A Line to Cross

Once back in our cabin, we went out onto the balcony and Trevor switched on his hand-held GPS so we could check our position.  We could see we were at 00° 00.415′ N so we were literally just about to cross the Equator.  A few minutes later, at 01:20 hours local time, the readout showed 00° 00.000′ briefly and then we were in the southern hemisphere.   🙂

This isn’t the first time we’d ventured into King Neptune’s realm of the ‘Trusty Shellback’ as we’d crossed the Line before (in both directions) in February 2011.

So, after our late night, we got up about 8.30 this morning and went out on deck to eat our breakfasts.  Quite a few people were in the pool already; there seem to be a lot of early risers on these cruises.  Trevor and I tend to get up moderately early but then again we’re more night owls than morning people; even on a work night it’s usually around midnight before we got to bed.

At 10.00am we went along to listen to another fascinating talk by the round-the-world sailor Alex Alley and we ordered a copy of his book Boat to Boardroom, which he said he’d sign and send to us.  Then immediately after Alex’s talk was the final lecture by aviation expert Ricky Bastin; his presentation this time was all about the V-bomber.

We stayed in the shade for most of the day; sunbathing at sea close to the Equator is not a good idea if you want to avoid a nasty sunburn; the sea breeze can lull you into a false sense of security and make you think it’s cooler than it is.

We lunched at the Neptune pool then pottered around a bit until about 2.00pm, then we went and found a good vantage point out on the Aquarius Deck for this afternoon’s Crossing the Line ceremony, which was due to start at 3.00pm.  The reason for our being there so early was because, with 2,000 passengers, the aft decks were going to become pretty crowded and we wanted to be sure of an unimpeded view where the ignorant late-comers couldn’t push in in front of us (it happens!)  🙂

Incidentally, we were pleased to note on this cruise that P & O have started referring to us once again as “passengers” (which indeed is what we are) instead of that awful Americanism “guests”.  (How can we be guests?  We’ve paid to be here!)

Anyway… I enjoyed an ice-cold mojito in the sunshine while Trevor had his usual “Newky Broon” and, as the crowds gathered, it was time for King Neptune and his entourage to put in an appearance, for which a large “throne” had been set out for that purpose.  Then a group of pirates “boarded” the Arcadia as well as a group of the ship’s officers, who would be competing against each other, the losing team meeting with dire consequences.   🙂

The first competition involved each team member dunking their heads in a bowl of custard to obtain ping-pong balls in their mouths, and dropping them into a bucket; whichever team’s bucket contained the most balls won that round (it was the pirates).

Then a whole load of fruits (apples, oranges, pineapples etc.) and vegetables (potatoes, carrots and a swede) were lobbed into the swimming pool and each team was timed in their efforts to retrieve all the fruit/veg and place them in the buckets; the team who managed the most fruit/veg in the shortest time was declared the winner of that round (it was the officers).

The final decider was a massive tug o’ war between the two teams, made more interesting due to the amount of custard and jelly splurged over the decking.  The Arcadia‘s officers won that contest, and therefore the competition, and took great delight in covering the losing pirate team with liberal quantities of jelly, custard and trifle.  The stuff was flying everywhere (passengers were advised to keep well back, ha ha) and the teams finished off by jumping into the pool to try to clean themselves off.  It was all in good spirit and a fun way to spend an hour or so.  🙂

Back in our cabin we enjoyed a cold glass of cava on the balcony before getting washed and changed in time for dinner.  The meal was excellent as ever and we enjoyed table 187’s convivial company and interesting conversation.

We then took our usual seats in the front row in the Palladium theatre for tonight’s show, which was by the Headliners Theatre Company and was called Let’s Face The Music and Dance.  These types of shows are a bit hit and miss; sometimes they are excellent if they contain something a bit different, but this one was just the same old, same old – music and dancing from Singing in the Rain, Top Hat and that type of stuff.  OK in a mildly entertaining way, but nothing original.

Then along we went to the Rising Sun, where Frank and Brenda joined us once again for the Numbers quiz; every answer was a number but it didn’t involve maths or calculations.  We didn’t win, but I enjoyed a few glasses of prosecco and the general ambience of the place, which is just like a real English pub.

It was late when we got to bed, but that didn’t matter as our clocks were due to go back at 2.00am to GMT -3.  Tomorrow we’d be on terra firma once again, this time in Brazil.

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