Crossing the Line

Day 162/40

Noon Position: 00 90S 152 00W

Course/Speed: NNE6+

Wind: SE13-17

Bar: 1010, steady

Sea: E5

Sky: Clear

Cabin Temperature: 87

Water Temperature: 82

Sail: All plain sail

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 150

Miles this leg: 4,944

Avg. Miles this leg: 124

Miles since departure: 22,050

Early this afternoon Mo and I crossed the line at 152W and are now plying home waters–which is to say, the North Pacific–for the first time since we crossed to the south on November 20th of last year. Six months we have been in southern latitudes; alien, tempestuous, frigid, alluring, rich and wild latitudes.

Of course, this is not how I envisioned coming home. The route as designed brought me back into the Pacific via the Bering Sea. That disappointment to one side, it is nice to be entering familiar territory; Hawaii, the North Pacific High, that coast line way off to the east. I anticipate sighting the Golden Gate Bridge the first week or so of July.

We will be home a month or two…and then off again. Back to sea. Back to the south.

Following up on a theme in yesterday’s post, it has often struck me as curious that passing over the equator is called, by sailors, crossing the line. This has seemed a too prosaic descriptor for an idiom so given to allusion and metaphor.

But I discovered the reason today.

Sailors, for all their poetry, are practical beings, after all. And when one can be precise, be precise.

6 Comments on “Crossing the Line

  1. Crossing the equator, especially in a rather small sailboat, is usually a big deal…I think this is Randall’s second crossing. I remember ours, back in 1986 — middle of the night, but we celebrated & toasted King Neptune in fine fashion. Randall’s photos with dotted red line are fun to see!

  2. Hello Mary! We crossed the line, North to South, also in 1985 in our 39 foot sloop KANDARIK! Something in the back of my getting older mind! Makes a Bell Ring! Do we know each other? I remember when we Crossed the Line it was in the middle of the black squally night! Our 5 year old son, Jamie, was below at the chart table with his Dad using DR to determine we were indeed Crossing the Line! When Jamie heard his Father, Andy, say that he rushed up on deck and threw himself over the cockpit combing! I thought he was seasick but when I tried to pull him back into the cockpit, at 5 years old, he yelled at me, “I am looking for the Red Line!!” So, Randall, I have now seen it for myself in your wonderful photo! Thank you for your fantastic posts and stimulating once again, my own precious memories!! Pam

  3. I love the dashed line! That’s exactly what it feels like mentally. Charming.

  4. Like your T shirt! My wife and I met you at your dinghy in Hanalei as you were ready to head for SF 2 years ago. mahalos for your fine posts.

  5. All this time I thought the line was green. It’s red!!!

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