Day 7: Mina2 Crosses The Line - Full Story
Position: 00:29.7S 027:23.0W
Noon to Noon Run: 130miles (sailing slowly)
Crossing The Line is a big moment on any vessel and particularly if it’s for the first time for anyone on board. So it was with excited anticipation that the crew assembled early this morning as the GPS was counting down the northern latitude to zero. The normally mild-mannered crew transformed for the occasion into a fearsome bunch of pirates.
All of a sudden there was uproar in the aft cabin. Shrieks of fear from the unseen skipper. The cabin door burst open and into the saloon strode an apparition so ghastly it was enough to freeze the blood of the most villainous pirate. Standing, legs astride, long flowing white hair and beard, covered from head to toe in green slime and wearing nothing but a rather fetching grass skirt stood none other than King Neptune himself, brandishing a fearsome looking trident. The stench of fear pervaded the saloon (or was it just Neil) as the terrified crew slumped to their quaking knees in submissive supplication. King Neptune (who turned out to be a bit of a show off) roared on for a while about how he was Lord of this and King of that and then said that no one could enter his Southern Domains without first being Initiated. As turning the boat round and going all the way back was not an option (Venetia kept bleating on about how she had a plane to catch on the 20th) one by one the crew knelt before the grotesque figure and was daubed with the same green slime favoured by the King himself.
Pirates Crossing The Line – King Neptune is guest helmsman
Having got the formalities out of the way, the King lightened up a bit and everyone went up into the cockpit to witness the transit of the Equator. As the final countdown began, Neil found by happy chance a bottle of champagne in the fridge; Peter cranked up the new cockpit speakers to max vol and everyone joined in a raucous rendition of Andy Wiliams’ “The Impossible Dream”. The final climactic line “to reach the unreachable star” was hit at 0829 UTC as the latitude changed from North to South, the champagne cork nearly blew a hole in the new mainsail, and there was an emotional tear in every eye. Except, that is, the eye of the skipper who was still locked in his cabin and who had missed the moment for which he had been planning assiduously for years. After drinking toasts straight from the neck of the champagne bottle (the skipper had the key to the glass locker with him in the locked cabin) King Neptune bade everyone farewell and departed, releasing the skipper on his way out. Thoughtfully, before he left, the King presented the skipper with a beautifully hand-inscribed certificate marking this momentous occasion.