This month, MAHI is participating in a Cruising “Raft-Up,” or blog hop, hosted by Kelly at CruisingMomBlog.com. A Raft-Up is where a variety of Cruising Blogs write about the same topic. This month’s topic is “Holidays While Cruising.”
The crew on MAHI have experienced unique holidays on our boat in a variety of locations. These include out island Trick or Treating, Easter Egg hunting on a secluded beach digging for eggs in the sand, and making Christmas Trees out of driftwood and lights. What could have been a holiday disaster instead have become wonderful opportunities to create fun and unusual cruising memories.
Building interesting holiday memories onboard does involve a bit of foresight and making it work in the moment. The key to holiday success onboard comes down to several key skills- preplanning, improvising, and creativity.
Preplanning: At the beginning of every season, I pre-organize what is needed for each holiday that year. First holiday of each Atlantic cruising season is Halloween and includes packing a costume. If we are planning to be the only child trick or treating on a small, Bahamian island, then I pack candy and little Halloween bags to hand out to people willing to help out.
Dressed as a firefighter with flip flops in the tropical heat, Ethan was excited to do Halloween, Bahamian style. Along for the ride was friend, Suky Cannon, from SV Shambala. We borrowed a small truck from local friends Jay and Karen Campbell, an imported vehicle that speaks to you in Japanese, and what followed was the most memorable Halloween ever!
Every beach house we pre-arranged to visit invited us in for drinks or they put on a scary, fun show just for Ethan. Some friends dressed up. We met the most interesting people and this made for a truly unique Halloween!
As you preplan your various holidays, remember to think well ahead of your need and pack it along.
Improvising: Sometimes, you just have to make the holiday work using items on hand or adapting the location. Easter earlier this year was one of those holidays where we needed to seriously improvise.
Easter basket goodies and a special Easter present was provided by a dear family friend, Becky, who flew out to the boat and packed it along. Coloring eggs and where to hide them became our challenge because we were in a secluded anchorage off of an uninhabited Bahamian Island.
I experimented with some paint and cake frosting dye, trying to color the hard boiled eggs the best we could. I added vinegar to the dye, hoping it would help set the color, but this was a fail. The color would come off on fingers and any surface, so hiding them on my white boat deck was out of the question.
I then decided to take advantage of the island beach, but remembered another epic Easter failure a few years ago involving plastic Easter eggs, chocolate candy and island ants with a friend boat, Ditch’d Hatteras. Ethan and his friend, Faith, were both 4 years old at the time.
By the time the kids found the eggs, the ants were chowing down and on a major sugar high. It was pretty funny, and the parents had a good laugh. Kids, not so much, but we replaced the ant infested candy to bring back smiles. 🐜
Back to Easter, 2018 and hiding the dyed eggs on the beach. This time, I went ashore in the morning and hid them behind grass clumps, driftwood, peeking out from seaweed, and under huge, obvious mounds of sand. Then, back to the boat to pick up the crew for the hunt. Success! Dye mess contained and one happy little boy.
Part of the fun in cruising is improvising when you need to.
Creativity: In our very first Christmas cruising, I packed gifts and stocking stuffers, but somehow forgot about a tree. I decided to collect driftwood and make my own, adding lights to jazz it up a bit. Admittedly, not my best creative work, but it did the job!
Here is a more a more attractive version of a driftwood Christmas tree:
If you are crafty, you can use fun foam, empty paper towel rolls, or other available material to create a boat Christmas tree. This is where creativity comes into play. More Pinterest ideas:
Remember, no matter which holiday you celebrate or your family traditions, with a bit of pre-planning, improvising, and creativity, you can have an interesting holiday experience on your boat.
Please follow this link to read other cruiser Raft Up posts.
Happy Holidays from SV Mahi!