Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Christmas in Zululand Yacht Club


We don't have windows on our boat in the conventional house sense, but as I gaze out of Chantey's companion way hatch in Zululand Yacht Club to the other berthed boats, the weather has finally reached a comfortable 25 degrees after weeks of soaring 30 degrees: a brief but welcome hiatus. The sky is diffused grey with clouds and odd speckles of blue peeping through. 

There are all sorts of boats berthed here, from tough grunty work boats to floating family cabins. We are just passing through along with a handful of other cruising yachts all poised for the inevitable sail south to Cape Town. 

We've really enjoyed our time here. It's quite a unique little place and spending Christmas here feels reminiscent of the camping trips we used to do in New Zealand and childhood summer holidays in Europe.  The yacht club and marina is a walled and gated area of beach and verdant parkland, excess green space is rented out to family campers. Quite an ingenious set up I've never come across before.  Picnic tables galore are surrounded by barbecues, or to use the correct local terminology, brai.  We even commandeered the pizza oven to cook our Christmas turkey.  

The Afrikaans people have got their Christmas celebrations down to a tee by keeping it low key and simple. Big family groups of several generations congregate, with the guys in charge of the brai, the women bring the salads, the kids are engaged in a giant game of rugby. Everyone is relaxed, simply enjoying each other's company; there doesn't feel the commercial pressures I've seen in Europe and America. The warm weather and outside space probably help a lot. But I really like the simple way the Afrikaans celebrate Christmas.

Watching the kids making new friends and running around freely, swimming in the pool for hours on end brings back fond memories I have of my family summer holidays in Europe growing up. Looking back and reminiscing, the kind of travel my family did when I was a child sowed the seeds of this insatiable desire I have now to keep on exploring the world.

We hope you all had a great Christmas wherever you are in the world. Wishing you all a happy new year.

Will and Karen