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vagabonds3 "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness." Mark Twain

Crossing the Equator

FRENCH POLYNESIA | Thursday, 2 May 2019 | Views [53]

We're no longer Polywogs

We're no longer Polywogs

POLYWOGS NO LONGER, WE ARE FULL-FLEDGED SHELLBACKS.  And we have the certificate to prove it.  Somewhere last night we sailed across the Equator — 0° Latitude — neither North or South.  Sailors have a ritual ceremony presided over by King Neptune himself, humiliating virgin “polywogs” and transforming them into veteran “shellbacks,” one that Maasdam’s Captain and crew performed today.  

nn     nn

  Polywogs to Shellbacks                      Salacia and Neptune

There is no line marking the Equator, just a wide swath of calm water known by scientists as the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ.)  Sailors call it the Doldrums and I, for one, am thankful for it.  San Francisco and Nuku Hiva are separated by 2997 nautical miles of Pacific Ocean, more than a week of cruising, and rough seas would have been uncomfortable, to put it mildly.  


    In the Doldrums

There is an old ditty, “I joined the Navy to see the world and what did I see?  I saw the sea.”  All we can add is a scattering of silver flying fish, a few storm petrels and an arctic tern cowering in a corner on the Promenade Deck.  Connie picked it up, held it aloft and away it flew.  

Tags: cruising french polynesia


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John and Connie, Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

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