When you are far away from family and home those special days when family and home is so important can bring on a bit of the blues. Each holiday that has come by, the cruising community has risen to the call and banded together to create remarkable memories in far off places.

Last 4th of July we had the “real American 4th” in Bora Bora. Before that we had the Canada Day party on Furthur. All brought a touch of homeland to far off cruisers.

So it was with great joy that I learned from our cruising friends on the SV Totem that plans for a huge cruisers party was afoot in Sydney. We arrived at the Cammeray Marina, a very pleasant, small family run marina owned by three generations of cruisers. They welcomed us warmly and fangdangled us a place to moor. All that day and the next cruising boats entered the small bay, some brightly decorated.

The sun came out and warmed us all up for a good time, food came from every galley and cockpit and the sound of laughing children peaked by the upcoming days filled the air.

About seventy boaters arrived and the party began. I tied balloons for the kids, a dinghy full of ice became the community cooler and the first round of food emerged. Old friends came who I had met along the Coconut Milk Run in distant islands. It was so good to see them and good to meet many new ones.

All of a sudden there rose such a clatter! As Santa arrived in a rowboat, the reindeer cannot swim you see. The walkway around the house was full of bobbing little heads and the sound that only comes when kids see Santa. Santa made his way into the main room and gave each kid a specially wrapped gift. As in the past I was moved by the spirit of the cruising kids. Young and old they all were full of fun, glee and high spirits yet remarkably well behaved.

After the second round of food was consumed and the party well underway, our host, the Grandmother of the family, gave a heartwarming speech about friendship and the cruising community. She told of her families connection to cruising, giving her son a bit of a blush, when she stated he was conceived in a cruising yacht and nearly born on one too.

The party moved to several yachts as the warm sun set late in the evening. I came back to Furhtur a happy man. Christmas is not about where you are it is about who you are with. I am blessed with so many wonderful friends and great times.

Merry Christmas to all from Furthur