From Pollywog to Shellback

April 21, 2023

Ana Beatriz Fernandes Costa, C Watch, Grinnell College

Me steering Bobby C. (left to right: Beans, Ana (me!), Amelia, Noelle, and Captain Alisson)

Ship's Log

Noon Position
017.9'Sx14428.1'W

Ship Heading
320PSC

Ship Speed
4 knots

Taffrail Log
1572 nautical miles

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan
Wind ExS F3, Clouds 3/8 Cu and Ac, temperature 29.5, Sailing under the 4 lowers and the Tops'l.

Description of location
Equator

Souls on Board

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Today was an extremely important day. A day of change and growth for many of the ship's company. It was a day of rebirth.Today, we crossed the Equator and ceased being mere pollywogs and became noble shellbacks in the court of King Neptune.It was not an easy passage, all those of us who had never faced such momentous crossing before (aka the pollywogs) had to face harsh judgment before the mighty King Neptune and his devoted court. After much consideration, we were all deemed guilty of our heinous crimes at sea. At that point, we thought we were doomed, we believed we were never going to be able to leave the ocean. Forever stuck in a limbo between the South and North hemisphere. Forever at the mercy of King Neptune.Yet, his royal majesty in all his glory showed himself a merciful and benevolent king and gave us an option. If we were brave and strong enough to face (and survive!) a series of deadly trials, we would be forgiven and granted a place among his court. It was no easy challenge and many of us did not make it. Yet, in the end, all the surviving sailors were welcomed by the benevolent King Neptune into his gracious court with a beautiful initiation ceremony.After becoming shellbacks, King Neptune also bestowed upon us new names. Dignified new names worthy of the glorious shellbacks in the regal court of the king of the seas. From this day on, I shall be carrying the name Starry Night Octopus with pride. A reminder not only of my time at sea, but also of the grace granted to me by King Neptune.I could go into more details about the trials and the ceremony, but those among us who are shellback already know all about it and need no further explanation. As for those that don't, they are still lowly pollywogs, and therefore are not worthy of this sacred knowledge.Ana Beatriz Fernandes Costa, C Watch, Grinnell College

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