Crossing The Line

I crossed the Equator for the first time during my recent voyage from Tawau, Sabah in Malaysian Borneo to Makassar, South Sulawesi in Indonesia by ship.In the old days of sailing ships people "crossing the line" for the first time observed some strange traditions!

"The ceremony of Crossing the Line is an initiation rite in the Royal navy, U S Navy and other navies which commemorates a sailor's first crossing of the Equator. Originally the tradition was created as a test for seasoned sailors to ensure their new shipmates were capable of handling long rough times at sea. Sailors who have already crossed the equator are nicknamed (Trusty) Shellbacks, often referred to as Sons of Neptune; those who have not are nicknamed (Slimy) Pollywogs." (Wikipedia)

However on the Indonesian ferry K M Tidar I invited myself to the bridge as it nears the Port of Pantoloan and the Chief Mate kindly showed me the GPS Navigator as the latitude reading turned 0 deg. 0' 000" as it cruised south on the Strait of Makassar. Wow, I've crossed the magical Equator into the Southern Hemisphere!

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