The remainder of our sail was spectacular. The ocean calmed for the final days, most mornings it was so peaceful it looked like we should be water skiing rather than sailing, the company was unsurpassed and all in all it was pure bliss.
Our last morning in the southern hemisphere we were joined by a pod of dolphins who played off our bow for about twenty minutes.
When a sailor crosses the equator by boat for the first time it’s a big deal. There is a ritual to be performed and while I am sworn to secrecy on the details of this ancient rite of passage (and have concealed the faces of the practitioners), I will tell you that it bears great resemblance to other rituals I have been exposed to. Like the dance of Hatchmo the Desert Elephant, performed on the Grand Canyon the night after Lava Falls is run. Or any Pro Ski Patrol Convention/Party I have every attended. Basically, it is an excuse to dress in a costume and generally torment the previously uninitiated. Good clean fun.
How amazing that I, a landlubber from Ohio via Colorado, crossed the equator at 00.00.000 Latitude and 105 23.985 East Longitude at 10:00 pm via sailboat the third of October 2008. Another thing I never knew I had to do, but now that I have, check that one off the list too.
The following day we started cleaning and preparing the boat for it’s arrival in Singapore. I finally got to feel somewhat useful and found that I am capable when it comes to polishing brass fixtures and teak walls – tasks I can do while laying down and in a bikini. After a hard day of ‘work’ I requested that we go for a swim.
It was dusk, the water was beautifully calm and it seemed like a reasonable request, only no one really seemed as keen on the idea as I was. Jason got thrown in more of less to make sure I didn’t float away, but the others just humored me and watched from the deck. After I climbed back aboard I was informed that perhaps swimming in the middle of the South China Sea at feeding time was not advisable. Ahhh ignorance, sweet ignorance.
The next 24 hours were hectic as we entered a major shipping straight and pretty much had to slalom our way through tankers, cargo carriers, and various unidentifiable and yet deceptively buoyant crafts. We arrived in Singapore mid-day on October 4th. What a stark contrast to Bali and Borneo, what with the skyline of skyscrapers, the perfectly manicured gardens and litter-free, smoothly-paved streets.
I milked every minute I had left with my friends, staying up far past my bed time and too close to my departure time. While I was definitely sad to leave the boat and my dear friends, I can’t say I wasn’t a bit excited to get back ‘home’ to Bali. Not a bad place to return to by any means.
Special Note: Ed and Mary, I cannot thank you enough for this opportunity. You are lifelong friends and I love you both tremendously. See you in a little over a month. XO
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