I got complacent. I promised Rome I’d be diligent with the leftovers and I totally dropped the ball. While going forward to do some bailing we uncovered the mother load, so to speak: a bucket half-full of freeze dried rubbish. I was quick to dismiss the contents, but from what I could see there was plenty of Blueberry Granola and Pepper Steak Rice. Whatever the two of us have coming our way in a few hours when we cross the Equator for the very first time, we can’t be sure. But without any doubt, it will require a strong shower and new clothes. Fortunately, on a boat of 11 dudes, smelling good and looking sharp aren’t high on the list of our priorities, so whatever toll King Neptune demands for passage, I think we are both very willing to pay!
All jests aside, paying your dues to the king of the sea is a ritual that began long ago, and it is a tradition I am very excited to be a part of. I cannot speak for Rome, but I have no doubt he feels much the same way. It’s a small accomplishment, to sail across the middle of the Earth, particularly when we’ll do it three more times this race, but it’s an achievement – another first – and it’s something I will remember forever (for cleaner or dirtier, fresher or smellier).
We spoke too soon in getting here, too. The Doldrums had been kind to us and we had all but “moved on” when the door was slammed in our face late yesterday. We had an hour or two of drifting and a few very wet squalls before we were finally. Telefonica fared equally as well but by this morning’s sched it looks like CAMPER and Groupama have had a really slow night in there.
Our new objective is a simple one: get south to the westerly’s that will carry us to Cape Town. There aren’t many tactical opportunities left on the track before the island of Fernando, so it’s straight-line drag racing until we get there; 10-15 knots, port tack, upwind or close-reaching conditions. It will be a tense next couple of days! Hopefully, Rome and I will do our duties while in Neptune’s Court this morning to assure the quick passage or PUMA’s Mar Mostro.