Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Crossing the International Dateline - Fun at Sea!

Britannica defines the International Date Line as an " imaginary line extending between the North Pole and the South Pole and arbitrarily demarcating each calendar day from the next.  The International Date Line is a consequence of the worldwide use of timekeeping systems arranged so that local noon corresponds approximately to the time at which the sun crosses the local meridian of longitude."  It goes on to give the longitude and latitude, but suffice it enough to say that all it really does is mess up your days by adding or taking away a day as you cross it in the ocean!  ;-) 

I had heard that ships, all kinds, from Navy to cruise ships, love to have fun, silly and sometimes elaborate ceremonies for people who are "first timers" crossing the Equator.  Our ship was crossing it twice, so it was not a surprise when I saw that the crew had a special "Ceremony" scheduled!  I couldn't wait see it!

They held it around the large open pool (no surprise there) and lined up all the chairs they could for the best front seat viewing, leaving the rest of the area open for everyone else to gather above.  I lucked out and got a (stand-up) spot pretty much in front, in the shade.  I only had to contend with the people pointing their phones/cameras up high in front of them like "they were the only one who matters" (don't you just hate that? Because of that, I didn't really get pictures of the recipients being dumped on).  

The Cruise Director and his staff were all decked out in full Neptune garb and makeup, what a hoot they were!  Tables were set up with dishes filled with: spaghetti noodles (cold), various puddings, flour, plus a very large dead fish! 

One of the Officers came out and read the "decree" and the "recipients" were led out.  I have no idea who they were or how they were chosen, but there were six of them (maybe they were ship's crew or VIPs?).  They had been given large Princess T Shirts to wear over their own clothes (thank goodness).  Each one was brought before the King and Queen and read his/her charge (first time crossing? The microphone wasn't real clear) and then led him/her to the table where the court people dumped one of the various goodies from the table onto their head. Some were not so bad, like the spaghetti noodles.  As each person came up though, it seemed to get worse, and by the end, he got it all and was completely covered, much to the crowd's laughter!

It made for a fun morning and when we all got back to our staterooms, we each had special certificates to take home to commemorate the date and acknowledge we not only "Crossed the Line" but had an extra day added to our trip!  lol 

...catching up from our cruise,  Marie

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