A new celebration on board HS Bruckner (April 2014)

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Holidays and celebrations are always different at sea. Although many important  – and sometimes personal – events take place when seamen are on board the vessel and very far away from their families, these moments should not be forgotten, but celebrated.

On the ship, you  can always find a good reason to celebrate, a moment to share and enjoy with your ‘family’ at sea – a seaman’s birthday or just his son’s (daughter’s, wife’s), a wedding anniversary, a Christmas, an Easter, a New Year’s Eve, a National Day, a Halloween or just a happy day, with some personal meaning. It is true that all the seamen would prefer to celebrate these important events at home, together with their families, but this thing is not always possible and, for this reason, each and every holiday and celebration must be properly brought into attention and celebrated regardless the place and time of happening.

In the last 7 years, I had the honor and pleasure to spend many months at sea, together with seamen coming from different countries and belonging to different religious beliefs. I was always happy to take part in their celebrations and I never let any important event pass by without being noticed and properly shared with all the members of the crew. I hope I succeeded in making them feel just a little less sad when celebrating birthdays and other important personal events on board, far away from their beloved families.

Except birthdays, other religious or non-religious events are also celebrated on board and the most important ones are Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Easter or the sailor’s baptism for one of the crew members.

After so many years at sea, I didn’t believe that there could be any possible celebrations left which I hadn’t witnessed so far. But, the miracle happened on the Saturday before Easter when our second engineer became father for the first time. We all knew about the coming event and we were waiting forward to raising a glass in the honor of the father and for the health of the new baby.

For this reason, the barbeque party – that had already been planned for a long time – took a new face and received a special meaning.

The open air party brought along good music, karaoke and delicious food, spiced up by red and white wine, together with different other types of drinks. We all raised up our glasses, united our voices and hearts to salute with cheers and big applause the arrival of the baby girl – Catarina.

A new celebration on board HS Bruckner

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I really hope that the baby girl –even if few thousands km away –  felt our positive energies and greetings and, if not, she will surely find out (at some point) that, in the day she was born, 25 people – who did not know her and most probably would never do – celebrated with joy her arrival in the world. After the years, the lucky father will probably tell her about this special day and he will be able to prove it by showing her photos and the big banner we used to congratulate him on such a big occasion.

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I know the lucky father would have wanted to be at home now, together with his wife and new born baby, but things are not always as we want them to be. I really hope we managed to make this day a special one and I think he will be happy to tell his family that he didn’t feel very sad and not very much alone among so many people who shared his happiness and helped him feel so lucky and important.

Congrats for Daddy Dorde and Happy Birthday, Catarina!

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