I think that the 17th of June is the date we must have left Singapore on the MS Centaur Blue Funnel Line. (Ship 303899 built in Liverpool). This is because the equator is about 60 km (I think) south of Singapore. I remember this night clearly and I have more memories of this trip than of the following years combined. According to the web site, the voyage was 5 days in cruise like comfort. We crossed the equator at 106.23 East.
I do not remember leaving Singapore. This saddens me. But I do remember a darkened room with lights. It was like magic to a young boy. We all queued up, they filled in my certificate. King Neptune sat up on his throne, a bit like a nautical Santa Clause.The reason for this event was the crossing of the equator. I remember that he was actually the captain of the ship. If it his name on the Certificate (I cannot read the first name) then it is R Williams. I remember there being nets and tridents. I sat on King Neptune’s lap. I remember being with my mum. I do not remember my sister being there. I know my father was not there. I became a member of the Ancient Order of the Deep Domain of Neptunus Rex. And now whenever I get the chance I travel the world by merchant ship. It is in my soul.
The text in full:
Be it known by these present that B V Y Yap having on this 17th day of June 1967 in Latitude 00.00 Longitude 106.23E been duly inspected and initiated into the Mysteries of the Deep, has been found worthy to be numbered as on of our trusty Shellbacks.
I hereby command that henceforth and forever you be considered a Citizen of our Realm, being entitled to the help and protection of the citizens of our watery Domain.
His Majesty’s Scribe,
Ruler of the Raging Main
There are a few other things I remember on the ship, on the journey from Singapore to Fremantle. The greatest adventure I have ever had.
The other memories I have are running over to the edge of the ship and looking over the edge. It was a long long way down. But I was not afraid. It was exciting. I was delighted to see the wake of the ship on the ocean below. It was also terribly naughty. I think I must have been told not to go near the edge of the ship.
When I was in the child care place, which as I remember had grey carpet, I lost the winder from my watch. It was a very expensive watch and was a special present. I was very worried. I did not know what had happened to the winder. But my mother was not upset and the watch was put away to be repaired in Perth.
At the end of the trip we lived in Perth for a while. I remember there being two places. But I only know that we lived in a flat on the Canning Highway in Melville. But I also remember there being a fibro house.