Today we sailed into the realm of King Neptune, by which I mean to say that we sailed across the equator somewhere between Hawaii and Samoa. As those of you who are privileged enough to have done this before will know, there is a whole ceremony which is a bit of a seafarer's tradition whereby we pay homage to King Neptune in return for safe passage through his lands and today was that day...
It's hot out on the back deck; really hot. Most of that has to do with the humidity and the fact that we're at the equator in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I'm standing off to the side with my team when the band begins to play and the *prosecutor* arrives and announces the beginning of the ceremony.
King Neptune arrives with his Queen and their conclave of mermaids, the staff officers arrive to act as the jury, and finally the Pirates arrive with the polliwogs in tow.
*A polliwog is a seafarer who has not yet crossed the equator on a ship. Those who have, such as myself, are known as shellbacks.*
The polliwogs are led to their cages and the proceedings begin. In groupings of three the polliwogs are brought forward to bow before King Neptune and receive judgement. The judgement always involves getting slimed on three *operating room tables* by the *doctors* after having been made to *kiss the fish*. After having been slimed the jury decides if they swim or bake which is to say if they get to jump in the pool or if they must sit on the side in the hot sun.
After two groupings of three are made to bake and the others to swim the ceremony concludes and King Neptune grants our ship safe passage through his realms before departing with his entourage. The once polliwogs are now shellbacks as well and will be on the other side of the proceedings next time.