Fall Voyagers Celebrate Neptune Day Tradition on 125th Voyage

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Communications Coordinator
Oct 1, 2018


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Student Life

Fall Voyagers Celebrate Neptune Day Tradition on 125th Voyage

Less than 12 hours after leaving the port of Takoradi, Ghana, voyagers were woken up by the sound of drums, whistles, pots, and pans early in the morning of Oct 1, 2018, to celebrate Neptune Day, a maritime tradition to commemorate the crossing of the equator.

To kick off the ceremony, Captain Kostas Siamantas gave voyagers a little history lesson, explaining that Neptune Day is an 18th-century tradition often referred to as a ‘line-crossing ceremony’ to initiate those who have never crossed the equator, called Pollywogs, into Shellbacks.

“The rarest shellback status is called ‘Emerald Shellback,’ which is received after crossing the equator at the prime meridian. Exactly what we have experienced today,” Captain Kostas explained.

The festivities began at 0700 when crew members onboard the MV World Odyssey dressed as servants of King Neptune and woke up voyagers with a myriad of loud instruments. Once everyone was awake, the shipboard community migrated to Deck 9, where voyagers had slime poured on them, kissed a fish (or two), and danced the morning away.

“I smell a little bit like a fish, I’ve got green paint on, and that’s pretty much Neptune Day!” said Bob Viera, Fall 2018 Executive Dean, who played King Neptune on his seventh Semester at Sea voyage.

At the end of the morning, voyagers posed for photos and waited until officially crossing the equator at 1400. After taking more photos with the buoy that marked the prime meridian, freshly-shaved voyagers embraced their new look as the ship moved to past the equator, secure in the knowledge that the middle of the globe marks only the beginning of their personal and academic journey.

Check out photos from Fall 2018’s Neptune Day below!

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