In a time-honored maritime tradition, the shipboard community celebrated Neptune Day as we crossed the Equator for the first time. Uninitiated “Pollywogs” completed a series of ceremonial rites of passage as they begged King Neptune, Lord of the Seas, to grant them passage to the Southern Oceans and give them official status as “Shellbacks.” The majority of students, faculty, and staff voluntarily joined the initiation festivities.
All photos by Danny Askew, Unreasonable Media.
Crew members parade through the hallways with drums, whistles, and cymbals, giving everyone on board a special early morning wake-up call in honor of Neptune Day.
The crew parade climbs the stairs to Deck 6 after completing their (noisy) rounds through all of the residential hallways.
King Neptune’s army marches across Deck 7.
Professor Ed Sobey kicks off the Neptune Day ceremonies as he introduces King Neptune’s court.
King Neptune (a.k.a. Captain Jeremy Kingston) arrives to preside over the ceremonies as the “Pollywogs” get promoted to “Shellbacks.”
Some crew members play a practical joke on the “pollywog” crew members standing below who thought they were just posing for a picture together on deck 7, but ended up getting doused with “fish guts.”
Lisa Marshall gets “fish guts” poured over her head as part of the initiation ceremony.
After shaving his head, getting doused with “fish guts”
and jumping in the pool, Stephen Brown (University of Dayton) shows his respect to the sea by kissing a fish.
Student, Sarah Cady, kisses King Neptune’s ring.
Newly bald Greg Colquitt (Clemson University) smiles as the final few tufts of hair are shaved off. A fair number of students voluntarily opted to have their heads shaved in honor of their new status as “Shellbacks.”
The shipboard community gathers around the pool to celebrate Neptune Day.
Remnants of the head shaving ritual litter the starboard side of Deck 7. Anyone who had more than eight inches of hair shaved off were able to donate it to an organization that makes wigs for cancer patients.