Christmas At Sea

Celebrating Christmas in the middle of The Atlantic

By Jess Rego on December 27, 2018

It’s a bit mad to think that we’ve been out at sea for over two weeks now. Time is both flying by and moving impossibly slowly, all at the same time. As we settle into our eat, sleep, row, repeat routines it’s nice to have moments that are a little different to break up our time.

We have a weekly team treat planned for the journey and by luck our second treat fell exactly on Christmas Day! So how do you celebrate the holidays in a tiny little boat in the middle of nowhere?

Well, it started with some sneaky planning and covert packing of the boat so the girls wouldn’t find out what Santa had in store for them. Even now I’m not sure how I got so much stashed away without being caught! We woke on Christmas morning to find that in the night our tides had shifted and we were finally being pushed the right way so we pulled up our para anchor and set off for a good days row.

Carolines sister, Sally, had sent a merry Christmas sign to us so while we jetboiled our breakfast and morning teas we decorated Poppy and got her in the festive spirit. Then all we had to do was stick on a classic carol playlist and off we went, singing our little Christmas hearts out. We even wrote our own Status Row carol! Video evidence to follow when we’re back on dry land.

We pushed hard through the day to try to regain some of the lost miles from the previous few days and were rewarded with sunny skies and the most beautiful seas. In the afternoon we paused for some Christmas Day treat. I got to wash my hair for the first time in two weeks (heaven!) while Susan and Caroline ticked skinny dipping in the Atlantic off their bucket lists. I’m not sure anyone has had more fun cleaning under a boat than Caz, swimming around and twisting to get all the bits of algae off. She’s our little fish and I’m sure would be in the water every day if we didn’t keep ahold of her!

We rowed a bit more after (standard) before stopping to do presents and a Christmas feast. Along with team gifts we also had a slew of treats smuggled aboard by friends and family so as we sat, sipping a Christmas port, we honestly couldn’t have felt luckier. This row is challenging in so many ways and while we enjoy the obstacles it was lovely to just take a moment for ourselves.

So what is in a Christmas feast at sea? Along with far too many biscuits and mince pies we had the classic mash with gravy, some ratatouille and even fried spam. (I snuck the frying pan on board too!) Hey, it may not be gourmet but I wasn’t going to get a whole turkey dinner on here so I did my best! And it was actually pretty good. Maybe it’s all the dehydrated rations talking but I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.

After dinner we washed up and got ready to row with one last Christmas surprise… a narrated recording of the Muppets Christmas Carol! Smiles all around as we laughed and sang along. As the sun went down we were treated to the most spectacular starry sky, the most perfect ending to a wonderful, magical Christmas at sea.

Times can get tough out here but we’re doing our best too stay positive, embrace the moments and remember how lucky we are to be on this adventure. Long days rowing but eventually we will make it to Antigua, still laughing and singing our hearts out.

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