Twas the night before Christmas and all through the boat,
not a creature was stirring, not even a roach.
The dry bags were hung on the davits with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their berth,
while visions of snorkeling filled them with mirth.
And mama in her ponytail and I in my headlamp,
had just dropped the 'hook in a new harbor "camp".
When out on the deck there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the nav station to see what was the matter.
To the aft cabin I flew like a flash,
grabbed my machete and opened the hatch.
The full moonlight sparkled and danced on the ocean,
while our boat gently rocked with a side to side motion.
When what to my sun-tired eyes should appear,
but a flying pirogue pulled by eight tiny deer.
With a laughing old helmsman singin' a Caribbean shtick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than dolphins, his coursers they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
"Now Dasher! Now Dancer!
Now Prancer! Now Vixen!
On Comet! On Cupid!
On Donner! On Blitzen!
From the top of the mast all the way to the clew!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away you!"
As sea birds before a wild hurricane fly,
when met with an obstacle, take to the sky.
Over twinkling anchor lights 'round the harbor they flew
with a boat full of parts and St. Nicholas, too.
When suddenly I heard on the cabin-top roof
the prancing and pawing of each tiny hoof.
As I clicked off my headlamp and was turning around,
down the companionway stairs came St. Nick with a bound!
Hawaiian shirt, bermuda shorts and waternut in hand,
his feet and his face were all covered in sand.
A sack full of provisions he had slung on his hub
and he looked like a man just returned from Sam's Club.
His eyes, how they sparkled! His wrinkles, how cheery!
His cheeks were all sunburned, his nose was all peely!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a sail,
the ends of his beard housed a braid, like a tail.
The stump of his Cuban cast a faint yellow glow,
but the Old Salt, he knew better than to smoke down below.
His face was all weathered, and he had a big tum,
from a lifetime of rays and plenty of fun.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old Salt
and I knew right away this was not an assault.
A wink of his eye and a swig of his rum,
soon gave me to know he was nothing but fun.
He spoke not a word, but got to work down below
And serviced our systems with the speed of a pro!
He cleaned up our terminals and replaced an old hose,
After halving my "to-do" list, up the companionway he rose.
He jumped into his boat, to his team gave a whistle,
and away they all went like a nautical missile.
But I heard him exclaim as he sailed through the night
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"
© original adaptation written by Brittany Meyers, property of Windtraveler.net