Sunday 12th February:
Today was just about everything you expect crossing the equator to be. The sea was very
gentle, the skies were clear blue, the sun stayed high in the sky all the time and it
was very, very hot. We were already at over 84 degrees by mid-morning and it was
glorious as we slipped over the line at about 11.20 am. We did all our normal sea day
things (gym, breakfast and lecture) and were able to get back to our cabin to watch the
ship's navigation channel at the moment we crossed so we have a photo of the TV screen
showing us going over zero degrees.
The afternoon was fun but a whole heap smellier. In fact smelly just doesn't describe
it well enough. Most people who wanted to take part in the Crossing the Line ceremony
chose the easiest option: parade past Neptune and kiss a fish. A real one! But a few
hardy and rather insane number chose to join group 3 for the full blown experience. No
prizes for guessing which group we joined! It was easily the most highly stenching
experience of my life. You had to sit on the edge of the pool and have squashed
tomatoes, softened bread, soft squished red fruits and a whole heap of rotten fish guts
thrown at you and rubbed in your hair and on your face. Fortunately this was all done
just by the side of the pool so we could jump straight in to begin the washing off
process. But as soon as the first half dozen had jumped in, that pool was not the most
attractive place to be! The last group to go in were the new crew members who were
crossing the line for the first time and there was one poor guy who struggled really
hard to stop himself from throwing up. Very funny. As long as it isn't you!
So late afternoon was spent in the shower washing and re-washing plus a trip to the
launderette to try and get rid of the fish smell on our clothes.
Last night's show was excellent - a singer doing Andrew Lloyd Webber songs. Tonight
it's an illusionist so I think we'll go for an early dinner and then the theatre. This
really is an amazingly indulgent way to spend 4 months!
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