Blog Entry 8 -Crossing the line

Ian Redwood & Laura Brown
Thu 10 Mar 2022 15:41
 0° 36.7 S 089° 30.9 W Crossing the line

Following the traditions of sailing throughout the years the transit from the Northern to Southern hemisphere is accompanied by a ceremony.

Scene:  The aft deck presents a raised stage, one metre above the bathing platform (poop deck) at the rear of the yacht.  Suspended above the bathing platform is a bucket filled with sea water and a pull cord to a tripping mechanism.  Underneath stands a beautiful lone maiden, dressed only in bathing costume and waterproof jacket.  The jacket hood is pulled tight around her head leaving a pixie grin peeking out.

Maiden: I’m not going to get my hair wet, am I?

Enter the herald, an imposing figure on the aft deck.  He is dressed in ceremonial costume with an upturned plastic pot balanced on his head and a large painting brush taped to its rear.  The paintbrush stands vertically upright; the effect is of a splendid helmet topped with a centurion’s plume.  A curious object is supported on his chin by means of an elastic bungee.  It looks like a vacuum cleaner attachment with the flat on the chin and the pipe end facing forward.

Herald:  (to the maiden)…. Shut it.  (The herald then blows into the chin tube, the effect is that of glorious trumpets sounding a heraldic fanfare)…. Taaaaaaaadahaa da da dadda da daddda da daaaaa, da da…..da da da da dahhhh da da…etc etc

Maiden:  Get on with it….

Herald:  (In ringing tones and with imposing voice) Lords of the Sea…(at each mention of the words ‘sea’, ‘ocean’, ‘water’, etc he squirts the maiden with a squeezy bottle filled with alcohol and water).  You are commanded here to witness the baptism (squirt) of a virgin of the equator.  Lord Neptune, mighty ruler of the oceans (squirt), we, your subjects on the sea (squirt), ask for safe passage, fair winds and quiet seas (squirt) as we pass from your Northern realm into your Southern realm, we ask to pass without let or hindrance…

Maiden:  Why do you keep squirting me?  I told you not to get my hair wet…

Herald: (ignoring Maiden’s pleas of clemency)…We ask your blessing and ask that you witness this baptism (squirt) of the maiden Laura Brown.  (He addresses the maiden in commanding tone) Pull the cord….go on, PULL IT!

Maiden:  Why?

Herald: Pull it, it’s part of the ceremony…

She pulls the cord and, unwittingly, releasing a torrent of water over herself.

Maiden:   Arrrrgh!  (Laughing) I’m all wet now!  You’re gonna suffer for this Redwood

Herald: ..and we offer you a toast.  (He passes beer can to maiden)

Maiden:  (She opens can and pours tiny dribble into the ocean and takes a huge swig of beer herself) To Neptune(All chorus to Neptune) 

Herald:  That’s hardly a generous amount to give our watery (squirt) Lord.

Maiden:  Bollocks to this, he’s had plenty and I haven’t had a beer in nine days.

Herald:   Fair enough, my turn. 

(The maiden has her own heraldic costume including upturned colander with an inverted funnel on top, she holds an upright whisk as a sceptre in majestic mode). 

The scene is repeated by following this loose format as the herald is himself a virgin.  The maxim she who laugh’s last, laugh’s longest springs to mind, and considerably more water is sprayed in this latter part of a very wet ceremony.

(Final scene – the players raise cans and embrace).  Each ‘accidentally’ pouring beer on the other.

Flowers etc for this extraordinary first night performance may be sent to SY RaLa c/o Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia.  On, on we go after crossing the earth’s girth.  As far as drama goes, I think we definitely crossed a line. 

P.S.  We’re having issues with the satphone – (understatement) please bear with us, we may not respond to emails of messages for several days.