Shellbacks.

April 6, 2012

For many years whenever I got cold enough to warrant socks or sleeves or worse, a jacket, or if I bought a new pair of long pants that needed hemming, my solution was simple, I’d ditch all those things and head to the equator. So when I was actually on my way to the equator you can imagine I was pretty darn happy to lose the layers and finally warm up!

Yesterday, around two weeks into spring, we saw the 0°00′ latitude show up on our GPS! Instantly we were in the Southern Hemisphere. We’ve arrived at South. We’ve arrived in the South Pacific. It is now fall and in my quest for endless summer I’ve skipped it entirely for a while. What I have instead of summer this year is the bluest, clearest water I’ve ever seen, warm breezes, and air so fresh I find myself stopping several times a day to breathe it in deeply so that I can remember it forever.

Yesterday we completed 17 days at sea and watched the charts and the GPS as the latitude dropped from 2 degrees north, to 1 degree north, and into 0 (plus minutes). We put the final touches on our chocolate cake, smothering on plenty of vanilla frosting, sprinkles, and candles that we lit as we counted down the seconds to zero. We all cheered. We’re all shellbacks now. Having sailed across the equator on our own boat is definitely cause for celebration!

So we celebrated all day. We started with pancakes and real maple syrup. I baked a loaf of gluten free bread, a loaf of whole wheat bread, and a lovely chocolate cake in my biggest saute pan. Tucker made me an iced Vietnamese coffee, a very special treat indeed. We opened presents from my mom, and from our friends on s/v Kenta Anae, s/v Allegria, and s/v Windarra. We watched the water go down the drain counter clockwise (for the record it changed in the Northern Hemisphere). I brought out a beautiful geography book to look through, and we me made snow. Yep, aboard Convivia was a batch of instant, just add water, fake snow, saved for the occasion. (Maia from s/v Ceilydh- I read your post about your crossing last year imploring parents of Pacific crossing kids to bring plenty of presents- the snow was in your honor.)

We still have several hundred miles left in our passage to French Polynesia but we all feel really happy to have crossed that imaginary line around he earth and have arrived in the South Pacific, our gigantic home until late Spring (November). Our ocean crossing weeks in March and April are only the beginning of our adventures!

We’ll have pictures to share when we find the Internet again, all cropped for modesty of course, since all we’re wearing to keep warm these days is our underwear.

Comments

comments

9 comments

  1. Comment by Jon Logan

    Jon Logan April 6, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Yay! Congratulations guys!

  2. Comment by Cidnie

    Cidnie April 7, 2012 at 3:31 am

    Congratulations Conviva shellbacks!

  3. Comment by CJ

    CJ April 7, 2012 at 5:42 am

    Hooray, hooray! Congratulations!

    In one of my dad’s old cruise books, there are photos of the “ceremony” that attends crossing the equator for the first time on the aircraft carrier. In the Navy, it’s quite a celebration, but I think it involved neither chocolate cake nor fake snow. The photo that I remember is my dad passed out in a chair with his uniform pants on inside-out. I have a feeling your celebration was more my kind of “crossing the equator” celebration.

    Congratulations again! I am literally cheering for you guys and your awesome adventure!

  4. Comment by Debra Adams (Murar's Dream)

    Debra Adams (Murar's Dream) April 7, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Congratulations!! If we ever had any apprehension about making the journey you have convinced us that it is something we must do and are looking forward to our crossing next year. Looking forward to seeing your photos and reading your next blog. Meanwhile, safe travels.

  5. Comment by cindy

    cindy April 7, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    So thrilled for you all. And we can handle some photos of you in your skivvies 🙂 But now i have this deep need for some Vietnamese coffee… mmmmm

    • Comment by Tucker Bradford

      Tucker Bradford April 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      Photo of me in my skivvies… Check.

  6. Comment by Dave Benjamin

    Dave Benjamin April 8, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Congrats you shellbacks. Have a great rest of the voyage!

  7. Comment by Camanoe Steph

    Camanoe Steph April 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    YAY!!!! Congrats to all of you! We’re back in La Cruz after our little trip south to Manzanillo and it’s not the same here without all you puddle jumpers. Loving all your posts – keep ’em coming!

  8. Comment by Rick

    Rick April 12, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Congratulations! Very inspiring! May your sails continue to be as full as your consciousness!

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