A Taste of Three Continents - November 2005 travel blog

King Neptune

kiss the fish

breading

sea bird


Maybe the Equator isn't just an imaginary line after all. As soon as we crossed it, CNN was restored to our televisions and we were buzzed by birds, something we had not seen since we left the African continent. Since we are still 450 miles from land (and 18,000 feet above the sea bottom) these are birds that live their lives solely on the water. They followed us all day because our wake is a fine fishing ground. A couple we eat with launched a scientific study in their bathroom to see if the water swirling down the sink changed from rotating counterclockwise to clockwise once we crossed the Equator. Results were inconclusive.

The crossing of the Equator always generates a ceremony hosted by King Neptune and his favorite mermaid. The victims of this ceremony are crew members who have never crossed the Equator before. They were marched up to the pool area roped together and charged with various crimes such as smiling too much. Inevitably King Neptune would command them to kiss a fish and subject themselves to be breaded - a coating of raw egg, cooked spaghetti, tomatoes, etc. Then he would ask the crowd (us) whether they should live or be condemned to the deep. Inevitably we roared for their demise and they plunged into the swimming pool. After a few rounds of this the pool began to look like some crock pot recipes I have made. Pity the poor crew members who spent the next few hours cleaning up the place.

We change time zones every day, perhaps sooner than we really need to. This means that sunrise and sunset take place 4-ish and we wake for breakfast before the crew is ready to serve it to us. We eat dinner at 8:30 which now feels like 10:30 and we fight to stay awake lest our nodding heads drop down into our soup bowls.

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