We’re currently in position 1 26′ S 28 18′ W and our intentions are to continue south. We crossed the equator at 20:18 last night and everyone was sat around the chart table and in the cockpit to celebrate. Fortunately the shot of Cape Verdes moonshine honey run hasn’t sent anyone blind.
It’s King Neptune here. I came onboard Elinca last night as she crossed the equator at 20:18 boat time. The crew gathered around the chart table and in the cockpit to celebrate as we crossed the line. They had a quick play to see if the water went the opposite way around the plug hole but they couldn’t remember which way the water spun in the northern hemisphere and so the experiment didn’t go so well. The wind’s currently from the south and so Elinca’s sailing close hauled on port tack, heeling quite strongly, and so the water jumps around the sink as the boat moves and so the crew will be have to redo the test once the boat’s alongside in Rio.
After lunch Clare the mate (James doesn’t know it yet, but he has to get dressed up as Queen Neptune) will officially welcome me and my court onboard Elinca and the crossing the line ceremony will start. The ceremony’s existed on ships as they’ve sailed over the equator for several centuries. In the days of square rigged ships it gave the crew a day off and some enjoyment during the hard work of getting the vessel through the doldrums. Only Jon has crossed before and so the boat is full of rumours of what is about to happen. Some people have been helping to make costumes and everyone else is looking quite curious about what lies in store for them. Pollywog’s who have never crossed the line before will be brought before myself by the police (on larger ships the pollywogs try to hide but Elinca’s so small that there aren’t any hiding spaces). The crew have been nominating each other’s crimes for the last week. Some of them include:
James – playing too much solitaire on the PC
Nick – speaking in a silly voice every time the video camera’s on
Norman – being better at chin ups than everyone else
Each pollywog’s crimes will be read out by the solicitor and the crew will enthusiastically find them guilty. They will then kiss the sardine at my feet (it’s traditionally a kipper but we’re short of freezer space and so we have to use a tinned product instead). The doctor will then administer the medicine (I think that the doctor’s including Aquavit and chilli sauce in this trip’s potion) and the pollywog will be ladled in the galley slops that have been brewing in the tropical heat in a bucket on deck for a few days. There are some interesting smells coming from the bucket and the crew are beginning to look apprehensive. The crew are then classed as shellbacks and are awarded a certificate to show that they have crossed the line and paid their respects to myself. The certificate should be carried on all future voyages to save them from having to undergo the ceremony again.
The crew will continue with the blog tomorrow with their tales of the ceremony.
Monarch of all the Oceans