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Approaching the Line

Picton Castle is currently sailing just south of the Equator, soon to pass from the Southern hemisphere to the Northern hemisphere. On this world voyage, the ship first crossed the Line between Panama and Galapagos. Sailing slowly towards zero degrees, then veering away from it as the wind dictates and setting course once again, the pollywogs aboard (those who have never crossed the Equator by ship before) are nervous. Picton Castle is a ship rich in seafaring tradition and, much to the relief of the shellbacks (those who have crossed), Neptune will likely board the ship soon to rid our fine barque of the odiferous stench of pollywogs. Here is an incoming email, posted recently on the doors of the salon scuttle where all important notices to crew are hung.

Sent: March 26, 2011 8:22 PM
To: Picton Castle
Subject: Approaching the Line

Dear Sir,

By the usual means – porpoise, whale, flying fish, AIS and sooty tern (hey, what’s up with the cat? Give bird a break, eh?), we have been apprised of your good ship approaching The Line once again. We hope that, apart from the hideous, yet relatively minor infestation of the dreaded and lowly ‘pollywog’, your voyage is proceeding felicitously for you and your noble and long-suffering Shellbacks. Sadly your lack of excellent, No 1, Superior, Finest Kind, Super Duper, Shellback brand tradewinds have been in abeyance due to presence of said proto-low-life, the earlier mentioned and ever so loathsome, gag, spit, pollywogs. Sad but true…

His Royal Aqueous Majesty, King Neptune, Emperor of the Deep Sea Realm and all Who Sail on She, has directed Me, His Royal Scribe, to begin the appropriate and necessary communications so as to commence the delicate and judicious proceedings so as to rid our August Ship, The PICTON CASTLE of such objectionable vermin; odiferous, ulcer-ridden, bilious and festering, oh, too revolting, I can’t go on… The Boss says to keep her coming Cap’, we’ll see you when we see you.

By Order of His Majesty,
The Royal Scribe

Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2011 3:26 PM
Subject: Re: Approaching the Line

Dear Sir Scribe,

Thank you for your e-mail of yesterday. Yes, we are soon approaching your sacred Realm of The Line. Tragically we do happen to have a few wretched pollywogs aboard. Sadly they have been a pernicious presence for far too long. Grateful we are at the prospect of the execution of King Neptune’s holy offices, soon to clear the table, level the field, burn the infection out and cauterize the sore. Yet, we also trust in His Divine Mercy as these pollywogs, as objectionable as they naturally are, and of course, we loath them with distain and indifference, they are not that bad as pollywogs go. Well, actually, they are pretty bad at that…we’ll be in touch – please give our very warm regards to Their Royal Highnesses King Neptune and Queen Aphrodite and the Royal Court and, of course to your Esteemed Self, Sir Scribe.

Captain and Crew of the PICTON CASTLE

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