Crossing the Equator

Caramor - sailing around the world
Franco Ferrero / Kath Mcnulty
Wed 18 Mar 2015 15:26
00:00.0 N 26:02.6 W

We sailed across the equator at longitude 26 degrees 2 minutes and 6 seconds on Tuesday 17 March at 19:34.

Just three miles short of the line we were able to turn the engine off and sail, slowly it has to be said, around 2 knots. It was a relief to get rid of the noise and the heat generated by the engine.

Since times memorial, the crossing of the equator has been celebrated aboard ships. Sailors that have crossed before are known as 'shellbacks', they organise the 'rights of passage' ceremony for the novices. This usually involves shaving foam, eggs and various forms of humiliation. Surprisingly the ship's officers are complicit and take part, the captain dressing up as Neptune, god of the sea and the first mate as Neptune's consort.

Aboard Caramor, Franco is the only shellback, I crossed the equator in a plane which apparently doesn't count and Caramor, despite her three previous crossings of the Atlantic, is also a novice.

JPEG image

0 degrees latitude

JPEG image

We celebrated with a glass of Fanta.

Neptune joined us for a few hours as master of ceremony.

JPEG image

Skipper Franco as Neptune

Neither of us use shaving foam and the eggs were put to good use.

JPEG image

Compass cake

We gave Caramor a good wash with equator water, a kind of baptism I suppose. As for my initiation ceremony, you wouldn't believe what Neptune made me do!