A few days ago, the ship crossed the equator. Since then we have also crossed the prime meridian, so I am in both the southern and eastern hemisphere for the first times. On the day we crossed the equator (actually the day before because that was when the ship was originally scheduled to cross), the entire ship celebrated Neptune Day. On this day, all of the pollywogs (those who haven't crossed the equator on a ship) will become shellbacks. There are a series of rituals to go through in order to make this transition.
It sounds super weird, as most rituals do if you haven't gone through them. First you get "fish guts" poured over your head (which is really some thin gelatin mixture dyed a bit blue), then you kiss a dead fish (very lightly in most cases), bow to King Neptune (the captain) and then jump in the pool. Then, if you want, you can shave your head.
And guess what.... I did! We're talking really short haircut and then a razor on the shortest setting to the head. Shocking!!! I know I'm going to get a bunch of emails. So here is what I look like (and that is even grown for about 2 days)
I was actually pleasantly surprised that I don't think I look horrible (please don't tell me if you disagree). The biggest shock hasn't actually been the haircut, but how cold my head (and subsequently the rest of me) has been. Everyone who shaved their heads has been walking around wearing hats, not because we don't like our hair, but because it's so cold. I'm glad I bought a beanie in Morocco. Overall, 10 other girls completely shaved their heads, and about 80 guys did. If you want to see more pictures I think there are some more on the Semester at sea blog of Neptune Day and group "baldie" pictures afterward.
That's all for now. We're about to pull into Walvis Bay, Namibia, where I am going on a safari which I am super excited about. So I'll be out of touch for the next few days, but I look forward to any shocked emails I may receive.