Day 14 at sea: Birthday 2.7

Yesterday was my second birthday at sea alone in a rowing boat – I turned 24 on my voyage across the Indian in 2009. It was a grand day with sunny blue skies, surfing seas, gifts of cosy socks and a dragon and a birthday badge.

Big Smiles

My good pal Claire stashed two hip-flasks of delicious homemade liquor and various folks gave chocolate – obviously having read about my disappointment in 2009 when I opened a necklace having been convinced (and excited!) that the package  was chocolate eggs.  I even have some balloons which I shall inflate in a few hours (it is currently 2am) and a banner which is now sparkling down one side of my cabin. Having procrastinated with the opening of my cards until after dinner I decided my birthday ought to be spread over a few days and having felt a little off-colour the past couple of nights I postponed the alcohol too, though I have chosen it already. I shall have one of the two bottles of Cornish cider, saving the bottle of Pol Roger for the international date line, which will signify  the ‘half way back home’ mark. Goodness knows when I shall get there with my current tracker knitting…

A friend in Japan had put together a birthday meal for me before I left – curry and make-your-own-naan – which provided a very happy diversion. Note to all ocean rowers and expeditioners – make na’an! Said friend got together with my Tokyo pals for a Birthday Ginner in my honour (Ginner being ‘Gin and Dinner’) including a special birthday cake. Thank you folks – honoured indeed.

This time last year I was a newbie to Kazakhstan, arriving over the border from Russia just the day before. I slept on a dried lake and then pedalled 212km through the dusty heat to Atyrau to stay with expats Rowena and Matt.  I arrived late but not too late to sink a few   birthday beers with Matt and some pals who were in the midst of building a hovercraft, of all things. A bit of a contrast to today in all respects but for the fact I am happy and feel very lucky to have such wonderful pals the world over.

Thanks to everyone who has donated to my charities in honour of this 2.7 decades old lark  – it is much appreciated. Do swing buy and throw a token or two in if you can. We are nicely on our way to £12,000 (excluding GiftAid), a healthy sum indeed.

Cheerio for now,

Sarah and Gulliver x (and at least two little birds currently having a snooze on deck)

PS A huge sigh of relief came the other day as with a bit of medicine the ipod revived and ousted the silence once more. No hymns for a while yet.

PPS Expect some more tracker knitting this week as a typhoon to the south of us blows in a few days of easterly winds.

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11 Responses to Day 14 at sea: Birthday 2.7

  1. anita corbin says:

    Happy birthday for yesterday…glad you had some company if there were ‘three little birds’,
    … Bob Marley would approve…loving the phone casts…can imagine the excitement when you pop the cider corks….you wont care about the knitting then!

  2. June Bibby says:

    Belated Birthday Greetings, Sarah. I am glad you were able to celebrate! Nice you had company
    of ‘the feathered kind’. All the sea creatures sound so interesting.
    Best wishes,

  3. Christine & Kathleen says:

    Belated Happy Birthday, sorry I wasn’t able to do a message for you yesterday but the wishes are there just the same. We shall do as you have asked and a few more pounds will be included in your total in lieu of your birthday. Glad you have had a happy day.

    Hope the week ahead will be good for you in every way.

    All good wishes for now

    C & K

  4. Tony F says:

    Many happy returns!

  5. Julian Outen says:

    Happy Birthday Sarah!!

  6. Rob Hart says:

    Belated Happy Birthday, and well done of regaining those lost NM’s. I suppose it can be a bit like climbing a sand dune, for some steps up you lose half or 3/4 of the step. But always onwards and you’ll get there.
    Blessings, Rob

  7. Larry & Irene says:

    Happy belated birthday! Take care.

  8. Sasha says:

    Happy Birthday Sarah!!!

    Greetings from Kazakhstan! 🙂

  9. Geoff Chambers says:

    Happy birthday Sarah from us in Oz.

    Still following your progress with interest and admiration. Janet and I just got back from trekking to Everest Base Camp and some of the nearby passes to 5,500m – not quite the league of what you’re up to but it was a mountain for us. Haven’t entirely dismissed the offer of joining you on the bike ride across Canada – in fact I’ve dined out that many times telling people my two concerns that I probably couldn’t keep up, and I was worried about bears, emerged as possibly being the very reason you had invited me – I feel almost like I have to go through with it now.

    Big squeeze

    Geoff and Janet

    • Shelagh says:

      Message for Geoff Chambers: You don’t need to worry about bears because Sarah is planning on cycling across Canada in the winter and all self-respecting bears will be hibernating. So, you can start training!

  10. Rilla says:

    Happy Birthday! I celebrated my 36th on the 25th (actually, I’m still celebrating… haha) so cheers, my fellow Gemini. <3 Loving the updates.

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