Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 14 - And What A Party It Was

At 11:49 a.m. our time (18:49 UTC), the crew of Whatcha Gonna Do crossed the line from the Northern Hemisphere to the southern part of our earth. The festivities surrounding our crossing, however, began about an hour earlier.

I was woken at about 11 a.m. from my morning recovery sleep to shoves by a man dressed in a Sexy Sailor outfit, the one that some of my girlfriends presented to me when I was departing on this voyage for some naughty evenings at sea. Thank goodness for lycra - it fit Michael beautifully. I then adorned my King Neptune outfit of a sarong, Michael's board shorts, a turban and the deck scrubber as my sceptre, and ordered the kids to re-dress. Danielle was to wear Harrison's swim suit and swim shirt, Harrison was to wear a cover up dress. The dancing music was blaring (thanks to "Lauren's Bat Mitzvah Tunes") and we all got on deck to dance our hearts out. We opened up some champagne and offered some to King Neptune, and then partook ourselves with fresh squeezed orange juice. Many line crossing ceremonies include drinking awful concoctions of things like sea water mixed with milk, peanut butter, ketchup and the like, but if the truth be known, I hate champagne so the mimosas were a bit of torture for me anyway. The kids agreed. And what a waste of good fresh squeezed OJ. But I digress.

It is customary as well to offer up some kind of a sacrifice to the sea gods. In due course, we all plucked a hair out of our heads and presented it to the sea. Then, the real chaos began. We were getting very close to the equator and traveling at speeds of 6-7 knots. We'd never be able to survive getting pulled across the equator (we did consider water skiing or boogie boarding), let alone swim at those speeds. So Michael, donned in his low plunging halter dress which was constantly being blown up in Marilyn Monroe style, and turban-headed King Neptune (me), proceeded to take down our perfectly trimmed sails. Just in time too. We had to change our outfits yet again to plunge into the seas. Party or no party, we weren't about to chance the sting of a Portuguese Man-o-War like our friend Rob on s/v Blue Moon experienced. Jelly-suits donned, we jumped into the warm and beautifully deep blue water, hanging on to the throw rope - all four of us - for the official line crossing at 0 degrees 0 minutes latitude, 130 degrees West 26.731 minutes longitude. Yes, all four of us in the water and no one to take our photo!! [I did get the photo of our navigation instruments showing 0 degrees, 0 minutes - that was mid-ship so that by the time that I hopped in I was likely right on the line]. Danielle says the ocean depth at that point was almost 3 miles. No sea life in sight, other than four tellytubby-looking creatures kicking about.

Following our dip, we presented ourselves with Equator Crossing certificates that officially initiated us from Pollywogs to Shellbacks. Parts of the certificates read:

"We do hereby declare to all whom it may concern that it is Our Royal Will and Pleasure to confer upon her the Freedom of the Seas without undue ceremony. Should she fall overboard, we do command that Sharks, Dolphins, Whales, Mermaids and other dwellers in the Deep are to abstain from maltreating this person. And we further direct all Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and others who have not crossed Our Royal Domain, to treat her with respect due to One of Us." The certificate is signed Neptune - Rex.

More loud music and heavy dancing for much of the day ensued. And what would a party be without a little chocolate?

Day 14 Stats:
Distance: 167 miles; Total trip: 2148 miles; Average daily distance traveled: 153 miles
Average Speed: 7.0 knots; Average overall speed: 6.4 knots
Sea Conditions: Seas have been relatively gentle though for our equator crossing there were about 5 foot swells which made it tricky to get back on the boat, even with our step ladder. We've had a clear sky all day with a hot and humid 80 degrees. Winds today were from the E to ESE to SE, varying from 6-12 knots though mostly in the 10-12 knot range. The wind almost completely died after the equator crossing for about 3 hours, when we bobbed around a bit going about 3 knots, but then it picked up nicely again. Our boat has otherwise been gliding through the water.
Incident Report: Equator Crossing Party. See above.
Total fish caught: One fish.
Produce Inventory: Lost a jicama today. Go figure. They're usually quite hardy. I'm so done with avocados that I've stopped checking them in the fridge - they are likely avocado soup at this point.
Meals/Snacks: Breakfast was Fresh OJ with Champagne to begin, and Passover rolls (aka stones) with cheese, plus kiwi and the last of our plums. Lunch was fresh tuna ceviche on matzah with salad using the last of our lettuce, as well as a cucumber, tomato, radishes, bell pepper, mint, carrots and celery. Afternoon snack was baked potatoes. Dinner was cabbage rolls.
New stat: We are now up to two bags of garbage (small white ones)

-Barb (now in the southern hemisphere)

P.S. As I post this, we are now about 675 miles from landfall on Hiva Oa in the Marquesas Islands. Anyone want to make bets on when we get there? Price Is Right Rules: The one who gets closest to day and time without going over wins...
At 4/24/2011 15:18 (utc) our position was 01°17.76'S 131°31.90'W


  1. Your description of your swim across painted enough of a picture. Thanks for sharing this adventure - and providing such a good laugh.
    Love, Maureen

  2. The question is....WHERE ARE THE PICTURES?????

    Always fun being silly...I'm sure you guys needed that!


  3. This story has been recanted by me many times over, to all (and there are many) who ask about you guys. You are all nuts, but so much fun!