Any birthday on Europa is celebrated. We’ve had fewer than you might expect this voyage but each one has been marked. At sea, bunting decorates the long corridor and deckhouse, and alongside lights are strung across the main deck.
After dinner, the musicians of the crew arrive. Two violinists and a guitarist have been a fab scratch band. Everyone sings happy birthday, and then the group play a song of their choosing (or three). Sometimes the words are adapted to fit the birthday boy or girl. Cake and candles round off the party.
Today Ruud, the mate, turned 40 and Europa traditions were honoured. Mega and Mark played a version of House of the Rising Sun which recognised Rudd’s obsession with sail trim, especially his tendency to get everyone busy at 0200. The birthday cake was great, with carrots which have travelled with us from South America. We have now adjourned to the pub, respecting well-honed maritime behaviour in port.