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Friday, November 7, 2014

FALL CIRCLE PACIFIC ADVENTURE 2014: Part 5—Crossing the Equator

The Crystal Symphony just crossed the Equator:
  • Three centuries before Jesus Christ, Aristotle’s maps showed an Equator.  That's him on the right, as painted by Rembrandt.
  • Greco-Egyptian geographer Ptolemy added lattitudes and longitudes to maps, and his version generally was used for 1500 years.
  • The equator is an imaginary circle around Planet Earth equidistant from the geographical North and South Poles.
  • Our equator is 24,901 miles long
  • There are no major cities on the Equator, but I stayed at the Fairmont Hotel in Kenya, which is located on the Equator.  Also known as the Mount Kenya Safari Club, the founder was actor William Holden. I participated in an ceremony here because the property straddles the Equator.  Here he is with Zamba and Capucine.
  • There is snow at 18,996 feet, Volcan Cayambe in Ecuador.
  • Advantages:
    • Ideal for space shots
    • no hurricane has ever passed through this imaginary line
    • thus, some day, many OTEC grazing plantships will populate the ocean around the equator, for this is where the temperature difference is at maximum and there is no threat from hurricanes
Of course, the Crystal Symphony had a ceremony for those crossing the Equator for the first time:


King Neptune presided, and perhaps 60 or so participated.  While original versions were brutal and even dangerous, involving shavings, slime, ropes, garbage and such, cruise lines now use biodegradable slime and plastic sardines, for pollywogs get tossed into the pool, surviving as shellbacks.

Authentic certificates are given.  Hard to believe, but the captain of our ship, Ralf Zander, was a pollywog until today.

Tomorrow, crossing the International Dateline.  I've traversed both more than a hundred times, almost always on a commercial flight.  On this trip I'll pass over the Equator and International Dateline twice times each.

Ho hum, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 20 points to 17,574.

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