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Xenial - Epilogue - Red Pants

For many months now the Swedes have been telling me about a peculiar tradition they have concerning red trousers (according to some sources it may also be an English, or even New England, tradition, but we have found conflicting information). The only people who are allowed to wear red pants are those who can say they have met the King (of Sweden, not Charles III) and those who have sailed across the Atlantic.


You must know that in the Foglia family everyone, and in particular the men, wears red pants all the time. One could say it’s part of the Foglia staple “smart casual” uniform. So I didn’t make much of this red pants thing at first. But the more Swedes I met, the more I heard about this tradition, so eventually I decided to get onboard and pack a pair of red pants to wear at prize-giving ceremony.

So yesterday I was really excited to bring out my red pants as we got prepared for the closing ceremony. What I was not prepared for was the disappointment the rest of the crew gave me! After all the talk about this tradition, only Sunnyboy had brought a pair of red pants! The following are the excuses that were given:

  • Chef Janne: He made it home three days ago so was absent (we miss him!). I do know however that he had not packed red pants. Allegedly long trousers are too hot in this weather, and he is really picky about what colors he wears - green and pink shorts were some favorites onboard.
  • The Major: He said these kind of things are not important to him. I suspect that he is a good friend of the King and earned the right to wear red pants a long time ago, but likes to keep it on the down low.
  • The Captain: He was hoping to wear full Xenial uniform (navy shorts and navy polo with our logo) and to get the rest of the crew to do so. There was a half mutiny when we decided to wear whatever we liked ;) To give him full credit, he did wear red shorts. I am told it doesn’t count in Sweden, but I would like to still commend him for it.
  • CJ: To be honest, I have only myself to blame for this one. Had I gotten him a pair, he would have worn them. I did remind him multiple times to buy a pair, however there seemed to be no time at all for it in the past few months. On the other hand, he did make time to go to a Bass Pro Shop (IFYKYK, otherwise google) and buy some horrendous fishing shirts that he thought were boat appropriate. Not sure what to make of this whole thing.

Anyway, red pants or not, we made our way to the prize giving ceremony. The driving on this island is quire reckless and the motion sickness caused by some of the bus/taxi rides is not dissimilar to that caused by Atlantic swell, and that’s saying a lot.

We made it to Prickle Bay Marina and joined all our fellow crews. It was so nice to share one more drink with all of them, and hear even more stories of their crossings. Everyone is was buzzing about what they are doing next, where the boats are going, who is heading home, what new crew members are flying in, and so on. 

After a beautiful sunset, the time had come for the official prize-giving. As you may suspect given the number of sails we broke, we did not win any sailing prizes. However there were a number of prizes awarded for less sailing related achievements, such as one recognizing the two boats that crossed the finish line closest to each other, and one recognizing all the children who made the crossing. We then came to the logs and pictures prizes: First they read out a list of all the boats that wrote a blog, but we were not listed, and then two blogs received honorable mentions, and again we were not mentioned, at which point we just thought they had forgotten about us.

Nothing of the sort! To our surprise, Xenial won the prize for the best log! Apparently they loved our committees and our entry in rhyme, as well as our commitment to write every day. I think it was all down to the fantastic cast of characters we had on board and the constant comedy they provided! By far the best quality of the crew was our inclination to constantly make fun of each other, and our individual ability to take the jokes that were made about ourselves. 

Anyway, we (and by we, I mean I) were beaming and we were secretly happy to have it made on the podium despite our modest racing result, unlike other Swedish crews (who shall remain unnamed) that made it 4th in their class and were not mentioned ;) A wonderful way to complete this wonderful experience!

What is next for the crew and for Xenial?

The Captain has been joined by Helena and they are waiting for the new jib to be delivered from Sweden. Today the spinnaker block was replaced and the code zero was returned repaired, so the Captain is smiling again. When they get the jib, they will be sailing north towards Saint Lucia.

Sunnyboy has been reunited with his better half Monica from Hermia II. They will be sailing towards Mayreau onboard Hermia II, bringing Sunnyboy back to an island he last visited in 1975 when he was onboard a Swedish Navy training ship (have we heard about this before?).

The Chef has already made it back to Sweden where he is preparing for a few large dinner parties. We hear he is enjoying being on solid land and the cooler temperatures. We look forward to his upcoming book about cooking when the boat swings 30-50 degrees at a time.

The Major has been joined by his better half Helene and she has picked up really quickly on all the jokes we make about him. Gustaf has been enjoying exploring the local culture and has been spotted more than once moving at the rhythm of the local soca music. The Hamiltons will island hop around the West Indies for a while before making their way back to Sweden. 

With regards to CJ and myself, we are both heading back home on Sunday. These happen to be basically at opposite sides of the world and have a 9h time difference - San Francisco and Lugano. After all this time together we need some space ;) And to make matters even more complicated, we are spending the holidays with our families in even further away places. St Lucia and Cambodia - that’s 11 hours time difference. If you need any advice on how to manage long distance relationships, we don’t have any. 

As for Xenial, there are many discussions being had about keeping her in the West Indies for one or two winters, vs bringing her back to Europe in the spring as originally planned. The Captain and his family seem to be growing fond of Grenada, it may become Xenial’s home for a few seasons. Only time will tell.

For the last time - over and out,


P.S. I promised Beata that if we won the prize for best blog, I would dedicate it to her. I know that our most anxious reader has been Helena, but Beata is the one we are currently missing here, so I do dedicate this to her <3

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