Astride the four hemispheres

One foot in the west, one foot in the east. Prime Meridian, Greenwich.

East and West
In the photo above, my friend has one foot in the eastern hemisphere and one in the western. (This is my friend’s photo, not mine — though it would need quite a contortion for me to take this!)

North and South
When I moved from England to Australia in 1999, I fit in a 2-month overland trek from Rio de Janiero (Brazil) to Quito (Ecuador) plus the Galapagos Islands. The photo below was taken near Quito and the thin line in the middle marks the Equator. On the left are the people in the group who lived in the southern hemisphere; northern dwellers are on the right. And I am stepping across the Equator to signify my move from one hemisphere to the other. (Faces blurred because these people, who I have not seen in 20 years, might not want their youthful likenesses floating around the internet.)

One small step for a woman …

Posted as part of October Squares Lines&Squares


Crossing the Line

The GPS shows we are on the equator.

Back to ‘Lord Nelson’ in the Indian Ocean for this post. During the voyage from Durban (South Africa) to Kochi (India) in 2013, we sailed over the equator from the southern hemisphere to the northern. In nautical parlance, we Crossed the Line. King Neptune looks with ill favour upon those who dare to cross the line without his permission. He (Captain Barbara, in a very fishy disguise) and his court came aboard the ship with much regal pomp, and proceeded to try for various crimes all those aboard who had not sailed over the equator before. All were, invariably, found guilty.

The arrival of King Neptune and court. That’s “his” consort towering behind the “king”, but a keen eye could recognise the first mate fluttering the fan.

My turn came eventually. My crime was to have failed to bring the sun to the horizon using a sextant during a demonstration of celestial navigation. I was, actually, guilty of that. I was smeared with various galley leavings, fed “bad medicine” and drenched with seawater, and was compelled by King Neptune to Kiss the Fish (as seen in the feature image) — a real, dead, fish, blech.

The Royal Surgeon guides me into the punishment pool.

Part of the certificate from ‘King Neptune’, granting me the right to travel the seas unhindered.

Posted as part of October Squares Lines&Squares