My husband is a sailor. I’ve mentioned earlier in my post that I’ve been on few sailing trips. And I love being with sailors onboard. Besides working hard, they also enjoy the nature and few things that come along. They have some strange traditions too.
They celebrate the Equator or international date line crossing for the shipmates who are crossing it for the 1st time. I’ve witnessed both: Equator crossing as well as International date line crossing. Navigating officers or deck officers calculate the date and time at which the ship will be crossing these lines. An announcement is made around that time asking people to gather on Bridge i.e Navigation deck.
In this pic,the black spiral mark is the position of our ship and orange vertical line is the position of Intl. Date Line. All eyes are glued on the screen to experience the moment.
The moment people see the legendary line been crossed, they are instantly in the celebration and festive mood. They go downstairs and gather on poop deck. Poop deck is the aft or backside portion of the main deck. They splash water on each other.
The First timers’ ( usually cadets or trainees ) heads are shaven off. Not mine, c’mon.
Their bodies are painted and eggs are cracked over their head. Everyone has a fun time doing and getting it.
Then they go for a procession on the whole deck dancing and singing and laughing.
Their main idea is to have fun and make this moment memorable for the mates who are achieving this travel milestone. After 2-3 hours of this drama, they go for shower and gather again in the mess room for the dinner and dance party. And next day, one of the funniest kind of certificate is given to the new citizens.
This certificate was given to my son in 2009. He was only 2.5 years then.
PROUD TO BE A PART OF SHIPPING COMMUNITY.
P.S : King Neptune is the ancient ruler of the seas.