Christmas fun with the new, extended family

In 2010 my brother got married to an amazingly awesome gal, called Anna. This year was the first year we have had extended family Christmas (our family + Anna’s family).

On Christmas eve the Stam clan: Mum, me, Pat & Anna met up with the De Vries clan: Martin, Mumfie and Joel at the new-ish Stam shack, Utopia, at Coles Bay. (Mum and I arrived a little earlier than the others, so we went exploring and checked out Sleepy Bay before the others arrived)

We started our Utopian adventure by putting the boat in the water at Swanwick and cruising down into Pelican Bay, checking out the local sights. A bit after lunch time we headed indoors where Anna constructed the gingerbread scale model of utopia she had backed. Once the foundations were sturdy we all got stuck into decorating it.
We ended the day with a big dinner: a huge spread of Indonesian dishes with rice. It was delicious, thanks Mum!!

Christmas morning we all slowly got up, had coffee, ate the muffins that Anna made for brekky. And then got stuck into opening our christmas bons bons and unwrapping presents. We all got lovely gifts from each other – all presents were very thoughtfully made or selected.
THEN it was time for evil Christmas!!!

Evil Christmas: You each pull a number out of hat. Number 1 chooses a present off the pile, and unwraps it. Person number 2 can then steal number 1’s present if they really like it OR they take a new present off the stack. It continues until everyone has a present. (The last person obviously has a lot of responsibility – they can either steal from someone else to keep the game going or pick the last new present to end the game)

The first present was opened by Anna, and she got a Nerf Gun. Unfortunately for Anna, Joel also liked the Nerf gun and he stole it from her. Then Joel lost out when Pat stole it from him, Pat lost it to Martin, Martin lost it to me and finally Joel stole it back. (the other presents were also amazingly and everyone ended up with something awesome!! But the story of the Nerf gun was by far the most entertaining!!)

After all the presents we launched into our Christmas lunch: Prawns, Oysters, Salmon, Ham, Cherries and Cheeses. Accompanied of course by a lovely bottle of champagne!!

Joel put his Nerf Gun to good use by shooting the motion sensor Santa, and sneaking up on people and unloading a clip of Nerf darts at them. (Its ok though, others got him back when he wasn’t paying close attention to the whereabouts of his gun). Anna built her lego lighthouse. I attempted to make a haiku with Anna’s haikubes. We generally spent the afternoon fluffing around and enjoying each others company.

Boxing day was a bit of a dud in terms of the weather. The bonus of this is that our water tanks are full!! We used this time to eat, build furniture for the shack and snooze. We did spend some time fishing in the morning and again in the afternoon. The morning session saw three fish hauled in. Two were undersized, but Martin caught an australian (cocky) salmon that was sized, so we brought it home. The evening session didn’t produce a single nibble, but it was so perfectly still out on the water, that we had a splendid evening anyway.

The 27th was an absolute cracker of a day!! We had 24degree weather with clear blue skies. So a few of us headed out on the boat. We went out the barway at Swanwick, went past Coles Bay and headed around the Hazards. Just at the start of The Hazards we came across a pod of dolphins. They were fishing, so unfortunately they weren’t overly interested in visiting us. But we followed them along the coast for a while. Such stunning creatures!!!

After a while we thought we should leave the dolphins in peace, so we zoofed around to Hazards Beach where we found a great spot to drop anchor and go for a swim. The water was perfectly clear, a stunning blue and … freezing cold!!!!!!

I dived-bombed into the water and the air was sucked out of me by the cold water! After a little while though it wasn’t too bad and I swam around and enjoyed the amazing scene around me. Once I started to go numb, I climbed back onto the boat and wrapped myself up in a towel to warm up.

After our swim Captain Joel took us back to the shack for some lunch before an afternoon adventure. At this point int time my camera had dried up, so I thought I’d whack it on the charge so I could take plenty of pics in the arvo. Unfortunately, water got into the camera somehow and at this point in time my camera died 😦

So I drowned my sorrows by eating a few pieces of pavlova. Then put on my walking shoes and headed out with the crew to walk up to the Wineglass Bay lookout. As we went walking around 3pm, we didn’t suffer too much with the heat and the walk was really pleasant. We stopped and checked out the views along the way, as well as some of the furniture. Once at the top we were all impressed with the view (and for those of us who had been a few times, we spent some time admiring the newly designed and built lookout – so much better than the old one!!)

After absorbing the scenery for some time we started the wander back to the car park. One the drive home we stopped and checked out the Cape Tourville lighthouse.

All in all, it was a fantastic Christmas adventure with fun, and a great opportunity to get to know the new, extended family a bit better. I had a blast!!!

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