I had crossed the Equator six times before: twice by air, and four times on land. Yet, until yesterday, both Rick and I were mere Pollywogs. Pollywog is the nickname given to sailors who have never sailed across the Equator. Once you have achieved that honour, you become a Shellback. (I won't go into the historical significance, but feel free to look it up.)
That morning was promising, the sun was bright and a steady breeze was blowing. However, the closer we came to the Equator, the more fickle the wind became. It would be more accurate to say that we crawled over the Equator.
It's funny how an invisible line in the middle of the ocean holds so much importance. We showered, prepared goodies, got our drinks and camera ready. In spite of the heat, we put clothes on for the occasion, that's if you count pareos (sarongs) as clothing. I even shaved my legs. (That just comes up way too often on this blog.) Let's just say that the Equator was a big deal.
On a long passage it is necessary to have milestones celebrated, rituals observed, treats parceled out. It breaks up the monotony, and gives you something to look forward to. You have no idea how important that becomes after weeks at sea.
Earlier this morning, the wind was still fickle at best. I'd had enough. I was striking deals left, right and centre with the wind gods. Perhaps they took pity on me, because suddenly dark clouds were upon us, Nyon healed hard over and began flying along. We rushed around making adjustments to the sails in a misty rain. You can always count on a squall to liven things up. The wind has now settled down to 8 knots or so. Only 600 nautical miles to go!
Position: 01* 09.439' S 133* 43.619' W
Distance: 88 nm
Heading: 209* T
Speed: 4.5 knots