Friday, December 26, 2008

A Different Kind of Christmas

Merry Christmas! It's Joy this time, writing from home in Binghamton, NY, where 3 of the 4 Ridleys are spending a somewhat strange Christmas without Paul. We talked to him earlier this evening, and he still sounds frustrated about being on land, but his Spanish is improving-- he's got "cerveza" and "vino tinto" down pretty well, but he still needs to work on the translation for "give me back my port clearances, por favor". Unfortunately, he's still got time to practice before the weather improves.

In the meantime, he made a Christmas pilgrimage to the top of a cliff that overlooks San Sebastian, to visit "Jesus" (pronounced the Spanish way, of course), in the form of a giant statue keeping watch over the town. Paul asked Him for Northeast winds at 10 to 15 knots, but so far no luck. Santa must have passed on some gossip from the bon voyage festivities....

The theme of Christmas Eve services last night seemed almost as much Row for Hope as the birth of Christ (unintended consequences of a December launch, I guess). It was great to see how supportive people are, though. Thanks to everyone who's been following the blog -- we all (Paul especially) read every comment, and the encouragement really helps! Luckily for Paul, it sounded like The Blue Marlin was set to open again tomorrow, which also helps. Nothing like a little rum and lemon to lift holiday spirits.

I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays! And Paul, we know spending Christmas away from home is one of many sacrifices you've made for this cause. We're so proud of you! And don't worry, we didn't bruise ourselves with chocolate oranges without you. We're saving them for next year, when you'll be home again and those same chocolate oranges will be nice and hard. Warm up your knees....


This is from a training row Paul did on Sunday. My dad, Nadine, Liz and I were all disappointed to leave before the actual launch, but as Paul pointed out, it will look a lot like this:



Paul's getting good at waiting and watching the ocean...




I wish I had a sane explanation for this one. I'll just say Christmas dinner was not the same without the real Paul at the table.

3 comments:

gary moore said...

hi paul.keep your chin up and keep straining towards the prize. i am getting ready for a solo row next year from portugal to antigua so understand whats what with you. what was the probslems with the port people?
best regards.
gary moore

Melissa Malinovsky said...

Haha! I love the pic of Joy and P Rid at the xmas dinner table. Christmas at seaside is not the same without him either :(

Anonymous said...

Oh, dont drink too much, it's gonna be messy