crossing the equator sailing cruising pacific on the horizon line blog

The Dividing Line at the Equator

Posted on Posted in Ocean Tales, Sailing

Crossing the equator is a big deal, especially in the nautical world. The event inspires all sorts of ancient rituals, traditions based in superstition, and bizarre offerings to King Neptune. In other words, it’s like all other events surrounding sailing.


Llyr crossed reached 0 degrees latitude on May 1st around 2:00pm. About an hour before we passed into the southern hemisphere, we also raised the Ecudorian flag up the boat’s maypole on this May Day, which I thought was a fun event in itself. All the ceremony inspired me to do two things: write a poem and make a strawberry cheescake.  Rob was inspired to sleep on the stern (something he does a lot of at sea).


I threw a copy of my poem into the ocean, and we all devoured the no-bake cheesecake within seconds of crossing the equator. Although tradition is usually to spill some sort of liquor overboard in an offering to King Neptune, we opted for maple syrup harvested the McCutchen family farm instead. I swear I heard him burp in appreciation (or maybe that was Rob, after he ate the second piece of cheesecake).

crossing the equator sailing cruising pacific on the horizon line blog

Here’s my ode to the salty king, and my ditty to that elusive equatorial line.

The Dividing Line

Bulging, round, full to the seams;
The halfway mark. The dividing line.
She cuts across the swollen belly of the world
cinching through salty seas, lush forests, barren deserts, running rivers.

She expands just enough to harness
the energy, the life, the breath.
And no more.

Beyond this line lies space. Time. Infinity.
Moons and stars and galaxies.
Beneath this line lies one half and above it the other.

They are not identical twins, but rather separate globes
that contain different swirls and whorls and echos of patterns.
There is no physical boundary; no gate, nor wall, no fence nor skin.

Just an invisible line
bulging, round, full to the seams.
The halfway mark. The dividing line.

The swollen belly of the world
that perpetually births two halves
that make a perfect whole.



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