Days 11 & 12 – The International Date Line and the Equator
While we have crossed the date line several times (it still confuses me) and the Equator several times, this is the first time we crossed them both at the same time – lost a day and went from the northern hemisphere to the southern at the same time. All ships hold a ceremony when crossing the equator – to initiate the “pollywogs” who have never crossed before, into the ranks of the experienced “shellbacks”. I understand that in the early days of sailing ships, this was a serious ritual. Today it is still interesting, but more of a party. King Neptune and his Queen, in this case Queen Double D, preside over court, where the pollywogs are inevitably found guilty of heinous crimes.
On some ships, only crew members are subjected to this trial – on this one, both crew and volunteer passengers were in the group of pollywogs. They were brought before the court’s officer, and had their charges read.
Inevitably found guilty of crimes such as overeating at the buffet, or hogging the laundromat, the pollywogs must begin their punishment by “kissing the fish”. Check that expression!
When all have been tried, convicted, and kissed the fish, they are gathered in a group and covered with every manner of colored goo, eggs, and other foodstuffs.
In this photo, notice the lady in the background with the black stroller. This is a first for us on cruise ships. That is her dog that rides in the stroller – I guess some sort of service dog?
Back to the ceremony – here are the newly anointed shellbacks, lined up for a group photo.
On to Samoa.