Graduating from Pollywog to Shellback, then on to Namibia

LOCATION: Along the western coast of Africa sailing on the Queen Elizabeth.
WEATHER: Sunny. Hot. High 90

Today we crossed the Equator, around 2:00 PM, and the ship went all out for a big celebration. Years ago, the early sailors conducted an elaborate and somewhat dangerous ceremony for the crew who crossed the Equator for the first time. Now, the ship puts on a bit tamer, but similar, ceremony.

King Neptune ruled, and was elegant in his speech, with playacting pirates who had captured our ship. All a part of the “Crossing the Line” Ceremony.

We were 2 of the lucky 36 pollywogs (those who haven’t crossed the Equator before by ship) who volunteered to be in the show. We were warned to wear our swimsuits and to be prepared for a lot of goo. Almost everyone on board (2000 folks) gathered around the pool and upper deck to watch the ceremony.

We 36, in small groups, were seated around the pool while a “court” with a judge proclaimed we were guilty of a myriad of sins. After being judged guilty, we were doused, and I mean doused, with huge globs of food. The food, like bins of rice gruel, pudding, and noodles had been sitting in the hot sun for a few hours, so it was good and ripe. They dumped buckets of this warm, slimy food onto the 36 of us. It started smelling and feeling like vomit. Then, we were allowed to jump into the pool to wash off. (The pool soon turned into a gooey mess, too). At the end, we kissed a fish, which was also part tof the ceremony. All great fun as we evolved into Shellbacks – those who have crossed the line and survived.

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