Crossing the Equator

Bob was almost back to normal today, albeit feeling a bit weak. He stayed behind when I went off to art. Today, we were passing down the coast of Liberia – about 150 miles offshore, and crossing the Equator, officially entering the Southern Hemisphere. More of that later…
I finished my picture of Queen Mary 2 at sea. It’s ok. Not as good as the Teide one but am quite pleased with it given that I’m generally quite dreadful at painting anything “engineered”.
Went back to the cabin as soon as I was finished and put on swimwear and a coverup and Bob and I went out to the aft pool decks. There was a Crossing the Line Ceremony at midday (although I believe we don’t actually cross the “line” until tonight). We’ve done this before and it’s quite fun. Some of the crew dress up in a variety of costumes: King Neptune and his Wife; Pirates, Mermaids, Strange Sea Creatures and they process around the pool decks led by a brass band. Then King Neptune makes a comic speech to the assembled company and the Captain asks for permission for everyone to Cross the Line. A selection of PollyWoggles (people who have never done it before) are introduced to the King amidst much cheering from the Shellbacks (those that have crossed before). The final group of Pollywoggles is always made up of crew members and at that point a fight breaks out between King Neptune and his followers and this group which ends up with everyone going into the pool including generally some of the senior Officers. The ceremony today was particularly amusing. King Neptune and his wife (Entertainment Officer, bearded) were really funny and their script was very good. It felt like the whole ship was gathered around the terraced decks looking down.
The weather today is really hot and sultry: about 29C and with no wind. The sea is oily and still. It feels Equatorial!!!! We managed to find two loungers right beside the aft pool and pegged out there. I had copious swims. Bob didn’t go in, still not quite up to it. In fact he went back to the cabin about 2 for a cool and a rest. Had done well though. I stayed out till about 430 and then started to feel a bit baked. The sun is so strong. Tan is coming along nicely now, you’ll be delighted to know!!! 😊 I took Bob back a plate of finger sandwiches from the tea service as I was passing.
Watched the film Invictus starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman. It was about the classic rugby union match in the 1995 World Cup when South Africa re-entered the sporting world with a non apartheid team. Really good. Much better than my description sounds. Morgan Freeman was really really good as Mandela and Matt Damon was also excellent as the SA team captain.
Tonight was a formal night so we were all togged up in our black tie gladrags. I must say that the dining room does look really stylish and glamorous on these nights. Bob was back on top form and we had a great dinner with our table friends. Tonight I had a green salad with macadamia nuts to start and then a fillet steak with a few green veg for main and some cheese and crackers afterwards. It was a treat to have the cheese. They serve a very lovely stilton.
The show tonight was a singer/musician called Ben Mills who has played with Rod Stewart and all sorts of people. He was absolutely fantastic… what a voice! Another one to try and see when we get home. He hails from Broadstairs and plays in a band there when he’s not touring, so not too difficult.
Bob was feeling slightly off again by the time we turned in but I’m sure he’s turned the corner now and a good night’s sleep will see him right.

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