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Date: 25 Dec 2010 02:33:00
Title: Christmas on Scat Island 9:34.70N 78:43.44W

Our Second Christmas at Sea

We should be thorough the Canal with our hook deeply bedded in the sand in Ecuador by now, but we bumped in to some fabie folk from Itchenor, discovered that we couldn't stop laughing when we where together so decided to double back on ourselve to spent Chrismas in the sunshine at our favourite anchorage to date, with guarenteed hillarity.

Panama like so many places around the world is experiencing the worst weather since records began, so things started looking less likely with regards spending Christmas with Rosanna, Pette,Teddy and the ever increasing Bump Rosanna is hosting.  Rain and mud slides had ground Panama to a grinding stop.  So having returned from Sweden the Billa gang were stranded in Panama for a week longer than they had intended, making our plan for the perfect Christmas rather shaky.  We however having done all the formalities for transiting the canal in Colon, had whizzed down to the San Blas just in time to sit in the boat for 10days of rain and serious squalls. We where all really starting to understand the concept of cabin fever (colin hasn't shaved for 2 wks, counting in two's and is only answering to Noah).   But after much consideration about heading back up to mainland Panama we opted to sit tight and pray for fair winds and the end of the biblical rain fall.
 

The joy of seeing lolo and glorious sunshine sailing in, with  crew all doning Santa hats was fabulous.

Teddies celebrated his 4th birthday, a bit late but who is counting when you 4 Ballon games lunch on the beach,  tea and cake, kids sleepover.
    
So back to loads of laughter, yummy food and kids playing with trucks in the sand, we all sail down to our favourite Island,  Named by Teddy in Swedish as Scat(treasure) Island
We had our island to ourselves only sharing it with our 3 Kuna indians guys who live full time here.
The following few days saw us decorating the boats 'over all' and making them look as festive as possible.

23nd of Dec, we all dressed up as father christmas or reindeers and went off Carol singing to the Kuna indians on the island.  This quickly got renamed when we bumped into a coral head to 'Coral Singing', and whilst the locals didn't quite understand what was going on one backpacker guy from the only other boat in the anchorage wading out to hand over a cigar,
 
Christmas eve,  beautiful weather, dadies spear fishing,  hot hot hot, kids playing on the island in the sand, a mirage of a veg boat arrives the first one in 2 weeks,  and the first ever bread supply boat we have ever seen in Kuna Yala,  rafting up, much much excitement from the littlies, Swedish Christmas, wonderful swedish songs quickly followed by far too many vodka Scholls. The perfect dreamy day.
  Christmas Eve was a very sunny day   
Noisey father christmas,  even Zinnia was shouting at him to be quiet.......seems he was a wee bit confused too, must have been at the end of his rounds.  At four am Liz wakes with a jump the wind gets up and afew final  arrangements have failed to be exicuted for real authenticity, thanking the sixth sence yet again as  we need to reanchor only we need to do it now in the dark howling wind. The rest of the night is sleepless anchor watching, but at least we see that father christmas has delivered the presents.  Kids up soon after first light as every small child should be.
Only to discover that Father christmas must have had a wee bit too much rum by the time he got to us and all the presies and mixed up and in the wrong sack, silly old santa....... Seems that  Swedish christmas confuse Santa a wee bit.
  
So guaranteed Christmas laughter from start to finish,  On our best Island

Christmas day is welcomed in with spots of rain,  what is that song about 'you always take the weather with you' but with lolo it's always turned into a hoot.  just the songs batted between the boats are rain songs rather than our usual carols or festive swedish tunes.  The rain, for once, is no bad thing as it give the children a good blast at building huge lego constructions received from father christmas.  Finally prelunch ambles on the beach, which involves wearing nothing but a father christmas hat and armed with water artilery and water bombs.   This is where the gut renching howls of laughter really get going, at one point we thought Rosanna was about to give birth.
  
Back to our boat for lunch when Edwino our Kunas friend who owns the island here telephons to ask if we need anything from the local town, it's sail away 2 hours away and  he's paddled there to sell his coconuts he paddle back tomorrow with eggs and fuel for the out board,  this may seem a small thing but it's our first sign of any very humble Kuna to show any real friendship and dispite the fact we have never seen him smile other than when cosmo got him to sit on a whoopie cushion,  it's a really good feeling to be accepted a wee bit.
Father Christmas actually came to the boats
Boxing day blues,  the weather really caves in and with storms and gusts of wind reaching 45 it's time to find a more sheltered spot where our anchor is able to get properly bedded in to thick sand.   It's been a complete blast and a magical christmas but 3 nights of not much sleep due to anchor watch is starting to wear thin.  However we still have the photo's from the day before that will always start the laughter off again.

We move on to a better known anchorage,  It's late and we have got to get the hook in before the next squall, which is baring down on us, hits.  We just cannot find a place, so we travel around the corner as quickly as possible to yet another well known, but busy safe place.  Only we are met with hostility from a North American guy who thinks he owns the place as he has live in the same anchorage for 7 years,  his boat might be stroone with festive lights but his complaint on the VHF to other boats is a little less joyful or charitable, apparently we are Euro Trash....... This just leads to a totally sleep deprived night mostly due to both of us being so wound up, the wind has not abaited either.

But despite everything it's the best Christmas we have ever had and certainly the funniest


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