March 7-8-9-10, 2012 – At sea through Indonesia to Hong Kong
As we sail north through Indonesia toward Hong Kong we cross the Equator, which always calls for a ceremony on board ship to “initiate” first time crossers. Seafaring tradition holds that people who have not crossed the Equator are considered pollywogs and must be initiated by King Neptune – god of the sea! Each ship we have been on which has crossed the Equator has some form of this celebration. On the Amsterdam, all crew members who were crossing for the first time were considered pollywogs and were rounded up and held in a makeshift cell by the pool. With great ceremony Davy Jones came out and introduced King Neptune and his Queen, followed by the introduction of the ship’s officers who would serve as judges.
Davy Jones starts it off leading the pollywogs out of their cells.
King Neptune enters with his bride (brides?)
The pollywogs were brought out in groups of 3 or 4, their crimes were described (such as “over serving guests” or being entirely too nice!). As punishment, once their guilt had been established, they were covered in some sort of slimy green goo, and then dunked into the pool (which I am sure was a relief). All of this was done to the accompaniment of the band, and much alcohol. The pollywogs became “shellbacks” like the rest of us seasoned travelers, and the party went on. Days at sea MUST be filled!
Ship’s officers as the jury – executioners in the foreground.
Punishment to the pollywogs
The pollywogs (now shellbacks) get a needed wash up!