Ships and navies across the world hold initiation ceremonies when sailors cross the equator for the first time. As we passed into southern waters, Semester at Sea held Neptune Day during which students transform from slimy Pollywogs turn into honorable Shellbecks – the sons of Neptune. The ceremony involved kissing a fish, pledging our allegiance to King Neptune, and an (optional) head shave. Neptune day began in the early morning when the crew (King Neptune’s Army) paraded through the halls and up to the pool.
We all gathered besides the pool as King Neptune (Scottish astronomy professor Ian Campbell) tested us before granting us permission into the southern waters.
Following is a glimpse of Neptune’s initiation ceremony featuring my friends Victoria, Courtney, Celeste, Cat, and I.
Over 75 men and about 20 women shaved their heads. When the first ponytail was cut off, a roar went through the crowd.