Today we awoke to the sound of cymbals, whistles, drums and pounding on our door. It is NEPTUNE DAY! To celebrate our crossing of the equator and prime meridian there was a big ceremony out on the 7th deck around the pool. Everyone who has crossed the equator before is called a Shellback and everyone that hasn't is called a Pollywog. After we were awake we had some breakfast and went up to the pool deck where the ceremony began with a procession of the Shellbacks. Both of our Deans as well as some of the faculty and staff told us about the ceremony. Best of all, Archbishop Tutu and his wife, Leah, were there in seats of honor!
First you stand beside the pool and have fish juice/guts poured on your head. Then you jump into the pool, which is filled with sea water. As you leave the pool, you have to kiss a dead fish on the lips and then you kiss King Neptune's ring (Dean David) and you bow before Queen Neptune (Dean Weitz). Everyone was wet and covered in fish guts. It was hilarious and VERY smelly.
The other fun activity of the day was your visit to the "royal barber." Students, faculty, staff and Lifelong learners lined up to get their heads shaved. Geno shaved his, but of course, I didn't. One of my students, Hannah from San Diego State University, shaved off her long curly blonde hair. All of the long hair gets donated to Locks of Love.
We have the rest of the "Reading Day" to get our work done and then we have a "block party" tonight followed by a little party we're throwing for our four daughters in our extended family.
-This is our first Reading Day which means it is our first day at sea without classes
-It is chilly at the equator - we are all wearing sweatshirts