Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Latitude 12° 9.9 South Longitude 034° 26.3 West

Sunday afternoon 14:30 local time (GMT-1) Galley Mervyn and his  deep "bass" like voice thundered RRRRRRRADIOOOO EQUATORRRRRR over the ships PA system. He announced the arrival of King Neptun and his entourage for the much awaited and dreaded baptism of the "Equator novises". This is a long and proud seafarer tradition. At 15:00 the ceremony started. The Netun Baptism party rushed to cabin 625 to dress for the event. It is almost as fun to prepare for this event as the event itself. We have a number of personlaties that need to be present in the King Neptun entourage, according to tradition. First of all our ships photographer for the occasion was William from the restaurant staff. King Neptun was Frank chief engineer, his devoted queen Karin the expeditionleader. Doctor  was JR, nurse was Sherry Ann, Elmer was Barber, Arsenio, Peter  were Police force, and Richard and Raymond were banging on kettles to make as much noise as possible, and ohhh they did.
Captain Rune and Safety officer Andreas was leading the event, making sure we were on the right latitude and to see the ceremony being conducted according to tradition.
The next coming collages have been made my dear ladies and gentleman, to give an illustration of how extremely much fun it is, and at the same time how feared this ceremony is for the "novises". One thing is for sure. When you are baptised crossing the equator, never wear clothes you want to use again. You STINK for days. A funny reoccuring event is that some of our crew are notorious to forget their certificates. You have to show your certificate, which is the only valid criteria to not be baptised again. Neptun always checks this thorougly. Our navigation officer Clyde, forgot his for the second time, and this time he was baptised by his colleague Andreas, safety officer, Lets hope for Clydes's sake he remembers the certificate next time. Those he did not get baptised, surely were spectators to the event, and the onboard knitting party Musti and Else Kristine used the time efficiently.
 We have of course a crew interview, and today our beloved Hotelmanager Else will be answering the questions. We also felt she needed to be thoroughly introduced, so we made a "mugshot" of Else.
Name: Else Kristine Tjessem
Position: Hotelmanager
How long time have you been working for Hurtigruten?
Almost 14 years
How many times have you crossed equator with a Hurtigruten Ship?
4+ now
What do you like best about equator crossings?
Fun looking at crew getting baptised
Is your job different when the ship do crossings?
Yes, there is a lot to organise, but the bigest difference is that we have no passengers. Anyway we have to do the normal "reporting routines". The crossing days go by so fast.
Which tasks do you have during the crossing?
Plannning ahead
Relax a bit, be social, recharge my batteries

To John, Frieda and Glenda who are keenly watching our blog for more birds. We spotted a Northern Gannet on sunday at 10:10 am, approx 2 degrees South latitiude, but did not get a photo. We are still on keen lookout though folks.