Thursday, March 14, 2013


We have crossed the equator.  The sea was like glass yesterday, and I saw lots of flying fish.

The crew talent show was lots of fun.  The "talent" was questionable, but everyone was very enthusiastic, so a good time was had by all.  They do it as a fundraiser for their recreation fund.

The hotel manager gave us a talk on food services on the ship.  We just had a Soul Food night, and he was surprised that 800 people consumed 600 pounds of fried chicken.  The ship sells as many candy bars as boxes of cereal consumed.

When a ship crosses the equator, there is a ceremony to initiate the "shellbacks," or first timers.  I have crossed the equator many times, but never by sea, so I am a shellback.  I watched part of the ceremony, but declined getting the green paint poured over my head, dunked in the pool, then having my head shaved.  Many of the guys participated.  The girls were happy to do the first two, but balked at the head shaving.  Luckily none of it was mandatory.

The ship's captain painted himself green and was our King Neptune.  Various members of the staff filled other roles.  The crew put on white Viking type costumes and banged pots as they marched along the hallways waking everyone up at 7 a.m.  It was a fun morning.

Later that day the captain and some of his officers participated in a "Q&A" session.  We found that the ship needs 3.5 million dollars worth of fuel for the 110 day voyage.  The food budget is 2.5 million dollars.  Some of the kids were concerned about piracy.   The Somali pirates have been going further afield to avoid navy patrols off the Horn of Africa.  We were told we passed the area of concern about an hour and a half previously.  Our ship is not very vulnerable because it is one of the three fastest ships afloat, so pirates would be unable to catch us.  We did have extra people on night watch when we were in the vulnerable area.

Two more days to Mauritius.

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