Christmas on the JR Part 2: The Festivities

I love Christmas and the Holiday Season! No matter where you are in the world, what your religious beliefs are, or how you celebrate (or not)…The holidays are a time for everyone. An opportunity to spend time with family, friends, and loved ones. A time to enjoy the sparkle, joy, and togetherness of this special season. This year was something very different though because we are out on the JR during the Holiday Season, and away from the usual festivities with the usual family and friends. This year the holidays were spent with a new set of friends and a new family – the JR family!

Early on during Christmas Day we had an outside, on-deck barbecue with lots of tasty food to eat while enjoying the southern summer weather.

Many preparations were made for Christmas here on the ship. Decorations and stockings filled with goodies were hung with care; trees and colourful lights were lit aglow; presents were placed under the main tree; and many, many hours of practice were done to prep for the highlight of the festivities – the Christmas Show!

Rudolf served as our guide for the Christmas Show…

Santa Claus stopped by to say hello as he journeyed his way around the world.

The talented Dr. Seussan told the JR version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.

The “Creeping Chorus”, our ship-board carolers, sang some wonderful holiday classic tunes both during caroling around the ship and in the Christmas Show. They amused us with some catchy JR-inspired tunes, including the “12 Days of Transit” and “O Log, All Ye Faithful”, too!

We also had some lovely duets, including from these ladies with angelic voices…

It was amazing to see all the talent on the ship. The crew members, scientists, and technical staff all have amazing voices and musical skills. But I guess that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since the JR is almost like a small floating island of many people. There’s bound to be talent onboard!

After the show was finished, it was present time. Santa and his elves were there to help with handing out presents to everyone!

Finally, to round out the day, the catering staff prepared us a special Christmas dinner. It included seafood, exquisite desserts, and elaborate decorations such as butter sculptures and bread artwork. Check out how cool it was!…

All-in-all the Christmas Show and Christmas Day were awesome! Despite being on a ship in the middle of the ocean, this Christmas was a very special one indeed. So many wonderful people worked together and celebrated to create unique memories that I’ll remember for the rest of my life!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone around the world!!!

Stephanie Sharuga
Stephanie Sharuga has a Ph.D. in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences from Louisiana State University in the United States of America, where she studied and developed approaches for using submersibles for evaluating deep-sea benthic megafaunal communities in the northern Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Stephanie also holds a M.S. in Environmental Management and Sustainability from Illinois Institute of Technology, and B.Sc. in Biology and Earth & Ocean Sciences from the University of Victoria in Canada. Over the years, she has been involved in a variety of research, volunteer, and consulting projects, including with organizations such as the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Field Museum, and the International Ocean Discovery Program. Her past research has included projects that combine the studies of marine communities and seafloor geology, along with work in marine policy and environmental management. She has also been actively involved as both a ship and shore-based scientist for multiple oceanographic cruises over the years. Stephanie shares her lifelong passion for the ocean, environment, and science through a diverse variety of science education, outreach, and STEM mentoring activities.
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