Leg 3, Day 41 – Christmas

Emma Mitchell By

Day 41 – Christmas

Before now I have only ever spent one Christmas away from home when I was visiting a friend in Singapore. Meg has also only spent one Christmas away from home and Laura two so it will be strange for all of us to be so far from our normal celebrations come the 25th December. Christmas to me means spending time with my family, getting them all together in one place and enjoying a whole day of festive fun. The day starts with singing Christmas songs with my sister, the afternoon always involves playing board games which get ridiculously competitive and a lot of good food is eaten. This years Christmas is going to be a unique one! The toughest part about it is definitely going to be not being able to share the day with our families and loved ones. It is hard to feel festive when it is so hot here and we are so far removed from the normal Christmas shopping chaos, Christmas tunes on the radio and lights up everywhere. It seems a little surreal that we can possibly have reached this time of year anyway after leaving the UK at the beginning of April.

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However our little ocean family has come to terms with missing Christmas at home and we are getting very excited about our festive season. We have put up the decorations, started singing Christmas songs as an alarm to wake the other pair up for their night shifts and have the Christmas hats ready. We even have a tiny Christmas tree in the aft cabin. Our parents sent out a whole load of surprises to Samoa for us so we have presents, games and Christmas pudding to go with our rehydrated Christmas lunch. The best thing about Christmas so far has been the fact that it has given us something to count down to that isn’t affected by how fast we are travelling or what direction we are going in. Thinking of ways to mark each of the 12 days of Christmas has filled time during our night shifts and given us things to look forward to. The amazing support that we have been receiving from everyone back home also means that we feel like everyone will be with us here on Doris. We also have some radio interviews planned for over Christmas and new year which will hopefully help us to connect with the celebrations at home.

UPDATE: Last night Nat and I were on the oars enjoying the clear night sky and the increased speed that has arrived along with some stronger winds when we noticed a shape slinking through the water. It was a fin reflecting in our red port side nav light and it belonged to Eduardo. He looks even bigger than normal in the dark and he stayed with us for the full two hour shift. This morning, although the swell has picked up, Eduardo is still tracking Doris.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a striped cane of candy.
On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two boats a passing.
On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me three sharks a circling.
On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four Christmas hats.
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, five Tupperware
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, six boobies flying
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, seven belly flopping fish
On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, eight waves a crashing



  1. Jim Andrews says:

    Wow, that was a burst of acceleration! 46.5 nm in one day, well done. I am surprised Eduardo can keep up :).
    It is sad that you are spending Christmas away from home and your loved ones but, ironically, when in your dotage, I think this will be the Christmas you remember most. I feel confident you will all embrace the moment and take the positives from the experience, Be assured that many will be thinking of you on that special day, even strangers you have never met “Moi” will raise a glass in your honour and wish you as Merry a Christmas as you can have, under the circumstances.
    The Doldrums really messed with your schedule but you bounced back and within a few days you will be inside your last thousand miles and the countdown begins, proper. Smile with every mile and above all, Stay safe. XX

  2. Simon TY says:

    I agree with Jim, this will be the Christmas you remember and the one you talk about ( “WhenI” spent Christmas mid Pacific on a tiny boat….). I hope also that you will feel and outpouring of thoughts and good wishes. Christmas lunch is about toasts, thinking of absent friends, those elsewhere and you will get lots of Christmas goodwill zinged through the ether in yr direction.

    I hope that as the last 1000 miles is entered that you feel the last stretch is underway. Divide 1000nm by 46nm and the number of days feels quite small, though of course not all days will be like yesterday.

    Wishing you all good speed, safety, and quite a few laughs over the next few days. Will Santa find you ? Can he put floats on his sleigh ? Do the reindeer eat Orios ? Will he Nick some of yr precious rum ? Does Doris have a chimney ? All will be revealed I am sure

    Xxx STY

  3. Simon TY says:

    Blimey, the map says you currently going at 3.2kn. Learned to surf ???

  4. Nestor says:

    You are such an inspiration!! Keep on looking up at the stars and know so many are cheering you on! Stay safe, stay strong – your spirit is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. JG says:

    I was brought up in the Southern Hemisphere and my memories of Xmas Day are of hot days barbecues and African dance groups doing the rounds like carol singers but with a war dance instead!

    Christmas here now in the UK is only dimly remebered as a white Xmas because now Xmas day is usually an overcast dull day with mild temperatures. Even putting the lights up in the tree outside was a battle against the elements – wind rain and ankle deep in mud.

    Despite this I always look forward to the day because it is for the children and as an ageing grandparent I can sit and watch them and be hugely entertained.

    Your ‘Christmas’ will come after you have landed where I expect the exuberation and festivities will outshine any thing you have experienced before both in Oz and back hom,e here.

    Sports personality of the year is on just now and I am voting for Jessica Ennis-Hill. To me she epitomises success and all that is best in life. Just as you six do out there.

    You are up there with the champions. Unique and exceptional. Keep safe – not long now.

  6. Christine says:

    I have been looking at Norad’s SantaTracker with my children. According to NORAD Santa starts at the International Date Line and travels west to New Zealand and Australia. I reckon you girls might be the first to see him…
    Always in my thoughts. Christine. X

  7. Great to see increasing daily distances. We agree that this is the one Christmas you will remember in your dotage and you can be sure that you will never confuse it with another! Lovely to see you preparing to enjoy Christmas aboard Doris and the celebrations with your families when you reach Cairns will be amazing. We will be raising a glass to you amazing women on Christmas Day. Try to imagine all of your “followers” raising a glass at the same time. There are a lot of us following you. What will we do for our daily fix after you reach Cairns. Stay strong and keep safe. xxxx

  8. Kevin says:

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas at sea from Pennsylvania, USA!

    I recall from living in Australia in 2002 that the Barrier Reef has large tides and is quite shallow. Do you need a special
    plan to navigate through it?

    Best of luck!


    P.S. My 2-year old son is named Eduardo and he loves pretending he is a shark while eating!

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