We trust your Christmas was happy and shared with those you care about and we wish you everything you wish for yourself in the comming year, 2006.
We spent Christmas here in Florianopolis on Santa Catarina Island in southern Brasil. We had hoped top be elsewhere but it seems it was not part of plan, it must be a Divine Plan becasue we have given up trying to figure it out. The weather for the week before Christmas was so changeable that we had to change our anchorage every day in order to be protected from swell and wind; its very tiring moving your house that often, even its only 2 miles! Some mornings we are not sure which bay we are waking up in, some meals are prepared on one side and eaten on the other. On Christmas Eve a strong SE buffeted us until an hour before midnight when it swung bringing up a swell causing us to hobby-horse up-and-down. So as Santa Claus streaked across thje sky we flew under the bridges, passing Betelgeuse the naval vessel all decked out in lights, anchoring in North bay just after midnight to the sound of fireworks from the neighbouring shores.(Maybe thats why our satallite phone and portable DVD did not get delivered - we were on the move!)
The BeiraMar (means seaside) stretches in an E-W direction for about 3 km, along side which a multi-lane highway run and behind is a line of high rise apartment buildings which look out across the bay, and down on us. For the Christmas season most of these buildings have strung lines of lights down the buidling facades forming triangles , looking like graphic representations of Christmas trees. A many tiered metal Christmas tree structure was erected at the end of the public jetty and the only night it was not lit was Christmas Eve! With all these extra lights on the shore its quite difficult navigating at night - used to be that a Pizza sign and traffic lights stood out plainly, not now.
We opened a ham bought in Port Elizabeth for Christmas lunch, washed down with South African wine and panettone (that Italian/Brasilian Christmas cake). Brasilians love little fried pies and ready made pastry shapes are in every supermarket, so we bought some and filled them with fruit mince (which we think came from our home in Johannesburg) We especially enjoyed them as mince pies are unknown in Brasil.
Our Christmas present was spending 48 hours in the same place and late afternonn on Christmas Day, about 6.30pm (10.30 in SA) we spoke to an Amateur Radio friend Dennis in Cape Town. What a lovely surprise, we did so enjoy hearing from a South African friend - and in English too!
Take care, drive safely and we look forward to hearing from you in the new Year - hope it is happy. Chou, Chou. Boas Festas.
!st Aniversary wishes to Jorge & Juazel on the 27 Dec
Dec birthdays we missed but did not forget: 19th Len, and Matt (ZS1MJJ); 5th - Richard (ZS1ZA)
Birthday wishes to Barrie for the 2nd Jan. - hope you survive the big freeze.
PS: In Brasil they broadcast on TV the Pope´s Christmas Mass (all of it), and several days later they have new year predictions from Tarot card readers, astrologers and Witches! Jess & Heather xxx & Hugs to all.