Jean's surprise pre-60th birthday party at Musket Cove Marina, 18 August 2013

When friends kept arriving at Musket Cove, I assumed that, like us, they were gathering to wait for a good weather window for their next passage. We had met quite a few people in Tahiti and had spent time on and off with them over the past year as we all headed to Suwarrow, Samoa, Tonga and finally New Zealand. Most of them were also back in Fiji but we were all going to be heading off to different places. We were the only ones going directly to New Caledonia. Matt and I had talked about having a BBQ on Sunday evening along with Astarte and Chapter 2. As other boats arrived on Sunday, I told Matt he should go and tell them that we were intending to BBQ that night and it would be great if they could join us. Little did I know that the plan was already in progress and everyone had arrived to attend a surprise party for my 60th birthday - a month early! Barbara from Astarte had done all the emailing and organising following instructions from Matt. The email she sent out:

Before we all sail our separate way
We must celebrate Jean's special day
For six decades she'll soon see
So a big party they'll be
Matt invites you to Musket Cove Bay

Let's gather to honor Superted's queen
On Sunday evening this August eighteen
Hush, hush. Don't you tell.
'Cause it's a surprise as well.
Come to party and raise a toast to Jean

Musket Cove Marina "550 Bar"
Malolo Lailai Island, Mamanuca Group, Fiji Sunday, August 18 (one month before her REAL birthday), 2013 5:00 PM (please arrive by 5 pm so we can surprise Jean)

And what a surpirse it was! We had a great time. Barbara and Heather had both made cakes - great fun trying to light the candles (blowing in the wind) and many lovely gifts - including a set of fishing lures from Jan Bart. Our poet Laureate Barbara had also written a very clever 'Ode to Jean' - see here. Sandy from Gypsea Heart then collected all the photos together and made up a great video of the evening Unfortunately it's too big to put in here but here's a selection of the photos:

Enjoying Barbara's 'Ode to Jean'

With a glass of champagne or two

Listening to Matt's 'short' speech and opening gifts

Think these were supposed to be fishing lures....Rankin showing off his legs - again! And a retirement envelope from DHS

Getting together with the boys.....and showing off with the girls

Lively BBQ dinner and 2 birthday cakes

Took a while to light the candles in the wind but one blow to put them out and a big thank you to Barbara (and Michael) and of course Matt for making it such a special occasion

Back to Flotsam.....