Location: 17 34.935'S 146 36.180'W

Today started off like any other: blue sky, blue water, and some people in blue shirts or other bits of sun-bleached blue clothing. But the ordinariness of the blue belayed a larger, more eventful happening. The annual celebration and recognition of one Thomas Matthew David Biselbee, captain of the fine ship Vela. Mr. Biselbee started the day off with a fine cup of Geisha coffee made by his chief mate, followed by an aperitif of canned pear halves. After a cooling refreshment of fridge water, our chef whipped up some nice fluffy pancakes for our dear skipper. Fully satiated and content with his domain, he sat with Watch Team One for a while, observing the morning and commenting on the swell growing larger from the southwest. At approximately 1200, the rest of the crew being fully awakened and mustered on the aft deck, Tom was regaled with a masterfully coordinated rendition of “Happy Birthday” led and conducted once again by our chief mate. The crew applauded him as our honored guest, and after serving him some freshly cooked fried rice on the aft deck, he took the helm with a whimsical sigh and whispered, “What a day to be captain black beans, skipper of all that I see.” In hushed awe, the rest of us scurried away to our lowly posts, swabbing the decks and washing the cutlery. So much do we respect our dear Mr. Biselbee that we were done cleaning up in a jif, bosun wasting not a drop of water and stewards brushing aside every last speck of dirt and dust down below. Thenceforth relieved of boatly duties, the crew expanded their minds and broadened their horizons in Oceanography, presenting their term projects for all their peers to see. While thus distracted, Mr. Biselbee received a pedicure and facial in the peace and tranquility of the chart house roof. Soft breeze ruffling his hair, the contented sighs were audible to those around, leading the helmsman and the officer of the watch to exchange knowing glances. A happy Mr. Biselbee is all that our contented crew strives for, and after 22 days at sea, we are getting the hang of it. Bodily pampering over, he was escorted to his next activity, where his gentlemanly wits were sharpened beyond what had been thought possible. We all know Mr. Biselbee to be the sharpest tack, the smartest whip, and the quickest word this side of the parallel, so for him to sharpen his tack yet even more, make his whip even smarter and his word even quicker had our jaws dropping into the eternity below our hull. The rest of the afternoon passed easily enough, with all of us striving to make our dear Mr. Biselbee fat on the largess of life and good company. 1600 came as quickly as the ship’s boy, and cold refreshments and relaxation were again to be witnessed on the aft deck. A scene of jovial celebrations unfolded like so many origami flowers, each joke, each look, and each muttered contented sigh flowing faster and smoother until not even the quickening swell brought a look of concern to the face of our Mr. Biselbee. Content with his domain, and we contented to be in his domain, the day slipped through our fingers like drink down the throat or water down a hatch. At 1800 sharp, our chef served up her finest work yet. Congratulating Ms. Nella on her fine work of culinary art, Mr. Biselbee ate dinner on the aft deck, served specially on a small table behind the main sheet for a bit of privacy. Dinner concluded by 1900, and we all went about our work while Mr. Biselbee reclined on the flaked sheet, smacking his lips which is every man’s want at the end of a filling and wondrous day.

Cheers to all those at home, and wishing you a happy Thomas Biselbee Day,