A day more glassy than before, and I have the strange sense of being on a very long train journey with the carriages rolling at their slowest speed across an endless wasteland of features land covered with snow. The sun rises and adds a rich colour for a while and then gets very hot, and we are grateful for the shade of the Bimini.
At 14:00 Mark suggested that we speed up and get to the Equator before dark. It was 35 miles ahead on our course, so instead I turned due south where it was only 20 miles away, and sped up to 7 knots (using 5 litres an hour vs 1 l/h of diesel), and we got there at 17:00
Then King Neptune (JPS) emerged with Queen Nefertiti (JB) and held court for the two crew who were crossing the line at sea for the first time. First came the indictment of crimes to which the crew must answer. Emily bore up well under the test, and freely admitted guilty as charged for Magic a) walking on water (paddle board) b) strange contortions of the limbs (yoga) and c) using magical ingredients when cooking (quinoa, miso, pomegranate molasses)
Mark then faced charges of Miscalculation a) supporting a yellow football team (the Canaries) b) always leaving his greens c) stating that 2 biscuits are really only 1 biscuit
The candidates were then allowed to compete for King Neptune's favour by eating three Communion Crackers (Jacobs Cream), the first being able to say "Aye Aye Sir" being awarded a special prize. In this case Mark, as the winner, was awarded a fork and an open tin of spinach to eat. It didn't go down well, or at all actually.
Then it came to the Anointing of the Chosen Ones, and Queen Nefertiti supplied a wonderful jug of Nefertiti's 'Normous Noodles mixed with old watermelon which was liberally applied to the novices. They were then hosed down with the deck-wash seawater pump and allowed to dive into the South Pacific (or in Emily's case to paddle board round Tin Tin.) followed shortly afterwards by the Royal Couple. Fortunately the trail of 'Normous Noodles in the water didn't bring a flurry of fins, and all survived happily.
Justin whipped up a brilliant Spaghetti Bolognese with the last of the thawed fridge contents, and Emily produced a jug of delicious Virgin Pina Colada to toast the occasion.
We motored gently westward along the Equator while we supped, and suddenly I saw a yacht ahead silhouetted against the red of the sunset. A quick call on the radio from "King Neptune" to "Yacht on the Equator" got a response, and I welcomed them to the South Pacific. We were speaking with yacht Telebus from Denmark which is heading the same way.
Now we are motoring on course again and aiming to be in Wreck Bay tomorrow morning to start our next phase of exploration.