April 10 (Tues) 1945, Indian Ocean

April 10 1945Continued fine weather. Torsos of all shades of brown & pink are in evidence. Deck hockey is played daily, during the Dogs [watch], on the Quarterdeck and a hose rigged as a shower over Y turret is most popular. Crossed the equator about midnight, 9th, and last night King Neptune’s Envoys came aboard to announce that he would be holding his court today. Accordingly this forenoon the forecastle has been the scene of the some weird & wonderful doings to say nothing of some most unusual rigs! The King & Queen sat under an awning surrounded by attendants and officials of the court. The policemen, a gang of the toughest thugs on board, collected the victims from their hideouts & dragged them thru the crowd & before the Royal personages. The charges were read out to the assembled multitude and the accused invariably adjudged guilty. The punishment involved swallowing a pill about the size of 6d & some horrible white glue-like liquid. Then the crowd was let in on the fun as the victim was dragged onto a seat, painted, lathered & scraped, & thrown to the bears. These spared neither themselves or anyone else, & it seemed doubtful in some cases that a human being could survive the treatment meted out. However, all did, and the fun was continued during the afternoon, King Neptune finally calling it a day about 1430. At 1630, to the sounds of gay music from the band, several certificates, confirming the recipients as “Freemen of the Seas” were presented in front of a considerable gathering on the forecastle. The remainder of the certificates, it is presumed, will be issued at a later date. We would hate to think we had been though all that for nothing! All watches cleared up decks & so ended a most amusing day. Estimated position at Noon yesterday was 3°20’N, 82°13’E & today, 2°05’S, 87°14’E.

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