‘Tis the Season

Now that the festivities are over, let me share here how we spent our first (yes, First) Year End holidays living aboard Pesto

The experience was impacted by this new lifestyle we adopted at the middle of the year. Some aspects were different, while others were surprisingly similar to our life on land.

 

Christmas: On the one hand, it took us a little longer to get in full Christmas mood. Back on land, the media, commercial activities, and the annual rhythm at the office and school would stimulate our Christmas vibes earlier on in the season.

On the other hand, even though we are living in a boat, Christmas still felt pretty much the same as on land … we decorated Pesto outside and gazed at the stunning decorations of boats around us, we had a Christmas tree and a Nativity in the cabin, the kids placed their wishes inside stockings, and Santa Claus did come to town – I’m glad we watched out !

Christmas run up in Ventura ... Raquel made the gingerbread house
Christmas run up in Ventura … Raquel made the gingerbread house
Adriana was the mastermind behind our Christmas Tree and the Nativity (not captured on photo)
Adriana was the mastermind behind our Christmas Tree and the Nativity (not captured on photo)
And the kids hanged their stockings with Christmas Wishes for Santa
And the kids hanged their stockings with Christmas Wishes for Santa
Outside, boats in the marina were beautifully decorated
Outside, boats in the marina were beautifully decorated
It was lovely to walk around the docks at night
It was lovely to walk around the docks at night

Pesto-16Dec14-062

Pesto-16Dec14-061

This one was Raquel's favorite
This one was Raquel’s favorite
Pesto also received some external decoration - modest, but with love and pride !
Pesto also received some external decoration – modest, but with love and pride !
But Nature won the decorations contest, throwing this stunning and incredibly appropriate red sunset right at the evening of the 24th
But Nature won the decorations contest, throwing this stunning and incredibly appropriate red sunset right at the evening of the 24th

 

New Year: The last week of the year was also a first – after the Santa Cruz Island passage fiasco, we arrived to Santa Catalina Island and for the first time had the opportunity to do some pure cruising on this journey (up to now, every place we had stopped was en-route South. Santa Catalina was the first place we went to just for cruising). And cruise we did: with Pesto safely tied to the moorings of Catalina Harbor, we plunged in the water, swam in the company of seals, explored everything with the dinghy, studied the feeding habits of seagulls (a science project for Paulo), used the paddle board extensively, flew Paulo’s super-cool new kite, did some mountain biking, and had a long hike up a mountain at the entrance of the bay. The kids were in love with the place, and asked us to stay longer (which we obliged happily). The night of the 31st itself was pretty quiet – we had originally made reservation at the village’s only restaurant, but a cold front (another!) set in and temperatures dropped dramatically in the evening, encouraging us to cancel the reservation and dine onboard instead.

After an unexpectedly hectic passage from Santa Cruz, we found tranquility at the sheltered waters of Cat harbor - Santa Catalina Island
After an unexpectedly hectic passage from Santa Cruz, we found tranquility at the sheltered waters of Cat harbor – Santa Catalina Island
Sheltered and clear - the waters were inviting, despite being cold. We took advantage of the warm weather on the first days there and plunged ...
Sheltered and clear – the waters were inviting, despite being cold. We took advantage of the warm weather on the first days there and plunged …
... finding a new perspective  of our home ...
… finding a new perspective of our home …
... and having a lot of fun in the process.
… and having a lot of fun in the process.
We took the dinghy to observe the rocky formations from close by
We took the dinghy to observe the rocky formations from close by
And Adriana took her first ride all by herself
And Adriana took her first ride all by herself
Wildlife was abundant - those who fly ...
Wildlife was abundant – those who fly …
... the ones who swim ...
… the ones who swim …
... and the really big guys who forage on land
… and the really big guys who forage on land
When the wether got colder, we took advantage of the breeze to fly Paulo's super-cool new kite
When the weather got colder, we took advantage of the breeze to fly Paulo’s super-cool new kite
And spent quality time in the cabin - playing ...
And spent quality time in the cabin – playing …
... discovering (Raquel's science experiment, testing whether bean seeds sprout on different kinds of soil) ...
… discovering (Raquel’s science experiment, testing whether bean seeds sprout on different kinds of soil) …
... or simply relaxing (we watched and laughed to a whole season of Big Bang Theory while there)
… or simply relaxing (we watched and laughed to a whole season of Big Bang Theory while there)
Then, at the beginning of the New Year, we decided to hike up the mountain at the entrance of the bay ...
Then, at the beginning of the New Year, we decided to hike up the mountain at the entrance of the bay …
... it was quite a lot of effort - well beyond our skill level - but which reward us with beautiful views from up above ...
… it was quite a lot of effort – and a good stretch to our skill level – but which reward us with beautiful views from up above …
... giving us a good sense of accomplishment and purpose to start the year
… giving us a good sense of accomplishment and purpose to start the year

... giving us a good sense of accomplishment and purpose to start the year

And the the Moon came from behind the red hills at sunset ...
And the the Moon came from behind the red hills at sunset …
... decorating our home with its pale blue light, and filling up our hearts with expectations of what lies ahead on this journey
… decorating our home with its pale blue light, and filling up our hearts with expectations of what lies ahead on this journey

Now we just headed back to mainland. We will be pretty busy in January, and are looking forward to what lies ahead for the remainder of the year. Bring it on !

4 Replies to “‘Tis the Season”

  1. Ahoy maties!
    Akimbo and crew enjoyed the same harbor and maybe even the same hike on Catalina (did you walk past a water tank with “don’t shoot this water tank” stenciled on it?). It is fun to be reminded of it and feel something familiar and shared between us. Thank you for sharing your trip – its pleasures and its challenges. Have a great new year.
    Bon voyage,
    jon

  2. Hi Jon, yep we hiked past the water tank on the way back ! The signs were more politically correct this time tough (“water unsuitable for drinking”). Happy 2015!!!

Leave a Reply