BIRTHDAY ON MY PERSONAL YACHT
WITH each passing year birthdays take on an added significance.
You look forward to each of them wondering how you can make your next commemoration that little bit different and more memorable.
This year I decided to celebrate on my own private yacht with about 100 of my best friends.
Well some of us hadn’t been to the Balearic Islands off the south of Spain before. Nor Corsica, nor the Amalfi coast of Italy.
And when it came to some of the gems of Greece, such as Delphi, famous for its legendary Oracle, the Corinth Canal, so narrow that only boutique yachts can fit through, Santorini and Hydra, where motor vehicles are banned ...
The itinerary was a unique birthday present in itself.
One of the first stopovers was Ibiza, which young folk describe as the Bali of the Mediterranean.
But the psychedelic entertainment in the watering holes rarely begins before midnight.
Instead it was a splendid evening around the yacht’s piano bar where musician George tickled the ivories with more sedate hits from yesteryear.
Not quite Barry Manilow.
More a case of Cilla Black, Dianne Ross, Billy Joel and Neil Sedaka.
And, of course, John, Paul, George and Ringo.
I got by with a little help from my friends on board.
The bars of Ibiza may have just been opening.
But on board my private yacht we were certainly having fun.
That’s probably why none of the revellers managed to make it on deck for dawn on my birthday as the golden sun rose over Palma de Malorca.
And what a sight as the swimming pool was bathed in a deep orange hue!
Had my mates not been slumbering, the mobile phones and upmarket Canons and Nikons would have been getting a real workout.
And what about the birthday feast.
Summer Truffle Antipasto, followed by Ensaladilla Rusa with a main course of Whole Roast Prime Rib-Eye of Beef.
We could have had more … much, much more … but one mustn’t be greedy.
However, I must confess to telling a bit of a fib.
It wasn’t really my personal yacht.
It just felt like it, as I was pampered on the boutique cruise vessel SeaDream I as we sailed around the Mediterranean.
The fellow guests weren’t my close friends, either.
At first they were strangers, but within a few hours of climbing the gang plank (I called it the ‘Eighteen Steps to Paradise’) they quickly became much more than just acquaintances … from Britain, Germany, Canada, Holland, the United States, Norway … 11 nationalities all told.
This small group of passengers was pampered by 92 crew members.
Most guests will remain in contact, just as many I met on my first Sea Dream experience a decade ago still are.
I hope to join you on our personal SeaDream yacht in 2016?
And I promise – Scout’s Honour – I’ll make sure I get up to see dawn break over the Med with you!
Enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.seadream.com
Words: Malcolm Andrews
Pictures: Helen Read