Interested in Language
I would like to ask if the "the line" in the text below equals "the equator".
"Since the sinking of the Albatross."
"Ah!" I exclaimed involuntarily. "She left Newcastle for 'Frisco some six months ago, and hasn't been heard of since."
"Yes," answered the voice. "But some few degrees to the North of the line she was caught in a terrible storm, and dismasted. When the day came, it was found that she was leaking badly, and, presently, it falling to a calm, the sailors took to the boats, leaving — leaving a young lady — my fiancée — and myself upon the wreck.
W.H.Hodgson, The Voice in the Night, 1907
Yes, I think it refers to the Equator.
Note that the ship was traveling from Newcastle to San Francisco, so they'd have to attempt to sail around the tip of South America and cross the equator.