Sunday, May 28, 2017

Crossing The Line

Swearing Fealty to Neptunus Rex!
Today we crossed the equator for the first time on this cruise...and as always there were a few Shipmates aboard for whom this was their first experience of "crossing the line". In face, only hours after crossing the equator it was announced that His Majesty, Neptunus Rex, had arrived aboard our ship...
Pollywogs advance!

What followed, of course, was silly, wet fun as the "Pollywogs", or first-timers in Neptunes Realm, were appropriately dressed  and made clean (after first being made quite filthy) before being presented before Neptune Himself to be judged and found either ready or not for their duties and responsibilities as Trusty Shellbacks.

Just fun, but with a purpose.  Ever since humans set sail on fragile ships across the world's oceans this ceremony has served as an initiation, not just into the "mysteries of the deep", but into the brotherhood of Mariners.  The visit of Neptunus Rex serves to bind a ship's company together, making them not just a group of individuals, but a Crew. And just as in the most ancient of days, the cohesion of a ship's crew can make all the difference when the chips are down.
The Royal Baby
 I was initiated into King Neptunes' Court 'way back in 1990, while USS Peterson patrolled off the coast of Liberia during their civil war.  Today I can remember the pride I felt as I stood in the Presence, and I think the young Sailors and Mariners who were initiated today will also remember this experience for many years. It's tradition, after all, that binds us together out here; we came from all walks of life and arrive via different routes, but it is here, far from homeport and facing the sea in her many moods, where the power of a simple ceremony becomes plain.

To the Initiated, anyway.

Some People can make ANYTHING look good!
Kissing the Belly of the Baby
His Majesty's Receiving Line

Mariano Robles...A.K.A. Davy Jones

The King Surveys His Domain!
A Salty Shower

Row, Row, Row Yer Boat, Swabbies!

Volunteers All!


  1. Nicely done! Welcome new sahellbacks!

  2. They were soggy and smelly, but Happy!