We had a 24-hour passage from Nias to the Batu Islands, and at 2AM on the 31st, we crossed the equator. It happened during my watch and I woke up the whole crew about 15 minutes before we crossed. Crossing the equator as a sailor is a cause for celebration, and since it was my birthday as well, we had a double celebration. It was a beautiful night with a full moon and a couple of big lightning storms on the horizon. We all 4 sat on deck smoking Cuban cigars and drinking Knob Creek bourbon. I can’t think of a much better way to start of a birthday.
As the sun was coming up we arrived at the Batu (also known as Telos) islands and at around 8AM we anchored of a small island called Palau Sipika. After everyone got some sleep Jesse and I continued on the bottle on Knob Creek with some high-dollar backgammon. Later in the afternoon we played our first full game of Settlers of Catan. Once the sun began to set we went ashore and drank cold beers at a surf camp with a bunch of Aussies. Eventually we made our way back to the boat and had some pasta carbonara for dinner. It was a birthday I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.