Wednesday 18 February 2015

Crossing the Equator

The equator is a huge heat sink where warm air continually rises, cools and then subsides over the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, flowing back towards the equator.  As this air moves south it is deflected by the Coriolis Force, pushing the wind to the west and creating the trade winds that carry us around the world.  

Because the equator is farthest from the axis of rotation of the globe, the weather is benign; air flows from high to low pressure without the ‘spin’ that turns tropical depressions into the dangerous revolving tropical cyclones or Hurricanes, as we know them. Without the help of Google that’s all I know about the equator – except that we crossed it this morning, passing from north to southern hemisphere.

Every morning at 9am we hold the daily roll call on the SSB radio, when we broadcast our position and local weather conditions to the rest of the fleet. It is very satisfying this morning when I am able to make the following report:  “Net controller, good morning this is Juno. Our position is: zero zero degrees, zero zero decimal zero minutes north (pause for theatrical effect and cheers from our crew), eight six degrees, four eight minutes west, over”.   On the catamaran Makena, Luc and Sarah are waiting until 9:48 to cross the line, exactly one year to the minute since their son Kai was born.  Kai charms the fleet at every stopover, not quite walking, never crying and happy to be picked up and cuddled by broody parents and grandparents who are rewarded with a toothy smile.

As we cross the line our chart plotter shows our latitude changing from north to south and we open a bottle of champagne and make our gifts to Neptune. Andrew is dressed in red trousers and his best long sleeved shirt for the occasion, perspiring profusely as he tucks into celebratory scrambled egg.  With Paul and Consuelo we toast all our friends and families who made it possible for us to achieve this major milestone. I feel sure that there will be many more.

We spend the day sailing on a glorious close fetch in 10 knots of wind making eight knots in calm seas and as we near the Galapagos Islands the marine life visibly changes with two large pods of dolphins streaking across the water, throwing themselves high in the air, as if welcoming us to this national park where animals live without fear from their greatest predator – man.  We plan to arrive in San Cristobal tomorrow shortly after dawn.


  1. Yayyyyy. Congratulations Juno!
    Weather none too balmy here, I can tell you

  2. Wel done to you all - it must be so exciting to be in the Galapagos. Hope your bottom is clean enough and there are no weevils in your flour. Xx Saz

  3. Fantastic pictures - well done team !!!

  4. Congrats!!!!!
    Love Kit and Stevy xoxo