Tuesday, 24 February 2009

VOR: PUMA LEG FIVE DAY 8 QFB: received 22.02.09 1614 GMT

by Rick Deppe

Team Puma has a documentary team following us around in port - it's my job to fill in the blanks when we are at sea. I was having a beer with DK, the sound guy, while we were in Qingdao and we got to talking about some of the funny stuff that’s happened on the boat while we have been at sea. I was telling him about the first time the boat crossed the Equator on leg one and how on that occasion ‘there had been a number of first timers including Kenny, who we had initiated with Vegemite (which he hates) in his hair. I told him that someone who hasn't crossed the equator is called a Pollywog and that there is a name for someone who has but that I was not sure of the word..... "Shellback", he said immediately, turns out that DK had been in the US Navy prior to being a sound guy and was very familiar with equator crossing ceremonies. I decided to do a little research and came up with the following on Wikipedia... there's much more.

The ceremony of Crossing the Line is an initiation rite in the Royal Navy, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and other navies which commemorates a sailor's first crossing of the equator. Originally the tradition was created as a test for seasoned sailors to ensure their new shipmates were capable of handling long rough times at sea. Sailors who have already crossed the equator are nicknamed (Trusty) Shellbacks, often referred to as Sons of Neptune; those who have not are nicknamed (Slimy) Pollywogs.

Il Mostro will make its third equator crossing tomorrow as we head back to the southern hemisphere, I'm guessing that the event will occur with hardly a mention.

Volvo Ocean Race

No comments: