A Nautical 30th Birthday Party for Captain Nick

If you’ve ever met Nick, you’ll know he’s always wanted to buy a boat. In fact, the only item he’s ever saved to his TradeMe watchlist is a yacht. He’s been part of sailing clubs in both Toronto and Christchurch, so I suppose it’s more than just a phase…

To be fair, I’m also partial to a boat party. Over the years, we’ve celebrated university balls and press trips on the harbour and I love a unique venue that provides ever-changing views. After all, a glass of rosé is even better when paired with a nice view. 

With his 30th birthday on the horizon, I figured I’d plan a surprise party on a Lyttelton charter. I’ve never thrown a surprise party before and figured the weekend before we moved countries would be the perfect opportunity (lol). Props to anyone who does this on a regular basis as it’s no easy feat. 

I invited our friends and family from across New Zealand and they all made sure to keep it a secret. Nick’s parents, John and Penny, his sister, Cat and her partner, Blake all flew down to surprise Nick the day before and the surprises just kept coming!

I have previously been on two Black Cat cruises (both in Akaroa) and the experiences were fantastic (save for some seasickness on my part) so I organised an afternoon outing and thankfully, the weather played ball. We had beautiful blue skies and the water was so still. We sailed around Banks Peninsula and took in the spectacular views of Camp Bay where our friends Nancy and Joris got married. 

For food, I hired Samantha Parish from MOF MOF, a talented Chrischurch food stylist, chef and recipe writer. Sam made us the most beautiful (and delicious) platter that everyone commented on and quickly devoured. Jamie from The Cake Eating Company made mini cakes in a variety of flavours for the guests and they were absolutely delightful. 

My friend, Hannah from Hannah Bird Photography took photos to commemorate the day and it’s one we’ll look back on fondly. We are so grateful to all our friends and family members who celebrated Nick’s 30th in addition to bidding us goodbye. Sailing away into the sunset was perfectly fitting, not only for Nick’s 30th, but as a bon voyage to our time in Christchurch. 



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