Wow what a day – Birthday girl celebrates

2359h as I wander down to the navigation station.

0002h log entry on a new page, 13 crew onboard CV23, skipper Matt Mitchell. Damn…. I forgot to ask the compass course. I walk up the companion way steps to call, ‘compass course?”

Hmmm… No helm, no crew. Okay guys where are you hiding, you can’t have all gone overboard!

And then a very loud rendition of ‘happy birthday” from behind me.
Less than ten minutes into the day and the fun had begun.

At 6 am the oncoming watch sing again and Ross has kindly made porridge for breakfast.
I then mooch off to bed opening a birthday card from mum and Jean before a good snooze but not before checking my email account and finding birthday wishes from home as well as an email from Vicky, my ‘real’ skipper on CV24.

Waking up a little earlier I open up my email account to find a fantastic birthday poem as well as photos of team Switzerland wishing me a very happy day.

CV23 has a team meeting every day from 1030, today it was my job to do the hourly log entries and dutifully, at 1100 I ask to go below deck to do so. Skipper says, “Oh don’t worry about that”. Very odd me thinks.

Two minutes later there’s Ben, Paddy and Gaurav with their hands full of birthday goodies. A lovely card from the MP crew along with a giant bar of Cadbury’s dairy milk and an inflatable ‘Minion’. Matt’s minions being the fun crew name. I feel honoured!

Aly and Minion

And surprise, cards and gifts from family and friends at home. I feel very lucky and very loved. My mum has even made me a birthday cake- her absolute best fruit cake. YUM.

A huge campaign between James, Roser and Ben to get it all to me.

birthday cards

A very lovely day, to be extended a few days later when we reach Hong Kong to replace the forestay. Low and behold there is the beautifully elegant Switzerland motoring at speed towards us. Lots of waving and blowing of kisses followed by a loud and tuneful “happy birthday”.

Luckily after refuelling we met up with the Swiss crew very briefly on the pontoon. I don’t think I’ve ever disembarked from one boat and leapt onto another quite so quickly. Not before a big hug from Vicky do I get swept up and swung around by JB. Hugged and kissed by the rest of the crew and wished massive birthday wishes.

And not only did I have a fantastic day with amazing people, I had a pod of dolphins come by over lunch to chitter chatter away their version of “happy birthday”.

I haven’t stopped smiling since.

Now I’m looking forward to seeing James in Qingdao and to celebrating a rather awesome half century with him too.

Thank you so much for making my day so special – and for a fabulous birthday girl badge from my very lovely little cousin, Phoebe.


Aly with birthday girl badge


2 thoughts on “ Wow what a day – Birthday girl celebrates

  1. Maureen

    Clearly I am way behind with the birthday greetings but glad to know you had a good day. Hope you are now way ahead in the race en route to San Francisco – keep inspiring us : )


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