Hello, Moon
Rangiroa, French Polynesia: a walk across an island and back

Crossing the Equator: going from Pollywogs to Shellbacks

We crossed the Equator at approximately 10 pm on 1/26. In anticipation, the ship held a crossing ceremony in the morning known as the "Order of the Shellback" commemorating a first crossing of the equator.  While its origins are quite elaborate and, at times, rough on the participants, the Oceania version was tame and nicely sanitized.

First-time crossers, known as Pollywogs, are initiated into the Order and become Trusty Shellbacks, or sons of Neptune. It all begins with a pledge and a parade...

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Waiting for the start, with banners flying


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The opening pledge basically promising to be good Trusty Shellbacks (never get off the elevator on the wrong floor, never wear black socks with sandals, learn to properly pronounce the names of all ports, etc.)

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The Parade

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The Musicians


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Pollywog crewmembers


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King Neptune and his "wife" Highness Amphitrite

The Proclamation

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Presenting the Fish

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First, Pollywogs must Kiss the Fish

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Pollywog crewmembers went first. Enthusiasm about kissing a big (real) fish varied.

Then the ceremonial Dunking

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Dunking has been replaced with a large ladle of ice water


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Pollywag Passengers followed the crewmembers. Some were better at kissing the fish than others.


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Lined up

Click here to see all the Around The World 2024 images. 

At sea



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