Crossing the Equator
There’s one final part to this story. To reach the Galapagos we had to cross the equator. The ‘Crossing the line’ ceremony is an initiation rite which commemorates a sailor’s first crossing.
We were all Pollywogs and needed to become Shellbacks or sons of Neptune. After crossing the line Pollywogs receive a summons to appear before King Neptune. This is preceded by a beauty contest of men dressed as woman and then Pollywogs have to go through a number of disgusting ordeals. So we decided to organise our own ceremony on each of our boats. The men would dress as woman, the woman would wear their clothes inside out and back to front and we would perform our own ceremony on the front of our boats for the entertainment of the others.
We had a 4th boat join us called Briet and the skipper Duco was already a shellback so he was Neptune. Bill, David and Ian dressed in our clothes and we all crossed the line together with Duco, as King Neptune, counting down the degrees. Then the fun could begin. Bill squirted water at me from the super soaker.
Ian threw several buckets of water over Glenda and she threw several back but David and Susan carried out the works. David doesn’t like Couscous so he threw that at Susan then she squirted cream on his feet and had to kiss it,
then came the buckets of water and then finally they opened cans of beer and tipped some over the bow of their boat and drank the rest. It was all a lot of fun. The funniest part of the afternoon was when Ian turned round to go back on deck and the wind got up lifting his dress to reveal nothing underneath. His excuse was that, as he couldn’t fit into any of Glenda’s kickers he thought he wasn’t allowed to wear any! After the fun we continued on our journey because we still had another 100 miles to go. Lucy Alice, Enchantress and Briet were able to sail and they adjusted their speed to match ours, their support was invaluable. We arrived the following day having motored 491 miles in 104 hrs. We had used all our jerry cans of fuel but we still had our mast.