Imagine living on a ship, looking out the bullseye, only seeing the big blue ocean. The waves are digging into the water and the waves are hitting the ship like thousand salty raindrops. Then like every other year, there is that one special day, it´s your birthday. Actually it`s like a birthday at home, you are allowed to decide, what to eat, what to do and when you can open your presents. At home your family would normally drive to the baker and buy you a cake or would make one for you, while you`re still asleep. On a ship in the middle of the ocean it`s hard to go the baker, so the people, who have galley duty make a cake. But not for 3-5 persons, they bake for 50 people, who all want to eat cake. It`s weird because you have never seen your favorite cake in that big amount, but everybody loves it because everybody loves cake.
Then you have the normal perfect watch day, sometimes early in the morning when the watches change twenty people sing for you. But that shouldn`t be the last time somebody is singing for the rest of the day. Then you have free time, you can sit wherever you want if it’s the intermediate floor or the high top of the mast and spend your birthday like no one else did it before. You can talk with your friends about the last five months.
After lunch, there is coffee and cake, like every day, but suddenly the whole ship starts to sing for you and you receive your presents, also nearly like at home, but still so different. However, the presents are mostly the same, you get a book chosen for you and a gift card signed by all people on the ship.
It´s the first time celebrating without your family, it´s weird but you don´t feel alone.
You´re sitting on a ship in the middle of nowhere but you don´t feel lonely, you are surrounded in so little space by so many people and it feels like the greatest gift of all. It´s full of adventures, new experiences and funny moments that you spend with people that got your friends in the last five months. Even the captain congratulates you. It´s one of the greatest memories you will keep and one of the most unforgettable birthdays you’ve ever had. But even this day has to end. Even on this day you have to clean ship and go to watch. It´s a special day but it´s still another great sailing day at the Thor Heyerdahl that ends with you lying in your cozy bed after your night watch happy and fulfilled and looking forward to the next day.
For the end of my blog, I asked some pupils and teachers how their birthdays were, all of them said, that it was one of their best days in life. Some of them had some extra wishes, like going rudder for 3 hours in their watch or get woken up at 4:30, to watch the sun rising and the dolphins jumping in and out the water. But some only wanted to sleep longer and they wanted to spend time with their best friends, listening to music in the kitchen.
At the end of the day all birthday-children were happy.
An other little part are birthdays of family and friends at home, it`s not so nice to be so far away and not being able to congratulate them. But it`s even nicer to call them after a long time on sea. If you haven`t seen them for 3 weeks and then you are able to congratulate them, makes you even more happy.
All in all birthdays are great days, if at home or on a ship, in the middle of the ocean.