Day 6 – A day to remember!
We ran the engine from midday yesterday until 10.30 this morning, just enough to keep us moving at about 5kn. We have had current with us of about 1.5 kn the whole way from the Perlas, and this has made a big difference in light airs. Finally we saw 10 kn of true wind, enough to sail with, so peace prevailed again, not that the engine makes a lot of noise especially if one uses earplugs!
It was then time to turn our thoughts to crossing the Equator, which we knew would be sometime after 11.30, depending on the wind strength.
This is the traditional celebration where the uninitiated (those who have never crossed the Equator = Elaine) or “Pollywogs” on board, appeal to King Neptune to become experienced “Shellbacks” (those who have previous experience = Bob)!
It was timely that we crossed the rubicon at precisely 11.57, just before we did our midday plot. We were glued to the GPS watching the countdown to 00.00.001N, and then the magic 00.00.001S!
Confessing of sins to Neptune took little time nor did paying of his forfeits and penalties, as we – including the pipistrelles on board – have all been so well behaved! So once pronounced “sinless”, out came the champagne, and we toasted Neptune for his care and guidance in the Southern Hemisphere.
As if on cue, while Elaine was taking pictures in the cockpit, a large fur seal (or sea lion?) appeared from behind us and then proceeded to play around us as if welcoming Pipistrelle into southern latitudes!
Our daily run for the last 24 hours was 122 nm. We are now sailing with twin poled out headsails as we slowly approach San Cristobal.