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Tis' the Season, 2020

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How many days 'till Spring?

Christmas at Sea
Robert Louis Stevenson
The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seamen 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 surf a-roaring just before the break of day;
But 'twas only with a peep of light, that we saw how ill we lay.
We tumbled every hand on deck from Bosun's mighty shout,
And gave her the maintops'l, and stood by to come 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 with every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard:
So's we saw the cliffs and houses, with 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 'long-shore 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 blessed 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 stood upon our 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 a haulin' frozen sheets on blessed Christmas Day.

They lit the high sea-light, as the dark began to fall.
"All hands to loose Ta'gallant sails," I heard the captain call.
"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, as 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, at 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.

St. Nicholas
Patron Saint of Sailors.

Utah Lake Ice Stacks


Bob Hope Christmas with the Troops.

Alison Krauss

James Taylor

Todd & Louise would like to wish all you sailors and sailorettes,
a very Merry Christmas...

and a Happy New Year

with fair winds and following seas.

Bonneville School of Sailing

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