I actually don’t know the protocol for this rite, but as we’re approaching the equator without any shellbacks aboard, we polliwogs are going to have to wing it. I’ve set a waypoint to cross at 89 degrees west and that’s less than two hours away. The crew finally got into the swing of preparations and we’ve all made costume ecoutrements that should do the occasion proud enough. We have the bottle of aquavit ready. It’s our source of wisdom since it’s the only one of us to have crossed the equator before, …twice. What wisdom can we expect from a liquor bottle? Some would say none, others would exclaim our dependence is totally appropriate. Updates will be provided.
The wind all but died yesterday afternoon and followed through on its slide into oblivion during the night. Anticipating its demise, we started the engine before the first watch commenced and have motored ever since. Our arrival should occur tomorrow morning, February 21st, for which I’ll have to slow Mabrouka down a touch to avoid landfall in darkness.
Sleep was a little slow in coming for me last night. I kept thinking of the things that I have to do for or which will/may occur upon arrival, ..customs, immigration, various inspections. One of the latter is a hull inspection which will be critical of I don’t know what. I had new bottom paint applied a few weeks ago in Panama City, so we should be in generally good shape. We also jumped in and scrubbed the bottom before we left Las Perlas, but there were already barnacles growing on and around the prop, to say nothing of general fuzz. If they fuss about anything, I would expect it to be barnacles. We’ll jump in the water this afternoon after our transformations from polliwogs to shellbacks and do a pre-arrival inspection and spot cleaning. I have to say I’m nervous about doing that with who knows how many thousand feet of water beneath Mabrouka’s keel. Oh, and one of the highlights of visiting the Galapagos is swimming with hammerhead sharks, right?