After many months, countless miles, and multiple countries, Florence and her crew are back….
Back in the Northern Hemisphere that is.
An invisible line has been crossed, Neptune has been toasted and we have been left reflecting on the last 2.5 years spent in the Southern Hemisphere.
Anchored at exactly 0°00.000 we were struck by the irony that such a precise, pinpoint location could leaving us feeling so lost.
It’s still unknown to us if it was the gray drizzly English like day, or the fact the Equator is such a monumental line for sailors. Whatever the reason, that invisible line brought a surprising amount of emotion. Just not the celebratory joy we had expected. The feeling was the opposite of an accomplishment.
“I don’t feel ready to go back into the Northern Hemisphere” , “yeah me neither, it really feels like we are going backwards.”
Sailing across the South Pacific to New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia, had been our first and only experience of the Southern Hemisphere. With so many incredible people and places behind us, plus the challenging and unrewarding Malacca Straits just ahead of us, the celebration was as flat as the world was once thought to be.
Instead of contributing to the round-the-world goal, we couldn’t shake off the feeling of going backwards. Like coming home blues without any of the joy of returning home to family and friends. 2.5 years in the upside down life of the Southern hemisphere has felt like another world. Returning to the norm, our own hemisphere, felt surprisingly unnatural. Like time has stood still and despite this amazing adventure, nothing has changed.
A skinny dip across the line, a tot of rum and continual repetition of the fact “it’s OK we will be back in the Southern Hemisphere again next year” brought enough comfort to up anchor and continue our journey north to the Malacca Straits.
By the time we return to England we will have crossed this imaginary “meaningless” line a further two times. Hopefully we will be more ready for it by then. For now we just need get used to the water going the other way around the plug hole again…