Tuesday, April 1, 2008

We made it across the Equator

April 1, 2008--We are very happy to report that at 9 p.m. last night we crossed the equator. Steve wrote in the ship's log

0356 UTC--Be it known to all that at this time and on this day aboard the s/v Linda, Stephen B. Maggart and Linda L. Maggart paid their respects to King Neptune with the appropriate zeal ad excitement due him on such a momentous event. Here at 130 degrees 32.8 minutes west the equator was crossed on a heading of 220 degrees True, under full sail, bound for French Polynesia, and the aforementioned polywogs shed that title for the honorable title of shellbacks.

Steve had his dram of Glen Levit scotch, with an offering for King Neptune as well, and I had a glass of wine. We blew horns and tossed confetti. We will post pictures when we next have internet available.

The morning did not begin well. We were basically in dead calm, drifting back to the north because of a counter current, and our engine was out because of fuel problems. Steve fixed the fuel situation so that we could start the engine and motor from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. That helped to get us into some wind, which was good because when the engine died at 7 p.m. we were able to sail. We had light winds almost all night. During my first watch at 11 p.m. a dolphin, which was large compared to the ones we are used to, came to swim next to the boat and was only a few feet from our boat. A second dolphin was a little farther out.

During Steve's watch that began at 2 a.m. the winds died down even more, and he found us drifting back to the north again. He thought that we might have to celebrate the crossing a second time. Anyway, he hand steered for 3 hours in order to keep us heading south.

My next watch began at 5 a.m. I was amazed at my surroundings. The evening was so beautiful. The crescent moon was throwing its reflection onto the water, the sky was completely clear, and I could see the Southern Cross. I makes me realize that we are just a speck upon a large ocean, which is a humbling thought. I was happy because some wind came back and we were able to sail using the wind vane. I want to put in a good word for this old gal that we sail. In 6.6 knots of wind we were sailing at 3.5 knots. That is pretty amazing considering how heavy she is.

We are doing well but will be happy when we get into a bit more wind. It always seems to be just ahead of us. We have 750 miles to go and are anxious to arrive.

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