Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Thank you all for the many Christmas wishes. It is always great to get updates from our old "Class of 2012" passage friends and our newly made ones! Thanks. There are some new pictures (New Zealand 1) on the page – so take a look if your bored with all the Christmas activities that are around!

We thought we'd have some fun sharing a few of the differences between our traditional Christmas and the one we celebrate in NZ.

It is summer here – so the days are exceptionally long – sun up 0600 and its light until 2100 (9pm). That means the Christmas lights don't get to be enjoyed until late, so it's tough to enjoy them.

It's summer – so it's warm and the kiwis are all in tank tops and shorts (still chilly enough for us to don long pants and sometimes even sweatshirts!). No snow in sight unless they truck it in for a festival. The other day a truckload of chipped ice was brought to a parking lot for the kids to play in - of course the kids were barefoot and in sundresses!

We are in Whangarei and perhaps in Auckland it's different – but there is less Christmas commercialism and hype here. There are some decorations including a nice big tree in the Town Basin Marina and many boats (including Astarte) are decked out. But they tend to be the foreign flagged vessels.

If you want a turkey for Christmas be prepared to sell the gold jewelry to get one! They are NOT cheap! Thank goodness we do the British traditional feast aboard Astarte and get the large roast beef (beef is better priced in NZ). In fact, most people here prefer chicken to turkey and you can get a "festive roasting chicken" (that would be a large one) at a decent price.

Because it is summer, there are lovely fresh strawberries in the market along with many other fresh fruits and vegetables.

Santa is around – but here he is much thinner (these kiwis are avid sportsmen and hikers so much fitter). He also wears a much lighter (material wise) outfit...and still sweats a lot! Instead of candy canes - he gives out "lollies" (lollipops).

There are still the sales – and the after Christmas day sale (called Boxing Day) happens a day earlier than in the northern hemisphere. So we'll get the sales earlier!

Because we are on the other side of the dateline – today is already Christmas Eve day and tomorrow is Christmas. That means Santa starts here!

Merry Christmas all...from New Zealand.
At 12/13/2015 7:48 PM (utc) S/V Astarte was located at 35°43.54'S 174°19.74'E

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