Courtney & Deb World Adventure travel blog






Today we cross the Equator, the center point of the earth which divides the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. King Neptune (known in Greek mythology as Poseidon) oversees this part of the world. He uses his trident – a spear with three points on its head – to shatter rocks and call for or subdue storms. In time-honored seafaring fashion, we attend a ceremony to honor King Neptune in return for safe passage to the Northern Hemisphere and smooth waters. The ship’s staff has searched from bow to stern to find the perfect offerings. These offerings are crew members who have never crossed the Equator. They are called pollywogs.

The festivities are held on the Lido Deck and begin by the entry of the pollywogs who are jailed in one corner by pirates. They are tortured by being doused with ice water. Then King Neptune and his court make their grand entry followed by the ship’s captain and his senior staff members. A judge reads the offenses of each pollywog. These are funny barbs related to their job on the ship. For example, the captain asked one pianist if she knew how to lower a life boat; she responded no, but if you hum a few bars I can probably play it. After the offense is read, the pollywog is required to repent by kissing a large fish. Then a surgical team ceremonially cleans the pollywog by washing he or she with colored soap. Once covered, the captain and his senior staff vote thumbs up to dunk the pollywog in the pool or thumbs down for the pollywog to sit on the side of the pool and bake in the sun (which is difficult as storm clouds are rolling about).

After the ceremony, Courtney and Deb seek to be found seaworthy by kissing the fish and drinking an Equator Sling, a special rum drink. We find favor in King Neptune’s eyes (for a fee of $20, the cost of two celebratory t-shirts). Later we receive our official certificate signed by Neptunus Rex stating that we have received “freedom forevermore to cross Our Equator; to roam Our Oceans and Seas to their most distant bounds without further molestation or ritualistic test of loyalty; and to partake in full measure of those gifts of Health, Recreation and High Adventure”.

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