Shellbacked Again (Again)

October 24, 2018

Day 20

Noon Position: 0 21S  133 22W

Course (t)/Speed (kts): SxW 6

Wind(t/tws): ExS 13

Sea: SE 3

Sky: Light Cumulus

10ths Cloud Cover: 2

Bar: 1013+, falling

Cabin Temp (f): 86

Water Temp (f): 80 (note big drop)

Relative Humidity (%): 68 (dry!)

Sail: #2 genoa full, main full, close hauled

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 143

Miles since departure: 2558

Avg. Miles/Day: 128

It happened while I wasn’t looking. Somewhere around 3pm. While my head in a forward locker and Monte hummed softly at the tiller, Mo charged on across the equator, across the line, and didn’t tell a soul.

Monte: What is this? Is it your birthday?

Randall: (popping the cork) No, we crossed the line this last hour. Congratulations. (Takes a pull and hands the bottle to Monte)

Monte: Senior, that we are successful at crossing the street on the way to the market is no reason to open champagne. We will cross many streets…

Randall: Sparkling wine. And sure it is. We’re shellbacks. Not everyone can say that.

Monte: Not everyone can be a sailor just like not everyone…

Randall: Sourpuss! I’ll take the bottle back when you’re done.

Shellbacked, an old square rigger’s term for sailors who had crossed the equator. For me it is a term of highest romance. And for all his ill temper, I later noted Monte fingering the tattoo of a tortoise on his left shoulder, next to which are eighteen hash marks. Hard to imagine that. I’ve only been across four, now five, times. I don’t yet even qualify for a tattoo.

We’re a bit faster this trip. Last November 20th, Mo and I we crossed the line on the way to Cape Horn after 24 days at sea. Granted, we were at 127W, not 133W, but that will be dealt with in time.

Winds are quite light this afternoon. The sea gently rolls. Clouds are too lazy even to form. I’ve yawned twice after the wine. Might be an early night.

5 Comments on “Shellbacked Again (Again)

  1. Made me count up how many times we have crossed over the line. 4 is our count as well. Speed on and may the winds be kind.

  2. Congratulations on your crossing the equator again safely. Thank you for the great updates. Look forward to them !

    Todd Bell

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