TNS458 12/03/2016

Day 13:

Anticipation of an imminent equatorial crossing is building, the sweep stake
to guess the date and time closed at 9am this morning so all bets are in. As
yet there have been no announcements from Captain Simon as to when this
might take place but we know we will be sailing across, not motor sailing as
we are now due to light winds.

The last 24 hours have been a complete contrast to the last time Forward
Starboard Watch completed the early dog watch from 1600-1800 followed by
0400-0800 which was in a tropical storm. We honoured two birthdays during
the dog watch yesterday by celebrating both the BM Godfrey’s and Andy’s
birthdays with a smart deck party, inviting everyone to join us, the dress
code asked for guests to wear ties. The inflatable paddling pool was blown
up and filled with seawater, mocktails were served in glasses, the Engineers
provided the music and much fun was had by all as we watched the sun set
from the deck, especially when the pool needed topping up with the fire hose
due to the rolling swell of the sea.

4am saw us all back on watch for the most spectacular sunrise of the voyage
and possibly the last one in the northern hemisphere for quite a while. Tom
the Cadet was able to take a clear bearing and calculated some long,
complicated mathematical calculation (beautifully explained to us by Matt,
another Cadet yesterday) and pronounced us to be 1 degree out, not sure from
where to what but he was very pleased with himself.

There’s a catamaran called Yallata registered in Australia, roughly
following our same track and also making for Tahiti, she was 30 miles away
when she got in touch again last night to say a cheery hello, so a special
hello back to them when they find this blog on our website, safe travels.

We rounded off the shift by sailing past three really small fishing skiffs
(!) some 260 miles off the Galapagos Islands, they can’t have come from the
mainland, that’s over 1000 miles away now, so must have been local
fishermen, they gracefully moved out of our way and off towards the horizon.

Still no news on the crossing, from an entire watch of Pollywogs on FS watch
(Those that haven’t sailed over the equator before.)