Day 47, Friday, April 11, Georgetown, Ascension Island Crossing the Equator, MS Amsterdam

The Crystal Symphony is at sea from Hong Kong to Xiamen, China. The Crystal Serenity is at sea from Dakar, Senegal to Agadir, Morocco.

As we have left Ascension behind and are headed for Cape Verde, we are on a more northerly course and today the sun came up straight out on our starboard side; near 6AM as we gained an hour overnight.

For the most part it was a pretty relaxed day at sea. After 9AM devotions with Pastor Don there was a 10AM Shore Excursion presentation and an afternoon presentation by Dan Benedict on “New Southern Constellations of Pianclus”. I also attended a session on speeding up Windows computers. There were some good reminders, but nothing really new.

The highlight of the day was the 11AM Equator Crossing Ceremony at the midship pool. About 10 “pollywogs” (crew members crossing
for the first time) were assembled in a small cage. The senior officers were seated at the head of the pool, and King Neptune summoned the pollywogs up in groups of about 2-4, representing various departments. Each pollywog was accused of a “crime”, forced to kiss a huge fish, covered in slime, and then the jury produced a verdict, sink or stink. For “thumbs down” the pollywogs were dumped in the pool, for thumbs up they were sent to the opposite end of the pool from the officers to stew in their mess. It was a bit different from other ceremonies I’ve seen but a lot of fun. In his midday update the Captain said we will actually cross the Equator about 11PM.

The theme continued with dinner as the dining room was decorated with clusters of fish balloons, and the waiters were dressed as pirates. Two of my tablemates were away in the Pinnacle, but we had 2 temporary guests at the table.

There was just a single show in the Queens Room, the Motown Divas at 7:15, with a “Rock the Boat” party at 9:30 in the Crows Nest featuring the Amsterdam Singers. As I write this it hasn’t yet happened but I hope to stop by.

I discovered my “cheat sheet” from yesterday’s Ascension circumnavigation. The island where birds nested during the height of the feral cat invasion was Boatswain Island, and the runway is Wide Awake airfield. I am adding pictures to today’s blog post for Whitehorse Peak, Whale Point, and Devils Ashpit.

Today’s parting shot: Congratulations to our new shellbacks, and thank you for being good sports.


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