Offerings to Neptune
19 February 2009 | Under way
Pollywogs and horses? This time, my habit of sending a "Zen is underway" email to family and dear friends has produced some head-cocking replies. Our passage to Galapagos will bring Zen across the Equator. Of course, a ceremony must ensue and I queried my esteemed family/friends for their advice. Tommy's mom educates us, we are "Pollywogs" or first-timers, but soon, we'll become "Shellbacks" or Sons of Neptune. She describes raw eggs, rotten fruit and other festivities from years past on sailing vessels. My brother, Jason, on the other hand, has different plans for us...he might even join in from afar. Here's an excerpt from his email: "Poseidon AKA Neptune god of earthquakes and the seas, will provide safe passage historically upon sacrifice (drowning) of a horse. I wish there was something I could sacrifice to the gods of the financial markets. We are testing the Nov lows now, and I would be willing to buy a horse to drown it in my pool if it would help." I could go on and on about the nurturing, loving side of my brother's persona, but rather, I'd like all to see his humorous side. Much hysteria on Zen, thanks, J! Kids got a worried look on their faces, wondering if we were going to sacrifice one of them...ha ha ha. Naw, I plan on some body paint and an offering to the sea. Cole thinks I should use Sharpies. Oh, how I love that boy...you think it might wear off by the time we reach Fiji, son? Every evening, squid sacrifice themselves to join our journey by flopping onto our decks. Might collect them and use them as our offering. Other than preparing our ceremony, life aboard has calmed way down. Last night, I awoke to take my 9-12 midnight watch duty. It was blowing 32 knots apparent and we were sailing between 12-15 knots of hull speed. That means the true wind was somewhere around 35 to 40 knots. The cockpit was getting misted from spray, there was no moonlight at that time, but I could see the whitecaps around us and the stars were bright as beacons. I was living in a washing machine with a steering wheel, that I was now in charge of. I am a firm believer in the powers of Virgin Mary. I pray to her for many things at many times in the day. Patience, smooth weather, working engines, safe harbors, more patience, plentiful fish, more wind, less wind and for the health aboard and a couple of special children back home. Stuff like that. She delivers. Not in a few days, immediately. Last night, I asked for wind less than 30 knots apparent. She delivered. But I need to watch what I pray for because today, we went from double reefed jib and main, to full jib and main, to main and code zero (big front sail almost as big as a spinnaker) and now, there's no wind at all and we are using the iron sails. But, we are cooking along. Sunday morning is our arrival time. Passage should be about 5 days total, not bad for a 900 mile trip. Equator crossing should happen on Saturday or Sunday...I have enough time to find me a horse, well, maybe a seahorse.