Sting- Christmas at Sea

Merry Christmas to all my friends and readers! I hope you all have a great Christmas day and a nice holiday. I’m out here working (as usual) for the holidays. I’ve been working nights the last 2 hitches on this ship.

I like working nights. Nights are quieter, tho the work never stops. I hear secondhand a lot of what’s happening on board and around the world. This time of year, it’s already dark by the time I get to the bridge at night and still dark when I leave in the morning. I like to try and see the stars but it’s been pretty cloudy all week.

At least the weather here is not too bad. I feel for the people who are out there working in the North Sea or the Gulf of Alaska. Whoooo! I have to say, I do appreciate the weather in the Gulf of Mexico!

I’m looking forward to waking up for dinner tonight to see what our galley crew has come up with. We are lucky to have a fantastic baker. She really does a great job. 🙂 These photos are actually from last Christmas. I’ll try to get some later for this year.

I was trying to find something to describe how we celebrate Christmas out here. I googled ‘Christmas at sea’ and this video by Sting came up. I really kind of liked both the music and the photography, so I thought I would share it. Check out the link…


Well, we did have quite a feast last night, but I forgot my camera and it was all gone this morning so no pictures. It’s really too bad, the cooks all did a fantastic job, especially considering that we had such a delay getting our groceries on board last week.

I was so impressed with the baking. They made a couple of the cutest little snowmen out of some sort of cake, they had a monkey made out of fruit, they had little birds carved out of apples to sit on top of the salads, they had candles made out of cakes, they had ham, turkey, roast beef, and they had a huge bread bowl baked out of bread and then filled with fresh rolls! OMG!

I could have stuffed myself sick. It’s probably a good thing I had to rush up to watch and could only taste a little bit.

I noticed a few friends I’ve worked with out here also sharing their holidays (on facebook) from their vessels. Everyone seems to have had a pretty good meal at least. 🙂

I was reading my email this morning and I got one from the ‘Old Salt Blog‘ that I follow. I heard I’m not supposed to do this sort of thing, but I don’t know how else to share this other than to cut and paste.

I already had posted the link to Sting’s song (above) but the Old Salt Blog had another video of Sting and also the poem by Robert Louis Stevenson that the songs lyrics were based on.

I can just imagine the conditions he writes about and the video with Stings music goes perfectly with it. I’ve done a little of that kind of sailing. and the poem really brings back some memories. So, forgive me blog world for violating the rules, but here goes…

Christmas at Sea by Robert Louis Stevenson

The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seaman scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor’-wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.

They heard the suff a-roaring before the break of day;
But ’twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.
We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,
And we gave her the maintops’l, and stood by to go about.

All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;
All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life and nature we tacked from head to head.

We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide-race roared;
But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard.
So’s we saw the cliff and houses and the breakers running high,
And the coastguard in his garden, with his glass against his eye.

The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning bright in every longshore home;
The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;
And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessel went about.

The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
For it’s just that I should tell you how (of all days in the year)
This day of our adversity was blessèd Christmas morn,
And the house above the coastguard’s was the house where I was born.

O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,
My mother’s silver spectacles, my father’s silver hair;
And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves,
Go dancing round the china plates that stand upon the shelves.

And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,
Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;
And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,
To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessèd Christmas Day.

They lit the high sea-light, and the dark began to fall.
“All hands to loose topgallant sails,” I heard the captain call.
“By the Lord, she’ll never stand it,” our first mate, Jackson, cried.
. . . .”It’s the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson,” he replied.

She staggered to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,
And the ship smelt up to windward just as though she understood;
As the winter’s day was ending, in the entry of the night,
We cleared the weary headland, and passed below the light.

And they heaved a mighty breath, every soul on board but me,
As they saw her nose again pointing handsome out to sea;
But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,
Was just that I was leaving home and my folks were growing old.


2 thoughts on “Sting- Christmas at Sea

    • I should be home in another 2 weeks. I’m glad you liked the video. Did you see the update I added to the original post, it has the poem by Robert Louis Stevenson that Sting based the song on. I really like the poem. It really brings up the feeling of being at sea in the winter time.


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