6:00 for dinner. That was all we expected. Some folks gave us a ride up the hill in their 4-seater golf cart, and told us Santa was coming at 6:30.

027I ran ( okay maybe a fast walk) back to the boat to get my camera since the place was full of people enjoying (lots) of holiday cheer and it looked like things would get even jollier than the old man himself could create.

Santa came. Photos were taken with kids and kid-like adults (me)021 the music cranked up and dancing began.



Some place along the line, Claudia (age 20 something) came to our table and after a few more drinks and dances-one with her Dad, Roger, and me- invited us to Christmas dinner. Gretchen, mom of this group- said if we came, it would make her Christmas. How could we refuse?

The wind came up, really up-as predicted and we had a rocky night at the dock. I think it was the wind that made my head move faster than my body, but I admit to more Christmas eve than usual too. So, Christmas morning after gifts, breakfast and showers, I cooked my famous garlic-cheese grits to take. Claudia and Madeline arrived on time, we grabbed a bottle of wine and in the back of their golf cart headed west on the one road along the Cay to their house overlooking the Sea of Abaco.037

Roger grilled lobster tails, steaks and conch. We had never had grilled conch. 040Gretchen fried conch for her first time and we had all the trimmings, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn on the cob and of course cheese grits. so, we had Christmas dinner with Roger, Gretchen, Claudia, Taylor, Casey, Madeline, Angie and Jeff. Even adding the two of us, I’m sure no one went hungry. We finally hitch a rid back about 4:30 and only had a Caesar salad with water for dinner. The final plan was to go to Grabbers for fireworks but we didn’t make it.

So, Christmas was one of those serendipitous events that always turn out well since it carries no expectations and everything and everyone exceeds the non-expectations. So, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Jan and Ed

Jan and Ed

About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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