Crossing the Line

Once upon a time, whenever a ship crossed the Equator, old salty sailors would perform a ritual “test” of their less-seasoned shipmates to ensure that the new crew would be capable of surviving the long and difficult days ahead. These days, on board Navy vessels and sailboats across the globe, the same tradition has evolved into something more akin to fraternity hazing. Anytime a modern sailor crosses the Equator, Arctic Circle, or Antarctic Circle for the first time, the veterans – called “Shellbacks” – subject their novice shipmates – called “Polliwogs” – to abuse ranging from head-shaving to icewater baths to something called the Whale’s Belly… the contents of which I won’t disclose. Here is a photo of Yours Truly bobbing for squid during her very own glorious journey into Shellbackdom:

One Response to “Crossing the Line”

  1. Monica says:

    This is still one of my favorites, ever.

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