Guest Blog – Team ACE

Team ACE Christmas in Curacao

IMG_0688Tackling two weeks away visiting Ocean Rainbow with a very mobile 10 month old in tow led to some logistical issues with packing. Add in a plethora of items (700 teabags, copious amounts of anthisan, random lead weights (Editor’s Note:  anodes for the uninitiated) for the boat and laptop batteries to name but a few) that J&C (aka Granny and Gramps) had delivered to our house prior to us leaving meant that Claire and I were somewhat limited. Fingers crossed for good weather!       The pain of the nine hour flight across was limited by our allocation of bulkhead seats and some very friendly cabin crew but Emily was intent on constant laps of the plane, making friends with as many people as possible. Although we weren’t able to enjoy the inflight entertainment it did mean that Emily won the ‘best baby on flight’ award – a good start to the holiday!

IMG_0690We were greeted by our lovely apartment host, Leo and with a wave across the bay, Puddle was quickly dispatched with a very excited Granny and Gramps onboard and ready for babysitting duties.     We quickly settled into the Caribbean way of life: watching the sunrise courtesy of Emily’s jet lag, exploring the island and the strict ‘rum-o’clock’. The highlights of our adventures included wandering the pretty streets of Willemstad, visiting the spectacular blow hole and natural arch on the northern coast (bliss for a geography teacher) and watching the mind-boggling tricks of the local windsurfers.

Lazy afternoons sunning ourselves on the beach and swimming to cool off were somewhat limited – Emily decided that she definitely does not like sand or the sea and she wasn’t afraid of letting everyone on the beach know about it! Granny and Gramps did however do a great job of entertaining her while Claire and I enjoyed snorkelling sessions and reading the odd chapter of our books – such a treat.

Arriving for stockings

Arriving for stockings

A fantastic holiday was rounded off with a wonderful Christmas day. ‘Pirate Santa’ arrived on Puddle to whisk us to OR where Emily’s first Christmas stocking had been delivered and we enjoyed delicious food prepared by ‘Mrs Pirate Santa’. Who knew that you could get duck in a can….and have crispy skin?! When combined with roast potatoes and a range of veg it was a very impressive meal from a tiny galley kitchen. Pudding, much to Gramps’ disappointment, was saved until the evening owing to Emily’s naptime and a minor incident (blamed on the Welsh flag) necessitating a trip up the mast on the Bosun’s chair for James.

A superb two weeks flew by and while waving goodbye was hard; we have lots of lovely memories of a Caribbean Christmas and Emily getting to know her adventurous Granny and Gramps.