Monday 4 July
Seems like today was the second special day in a week in my world: Mate disappeared to the launderette while Skipper and Second Mate dressed me in a set of signal flags reading ‘Happy 50’ which made me look suitably festive. Not sure if the pegged out washing improved my overall standing in the Harbour, but needs must when your crew live aboard. A birthday picnic was packed and they all left me for a bus ride to the Needles for the view: shame it was thick low cloud and visibility up there of about five metres, but it sounded like it was a success anyway. In the afternoon Second Mate’s younger brother arrived from the North Island by ferry, more presents were opened, cards read, texts shared and champagne drunk before the whole birthday party disappeared off for a wonderful celebratory meal at On The Rocks in Yarmouth, where I hear you cook your choice of steak or seafood on red hot volcanic stones. A great time was had by all, who returned for birthday cake and MORE champagne, as I suppose you do when you’re half expecting a telegram from the Queen.