Day 15 through to 19 – Crossing the Equator

Five days at sea, with little to see but sea. Fortunately Holland America made it easy for us to keep entertained. I continued with my Tai Chi out on the Sea View Deck, loving the serenity of being out in the warm sea breeze. With lectures on the Pacific Realm, things to do at our different ports, and Polynesian mythology, my mind was kept busy, while my aesthetic senses were spoiled with attending art presentations and sipping champagne at the live Art Auctions on board. The latter proved to be a rather dangerous past-time…

Tai Chi on the Sea View Deck


Seriously Tai-Chi-ing


Bring it on, baby!

Every day different performances were held at different times in the Mondriaan Lounge. Unfortunately much of the time we weren’t allowed to take photo’s. One particular show was described as being a Comedy Show with a Jamaican influence. The two comics were Patrick and Matilda. Believe me – I was not expecting Patrick to be a balding middle-aged white man, and Matilda a skimpy dressed  Jamaican woman on the end of his hand. It was the first ventriloquist show I had seen, and it was brilliant! The theatre was packed and throbbed with laughter. I loved it so much I watched them again in a second performance as part of a variety show.

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.

King Neptune, the Queen, and her Mermaids in waiting


The Judge


The Audience


The Fish


The Medics


The Pirate


Kissing the Fish


4 day old fermented fish innards and meringue


It smelt AWFUL!


Punished scallywags


Towelly Swan


Towelly Peacock


No idea...




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