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The ship's blog for SV Nelleke out of Shelburne, NS
Boxing Day!
12/26/2009, Fernandina Beach, Florida

For those of you from south of the 45th parallel and who might not have any idea what Boxing Day is, no, it has nothing to do with getting into a ring and beating the daylights out of someone, rather it is something from the UK in which Boxing Day was traditionally the day that parcels would be sent and that you would normally give the postman a tip or present for his or her hard work on your behalf all the previous yesr. Of course all that went into the dumpster when the post office became unionized, service waned and there would definitely be no postman coming around on the day after Christmas. Still, Boxing Day in Canada is a statutory holiday and is usually spent sitting is an easy chair in a warm and comfortable living room try9ing to digest the dinner from the night before. Today was no exception for us. Barb did a superb job yesterday with dinner and the Turneys and the Olsens feasted on excellent crab cakes as a started provided by Eric and turkey with all the trimmings, mashed potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts and squash, followed by mince meat tarts and all washed down with two bottles of very fine wine that Eric and Cori had also thoughtfully provided.

Today we discovered that the handover of the marina to the private interests will take place on the 15th of January. At that time a private firm who has the management of over 75 other marinas from as far away as Hawaii will take over and who knows what the situation here will be then. I am sure that it will be as well run as it is now but probably will do so at much higher dockage rates. Perhaps when Screech comes down in January, if they don't beat the handover date, they could report on this situation and post it in a comment to the blog.

Kayt and Chris' last Christmas parcel to us arrived today and included some small but very meaningful items that would have gone in our stockings: some photos of her and her boyfriends and his kids over Christmas, some really nice soap, a new Nelleke baseball hat for me and two long sleeved shirts, one for each of us. It was very nice to get it and the photos in particular made it seem more like we were sharing their Christmas.

I am getting things ready for boat projects starting tomorrow and other than some switches (which I may actually have in my electrics tool box) I think that I am good to go. None of them seem too involved, even the creation of a more stable attachment for the autohelm isn't technically a big deal; I just want to make sure that I do it right so that it will be the last time that I have to do it.

Eric and Cori likewise are getting ready for an install of their wind generator and solar panels that I have promised to give them a hand doing. Looks like they might be staying a little longer than theis coming Monday too.

This evening we will be treating ourselves to a movie in the theatre, we just haven't decided whether we will be going to see Avatar or the new Sherlock Holmes movie as yet. I'll let you know tomorrow.

09-10 Cruise
12/26/2009 | Lynn
The Bahamas recognizes Boxing Day, too... but then, they have the same Queen on their money as well, so except for the fact that there is no snow, and it is not cold, I could almost imagine I am back in Canada... no I can't. Glad to hear you had a lovely Christmas - here's hoping the New Year is good to you!
12/27/2009 | Al & Jennifer
Mike. As an ex Brit, that is the first time I have ever heard of that explanation, & as far back as I can remember the post office was always closed on Boxing Day. Now I may be wrong, but I like the Boxing(as in prize fighting) idea, & that is what I always thought it was. Maybe this will start a long debate:-)))
Merry Christmas, Everyone!
12/25/2009, Fernandina Beach, Florida

Christmas Day in Northern Florida...what an experience! Almost as warm as the one last year in Gulfport.

We went to an Episcopal Christmas Eve service last night and I was struck by the similarities but even more by the differences between them and the Anglican service of worship. The Hymn Book doesn't have the titles of the hymns just the words and they are all numbered; the prayers of the people are much more related to the current world situation as seen by the USA than ours are - lots of references to war and terrorism; and throughout the evening I never did get used to the southern accents on the priests. All in all it was a great service, making us feel at home with good music and friendly folk. I got feeling really Christmassy for sure.

Then we came home to Nelleke to entertain Eric and Cori or to have them join us for lobster sandwiches and eggnog before we hit the hay to await Santa Clause. For us though, he had visited Nelleke while we were at church so we opened our presents before we went to bed. Kayt and Chris bought us some electronic books and we had each bought each other some small things to go under our small Christmas tree. We used real Barb knit stockings for the Christmas stockings and we emptied those too. In all really good evening.

This morning while I prepared our breakfast we connected with Kayt and Kevin and his kids to watch the turmoil at their Christmas. Fun and I rather wish that we could be there or they could be here.

Today I'll make for a short post. We'll be preparing Christmas dinner and hosting our friends. The weather isn't so wonderful, but I imagine that the day will be pretty laid back.

Merry Christmas to all. Ho Ho Ho! Enjoy the day.

09-10 Cruise
12/25/2009 | Jay and Lou
Merry Christmas,
Sounds like you are settled into FB for the time being at least. Glad you are having some warm fun and good weather. Very cold and windy here but we're enjoying being with the big kids for a Christmas and getting to see their world. Rodeo for new years eve! Yahooo!
Best Christmas wishes, Jay and Lou
12/25/2009 | Duane and Diane
Merry Christmas to you, Mike and Barb. It was a little warmer in SW Florida - 79F in a mix of overcast with some sunny patches. Way too much food and beverage over the past several weeks, but the fellowship with friends and family can't be beat.
12/25/2009 | Bruce
Merry Christmas Mike and Barb!
Christmas Eve!
12/24/2009, Fernandina Beach, Florida

It's Christmas Eve and we are busy doing some boat jobs and a whole lot of Christmas jobs. Yesterday we strung Christmas lights on the boat and Barb stayed up until at least one o'clock in the morning doing the bulk of her Christmas baking. The boat was still full of warm Christmas smells when I got up to prepare breakfast this morning.

She started all that immediately after Eric and Cori had treated us to a lovely dinner at the Crab Shack in town. That now makes four restaurants that we have sampled here in Fernandina Beach and they were all excellent and worth the money. Mind you we have been avoiding the places with linen tablecloths and silverware on the table so perhaps that would be where the real haut cuisine and big prices lie.

While Barb continued with baking goodies I pulled up the floorboards and had a go at the holding tank. I think that I found the source of the odour leak - it would appear that sometime when I was installing the macerator I must have tugged on the hose from the head to the tank and untwisted it about an eighth of a turn which was enough to allow a little leak especially of the air inside the tank when we pumped the head. I tightened it up and added some silicon sealant around the edge of it so hopefully that will deal with the problem. I still have to get the kink out of the air vent hose though and I'll deal with that once I buy some new elbow tubing.

I am back in my shorts and T-shirt with sandals on my feet. Hurrah! This is how Christmas is supposed to be, after all I don't think that there was a whole lot of frost on the date trees in Bethlehem!

Then with Eric and Cori's kind assistance we turned Nelleke about in her dock and removed the old solar panel and installed the new one and yeah doggies - it works! We are presently putting out 4A even with some shadow on it and the other one. The old one is sitting outside of the dumpster at Atlantic Seafood, if anyone wants it.

I eventually got around to taking them out to the island of sharks' teeth, but by 13h00 it was high tide and it certainly appears that they are having an extraordinary high tide at present. In the spring when we were here even at high there was always a strip of beach but now the water level is all the way up to the grass. We'll come back tomorrow after breakfast and gift giving etc.

I got a spiny lobster tail from the Seafood Store right next to the docks and we will be having that as a lobster salad sandwich after church service tonight. The local Episcopal Church has a music service starting at 21h30 so since both Barb and I enjoy music that'll be the one that we attend if we're not too sloshed from the Wassail Bowl that I made earlier today.

09-10 Cruise
12/25/2009 | Chris & Sheila
Mery Christmas and Best Wishes in the New Year.

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Notes from Nelleke's Log
Who: Mike, Barb, and Periwinkle
Port: SHYC, Shelburne, Nova Scotia and RNSYS Halifax
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