Christmas Lunch: Picture the scene, forty hungry faces, eagerly gathered in the lower mess, eyes keenly trained on the serving hatch as before them appeared wonderful visions of tinsel and gold. Like no officer they had seen before these creatures bore gifts of smoked salmon and prawn salads! No sooner had these been consumed than further epicurean delights appeared in the form of Roast Turkey, Stuffing, Parsnips, Sprouts and 'all the trimmings’.
All of this was washed down, of course, with a glass (or three) of the finest Rioja.
We ought to take a moment or two to describe our serving staff. Such highlights of the garb Santa had left the permanent crew included; John W’s Santa hat (complete with flashing lights wishing us Felice Navidad), Captain John’s Santa-strewn festive tie, and mate Chris’s nicely washed face and neatly brushed hair!
Before we descend into the depths of the humour as found in Christmas crackers, special mention and thanks must be made to the Cook and Galley Staff: Alison the Cook who was ably assisted by Mandy, Will and Dave from the voyage crew.
Between the numerous courses, people paused and enjoyed the finest crackers Santa Cruz, La Palma could offer us – alas, they didn’t include the finest humour on the island. Here are a few choice examples:
- What do you get when you cross a detective with a skeleton? Sherlock Bones!
- - Two fish swim into a concrete wall, one turns to the other and says "Dam!"
- - What do you call a woman standing between two goal posts? Annette!
- And finally... (Thank God)
- What did Sea say when it saw the sand? Nothing it just waved!
Several members of the crew made toasts throughout the proceedings. Starting with Alec the 2nd engineer who delivered a succinct grace, we toasted:
"Wives and sweethearts, may they never meet!" (Capt. John)
"Absent friends and ships at sea" (Mate Chris)
"Thanks to all those who have worked so hard and created this wonderful meal for us to enjoy" (Sue)
"All servicemen and women who find themselves abroad and away from their families" (Phil)
Thanks to all were repeated by various members of the voyage crew.
Much later, the Port was broached; mince pies and Christmas cake attacked and After Eights consumed. The majority of the ships crew were then sprawled about the deck as darkness fell and a most memorable Christmas Day moved into night.