Baptism on board HS Beethoven (March 2015)

Baptism ceremony


Being on the vessel for the first time or crossing the Equator are both great opportunities for seafarers to receive blessings and show respect towards the Gods of Sea. It is a very important event in the life of seafarers and passengers alike and it must be celebrated accordingly. 


Now, on board HS Beethoven, we crossed the Equator at 141°8’ E longitude, ~ 200 miles North of Papua New Guinea and I was lucky to watch the GPS on the bridge changing from North to South together with our German passenger, Alex.



The event was very much waited for and it needed a proper celebration, especially for our passenger who was on the vessel for the first time. And, as this kind of celebration must always be accompanied by a small reunion (get together, party, outside barbeque) we scheduled the baptism ceremony for the following Saturday afternoon when everybody was free from work and ready to have a little fun.

Few hours before the event started, I found out (by mistake) that there were two more crew members on board who hadn’t been baptized before and we decided to include them in the same celebration. They were not for the first time at sea, but, as only HS Beethoven crossed them over the Equator and into the South Hemisphere, we really thought that a baptism ceremony for them would be appropriate.

So, with three people ready to receive the blessings from Neptune and with all crew happy to participate in the event, the only thing I had to do was preparing the Certificates. I invited the others to involve themselves into the ‘show’ as much as they wanted and I was very happy to discover that some of them took it very seriously and dressed up for the occasion.

At exactly 4 p.m. the three people about to be baptized were called on the bridge and from there they were led towards the ceremony place – starboard side muster station – by a very ‘scary’ like ‘pirate’ , dressed up and fully equipped with the required handmade toy weapons.


The ceremony was very quick and involved a lot of water splashed from the fire hoses (the temperature of the water was ~ 29°) and a special kind of drink, a mixture of wine, salt water and some other secret ingredients shared between them from the same glass. Neptune read  the certificates out loud, baptizing each and every one with their new names, a lot of photos were taken and everybody had a lot of fun.





The outside barbeque was scheduled to take place at 5 p.m. and it went out very well – with good food and drinks involved – until Neptune decided to send a heavy rain over the area and ‘baptize’ everybody on board the vessel.


BBQ Party on board HS Beethoven (4)


And because a barbeque on board is not complete without karaoke, we had to move inside and continued the party with more food, drinks and very good music. The rain didn’t stop for the whole night, but our party was very nice and even more special –because its location in the Officers’ Recreation Room – and brought out some very good voices which I hope to hear more during the following parties.


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2 Responses to Baptism on board HS Beethoven (March 2015)

  1. Hi Oana, I am back again in Germany and read your interesting reports of the South-East Asia sea voyage through the endless Pacific Ocean.
    Yes and I might to be present personally.I have experienced the life aboard HS Beethoven and could get to know, besides, very nice people. Especially you Oana, Christian as well as of course everybody of the crew.
    It was a great adventure of which I will still think long time. Crossing the line ceremony was one of the climaxes aboard. You as well as Christian have done everything to make it a memorable experience for me and the other 2 philippin guys. Thanks for it and also for the many tips you was giving me everytime. Many greetings also to Christian and the crew, especially the officers with those I have always drunk tea with on the bridge.
    Great hug Alex

    • travelc1 says:

      Hi, Alex,
      Happy to hear from you! We are in Brisbane now and we have a little internet. We are very glad that you enjoyed your voyage with us and hope to see you next time! I am waiting for your story … you can send it via our e-mail address. Keep in touch.

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