Well it has been about 16 hours now since my transformation from Pollywog to Shellback and it has to be said to date I have noticed no physical changes perhaps I never will?
Perhaps for all the 15 new Shellbacks on board Team Garmin and for those right across the fleet the feeling isn't a physical one, its a feeling of quiet (or perhaps quite loud in some cases) satisfaction that no matter what else life throws at us and no matter the other experiences we collect in our lives we will now always be Shellbacks as nobody will ever be able to take away from us the crossing of the Equator by boat.
For the crew of Team Garmin with a liberal sprinkling of Aussies, Neptune and his 2 assistant Shellbacks already on board conducted a "Kangaroo court" style ceremony where misdemeanor’s of the last 23 days at sea where recalled as sins against Neptune and punishments issued as Neptune felt fit.
It is my error of packing the wind seeker in the bag the wrong way around that means I must now attend EVERY Kite pack until Rio whilst others are wearing pants outside their clothes due to some ripped shorts and one crew member will be adorning the bow to emulate Kate Winslet in Titanic for 10 minutes a day and the run in to Rio (By the way - Why did she not just move over and let Jack on the door too?). The highlight of the ceremony for me was when each of the alcohol free for 23 day Crew where presented with a small dram of Rum for a toast to the god of the Ocean.
Neptune proudly conducted the toast to welcome us to his realm only to instruct the crew to deposit the contents of their glasses into the Ocean not their mouths. Excited and expected faces went to disbelief to disappointed in a few short seconds and 3 Euros 50 of Rum hit the surface.
The ceremony was a long time coming after extended time in the doldrums but signifies another milestone in our journey together and after celebrating with Ice Lollies (I new the freezer was a good idea) and Chewy drumsticks and jelly sweets(Thanks Janet and Kira) attention will soon turn to the Ocean Sprint and maximising our points from this second race in the series.
Crossing the Equator will be a highlight and a lasting memory for all of us and compensate in some small way for our likely finishing position towards the back of the fleet.