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At The Equator

Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

2nd March, 2019

Well here we are – 3 out of 6 of our days at sea crossing the Gulf of Guinea, in a south-easterly direction, towards Angola. We crossed the equator at 04:40GMT in the morning of the 2nd of March, at longitude 002degrees 57.3’ West.

Now, for those of you unfamiliar with nautical traditions, crossing the equator entails rituals of old which used to be fairly serious in nature (for example, in the days of sailing ships, a crewmember used to be ‘sacrificed’ to the sea upon crossing in order to satisfy King Neptune) but have now fallen into those of fun & frolics. Typically, a number of crew will dress up in daft costumes and herd up those passengers & crew who have yet to experience ‘crossing the line’ before forcing them to do something revolting such as kissing a rotten old fish, as a ‘modern’ attempt of sacrifice to King Neptune of the sea (Saga turned down my request to sacrifice a crewmember).

Therefore, at 15:00 on the 2nd of March, (yes, almost 12hrs after we had crossed the equator but who really cares?) a grand event was held on the aft end of the ship, calling all Pollywogs & Shellbacks (those who had not crossed the equator at sea before) to turn out and face their sacrifice. Needless to say, it all ended in very messy chaos with pretty much everyone – including the Captain, Hotel Director, Staff Captain, Cruise Conductor and even poor old retiree Captain Spekman – ending up in a swimming pool filled with gungy old water.

The weather as we steamed the 2,500 nautical miles towards central southern Africa was consistently tropical – i.e. hot, sunny, calm and Doldrum-like. It became rather hot inside at times, too, with all the non-stop excitement, parties, entertainment and food events on offer our AC machines found it hard to keep the heat down…

One of my favourite afternoon competitions occurred on Sunday, when Executive Chef John decided he would take on our speciality Indian Sous Chef Tushar, on a Sunday Roast vs Curry competition. Both set their stall up on either side of the Veranda deck opposite the pool (thankfully after it was emptied, cleaned and refilled from the sludge-swimming event the day prior) and competed to see which could attract more customers. Needless to say, I joined the curry queue (although I am partial to a jolly good roast, too) and overall Tushar did pip the post, numbers-wise.

Our little ship steamed full speed ahead towards Angola, a country which I have yet to visit, as had many of our passengers. I shall speak to you from there soon…

Captain Kim Tanner

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.