Into The Northern Hemisphere


Flying Fish, becalmed, at Longitude 105 03’.603 E and Latitude 00 00’.000 N. Photograph © Jeffrey Cardenas

It is now autumn in the South China Sea. An hour ago it was spring. There was no winter. It is always summer on the equator. We have sailed from the Southern Hemisphere into the Northern Hemisphere. The ship’s log shows 14,971 nautical miles.

It is fitting that my daughter Lilly has joined me on this passage. Exactly 620 days ago, Lilly and I sailed together from the Northern Hemisphere into the Southern Hemisphere, at a point southeast of the Galapagos, on a westbound passage to Tahiti and beyond.

The equator is 24,901 miles long. On land it crosses the Batu Islands of Sumatra, the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The equator passes through the mouth of the Amazon River, the pre-Colombian ruin of Catequilla, the island of Isabela in the Galapagos. It continues westward through Oceania near the atolls of Aranuka, Nonouti, and Kirbuti. The equator meets Indonesia at the Gebe Islands and continues through the Halmahera Sea, the Molucca Sea, and the Java Sea. It crosses Borneo at Pontianak. Finally, at Longitude 105 03’.603 E and Latitude 00 00’.000 N, it is where we meet the equator today.

Sailors have always noted crossing the equator. In the 19th century (and later) line-crossing ceremonies were sometimes brutal events. Pollywogs, as first-timers were called, were beaten with boards and wet ropes, and often thrown over the side of the boat and dragged from the stern. Charles Darwin notes in his diary that on his first crossing of the equator he was “placed on a plank” and tilted into the water after having his face and mouth “lathered with pitch and paint.”

Lilly and I have celebrated our two crossings more moderately. A small ration of rum followed a voluntary swim as we crossed over the invisible line. Our event is recorded with a portrait of a young sailor at peace in the sea.

Surface of Water

The equator, from above the surface of the water in the South China Sea. Photograph © Jeffrey Cardenas

I hope you continue to follow to voyage of Flying Fish

For upcoming passages when I have no cell or WiFi signal, I have activated a satellite tracking link that shows the daily position, current weather, and includes a few personal thoughts from the daily log of Flying Fish. I will not be able to respond to messages via satellite but I love the idea that you are sailing along with me. If you would like to follow the daily progress of Flying Fish into Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean via satellite you can click this link:

Please subscribe at the bottom of this page so that you don’t miss a new update, and consider sharing this post with others who might enjoy following the voyage of Flying Fish.

To see where Flying Fish has sailed in the past year click here:

Instagram: FlyingFishSail

Text and Photography © Jeffrey Cardenas 2019

30 thoughts on “Into The Northern Hemisphere

    • I think Geography was the only subject in school that held my interest, Kurt. I loved looking at maps and imagining being in exotic corners of the earth. It is as exciting in reality as it was in my childhood imagination.
      Thanks for following Flying Fish.


    • Hayden, you know how to make a person feel good! Thank you.
      I don’t take any credit for the photo; it’s all Lilly. Try to imagine this image with no Lilly in it 🙂
      Thank you for your comments on Flying Fish, and thank you for sharing them with your many readers.


    • Thank you Nancy!
      A book has got to have a purpose, and I still have no idea why (or how) I am out here. I guess that is the essence of life… keep searching until that big cerebral lightbulb goes off and you have that Aha! Moment.
      I appreciate you sailing along vicariously.


    • Dave, I love hearing from you. You are a waterman. You can appreciate what it is like out here–the good, the bad, and the ugly. (Ugly is a hard word, but I am thinking about the day a falling hatch board almost severed my toe on the passage from Vanuatu to Australia. That was ugly 🙂 I hope to see you when I return to Key West.


    • Edd, I love it that you are reading about Flying Fish. I remember our days on the water together. The boat rolling gunwale to gunwale. How the best seasick medicine for us was always the words, “Fish on!” Let’s do that again.


    • Hi Sally, I never forget about those mariners who sailed before me (thanks for charting the way, guys 🙂 What an achievement to have done what they did with none of the bells and whistles that are aboard Flying Fish. Nonetheless, the biggest challenge I have when I am sailing alone is how to get enough sleep. I wonder how Joshua Slocum handled sleep? He writes about weather and waves and cannibals on his solo circumnavigation–but not sleep.
      Thank you for reading.


    • Ha! Thanks Bob.
      Lilly looks good underwater but she also astounded me by saying she once did a measured free dive in Bali (with safety divers) to 147 feet.
      Ah, youth. I am a lucky Dad.
      I appreciate your encouragement.


    • Hello Barbara, thank you for your compliment.
      It was 98 degrees in the shade on the deck of the sailboat at the equator, with no wind, so it wasn’t hardship duty to get into the water with my camera.
      Please continue to follow along. I appreciate the feedback.


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