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May 01 - Crossing the Line

Noon Position : lat 4 36.7 N(!), long 44 49.4 W

Course made good: 307 T

Air temperature @ noon today :  27.8 degrees C

Sea temperature @ noon today :  27.4 degrees C

Wind: Direction NE, Force 5

Hello, just thought I'd better let you know what we are up to at the moment.  We have just crossed the equator and so, are now in the northern hemisphere.  Life has been busy and quiet at the same time.  Quiet because there are no scientists on board, just the crew, myself, Pat Cooper for ETS and Debbie Salmon (professional sunbather!).  Busy because there has been a lot of work for the crew to do.  The deck crew are chipping and painting furiously, attacking the rust as though it were a personal enemy!  The engineers were first busy trying to make the water cooler more efficient and since then have been very occupied with the air-conditioning.  It is amazing to think that they are working so hard to keep us cool, yet not very long ago we were trying to keep warm.  If you check out the air temperature above you will notice that it is more than 20 degrees warmer than the last diary I wrote.

Map  And here's the picture to prove it.  This is the ship crossing the equator just before 9pm on Saturday , 30 April.

King Neptune's Court

Mariners and BAS diary followers will know about King Neptune's court.  When any person crosses the equator for the first time by ship they are required to attend the court of King Neptune to be tried and punished for their crime as appropriate. It is normal to hide but the policemen will find you wherever you are.

In this instance, King Neptune, his Queen Aphitrite and six policemen were invited aboard to set up court on the aft deck.  There were three people required to pay tribute to King Neptune on this crossing.  Debbie, myself (I seem to have managed to sneak south without being noticed, but couldn't get away with it this time) and Glen Ballard (who protested very loudly but failed to produce paper evidence in time to save himself a dunking).  I knew that I wouldn't get away with it because of this little rhyme written by one of our crew......

Lisa’s Lines

Now Doctor Lisa
Is a bit of a teaser,
I speak not of her lycra shorts1,
But of her culinary arts.
When she turns to as Galley Slave,
She touches the heart,
Of what we boys crave.

Toiling long with sugar and flour,
Ever under Duncans² glower.
She mixes, rolls and bakes,
All manner of most scrumptious cakes.

So all our bellies start to rumble,
And fat-free diets take a tumble.
Our eyes are filled with things so yummy,
We cannot help but stuff our tummy.

Now she sits back with that impish grin,
“I’ll see you boys in the gym”.
So ups we get for torture time³,
Down the hold, all in line.

Its curls and squats
And God knows whats,
Runs and jumps and bunny hops.
On and on ‘til fit to drop.

Then she puts us on the scales,
You know, like they do at cattle sales.
She tuts and hums,
Then with a  frown,
Says our weight must be lower down.

She takes a look at our blood pressure,
And smirks somewhat with pleasure.
“The only way to see you thinner,
Is to cut out that great big dinner.
Oh and no more beer,
For at least a year”.

But dearest Dr. Handcock,
Could well be in for a shock,
Two times now she has crossed the Line,
And has yet to pay,
King Neptunes fine!

Crossing the line, 30th April 2005
Lester Jolly, Stout Seafarers Association

1: I spend a lot of time on my turbotrainer on deck in lycra shorts!
2: Duncan is head cook.
3: Also know as circuit-training.

The police seemed to have some difficulty this year in finding the girls, but eventually we were all gathered on the aft deck.

King Neptune (Cliff Mullaney) and the Queen Aphritie (George Stewart) King Neptune (Cliff Mullaney) and the Queen Aphritie (George Stewart).

The crimes are read out by Lester Jolly The crimes are read out by Lester Jolly.

The accused awaiting their verdicts The accused awaiting their verdicts. (Policemen;  Marc 'Binns' Blaby, Charlie Smith and Jimmy Stewart).

Debbie 'kissing the kipper' as punishment for her crimes Debbie 'kissing the kipper' as punishment for her crimes.

For those of you who have 'Real Movie Player' there is a short clip of us recieving our punishments here. (341 KB)

Crowd control! Crowd control! (Mark Robinshaw).

Taking a shower afterwards Taking a shower afterwards (Glen Ballard).

With thanks to Simon Wright and Calum Hunter for the photos.

To finish, here are a couple of photos taken by Pat Cooper.  Next diary will be from the Carribean!


The moon and Jupiter The moon and Jupiter.