We are sitting in the messroom. It is very hot and we can hear crying voices and crazy noises from the main deck. We are very excited and we are all a bit scared because of what will happen when the captain comes and orders one of us to go up.
The first was Elli. When she went up, all of us waited in silence when suddenly we heard crying voices, but we were glad – it wasn’t her voice. When I heard the captain’s order to go up, I was so exited. All that happened on the main deck was very funny and all happened a bit too fast, so I couldn’t really enjoy it. At the end I kneeled in front of the royal Neptun (our engineer Willi) and he baptized me on the name „dancing shrimp“. I got the name because at home I am dancing. After that I was ready to pass the 40th Longitude.
Now I was allowed to make noise to scare all the pupils who were waiting in the messroom and were scared of what would happen to them. At the end of the day all of us received a certificate that shows our real name, our „fish name“ and that now Neptun allows us to pass the 40th Longitude.
The Atlantic ocean baptism is an old sailor tradition to mark when they passed the equator. They did this because they were scared of what would happen on the southern part of the globe. They thought they would die there because of the heat and unknown illnesses. With that tradition they took their fears.
Now I interview a pupil, Tobi:
Me: Were you excited before the Atlantic ocean baptism?
Tobi: Yes of course. I didn’t know what would happen to me, I heard just some crazy noises and I was one of the last pupils.
Me: Do you think that the Atlantic ocean baptism is a good KUS-tradition?
Tobi: For sure. I think we have to keep old traditions. Especially here on the Thor Heyerdahl, a traditional sailing ship.
Me: Which is your „fish name“ and do you know why you are baptized on this name?
Tobi: My fish name is „Degenfish“, because I am one of the tallest persons of the ship.
Me: What is your feeling when you think back to the Atlantic ocean baptism?
Tobi: I am very happy that I was able to take part in the Atlantic ocean baptism.
Me: Thank you very much for the interview
Tobi: No problem. Have a nice day!
Even if it was a bit scary, each time I think back to this one special day, I have a smile on my face to be Atlantic baptized.