Shockingly, this shot isn’t part of Neptune’s hazing at the Equator; the naked Swede Martin Krite (who is a priest when back home!) has been there and done that as part of Ericcson 3. No, it’s just business as usual for theFrench team, who certainly does things a bit differently than the rest. Kiwi Brad Marsh already seems converted – reading his latest post from the boat washes away any thoughts of the staid and businesslike Kiwi pro sailor. But before you get to that, it’s come to our attention that finding and organizing the flood of content coming off the boats is harder than it should be, so our public service announcement touts the new Livestream partnership with VOR as the best way to keep up with the race. You need either a Facebook or Livestream account to get all the features, but the content is available to everyone, with every pic, video, and story hitting each team’s page as it comes off the boat. Here are the links to the Livestream feeds, and Brad’s story follows.
Today is chocolate day, it’s one of my best days to wake up for my watch and see a bag of M&Ms in the food bag and a chocolate bar in my personal pocket. The chocolate never has a chance to melt as I do not have the patience to save it for later or share it with anybody. However, I have learnt now that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and this is becoming evident on our boat at the moment…
In a day’s time we will be crossing the equator, and in sailing achievements this is a monumental and large step in the change from a boy to a man. A very old tradition in sailing is for first-time equator crossers (like myself) to meet King Neptune and Queen Codfish. This is not like going to a confession booth at your church or saying hello to the local petrol station pump attendant. No, no, no…Neptune and Queen Codfish have a long history of inflicting the worst punishment possible for any crimes that have occurred in the past. It’s nature’s way of achieving an equilibrium against any wrongdoings. Trust me when I say the show is rated for adults only and not intended for younger audiences!
Many people know me as a good person, a caring person, a kind and considerate person, and therefore I should have no problems from the rendezvous with the King and Queen, right? I have even gone as far as sharing my chocolate bar today in the hope that Neptune notices. I have a new ritual where I take my chocolate bar and divide it into three. One-third for my watch captain Thomas, one third for myself, and one third for King Neptune. But deep in the back of my mind, I can’t help but feel like a little child who has been bad all year, only to behave the week before Christmas in the hope of receiving some nice gifts. Is it too little too late? And am I in for the most evil and hideous of punishments from King Neptune and his gorgeous wife?
The other day I noticed a bucket, deep in the back of the boat, with a collection of flying fish inside. I have also noticed that a lot of the leftover food does not get thrown over the side anymore. And I also see someone has been through the medical kit lately and taken some very nasty things out. I can see the guys talking in small groups and writing things down in a small red notebook. I think my time is up!
I am lucky that I will share this equator rendezvous with Erwan, another of our under 30 crew and a Frenchman who is also very excited and honoured to be meeting King Neptune. However, his expectations of the encounter vary slightly different to my expectations. He assures me the French celebration of the Equator crossing includes sitting down with the King and Queen and sharing a civilised drink in celebration. Maybe I can convince the Anglo-Saxons onboard that this is a better idea? Standby for more in the days to come as I attempt to further study Isaac Newton’s theory of actions and reactions. -Brad.