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Thursday, July 18, 2019

21st Birthday on Board

A special birthday aboard the R/V Marcus Langseth!

By Morgane Goulain

A surprise of balloons was waiting after breakfast!

06:45 The sound of the alarm clock pulls me from my sleep. As every morning, I put my sportwear on for a daily sport session. Gym, shower and breakfast before the beginning of my shift… I was ready for another similar day on board. I was so far from the truth…

06:47 The first surprise of the day was to discover a huge piece of Happy Birthday wrapping paper scotched behind the door of the bathroom. The door of my room had also been decorated during the night.

06:52 I enter the exercise room. Luke, as usual, is already here. “Happy birthday”, he says. Surprised, I ask “Thank you! How do you know that?”. “It’s written in the lab” he answers.

07:28 Breakfast time. Everyone smiles at me and wishes me Happy Birthday! I’m so surprised. However, I’m not hungry this morning. The sea is quite rough, and I feel sick. “This is how the ocean celebrates your birthday”, Brian jokes.

07:53 Second surprise of the day. Hardly had I arrived in the lab when I saw about fifty multi-coloured balloons, climbing along the walls and hanging from the ceiling. While I was trying to fall asleep despite the rolling, some people, several, may have had fun trying to blow up all these balloons! (<<<- The midnight crew had a lot of fun prepping this!)

09:43 End of line. The boat starts turning. On the monitoring screen, a new message appears: Joyeux anniversaire Morgane!

10:01 Thomas has a present for me: I can choose one of the chocolate bars. I opt for Toblerone.

11:04 Adrien asked David if I could call my parents who accepted. Even if the connection wasn’t reliable, I heard

11:30 My shift is over. Now it’s lunch time. I’m not hungry but Victoire reminds me “It’s important not to be hungry when you are on a boat if you don’t want to be sick”. She’s right, I follow her to the kitchen.

11:46 Third surprise of the day. The cooks made a big carrot cake with strawberries, my favourite fruit! I guess I’m not the only one who enjoyed this incredible birthday cake.

The crew eagerly await Morgane to make the first cut into the cake!

11:53 I was tasting this delicious dessert when Victoire came back, a gift in her hand. Wait… A gift? On this boat? “This is a gift from a person who really likes you” she said, smiling at me. I removed the paper and discovered a book and some photos with messages of my boyfriend and my best friends. My mate had contacted Victoire, a month ago to send her this special gift for my twenty-first birthday. Even in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I received a present on this special day! I couldn’t believe it…

The day ended in a very good mood. I think that never I have heard so many people wishing me a Happy Birthday in one day! 

Thank you to the scientific party for decorating the lab and my room, thank you Thomas for the chocolate bar, thank you to the cooks for the crazy cake, thank you Victoire for the gift. Thank you everyone, crew, scientists and biologists for wishing me Happy Birthday all along this incredible day. I will never forget this twenty-first birthday!

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