Equator Crossing

No biggie – ho hum, just another 2000 miles of sailing in the open ocean. We did evolve from pollywogs to shellbacks and observed all ceremonies and honors to Neptune. Along the way, we saw some wildlife and ate some wildlife.

We departed Fernando de Noronha, saying goodbye to Jay. He had his own crazy journey ahead, having to make his way from the island paradise of Fernando de Noronha to mainland Brazil and then inland to Recife for the nearest airport. From there, he had a few flights before he would finally be home in Sausalito and back to his day job at the Spaulding Marine Center. Spaulding Marine is a non-profit marine center doing work on boats and teaching boat-related tech courses, as well as woodworking skills.

Despite Jay’s contorted travel plan, he still got to California well before Wild Rumpus made it to Grenada.

The New Watch Schedule

By now, Stacey, Eric, Dinna, and Bernard and I were confident in our skills, with the boat, and our understanding of Wild Rumpus’s various systems to move along easily. Also, we established that some people just didn’t mind cooking while others found galley duty very stressful. So, we altered our watch schedule to accommodate less galley time.

The new routine essentially lengthened certain watch scheduled by making the watchstander responsible for the meal before their watch started. This reduced the amount of time anybody had to spend dealing with galley duty and avoided a complete disruption of the galley person’s sleep/watch schedule.

We said goodbye to Fernando de Noronha and settled easily into our onboard routines.

The seas were calm, as were the wind,s for most of the next 2000 miles. In fact, we motored for roughly 1000 miles. Luckily, the Guiana Current helped us along. The Guiana runs northwest, tracking the coast of South America at almost 3 knots in places.


Dinna continued to feed the boat with her fishing skills. She is a natural. Our slow speed due to low/no wind made Wild Rumpus a great fishing platform for her formidable skills.

The fish in the water and the fish on deck shown above are the same fish. They lose their color once dead. I’ll spare you the bloody-massacre pics this blog post.

There is more skill involved in fishing than I originally thought. Getting this fish on the hook is mostly patience, but getting the pissed-off and scared fish to the boat appeared to be a real exercise in skill and, well, exercise. By the time the fish was on the deck, Dinna was exhausted but exhilarated.

Equatorial Baptism

Crossing the equator by boat is a big deal. Military personnel get a break from their regular routine to celebrate the induction of the pollywogs (a/k/a tadpoles) into the coveted world of shellbacks (those hardy souls who have already crossed the equator). Many traditions involve the pollywog’s evolution to shellback through a two-day series of events culminating in Neptune’s Court. Neptune’s Court is the final rite of passage by which the pollywogs, dressed in ridiculous costumes and enduring ordeals such as spankings with lengths of firehose, drinking truth serum (usually a concoction of hot sauces, which will cause the truth to flow out of you), or crawling through lengths of rotten food.

The Wild Rumpus crew earned the evolution from pollywog to shellback by actually sailing across the ocean and equator using their own skill. So, we skipped the crawling through garbage. I was the only single on board, so I cannot attest to whether there were spankings by and amongst the married couples, but if there were, they were not part of the equator crossing ceremony. We did, however, “enjoy” a bit of some really bad Brazilian rum -or something we thought was rum and a brief ceremony.

Here is the countdown to the actual crossing.

The ceremony was simple but had the correct level of ridiculousness. In anticipation of this outstanding achievement, I ordered each crew member a certificate of crossing and packed some dopey hats available.

More to Come

Stayed tuned for the next installment in which we encounter pirates from outer space. No, I am not kidding!!

4 thoughts on “Equator Crossing

  1. Diane Bessen

    Equator was nice but the fish looks amazing. And those suckers put up a fight long after they are aboard.

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