Steve Fossett's maxi cat crosses the Equator and for the unfortunate Mark it is his first time

I was driving along yesterday. Mark was on the traveler. He is fiddling around with his fingers in his mouth, and suddenly pulls out a filling the size of a pea. “There, what shall I do about that then?” he asks me. I groaned, internally and externally. I hate dental work. As medical guy on board, I don’t mind dispensing a few anti-inflamatories, bandaging a wrist, or dispensing band-aids, but this was going to be a nightmare. I do not even like having my own teeth worked on, let alone groping around in someone else’s mouth with the packing and epoxy. Trouble is, no one else wants to do it either.

We maintained surprisingly good speed through the night, and I was wakened midmorning to hear that we would shortly entertain an important visitor. Sure enough, no sooner had we crossed the line, (Mike managed to clear it off the rudder), when King Neptune himself, and Badger Bag, appeared on the fordeck. Poor Mark was hustled forward, lashed to the tramp, and the litany of his sins reviewed. To the crews’ shouts of condemnation, a ghastly mixture of food slops and dead flying fish was ladled over his head, while Mr. Badger lashed him with a dead fish. However horrible, the King was well pleased with his forfeit, and promised us safe passage through his kingdom. Mark also survived, so it was a good start to the day.

Now we are loping along, close reaching in the south east trades. The big genaker has been laid to rest, it’s place taken by the solent. The comfort of VMG running has been superceded by the gut wrenching double bump of a catamaran bouncing over waves. Many of the crew followed Mark’s example, and did a bucket bath and shave. Guillermo is the trend setter in facial har styles, and the crew now sport his characteristic pencil thin moustache and a lip drip of growth at about chin central.