Thursday 25 May
A Wedding on the foredeck of 'Lazy Duck'
We've had some amazing highlights during this trip on Lazy Duck, but the highest highlight of all was Nick and Sarah's wedding on board Lazy Duck in Bora Bora. They announced in the morning of Thursday 25 May that it was time they got married and would Jonathan do the honours that very evening? He was of course delighted to oblige, the girls were recruited as bridesmaids and Mark and I were to be the official witnesses.
Once we'd got over the excitement and surprise we swung into action to prepare for the big event which was to be at sunset that evening on the bows of the boat. Sarah went off to see if she could get some flowers at short notice, and had no difficulty. These islands are carpeted with flowers and they are traditionally worn on a daily basis by women and men alike - behind their ears, around their necks or around their heads - and every restaurant table and bathroom is festooned with floral colour. She ordered a gardenia posy for her to hold, traditional gardenia wedding headdresses for herself and Nick and a basket load of loose flowers for us to decorate the boat with. They decided to exchange Polynesian black pearl keschi during the ceremony, which would perhaps be made up into something later. Nick had a black pareo from Huahine to wear and Sarah found a simple white dress to complement her flowers perfectly. The rest of us were to wear our rainbow pareos that we'd bought in the Papeete market.
Noone could remember the exact marriage vows (Jonathan and I had celebrated our veterans' fourteenth wedding anniversary only the day before) but Nick and Sarah made a good stab at it as they sat under a tree on the beach, contemplating the aquamarine sea in the lagoon and the commitment they were about to make. That afternoon the girls and I scattered the loose flowers over every available space on Lazy Duck's foredeck and I baked some chocolate brownies for the wedding cake. Unfortunately they came out looking just like a squashy cow pat, but thankfully it's usually the aesthetic disasters which taste the best! Just before sun down Jonathan brought Sarah in the dinghy from the Bora Bora Hotel where she had been getting ready. She looked beautiful with all her flowers, and the two of them were in a sea of colour as they took their places at the bows. They made their vows as the sun went down while Jonathan officiated, videoed all the while by Mark. Then there were the usual zillions of photos before they cut the cake and we all had a gooey piece. To finish off the ceremony the girls performed a concert for Nick and Sarah, singing all their best songs that they know so well now. They sang like nightingales, inspired by the romance of the whole day.
Then we waved goodbye to the happy couple as Jonathan dinghied them over to the Bora Bora Hotel for their wedding night. As they left we threw all the loose flowers over them as confetti and the sea around the boat was a carpet of flowers. Although they'll probably need to make it all official in a registry office when they get back, it was an awful lot of fun and they certainly feel married, and that's what's important. We were so honoured to be part of it.