We wish each of you a very happy holiday season filled with warmth and surrounded by your family and friends. We miss our families and are especially saddened this holiday with the loss of Michael's mom to our lives! It makes for a sadder holiday for us but we do wish happy times during this season for all of you.
We are lucky to be surrounded by our new cruising friends and it is quite the international tribe so we get to share in interesting traditions from various cultures and nationalities.
It is hard to believe it is the holiday season here in New Zealand because it is summer! We have spent the last three Christmas seasons in tropical climates so you would think we would be used to it. But here, we arrived in colder weather and it felt more like a traditional Christmas season. Now, the days are quite long, the sun is out more, and temperatures are warming up with each passing sunrise.
We are currently experiencing some bad weather - the remnants of tropical Cyclone Evan that hit Somoa and Fiji, but it should pass just after Christmas and we can continue exploring the Bay of Islands.
We continue to be amazed at how far we have come aboard the good ship Astarte. It has been quite the ride and an incredible experience that we treasure. Though there have been some passages that have not been perfect - we try to forget the bad and remember only all the great sailing, incredible places and amazing people.
To each of you we wish a season filled with health, love, happiness and kindness. Be grateful for each other and treasure each day. We do!!!
Michael and Barbara
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