We combined Christmas celebrations this year with another baby step in our cruising preparedness. We sailed up to Melbourne to celebrate with Jacob’s parents. The trip took about 8 hours (going a maximum of 8 miles per hour). At one point we were able to put up both the jib and the main sail and turn off the engine, which is my favorite. It is so peaceful! Plus, the boat tips (heels) in a really neat way, that makes it feel very adventurous! 

We let the girls each open a crafty present on the way, to help keep them entertained. 

We stayed at the Telemar Bay Marina, which happens to be right across the street from Jacob’s parents. There were an amazing amount of dolphins there, and you could see them anytime you sat looking at the water for more then a minute or two. At one point they put on a little show for us on our walk back from the shower, and another time they swam next to the boat for quite a long way! Our spot at the marina allowed us to practice a new tie up position, the side-tie. It went pretty smoothly.

he caught a fish

It was a different type of Christmas for us. It is the first in many years that we did not spend in Colorado. So, no snow. Also, I really missed Verna this year. She always got so excited about Christmas, and it was infectious.

Verna bought this ornament in Alaska once while she was visiting Jacob and I. It is the only real ornament on our tree.

We had a very quiet Christmas Eve. GranMiri and Papa took the girls to church with them, and Jacob and I wrapped gifts, then on Christmas Day, everyone came to the boat to see what Santa had brought and have breakfast. We had a lovely Christmas dinner at Miriam and Chris’s house, and a game or two. The day after Christmas was a super fun day of baking cookies with GranMiri, napping, and then a big party with cousins.

Daddy making sound effects for his Lego dragon. 
The only thing that Lorelei asked Santa for was cotton candy!
key limes

Someone is excited for Christmas dinner!

Melissa, Mark, Will and Jack came to have a look at the boat while they were over too. It always feels smaller seeing it through other peoples eyes! I think living here for over 2 months, it feels normal to live in our cute tiny space. It is definitely not perfect, but it feels like home and instead of thinking of it as cramped I normally think of it as cozy these days. 

We decided to pull in bow first when we returned. We were actually pretty nervous about it. It is funny because it is supposed to be the easier way to do it, but our finger is sort of short, and because we have a rear cockpit, it lined up a little better stern first. We wanted more privacy in our cockpit though, and decided to try it out. We looked up the procedure in our ASA docking book, and figured out a game plan, and it all went swimmingly. We are starting to grow some confidence!

painting on passage

My first attempt at using the oven while underway. It turned out well. 
sailing selfies

Log entry for our trip
A few more holiday activities: 
We decorated our mast. We couldn't find most of our ornaments in the storage unit, but we had so much fun making some new ones. 
The dancing lights in downtown Fort Pierce. The lights flashed to really loud Christmas music. There were a ton of kids and they all danced. 
gingerbread house
My first attempt and applying Jamberrys. They had Santa and Rudolph on them. They didn't end up sticking well to Lorelei, I'm not sure what I did wrong. Audrey's are still on though!