Tomorrow marks our sail across the equator. The festivities begin at 7 am which include but are not limited to shaving your entire head and having fish guts dumped on you…
Below is the email sent out by the captain:
The wakeup call will be at 7am!! At 9am, the festivities begin on the Pool Deck. Wear your bathing suit and prepare to get a little messy! A good time is guaranteed to be had by Shellbacks and Pollywogs alike! The practice of “Crossing the Line” is a ceremony that commemorates a person’s first crossing of the Equator by ship. Those who have already crossed the Equator are nicknamed “Shellbacks”, and those who have not, are called “Pollywogs”. The day a ship crosses the equator is referred to as Neptune Day. The ceremonies feature King Neptune, Queen Minerva, and a “court” of Shellbacks that assist with the ceremony.
The event is a ritual that dates back to the early 1800’s in which shipboard crew who were “Shellbacks, were organized into a “Court of Neptune” to indoctrinate the Slimy Pollywogs into “the mysteries of the Deep”.
Pollywogs who wish to take part in the “line crossing” ceremony on the MV Explorer, will be summoned to appear before King Neptune and his court. The Pollywogs may be “interrogated” by King Neptune and his entourage, and are asked to recite a poem regarding their worthiness. During the ceremony, the Pollywogs who wish to participate perform a series of tasks and then are anointed to be “proper Shellbacks”. As a memento of the event, each former Pollywog will receive a certificate declaring their new status as a “Shellback”. Once the ceremony is complete, a Pollywog may choose to meet with one of the “royal barbers” to shave their head as a celebratory gesture, (but no one is expected to do so). It is completely voluntary and does not impact the Shellback’s new status.