Continuing on from my recent posts about our Raja Ampat trip, today I want to tell you about some of the antics we got up to when we crossed the equator. We crossed by boat and also underwater. Not many people have dived across the two in one dive, we dropped down on the southern hemisphere and swam to the northern hemisphere. What was more fun though was participating in the traditional crossing the line ceremony where King Neptune himself came aboard to preside over the festivities of those who were once slimly pollywogs becoming honourable shellbacks.
The ritual, in which previously inducted crew members (Trusty Shellbacks) are organized into a “Court of Neptune” to induct the Slimy Pollywogs into “the mysteries of the Deep”. Physical hardship, in keeping with the spirit of the initiation, are tolerated, and each Pollywog is expected to endure a standard initiation rite in order to become a Shellback.
Davy Jones introduced King Neptune aboard and carried out the ritual shaving (with foamy soap water) and general rousing of the pollywogs.
But first the King had to preside over a beauty pageant, to decide who to award the wig of beauty…
The lovely ladies of the pageant:
An honourable shellback holds aloft the Wig Of Beauty:
The slimy pollywogs then had to eat this spicy tofu…
…and get ‘shaved’ by Davy Jones. Here’s Mike and I getting treated to this:
So after our ordeal (initiation), it is certified that I am a trusted Son of Neptune
Of course during all of this the crew looked on in bemused fascination. After this we took our dive at Equator Island, some folks even took beer down (to pose for the pictures) and horrified the dive guides by cracking them open and drinking them at 10m! Apparently they were a little salty – teehee.
Here are a few images of our crossing the line underwater…
Note: Topside photos in this post © Michael Walker-Toye & Alex Mustard.