Many writers tried to capture the temperament of the ocean in their literature. I like the way that Thoreaux put it in 1880: “The ocean is like wilderness that reaches out cross the globe, wilder than a Bengal forest, and full of monsters”.

I don’t know about the monsters, but it’s true that we experience wilderness in its purest form. Winds topping 30 to 40 knots with five meter high waves. Forget about trying to tame this wilderness. All we can do is prepare ourselves and the ship for the elements. Yesterday we furled the mains’l against the mast and set a pilot sail in her place, with half the size of the mains’l. The mizzen sail has been reefed, the tops’l and flying jib are down, so our total sail area is considerably reduced. We are prepared for serious weather.

Today we celebrated Christmas on the aft-deck. There was prayer by Tetaake, song by Banu, and dance for everybody to the rhythm of a Kiribati Christmas version of mr. Presley’s tear-jerker: “I can’t help falling in love (with you)”. The Secret Santa lottery made everybody excel in their creativity. A lot of carving, drilling and polishing of stones, dimes and coconuts was done to create the perfect Christmas present. Afterwards we shared a copious meal with whatever provisions were left at the end of this voyage. The volunteer galley crew served the last of the steaks, some Brussels sprouts with cashew, vegetable dumplings, mashed sweet potato, tofu, fish and rice. Sounds too healthy to be true, doesn’t it. Don’t worry, we had coconut pudding, blueberry crumble and cappuccino ice cream as desert.

With three more days to go until we reach Honolulu, in name of all the crew, I wish all our customers and faithful Kwai followers a Merry Christmas.