Tag Archives: birthday

Matt’s Taravai Birthday

Lots of love for Cinco de Mateo this year!  We started our birthday celebrations by getting a sneak peek into one of the local dance team’s performance for their upcoming Heiva.  Our friends Stephan and Manu were both singing and dancing!  It was beautiful even though they were not in costume and they were performing in a parking lot.

Afterwards, we headed to Stephan and Manu’s house for a late happy hour.  Our friend Heifara showed up as well so it was a lot of fun.

Stephan, Matt, Me, Manu

Stephan, Matt, Me, Manu

Way before sunrise I found myself baking bread for our breakfast date and cheesecake for our birthday celebration later in the day.  I was graced with a gorgeous sunrise.

We headed up the hill where we enjoyed a huge breakfast with our good friend Poerani (Popo).  She made French toast, eggs, and sausage along with the fresh bread I brought.  She is such a gem!

Then we left Rikitea for the last time this season and headed to Taravai.  For the 3rd year in a row, we celebrated Matt’s birthday with Valerie and Herve (the local family who live on Taravai).  They hosted a giant bash for all of the cruisers.  Tons of food was shared before several heated games of volleyball and petanque.  Check out Matt’s birthday last year on Taravai.

We were actually celebrating three birthdays.  Matt, Tom on Pakia tea and Doug on Hannah.

Valerie made all the birthday boys’ birthday floral crowns and each of the significant others received floral leighs!

Sonya (Tom’s wife on Pakia Tea) made cake and chocolate pudding while I made jello shots and cheesecake bites.  Valerie gave Matt a dancing snowman as a bit of a joke.  His face was priceless!

Tom and Sonya’s son, Keanu played the recorder which was so sweet (lower left).  Sonya and I (top left), Matt and Tom (bottom right) and Ariki (Valerie and Herve’s son) on top right.

In addition to a wonderful birthday celebration it was also a goodbye party.  The winds presented a good weather window to leave Gambier so several cruisers were taking advantage of it.  It was hard to say “goodbye” to our friends as we have had a truly blessed 5 months here.

Alan, Matt, Valerien, Me, Ariki, Herve

Alan, Matt, Valerien, Me, Ariki, Herve

It amazes me how wonderful our fellow cruisers and the locals are!  They made this a truly blessed birthday to remember.

Events from this blog post occurred on 5 May, 2021.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.

Christine's Birthday

Kiritina’s 53rd Birthday

Christine in Mangarevan is “Kiritina” isn’t that pretty?  Whoop, Whoop, Whoop!  We celebrate my birthday on Taravai with locals and cruisers!  We have celebrated Matt’s last two birthdays on Taravai and I was super excited to be here to finally celebrate mine too!  Matt started out my day by taking a photo of the sunrise and leaving me a digital card on the iPad.

Lots of good friends and fun times!  Photo Top: Eve on “Auntie”, Alan and I.  Middle: Daniela “Yelo” and Valerie, Herve, Ariki, Valerie and me. Bottom: Eve “Auntie” Herve and Daniela “Yelo” and me and Eve.

Great friends!

Great friends!

A Feast for All

It was a feast of feasts!  Herve grilled up chicken, fish, and pork ribs.  Guests brought a vegetable lasagna, cous cous, rice, cole slaw, deviled eggs (egg boats), salad, veggies, and more!

Such tasty foods

Such tasty foods

We all over are because we wanted to try all the dishes – but man-o-man we had to waddle away from the table!

Matt & I, Valerie & Alana, Daniela & Valerie

Matt & I, Valerie & Alana, Daniela & Valerie

Lots of drinking….

And of course, Jell-O Shots (they were red which turned everyone’s tongues red)

Beautiful Gifts

Beautiful and generous friends gave me gifts.  Anki and Seavert from “Major Tom” gave me a beautiful shell bracelet, Eve from “Auntie” gave me a gorgeous petrified mammoth bracelet, Daniela and Rolf from “Yelo” gave me birthday chocolate, and Michelle and Rene gave me a few stunning pearls. I am truly blessed for such generous and kind friends!

Lots of Games and Sport

We played a lot of volleyball games. Taravai rules:  any body part works; serve any way as long as it gets over the net; when the ball hits the net, it starts your three touch over; and score said in French.  Always a blast!

Volleyball Competition

Volleyball Competition

And lots of pitonk or bacchi ball.  The winner, tosses the small white ball is tossed into the field, grass, or sand.  Two teams try to get their stainless-steel balls close to the white ball.  You can hit the other team’s balls out of the way, you can hit and move the white ball and you can toss your ball however it works for you.  The team with the closest ball(s) gets a point(s).

Pitonk (Bacchi Ball) at its finest

Pitonk (Bacchi Ball) at its finest

Look at the concentration on all the faces.  Hard to be serious when there has been a wee bit of alcohol consumption.

Pitonk (Bacchi Ball) at its finest

Pitonk (Bacchi Ball) at its finest

Super Sweets

We must not forget about the sweets.  Eve made me a tasty chocolate cake and I brought strawberry cupcakes and dolce de leche ice cream to top off our day!

Birthday cake, cupcakes and icecream

Birthday cake, cupcakes and ice cream

It was a truly beautiful and heart-warming day.  Our friends sang Happy Birthday in 4 languages!  Rene brought out his uke and provided amazing Tahitian music throughout the day.

It drizzled during the party.  However, Valerie said that it was God’s way of blessing me.  And a beautiful rainbow to celebrate the day:

Rainbow across Mangareva

Rainbow across Mangareva

This day made me feel truly blessed to be alive and in French Polynesia surrounded by such love.  A great way to start my 53rd year in this world!

When I finally got back to town where we had 2G internet access I was overwhelmed by all the birthday wishes on my facebook page – thank you so much for the love!

Events from this blog post occurred around January 16, 2021.  Our blog posts run 8 weeks behind our adventures.

Cinco de Mateo: Matt’s Birthday

Valerie played several Polynesian birthday songs over the VHF radio first thing in the morning on Cinco de Mateo (5 May).  Waking up to the beautiful melodies of the islands was a perfect way to start Matt’s birthday.  Sugar Shack remained anchored in Taravai longer than anticipated just so we could celebrate with Valerie, Herve and their family again (we were here last year for Matt’s birthday too).

We invited our friends at anchor, planned a mid-day BBQ and enjoyed a great Tuesday.  We landed onshore first and were eagerly greeted by Valerie.  She had made a typical Polynesian crown and leigh for Matt.  It was not only beautiful but incredibly fragrant.  He looked a little silly but he wore it all day (bless his heart).

It was great fun celebrating with all of our friends!

Chris and Fred onboard Sea Jay (American) and Ivar and Floris onboard LuciPara 2 (Dutch)

And the rest of the party crew…

And of course, Matt and I

Taravai Sunday Funday for Matt’s Birthday

Herve BBQ’d some pork ribs, made a tasty pork stew, and poison cru (raw fish dish).  We had tons of side dishes and I made cheesecake bites (with my last cream cheese) and a butter pecan cake.  Super fun.

Matt did the social distancing thing perfectly by NOT blowing out his candles.  He merely lifted the board that was blocking the wind.  We had happy birthday sung to us in multiple languages: English, Spanish, Tahitian, Mangarevian, French, and Dutch.

One of the local families brought pearls for everyone to consider. Gabriel has a pearl farm and a pension (hotel) in Rikitea.  He was so kind!  He gave three of us a few loose pearls.

All in all a great celebration on Matt’s birthday!