This day deserves its own post because…



My 21st birthday spent aboard the Gato Verde has definitely been one of my better birthdays. The morning started off with opening the box from my sister, which had the “perfect meal” in it: cheese, fruit, and chocolate in the form of easy mac and dark chocolate raisenets. It was classic. The whales hadn’t been sighted in over 24 hours so in hopes of cutting them off as they came back in, we headed south towards Discovery Island. There were a couple updates about Humpbacks and Transients, but they were too far for us to get to them, so we drifted for a couple hours in hopes they might come closer to us. During our drift we were surrounded by seals in Harbor Porpoises, at least they wanted to say hi on my birthday. No luck with the whales, but the currents and wind were with us to sail back up island! On our journey back north we got a brief visit from Dall’s Porpoises bow riding our boat again! If I wasn’t going to see whales on my birthday, Dall’s were a good substitute.

When we pulled into our anchor spot for the night, Garisson Harbor, Todd gave us a little talk about what to in a man over board situation and taught us how to heave-to in order to retrieve them. That is when I got banished from being inside. Dave and I went to sit on the front deck and he caught me up on the right of way sailing talk that I had missed from being in the clinic the day before. I also took that time to call my parents and catch up on some journaling, and after a bit Dave came to keep me company with his guitar as the sun was starting to go down.

When I was finally allowed back inside (almost 2 hours later) I was welcomed with a best of James Brown dance party and my awesome birthday sign. I had requested Vanessa’s mushroom stroganoff for dinner, which was AMAZING! Then it was time for my surprise that everyone else had been working on…AN ORCA CAKE!! Hands down the coolest cake I’ve ever had.

Along with my Orca cake, Leslie (Val’s wife) and I had made two shoo fly pies  the day before while I was not allowed back on the boat. Shoo fly pie is my favorite pie my grandma makes for me when she comes to visit me, it’s a tradition Amish pie and it’s so yummy! As if the cake wasn’t enough the group all signed a card with words of “wisdom” for being 21, got me an Orca wine glass, and a Bailey’s (non-alcoholic) chocolate bar as a joke since we are on a dry boat.

Click here for a recipe of shoo fly pie, or to just find out what it is!

Shoo Fly Pie

So, even though I was on a dry boat for my 21st birthday, I would say I had more fun than most people on their 21st because of the awesome people I was able to spend it with, the memories made, and the laughs that were had.  Plus, how many people get to say they have spent their birthday on a boat surrounded by marine mammals?

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