There was no escaping the King of the Seas for four Team Sanya crew members as they raced to the Volvo Ocean Race safe haven.
Richard Mason, Bert Schandevyl and Ryan Houston took on the roles of King Neptune and his assistants as they doled out punishments to Equatorial virgins Cameron Dunn, Dave Swete, ‘Tiger’ Teng Jiang He and media man Andres Soriano.
'For Dave, Cam, Tiger and myself it has been a long time coming having missed out on Leg 1,' Soriano wrote in his latest dispatch from the boat.
'There was a noticeable sense of nervousness on board, as no one quite knew what to expect.
'King Neptune and his faithful assistant Codfish emerged from down below to greet the first time crossers.
'The four of us were bound together and tied to the stern of the yacht and awaited our questioning and ultimately our punishments.
'We were donned with dried flying fish 'necklaces’, a gift from the mighty King Of The Ocean.
'Each of us were given an array of questions and for each wrong answer a specific punishment followed which usually consisted of a dousing of sludge that smelled like it had been brewing since we left Madagascar.'
The four inductees got off lightly, managing to keep hold of their hair – something sailors from other teams were not lucky enough to avoid.
'Thankfully the ceremony was over before we knew it,' Soriano added.
'As if on cue, we were greeted by some of Neptune’s friends, a pack of dolphins that jumped and played next to the boat for the next five minutes welcoming us to the Northern Hemisphere.'
On Wednesday at 0900 UTC Sanya continued to beat into a northeast breeze at around nine knots, gaining pace on the 6.6-knot average of the past 24 hours, during which they clocked up 158 nautical miles.
'We are looking forward to catching up with our shore team and getting straight in to preparing the boat for leg 3 stage 2,' Soriano said. 'We can’t wait to get back out here again.'
Volvo Ocean Race www.volvooceanrace.org