I just celebrated my 40th birthday, July 22, at sea! Last time I had a birthday at sea was another significant year, my 21st birthday. That was my very first oceanographic cruise, and I have been on many since. You might wonder, “What do you do for your birthday in the middle of the ocean?” I couldn’t pick what restaurant to go out to, or even have a glass of champagne, but most of the important elements of a birthday were there. First, I had friends, old and new, to share it with, and received many happy birthday greetings as I walked the passageways of the ship. Second, a cake. The cooks baked me a delicious chocolate birthday cake, complete with deep-sea creature and plankton decorations. The galley was decorated, and I was given a home-made royal birthday girl crown to wear. A round of Happy Birthday followed, of course. Next- cards and presents, including a Japanese apron from my new Japanese colleague that is sailing with us. The only thing missing from this day was my family, but birthday wishes from them over e-mail put a smile on my face before the day’s end. I wonder when my next birthday at sea will be….
— Debbie Steinberg