Monday, December 24, 2018

Three Straight Christmases on a Deserted Island

My Favorite Christmases (getting away for a true Christmas Spirit)
Three Straight Christmases on a Deserted Island
                                                                                                     Ron Alexander
With about 20 students on board for our Marine Science under Sail, we celebrated our third straight on a beautiful deserted Cay called Little San Salvador. It lies only about 25 miles South of Eleuthera in the Bahamas.
Little San Salvador has a large anchorage with turquoise clear water and a large pink sandy beach. At the Southern tip is a orange, green, red, blue coral reef loaded with a sparkling rainbow-colored marine life plus edible fish & lots of lobster and conch.
I enjoyed being away from stores and the heightened commercialization of the holiday. Our celebration was simple. The nearby reef was an abundant hunting ground, and we captains and crew caught and cooked a sumptuous feast – lobster, grouper, and the versatile conch – conch salad, conch fritters, & fried conch for the Christmas Day Dinner.
Early on Christmas day we drew names for gifts. Only one gift per person, and with nowhere to make a purchase, it would require some ingenuity and creativity. I will never forget the sweetness and humor provided by these simple gifts handed out after dinner on Christmas day. A nice little manger scene crafted from pieces of coral found on beach was my favorite gift. A funny little poem composed especially for the recipient was a welcomed frequent read during the after dinner exchange. I usually gave a nice shell I found while hunting under­water or sometimes a specially prepared (sautéed with ginger sauce) lobster tail for an addition to the meal. Singing Carols after dinner, what could be better?

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