Just A Few Days Left For Yacht Crew To Finish Convincing Themselves They Don’t Give A Shit About Christmas

billybob

Billy Bob knows your pain.

“It’s really no big deal,” Says Shannon Stokes, deckhand on the M/Y Always Away, discussing what another Christmas on charter means to him. “I plan on doing the same thing I do every year: pretend I’m perfectly ok with sacrificing my seasonal fun, then on the morning of the 25th casually checking my phone, realizing this sucks, hiding my phone in the bottom of the ocean, and promising I will make this up to myself by getting blackout drunk as soon as this trip is over. Then I’ll duct tape a Santa hat to my head, staple my mouth into a smile, and eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s just not a thing.”

Other crew are more methodical in their approach to being away for Christmas, building up support networks onboard throughout the year, carefully hiding vodka in their work spaces, creating small rock gardens in which to achieve zen, and compiling lists of people willing to tie them to their bunks when this fails and they try to light the Christmas tree on fire while screaming obscenities and wearing festive underwear on their heads.

“I think self-awareness and active introspection is key,” Says Janine Griswold, chef on the S/Y No Days Off. “This year all of us on board are working hard to be mindful of our spiritual well-being as we transit this emotional segment of the calendar together. For myself, I’m confident that through deep breathing, meditation, and careful attention to my inner voice, I can make it to at least 10:00 AM on Christmas morning before I lock myself in the head and tell everyone to make their own goddamn eggs benedict because I need a hug, a spiced rum, and a cigarette in that specific order.” She pauses and brightens as a Christmas carol comes on in the galley we are standing in. “So that’ll be fun!”

As part of The General Alarm’s ongoing commitment to improving the mental health of yacht crew, please feel free to comment below with your feelings about working through the Christmas season, positive or otherwise. “FAAAAAAAAAARK,” is a perfectly acceptable response. Any and all feedback will receive this complimentary seasonal mantra: “It’s just another day, It’s just another day, It’s just another….”

 

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