I Saw Three Ships.

With the inspiration of the Christmas Carol -I Saw Three Ships, we decided to have our Christmas Day meals at an historic port, Port Albert. Yo, ho, ho, we had a rollicking good time!

I saw three ships- Jennifer Thomas:

All photos are copyright Runningonempty.

We had lunch , afternoon tea and dinner at the very pleasant bbq picnic shelter, above. There was a free barbecue, running water, and a toilet block a short walk away. The sea was also nearby. Bliss. We brought everything else we needed with us, including a guest. Everyone helped to put up the decorations. Port Albert was very quiet on that day and we had the shelter to ourselves until 5.30 pm.

Yo-Yo Ma, Alison Krauss – The Wexford Carol:

After lunch and cleaning the plates, the ladies went for a walk on the sea path all the way around the wharf and past the mangroves. Part of the walk is named in honour of a Greenpeace warrior.

We talked to some men just returned from fishing that were washing their boat. They said they had caught some flathead (a type of fish), and that it was rough further out. They said it was a tradition for them to get away from the family on Christmas Day and take the boat out.

Photos are copyright Runningonempty, except for the seaweed and seagull ones that are copyright Acerules.

The Fishwives Choir- When the boat comes in/eternal Father:

After our walk we had Christmas cake, fruit mince pies and Christmas lollies (sweets/candy). We sat in the folding armchairs we had brought , read library magazines and books and I edited photos. Later, after a walk along the sea in the other direction, we had a simple bbq dinner of sausages, salad and sweets, with some German tourists I had invited over, then we packed up and went home.

I hope you all had a Happy Christmas too!

Copyright Runningonempty. Merry Christmas banner.

Sources of our tablewares and decorations shown.

Well you know I am trying to help the environment increasingly, so some things were second hand. This meant that not everything exactly matched. I also tried to reduce any new plastic purchasing, this meant that some things were heavier to carry.
I never do balloons outdoors anymore as they are fatal for wildlife on land and at sea. Flowers, foliage and grasses are my go-to instead. I also substituted paper straws for the same reason. I decided to use resin starfishes instead of real, as many species are endangered because of the decorating industry.

Opportunity (op , secondhand or thrift) shops, in two towns -linen tablerunner, white embroidered napkins, white dolphin porcelain ornament, large navy blue plastic picnic glasses (3), blue and white melamine chip and dip platter (used for antipasto), real shell dishes (8), blue plastic baubles, blue twirled tinsel.

Ebay, secondhand – for the entreé, 6 collectible china ship plates, which we did not cut on; brass dolphin clamp/bottle opener.

Ebay new- natural wooden Christmas tree ornaments, blue baubles, square blue paper dinner plates, natural jute burlap Merry Christmas flag bunting.

Yarram Gifts and Novelties – wood and iron painted three ships ornament, wood and iron pair of quirky sea bird sailors, set of 4 palm leaf placemats, hanging plaque of three large resin starfish.

Woolworths supermarket- large cooked Australian prawns, Greek style salads, recycled aluminium cooking foil, recycled paper towels, cutlery, antipasto (marinated olives, sun dried tomatoes and capsicums), soft drinks (soda) with no artificial additives, paper Christmas crackers, Christmas cake, fruit mince pies, Natural Food co. Christmas lollies (candies, sweets), lettuce, tomatoes, Greek dressing (for evening meal ), assorted sauces.

Foodworks supermarket- Champagne style wine.

Copyright Runningonempty. Wine from Foodworks.

Moores butcher- for lunch, butterflied (flattened out to bbq) marinated Greek-style lamb roast. It was tender and flavourful. Bratwürst sausages for the evening meal.

Kmart- small white artificial Christmas tree. We used it at three occasions this Christmas. (See my Christmas Eve post.) It kept blowing over, Hubby anchored it with a bag of sand. Eventually it got stood on the ground and tied to a post like a pet!

Reject shop- string of shells and resin starfish for the grass garland, smaller blue plastic picnic glass, (part of a set), two blue plastic boats (part of a set).

local Bargain Centre- blue acrylic paint for wooden ornaments.

Mitre 10 hardware- small blue tarpaulins in case of rain and wind, one was used for extra shade.

Home hardware store- natural rope and jute twine I used for making the grassy garland. Grass was cut from our garden. Normally we throw long grass in the poultry yard!

A bargain shop that was closing down had the artificial white pointsettias in pots, at 75% off, that I changed slightly for three different occasions. This time Acerules put the original burlap back on the pots, and tied with blue ribbon. They were displayed in a basket to stop them blowing over.

Grass garland decorated by Yarram Fresh Flowers, also large shell flower arrangements and some baubles supplied by them.

We already had- fish coasters, (originally purchased second hand), basket (for the pointsettias), some light blue ornaments, salt, brown folding lounge chairs and bbq implements.

The guest brought Tim Tam chocolate biscuits that we had with the evening meal. As I invited a young German couple going up the East coast of Australia in a campervan, to that meal, it was good for them to taste Tim Tams, a national icon here. They also liked the iced (frosted) dried fruit Christmas cake. I asked them if our local bratwürst sausages were any good, (a German dish,) they said they were. They had only been in our country for two weeks, but had very good English.

Magazines and hubby’s book to wile away the afternoon in between coast walks, came from the municipal library.

Family I love, 
places I treasure,
scent of gum branches,
senses unmeasured.

The birth of a Baby
be marked with feasting,
church going, singing,
bows on our beasties.

Still I’m not ecstatic
without your discourse.
My friends are essential
to treasure Christmas.

So write in the comments
beloved readers dear.
You know the procedure,
it’s just like last year!

(Copyright Runningonempty.)

Seafarers jobs:


An online game about tall ships:


Natural Christmas decorations:


Repurpose vintage road maps for Christmas crackers:


Please give to the Mission to Seafarers, who help mariners from all over the world when they get into port:

In Australia:


In UK:




Save the shore birds:


Help Port Albert Coastguard save vessels in distress:



  1. Great day out by the looks of your photos,glad you had a pleasant day,good on you & family for looking out for others & the environment,GOD bless you & family in 2019,kind regards phil

    Liked by 1 person

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