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Crew Holds Baptism Ritual at Equator

The crew of the Bulgarian military research vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii (NAVAL RSV 421) held a baptism ritual just hours after crossing the equator.
In keeping with old tradition, the sailors welcomed Neptune, the god of the sea, and his noble wife Amphitrite while “rulers” were getting seated on “thrones”. Each crew member had to go through the difficult main part of the baptism in order to receive Neptune’s blessing to continue to travel in his realm.
Each sailor had a “medical checkup” and got a “shave” from a barber before becoming entitled to worm through a lifebelt (an act symbolizing the crossing of the equator) in a strong gush of water, thus earning the privilege to stand in front of the gods. After the trial was passed successfully, Neptune ordered his subjects (dolphins, Nereids, newts) to provide the glorious sailors with assistance whenever necessary.
The ritual evoked a variety of positive emotions in the crew of RSV 421 and bolstered their morale even more on the 27th day of their voyage to Antarctica.
RSV 421 crossed the equator at 03:19 hrs ship time (04:19 hrs Eastern European Time) on January 22, thus becoming the first military research vessel in Bulgarian shipping history to sail beyond the zero parallel. It entered the South Atlantic, staying on its south-southwestward course to South America en route to Livingston Island in Antarctica, where it will support the 31st Bulgarian Antarctic Expedition.
BTA’s Daily News editor Konstantin Karagyozov is the only member of the media who is travelling on board the ship to Livingston Island and back, and will cover the Bulgarian expedition on site throughout the stay in Antarctica.
All media outlets can use the Bulgaria-Antarctica BTA’s Log for free.