Go Back   Cruiser Log World Cruising & Sailing Forums > Cruising Forums > General Cruising Forum
Cruiser Wiki

Join Cruiser Log Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-08-2008, 07:16 PM   #1
Admiral
 
Nausikaa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,619
Default

Years ago, in 1971, when I crossed the Line (Equator) for the first time in a ship there was a "Crossing the Line Ceremony" held.

The ship's company was joined by a number of characters who came over the bow". The list of suspicious characters included King Neptune, Queen Amphitrite and the Royal Baby as well as the Royal Barbers, the Royal Constables and the Tritons. All of these roles were, of course, played by members of the ship's company who previously have crossed the Line. Their dress was, well bizarre to say the least; attired in outlandish costumes created from whatever odds and sods there was to be found in the ship.

After much cursing by Neptune the entire entourage took a large glass of whisky (being a Scottish ship) before returning to the forward main deck where a makeshift swimming pool had been constructed of planks and tarpaulins and duly filled with seawater. A band of bearded constables (the beards made of teased out hemp ropes) came aft with the list of names of those who had not previously crossed the line and required, forcefully, the aforementioned to accompany them.

The sorry gang of those who had not previously crossed the line was soon stripped of all clothing bar underwear and one by one seated on the platform with their backs to the Heath-Robinson pool. The grotesque barbers flourished their huge razors and shaving-brushes whilst Neptune, sitting in state, surveyed the scene. Much to the amusement of those witnessing the event the poor offer (me included) were well lathered and roughly shaved. The lather, I should point out, was not the normal shaving soap and bore no resemblance to that which squirts out of cans these days. It was a vile concoction made from grease, soot, and any available bilge scrapings. After being "shaved" we were tossed unceremoniously backwards into the pool. Any residue of the "shaving foam" was then scrubbed off by the Tritons armed with deck scrubbers and a fire hose. Those who made their escape and, as a rule climbed a mast trying to take the "high ground", were dragged back for a second scrubbing by the constables.

Was it all good clean fun? Well, it was good fun really although none too clean. Nobody suffered and a good time was had by all. Even those who had been plagued by Neptune and his gang soon found solace in a tot of good highland spring water.

Well, that is the account of my "crossing-the-line" ceremony. In contrast, my sons, the youngest by the age of 7, had crossed the line many times in a 747 or an Airbus and celebrated with a Coke and a bar of complementary airline chocolate or something similar. At 30,000 feet they did not even "feel the bump" as the line was crossed! Have they missed out on something?

What I would like to know, now that I have shared my experience, is how do today's cruisers celebrate crossing the line?
__________________

__________________
Yacht NAUSIKAA | Call Sign: 2AJH2




WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU DID SOMETHING FOR THE FIRST TIME?

www.nausikaa.org.uk

= Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania
Nausikaa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2008, 09:02 PM   #2
Admiral
 
atavist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Vessel Name: Persevate
Posts: 548
Send a message via Yahoo to atavist
Default

Ah the infamous Shellback Ceremony... ... Mine began in the lowest levels of the ship (a Naval Flagship) we had to crawl our way through the hottest dankest parts of the ship all the while being tared and feathered and mombarded with rotten food and various unknown concoctions ... once out of the dark underbelly we made our way through the galley where we were forced to eat an unidentifiable insanesly spicy breakfast, washed down with tabasco orange juice... making our way on deck we were blasted with firehoses while we rowed/wiggled a blow-up swimming pool across the deck in a mock storm. Reaching Neptune on his throne at the bow of the ship we had to lay prone and recite a long prayer in order to attain his blessing....

As you said... lots of fun but not at all clean... I'm looking forward to the day I can get my Golden Shellback (cross the international date line and the equater at the same time)... I'm of course out of the Marines now but I still fully plan to make an event of it.
__________________
“The world turns aside to let any man pass who knows where he is going.” (Epictetus 55 - 135 AD)

"To see new things, and live day to day, is better than wine or poppy, and fitter for a man." (Theseus)
atavist is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
crossing


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water Line Sheer MMNETSEA Repairs & Maintenance 5 07-07-2011 02:48 AM
Crusing in along the spain coast line damagesmith General Cruising Forum 2 10-03-2006 10:16 PM
fuel-return line hangfire General Cruising Forum 6 04-04-2006 11:34 PM
Want a different view of a coast line? rod hodgson General Cruising Forum 3 09-11-2005 05:46 AM

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0