At sea, crossing the equator

February 2, 2017

We are still in choppy seas, primarily because of the strong winds.  Nevertheless, the Crossing the Equator Ceremony must go on! Those who read my blog posts from the last world cruise know that we crossed the equator twice and that was not even the first for us.  But there are many “polywogs” on board.  They are known as the soft, gushy creatures who have never crossed the equator.

From the beginning of time, seafarers have participated in ancient ceremonial initiations for crossing specific navigational parallels on the globe.  Such practices are so vintage in origin that their derivation has been lost, but it is believed that initiation in such secret societies began in the middle ages and it it possible that it began with the Vikings.

On the Insignia it is a pretty big deal! First Leslie, the cruise director, builds up the expectations that King Neptune is on his way.  Then the members of the orchestra march out playing instruments and go all around the top deck.  Then crew members representing King Neptune and various other seafaring people appear.  The Captain meets with King Neptune to apologize for the polywogs, and then they must all be initiated into the secret society of the Shellbacks, the hard, tough creatures that have crossed the equator before.

This consists of having to kneel down before King Neptune and kiss a fish, then have ice water dumped on your head.  Here are some photos of the “social event of the sea-son”.

The crew really hams it up and has a lot of fun!  And so do the passengers.  One crew member was a polywog, and instead of the ice water, Neptune threw her into the pool, clothes and all.

There is a Hawaiian artist on board, June Teruya.  She is the one who did the class on how to making the orchid leis. Today she did a class for the world cruise passengers. She taught us to make Polynesian bracelets and a woven ribbon lei.  Here are the results of my handiwork.

Jane, you would have been proud of me.

Well at his noon announcement, the captain gave us more bad news.  Due to the winds and heavy seas, he has not been able to maintain the speed needed to reach our port on time tomorrow. so instead of arriving at 9 AM, we will get there at about 4 PM and stay till 11 PM.  So at least we will get there!  I said I hope there are bars there for the hard working crew. Sea days are fine for us but they are working extra hard without much of a break. We didn’t have a tour planned so will go ashore (by tender), walk to the town and along the black volcanic beach, perhaps take a swim.  We did hear that last time the ship was here, they were surrounded by huge manta rays, so hope we see them tomorrow.  Fingers crossed that nothing changes and we do get to see Nuku Hiva.

Norm has really become known as the stitcher in the quilting group!  He is now on his 4th quilt square and is doing lots of embroidery.  Here is the one on Cartagena, Colombia. He is now doing Phillipines, will post when that one is done! And I have only done one!  But when we each Komodo Island, I plan to do a square with the Komodo Dragon on it.  The squares are shaping up so nicely. What a lot of creativity in the group.

I did learn a lot at the pearl presentation.  They are doing a raffle later, maybe I will win!   In the meantime, still looking.  

This entry was posted in At Sea, February, World Cruise 2. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to At sea, crossing the equator

  1. Robert Keiber says:

    the history lesson was nice but on a superficial note I just wouldn’t mind looking like the mermaid at this point in my life. S



  2. Rick & Marilen beaman says:

    This ritual is always fun doing it or just watching. We were on the Nauticawhen Rick and I did this,,,, …mmmmmmmmmmmm


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