Saturday, May 03, 2008
After nearly 4,000 miles of sailing, we have reached 0 degrees latitude, at 4:31 Pacific time/00:31 UTC. Now that may not sound like much to some of you, but let me tell you the last 16 days that we have been out at sea far surpasses anything else Frank and I've ever done. We are literally in the middle of the ocean. It has been a surreal journey getting here. We still have quite a few miles ahead of us to next landfall. There is a pagan ritual that must (or should) be performed to appease
the gods of the sea, to thank them for getting us here and to ask for safe passage from here. We do this not because we believe in pagan gods or their rituals; it is just what sailors do. We heard that we must make offerings to Neptune. Anyone who has not previously crossed the Equator is a Pollywog and must be inducted and baptized by the sea or plunged into it at this juncture. We both were pollywogs before today. So I baked a cake, and decorated it with an N and an S, divided by a line, depicting
the Equator. We then dressed like fools; Frank like Neptune, wearing a bed sheet and a mardi gras necklace with a lobster on it, carrying our boat hook as his scepter, and a "crown" that I made him from a visor that identified him as Neptune. I wore a visor with Pollywog written on it. We said some ritualistic sounding stuff while pouring a bottle of red wine into the sea from N - S and E - W, we went forward and doused each other with sea water from the anchor washdown hose, then we sat on the
swim platform and splashed our feet about, dangling them in the water while Frank drank a couple of beers and I ate a piece of cake tossing a piece to Neptune for good measure. No way were we jumping in! We took a picture of the Chart showing the 0.00 degrees latitude to commemorate the occasion as well. After all the pomp and circumstance, we feasted! We grilled a couple of steaks, had twice baked potatoes, green beans and more Equator cake. We each wanted to call someone form the Equator so
Frank called his mom and I called Jen, my daughter. It is nice that we can do that because we are having difficulty getting radio signals strong enough out here to transmit as often as before.
Now we are in the Southern hemisphere and headed for the Marquesas Island of Hiva Oa. The winds were great for a while, and then kicked up to over 22 knots so that Frank had to reef in the sails. Now we are losing our wind and bouncing along again in very confused seas. Things are tossing about that have not been previously uprooted. It is the middle of the night and neither of us will probably get much if any sleep. We must have forgotten something in our ceremony to Neptune!