Crossing the Line
I remember ‘Crossing the Line’
A Line with no shape or form.
just marked on a chart or map.
Or even just in our minds.
But, from the North, I passed into the South.
As I watched, the sun went down.
I stood alone on the deck.
at peace and contentment,
with myself and the world,
I remember ‘Crossing the Line’.
The Sun was a Red and Golden Fireball.
No long twilights as in the Summers’ of the Northern lands.
Here, She just slipped silently over the distant Horizon
And vanished till the next day.
When we were or now more rightly, had ‘Crossed the Line’’.
Tomorrow would be another day.
What would it bring?
As we headed steadily on at seventeen knots
Twenty Four hours a day.
Unless we ‘hit’ a storm that would
toss and roll us up and down
and from port to starboard
and starboard to port.
Watertight hatches and doors
closed and deadlights battened shut.
Would vastness of the Southern Ocean
be little different that of the Northern?
Landfall was still days, if not Weeks away.
Now that we had crossed that Shapeless, Formless Line.
The light and the smell of the Ocean, the very texture
of the endless water that stretched from
Horizon to Horizon, changed day by day
Passing or being passed by other ships.
Steaming North or South
some of them broken down
and stopped for repairs.
the same as happened to us on the ‘King James’.
Passed with the arrogance and disdain
by the P and O Liner ‘Canberra’.
But three days later
We would pass her, drifting without power,
Cheeky Seamen getting their revenge
By showing ‘their cheeks’.
Lectured by the Captain,
with a smile on his face
about showing respect.
We headed further South
Hundreds of miles
after Crossing the Line.
days instead of weeks away.
Capetown and Table Mountain
Then on to Port Elizabeth
What Adventures awaited
After ‘Crossing the Line’