Two days South of Fanning Island we crossed the Equator today, and as the Kwai custom goes, it was time for King Neptune to appear on deck.
Three pollywogs were chained, baptized in seawater, and put to trial on the Main Deck: Mate Michael, Super Cargo Inna, and our new Kiribati crew member Tabura. With me in the role as Neptune, and Brad acting as Judge, the accusations were read as follows:
Offending Neptune with silly stories and jokes. Tying lures that don’t catch fish, and pretending to know all about fishing. Taking care of all crew, but neglecting his own wounds. Allowing rats to live on board.
Allowing rats to live in her cabin. Throwing fine linen in the ocean. Disturbing the delicate balance of ocean salinity by sweating too much. Offending the mermaids by jumping into the ocean and showing off her beauty and her long legs. Questioning Neptune’s ritual of the seven seas.
Trying to cross the equator unnoticed by being too silent. Pretending to be stronger than the whale. Polluting air and ocean by smoking on the Aft Deck.
As a sign of their true seaman skills, the three pollywogs had to climb the main mast, up to the upper platform and kiss the topmast. Back on the Main Deck the three new crew members were welcomed as true shellbacks. They will carry this title for the rest of their seagoing life.
With another 650nm to go until Pukapuka, we are running at a speed of 6,5 knots under full sail, with even the mizzen stays’l set. No sign of any doldrums around this part of the Equator!