Martin spent his days making the most of the beautiful weather, seeking out the best places to maximise his tanning and reading. And while I Tai-chi-ed and told myself it was a perfectly valid form of exercise, he was disciplined enough to go to the actual gym, occasionally taking some of the classes they held. His favourite past time soon became playing in the Texas Hold’em Tournaments. And as long as I stayed away, he did amazing.
12th of November we crossed the Equator! Hello Southern Hemisphere! To celebrate, the crew put on a performance on the Sea View Deck. There, King Neptune, his Queen, and her ladies in waiting, waited to hear the crimes of some of the crew working onboard. After a pirate marched the accused out in front of everyone, and a judge had read the charges set against them, King Neptune ordered them to either kiss, bite, lick, or french-kiss the fish (and yes, it was real), that was sitting on ice in the baking sun. From there the accused had to slide themselves over benches where medics (?) smothered them with liquid and coloured meringue. (Later I found out the liquid was actually four-day old fish entrails, and thus accounted for the terrible smell.) Then they awaited their verdict determined by the captain of Zaandam and some of his officers. If the punishment was deemed adequate for the crime they would be allowed to jump into the pool and rid themselves of the dreadful stench, if not, they had to go sit… and wait… and bake in the sun. And believe me, the sun beat down with a wicked fury, as both Martin and I found out later in the day, and felt for a few days after. And yet it was nothing, nothing compared to the heat we experienced in Samoa, our next port of call.