So how would we know we had reached the Northern Hemisphere if we did not have any charts or equipment telling us we had? Well the rain of course! We have been welcomed north with rather a lot of it during the night. The usual night watch attire of shorts and a t shirt, or often just a bikini, was replaced with oilies. The last few weeks the rain has occasionally poured down on us for a very refreshing but often short lived shower – a quick dash to shut the hatches, take down the wind scoops and for the skipper to get a wash….and then a few minutes later to go round and open the hatches, replace the wind scoops and stop those below from suffocating. The sun is now up however and it is looking to be another beautiful hot hot hot day. I have to say I am rather enjoying living in a bikini and intend to take the rain last night as a warning and enjoy it as much as possible whilst it lasts….and yes the plastering of oneself in sun cream as soon as you go out is a slight downside, however as a few of us on board have learned, it really is best to put it on properly!
Yesterday after the excitement of crossing the equator and jumping into the sea for our equator swim came the “Pollywog” to “Shellback” ceremony. I really was not looking forward to this as for the last few days festering in a bucket which I dared not look in were things that really should have gone straight overboard, however, apparently it is tradition to be covered in minging leftovers on ones first crossing of the equator! I am not yet convinced that Jon didn’t just make this up as on the way down he was the only one to be exempt from this apparently having been through the ceremony before…hmmmm…..he was also the one to deem how much of this was scooped up by the skipper in his role of policeman and poured over the perpetrators head. All the first timers had their crimes read out by the ships lawyer, I think Clare enjoyed this a little too much as did Cliggy in her role as ships nurse dishing out “medicine” to those found guilty…the amount once again dictated by Neptune aka Jon (hmmm suspicious – I think so). Now this takes me on to Neptune’s wife. I am not quite sure how to describe “her” as there really are no words. I will do my best to paint you a picture as I think its only right that you all have an idea of the image that I’m sure will scar our memories forever.
I will first take you back to a few hours earlier when we all emerged freshly cleansed from our dip in Neptune’s salty waters, our strapping young Nick intact in his masculinity was with us….then a disturbing transformation occurred which began with Sari pleating his beard incorporating in a woolly colourful extension, followed by Rachel, I would like to say carefully applying, however I think it more appropriate to say attacking Nick with make up! I think Rachel did somewhat enjoy this….not quite as much as what was to come next….a deal was struck and next think Nick is there with both his feet in buckets of water with Rachel working on one leg and Alice on the other removing his remaining ounce of dignity and shaving his legs! He then took him/herself off to his cabin and emerged transformed into the beautiful and graceful Mrs Neptune…..don’t worry – there are photos!
Crimes included being very loud, inefficient hair removal, grunting loudly whilst exercising near the aft cabins, excessive tea making, terrible bunk and cabin mess and excessive and childish tickling….there were a few more that I will leave to your imagination! Rachel outdid everyone and was punished accordingly….a favourite of hers was “insufficient volume, Rachel is quieter than tumbleweed rolling through the vacuum of space”. The medicine to cure us of the crimes was not pleasant to say the least. It did come close to inducing sickness in some, well, one mainly…Andy had a close call….which did not help Emma’s nerves as she was called up after him!
We are currently being tipped rather drastically to one side as we have some wind and the engine is off – hooray! We have had quite a bit of wind in the last couple of days however we could do with a bit more of a constant blow rather than having the engine on and off on a regular basis. So I have a questions to put out there to our avid readers: who is the God of wind? If Neptune be the God of sea who we have put ourselves at the mercy of and have thanked regularly for looking after us so well, who do we need to speak to so we get to the Azores on time? (According to Andy T its Dave….so until we hear otherwise Dave it is!)
The other thing I would like to know is what “tricing” means? Apparently to do things in a “trice” is to do things quickly but that comes from the fact you have to pull the tricing line quickly. Any ideas?
I am off for my morning nap before our watch makes lunch. (Spaghetti Carbonara for those interested). Oh and the watches have been changed to shake things up a bit half way through the trip, so I am now with Emma (yay I wanted to see more of her), Bob (definitely more conversations to be had…and easily kept happy with countless cups of tea…however, having lost his tea drinking partner from our last watch, Andy, I feel I will be boiling the kettle more often) and my new watch leader, Nick (mostly restored to his masculine self bar the shaved legs and remnants of eye liner).
Hope everyone is doing well, loads of love to friends and family everywhere