Our position is in the Northern Hemisphere. Finally. We crossed the Equator late this afternoon, very slow going all day today. In the last few hours, the wind shifted to the north, just as we were finally closing in on the Equator. We thought we might not actually make it. But we did finally get across and we’re in the Northern Hemisphere now, sailing in the North Atlantic Ocean rather than the South Atlantic Ocean.
I remember musing when we headed south, across the Equator, earlier in the race, about the adventures and challenges we would encounter, before we could cross this line again, going north. A lot happened in the 78 days we were in the Southern Hemisphere, before finally being back in our own home waters this afternoon.
We had many challenges in the south, as did others. Two of the guys that I have been in touch with along the way, Eric Bellion and Alan Roura, each had to change out rudders in the Southern Hemisphere. Pretty dramatic, pretty amazing that they were able to do that.
We’re just poking along here now, not even to the Doldrums yet, the winds have shifted quite a bit in just the last 24 hours, mostly driven by the Azores High. It is much further north, moving itself, and reducing the pressure on the trade winds that are down here. The beginning of the trade winds has moderated itself and moved to the North. The ITCZ, the Intertropical Convergence Zone has been moved by the NOAA folks on their weather maps, 1 degree further north, meaning we have to go up another 60 miles to even get there, before we start bashing it out with the Doldrums.
This was my 14th time across the equator, 13 times under sail, and once aboard New Zealand Pacific, after the capsize and rescue at Cape Horn, in 1990. That’s a goodly number, and includes the clipper route voyages that we did, San Francisco to Boston, New York to Melbourne, and then Hong Kong to New York.