I have spent 4 birthdays onboard out of the 5 years that I have been sailing. The first time was back in 2009, where I spent my birthday working on a boat offshore Angola. As I was quite new to the crew, nobody had any idea that it was my birthday and I had to eat dinner by myself after getting stuck at my workstation due to an operational problem. I swore then that onboard birthdays are the worst.
Things turned around for the better and the succeeding birthdays were just as awesome as if I was celebrating on land with family and friends. My crew were no longer strangers to me and onboard birthdays have since then become a blast. I even received onboard-made gifts (talk about customized coveralls – slim-fit and with an embroidered name!), cards, and flowers. I’ve seen excellent improvisation skills just to make my day special. And of course, there was cake! What kind of birthday would it be without the cake?
This year is quite unique. I celebrated it while we are cruising along the Red Sea. The Red Sea! Never in a million years would I even think that I will be in a place that I’ve only read in Bible stories. Moses parting the Red Sea, the entire Exodus extravaganza, all the sunken chariots…it’s unfathomable, yet it makes me want to hold on to that amazing childhood story no matter how wiser and more religiously open I am today. And of course, it was extra special because of the gazillion greetings I’ve received from all over the world. Thank you to everyone who remembered!